Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What do I have to do to be a vendor at the Lansdowne Farmers Market?
A: Any new regular Market vendors must grow or make what they are selling, must be licensed and insured, and must fill an existing or anticipated Market need. We are mostly full for 2016, but if you think you have a food product that is a good fit for the Market, take a look at the 2016 Market Rules and Vendor Application.
Q: But I really want to sell stuff at the Market, so what can I do?
A: We came up with Community Day just for folks like you. Three times during the 2016 season, an additional 10 to 12 spaces will be made available so that people, groups, or businesses who want a Market presence can have it. The spaces are $30 each, which must be paid in advance and which is nonrefundable if you don’t show up. There are other rules too, like no standard-sized tents because the spaces are too small, but it’s a good opportunity if you have something to sell or promote, and you’re not required to have licensing or insurance for a Community Day appearance. Check here for the dates.
Q: How do I sign up for Community Day?
A: All the Community Days are scheduled toward the end of the month, and the applications (Community Day #1 application, due June 15) will be available electronically starting the last Thursday of the previous month and at the Market Manager booth by the last Saturday. Please don’t send a note to info@LFM asking us to email you an application when they’re ready. We’ll forget and you’ll be out of luck. Your best bet is to be sure to get the Farmers Market e-newsletter, since it will contain a link to the application as soon as it becomes available and until the application deadline, two weeks before the event. We stop taking applications then and notify those who have been selected to participate about a week and a half before Community Day. The 2016 Community Days take place on June 25 (application), August 27, and October 29.
Q: Can I be a vendor at all the Community Days?
A: Probably not. Because they’re popular days, the volunteer who handles the Community Day applications dates them as they come in, and then spots are awarded to suitable first-time applicants in order of receipt (first time meaning the first time that market season). When the application deadline passes, if there are any spots left after first-timers have been assigned, the remaining spaces are given to returning Community Day applicants, again in order of receipt. So it’s important to get your application in early.
Q: You said “suitable applicants.” What did you mean? Can I sell anything at Community Day?
A: Well, no. You can’t sell guns or ammo or knives or anything dangerous, obviously. No yard sale or flea market type booths are permitted either. We also strictly limit food sales and food giveaways. We reserve the right to decline any application that we don’t think is right for the Market or to stop you from selling or giving away items at Community Day that were not approved. Okay, that’s enough questions about Community Day. Let’s move on.
Q: Can I be Artist of the Week?
A: Maybe. Those are very popular spots, so we’ve become more selective than we once were. We’re looking for handiworks that Market customers will be interested in seeing and buying, and you need to be local enough that you shop at the Market and can do volunteer work there, since we ask that you come help at a Market when you’re not the Artist. You didn’t ask specifically, but we’ll also tell you that it costs $30 to be Artist of the Week, and we provide the tent; you bring everything else. You can download and complete this application and email it to artist@LansdowneFarmersMarket.com to inquire about being Artist of the Week; include some digital photos if you have any. Or bring some samples or your work very early in the season to the Market Manager tent; then we know you shop at the LFM, which helps your chances.
Q: I play an instrument. Can I be Musician of the Week?
A: Another maybe. Signing up the musicians is the purview of a very talented local professional musician, Bob Beach. Send us an email at info@LansdowneFarmersMarket.com and he’ll get back to you, but he starts booking in the middle of the winter, so he’s got a lot of weeks filled already. Musicians don’t pay to appear and aren’t paid to appear, but they’re welcome and encouraged to set up a tip jar and sell any CDs or other products that they have to promote themselves. Marketgoers love the music, so the musicians do pretty well.
Q: Didn’t the Market used to have a Business of the Week? What happened to that?
A: We simply ran out of space at the Market to promote local businesses every week. Instead, we added a page to this website to promote local businesses and organizations; just contact us if you want to be added. Plus, businesses are welcome to drop promotional material at the Market Manager tent or get a spot for Community Day.
Q: Why aren’t all the vendors at the Market every week?
A: It’s a matter of space and vendor preference. There isn’t enough room to comfortably fit all the vendors, an artist, a musician, and the Market Manager text — plus the occasional special guest — in the area that we have. Also, some vendors couldn’t commit to every week, so we’ve worked out a space-sharing plan and a vendor schedule that we hope will work for everyone.
