Roan Mountain Farmers Market opens this month, meeting set for potential vendors

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Just over two weeks remain before the new Farmer’s Market opens in Roan Mountain.
Opening day is set for May 23 and to help prepare for the kick-off, a special meeting is being held this Saturday, May 9, at 9 a.m. at the Roan Mountain Community Park for those individuals interested in being vendors at the market.
At the meeting, interested vendors will receive information packets regarding what can and cannot be sold and will also have the opportunity to pre-register for their spot on market day. Local farmers, as well as crafters, will be able to sell their goods at the market, said Commissioner Mike Hill, who has helped spearhead the project.
“One of the concerns I heard was it would turn into a yard sale, but it won’t,” Hill said. “There is a specific list of items that are approved for sale.”
Local farmers will be able to sell produce as well as plant seedlings. Items such as jellies, jams, salsas, honey and other canned goods are also on the list of approved goods for sale. Locally crafted items can also be sold at the market.
To help get the project going, Hill worked with County Attorney Josh Hardin and County Clerk Mary Gouge to make sure all of the legal issues of operating the farmer’s market were covered.
“The little issues that have come up we’ve been able to iron out,” Hill said.
Vendors will have to sign a liability waiver for Carter County in order to take part in the market, Hill said.
One of the other regulations the market faced came from the state regarding selling “value added” items such as jams and jellies.
“They want a sign to be posted saying it has been prepared in a private kitchen and has not been inspected by the FDA,” Hill said.
To make sure the signs follow the regulations about size and wording, Hill said the signs will be provided to the vendor by the market.
At first the market will have 12 booths available, but that number can be expanded if there is a lot of interest, Hill said.
There has been a lot of positive support for the market so far, Hill said.
“I think people are getting excited,” he said. “I think it will turn into a big deal if we can get it off the ground.”
The Roan Mountain Farmer’s Market will open at 10 a.m. on Saturdays through the summer and autumn months at the Roan Mountain Community Park. The market will be managed by the Cloudland High School chapter of the Future Farmers of America as part of their agricultural management project. Items from the high school’s greenhouse program will also be available through the market, Hill said.
To sign up as a vendor there will be a one-time $5 application fee and the cost to rent a booth will be $5 per day, Hill said. No sales tax or vendor license is required to market home grown agricultural crops and handmade craft items, Hill said, adding that with handcrafts it is assumed that sales tax was paid on the raw materials at the time of purchase.
For more information on the farmers market or how to become a vendor, contact Mike Hill toll free at 1-800-861-3729.
A Facebook group has also been set up for Roan Mountain Farmers Market and information is posted in that group.

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