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How to take part in a farmers market

How to take part in a farmers market

Learn how to start a farmers market, or join an existing one as a vendor.

Last updated: 5/31/18
Step
1

Get your information together

It's a good idea to learn more about the rules and regulations for running a farmers market. You need to find a location and a manager before you can start a farmers market.

If you are looking to start a new farmers market — or renew an existing market — please complete this form:

Market Manager form

Step
2

Give us your application

You need to tell us what type of vendors you plan to have at your market and give us their vendor profiles. The form lists what other documents you may need give us with your application.

You can mail or bring everything to:

Office of Food Access
1 City Hall Square, Room 806
Boston, MA 02201
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Step
3

Get any special permits you may need

After you submit your application, we'll tell you if you need to get any more permits. You may need to get permits for the special situations listed below:

REASON

CONTACT

You need a Public Ways permit if your farmers market is on a sidewalk.

Public Works

617-635-4900

You need a Parks Permit if the market is in a City park.

Parks Department

617-635-4505

If you plan to have amplified music playing, you need an entertainment license.

Consumer Affairs and Licensing

617-635-4165

You'll need a permit if you plan to use a portable generator. You may also need a permit if you plan to hold cooking demonstrations.

Boston Fire Department

617-343-3628

If you have tent structures, they'll need to be approved by Inspectional Services and the Fire Department.

Inspectional Services Department

617-635-5300

You may need a letter of support from Neighborhood Services. You may also need a contract for waste removal. Contact Neighborhood Services to find out.

Neighborhood Services

617-635-3485

Step
1

Before you get started

If you want to sell packaged or processed food at a farmers market, you'll need to apply for a vendor permit. You can apply as a new or returning vendor.

If you're selling food by weight, please learn about the rules from the Weights and Measures Division. If you questions, you can contact the division at 617-635-5300.

Step
2

Complete the application

New vendors and returning vendors should fill out our farmers market vendor profile form. You will need to include any required documents we ask for in the form with your application.

Vendor profile application

If you already filled out a vendor profile but you want to sell your products at other farmers markets, please email Gloriana Walker at Inspectional Services: Gloriana.Walker@boston.gov.

Step
3

Find out what you will have to pay

You have to pay a fee when you give us your application. Each location counts as one farmers market. The fees are as follows:

  • Standard price per market (any number of days): $100
  • Selling in a year-round market: $200 every year

You can pay the fee with a check made payable to the City of Boston.

Step
4

Give us your application and pay your fee

You need to apply with Inspectional Services. Please mail or bring your application, documents, and payment to:

Inspectional Services Department
1010 Massachusetts Ave.
Boston, MA 02118
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Contact:
Food Access
1 City Hall Square
Room 806
Boston, MA 02201
United States
State Food Protection Program
Wine

You can only sell bottled wine at a farmers market if the market is on private property. Call the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources at 617-626-1754 for more information.

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