Q: Your marketing material says rain or shine. Do you mean that? What if the weather is really bad?
A: In 7 full years, we’ve never cancelled a Saturday Market despite some pretty horrendous weather. Many of our vendors are cooking and baking for days leading up to Saturday, so cancelling on Friday can be a major expense for them. What we are more likely to do in terrible weather is proceed as scheduled but close an hour or two early, so serious shoppers get a chance to brave the weather and come out on the early side and do some shopping. That said, we don’t want anyone to get hurt or equipment to be damaged, which is another good reason to get liking us over there.
Q: Where can I park if I drive to the Farmers Market?
A: The Market actually takes place in a parking lot, the one on Lansdowne Avenue, but it does fill up. If you can’t get a spot in the Farmers Market lot, try the lot on Highland Avenue; parking is free in both lots during the Market on Saturdays, and you can cut through the fence from the Highland Avenue lot, so it’s a short walk to the LFM. Owen Avenue, the street right “behind” the Market, is also a good bet for on-street parking. Just be careful not to block any driveways, which will get you towed. Please don’t park in the lot behind the Avenue Deli unless you’re going there before or after the Market.
Q: I fancy myself a cyclist and shall be pedaling to the Market. Is there a bike rack?
A: Yes, there is! It’s on the Lansdowne Avenue side of the Market.
Q: I’ve seen people signing up for something at the Market. What’s that about?
A: They’re signing up to receive Fresh Picks, the official e-newsletter of the Lansdowne Farmers Market. It goes out every Thursday during the Market season and highlights vendors and products, includes recipes and ideas for using Market goods, and lists the Artist and Musician of the Week, among other Market-related info. It also promotes other things going on around Lansdowne — music, movies, fundraisers, dinners, parades, art shows, even parties, so it’s worth reading. Once the Market ends for the season, Fresh Picks morphs into Discover Lansdowne, which comes out every other Thursday and focuses on just the around-Lansdowne happenings. These e-newsletters are a good way to keep your finger on Lansdowne’s pulse, which is really picking up, as you may have noticed. We also strongly encourage you to like the Market on Facebook if you’re into social media.
Q: Do you ever need more volunteers?
A: Do bees need pollen? Although we have a solid committee behind the Market, we could almost always use an extra hand to set up or break down the Market each Saturday. Setup starts shortly around 7:45 am and breakdown starts at 1:00 pm. You can just show up. We’re out of LFM lawn signs, but if you already have one, please remember to display it. We also encourage you to spread the word through whatever social media you like.
Q: Do you need anything besides volunteers?
A: The Market is self-sustaining on the fees for the vendor spots and the fundraisers we do each year, but if you’re in a position to make a cash donation, that’d be more than welcome, as we try to have as many of the special events be free as possible. Any donations are tax-deductible. It you’re interested, just let us know at email@example.com.
Q: Is there a bathroom on site at the Farmers Market?
A: Unfortunately, no. It’s a parking lot. But if you buy something from a nearby merchant’s storefront — like the Regency Café, or the Avenue Deli – they’d be glad to let you use their WC.
Q: What are those wooden coins I see people spending at the Market and how do I get some?
A: Those are our Market Bucks, which are worth a dollar at any vendor at the Market, spent just like cash. They’re a little thank-you from the Market and LEDC. We give them out at the Manager tent when you do something easy we encouraged you to do in Fresh Picks, the e-newsletter (like bring us a recipe or wear a Ripe & Ready T-shirt) or when you do something nice for the Market, And we love to give them to new customers who stop to introduce themselves, and to you too if you bring a new customer and introduce them to us.
Q: Where can I learn more about the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) & Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)?
A: Visit our FMNP/SMFNP page for details and links to additional information.
Q: Why are those kids dressed as vegetables?
A: All the fruit costumes were tropical. We try to keep it local.
Q: I think that’s all I was wondering. But what if another question occurs to me when I’m at the Market?
A: Just go to the Market Manager tent and ask there. There are typically a number of volunteers hanging around to answer questions or at least refer you to someone who can answer. Plus, we allow people to put business cards and announcements and flyers and what have you at the Manager tent so that shoppers can get info even if they don’t have questions. It’s always worth stopping by the Market Manager tent.