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It's Monday October 15, 2018

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ocally made, locally grown.” That’s been the charm behind Oriental’s Farmers’ Market and what our customers have come to expect since the market began in 2007.

“Locally made, locally grown” is also the simple standard for what can be sold at the market. If you grow or raise something or bake it or make it — here in Oriental, or close to Pamlico County — you are welcome to sell it at the Oriental Farmers’ Market

Early on, the Oriental Farmers’ Market drew up some guidelines aimed at clarifying operating procedures as the market attracts more vendors and customers. As you will see, the basic spirit of the market remains — keeping things local and giving anyone who can meet our simple criteria an opportunity to sell.

We continue to welcome new vendors to our market, and hope that the following proves helpful in learning how to become part of the Oriental Farmers’ Market. We have been a loosely organized market that welcomes all who meet our simple criteria.

Oriental Farmers’ Market Guidelines

1. LOCALLY MADE, LOCALLY GROWN: Items sold at the Oriental Farmers’ market, must be locally grown or locally made.

2. PRODUCE: The emphasis of the Oriental’s Farmer’s market is on fresh, locally grown produce. Priority is given to produce grown within a 50-mile radius, but it can come from further away in NC. Produce sellers are encouraged to display, with signs, the town of origin where the crops were grown. Produce sellers are also welcome, but not required, to state whether they use chemicals in the growing of their goods.

3. VENDORS are responsible for assuring that the sale of their goods complies with local, state and federal laws. Produce and agricultural products are not subject to sales tax collection but virtually everything else is.

This next part, we want to preface by saying, Please don’t blame the messenger here. It’s not us at the OFM saying this but rather the State of North Carolina’s Dept of Revenue which as of early 2014, requires that virtually all vendors at farmers’ markets in NC have to show that they have a sales tax registration number. This can be obtained on line through the Department of Revenue. The state wants vendors at markets to collect tax on items that are subject to sales tax, which aside from produce, is just about everything. The vendors are then responsible for sending that collected tax to the state, usually on a quarterly basis.

Those who sell produce or other agricultural products that they raised do not have to collect sales tax because, by NC law, items that the seller grew are exempt from sales tax. Everything else sold by vendors at the market is subject to the sales tax. The happy news is that getting that tax registration number is easy to get on line.

4. PREPARED FOODS & BAKED GOODS: Any prepared food and/or baked goods sold at the market must comply with NC Department of Agriculture regulations. For one, that means a kitchen inspection which NCDA requires for anyone who prepares foods to be sold at a farmers’ market. All the prepared food sold at the Oriental Farmers’ Market must come from NCDA-inspected kitchens regardless of whether the baked goods and prepared foods are sold for-profit or not-for-profit, such as a charity bake sale. There are other NCDA rules regarding the sale of other home-prepared foods at farmers’ markets; they can be found on line.

To arrange an inspection, contact the NC Department of Agriculture at its Raleigh office — 919-733-7366 — and let them know you’d like an inspection here in Pamlico County, and they’ll guide you to the form to fill out and schedule you in for a visit from one of their inspectors.

5. ARTISANSWORK & CRAFTS: The Oriental Farmers’ Market welcomes artisans and craftspeople from our area. Individuals (as well as non-profit organizations) selling crafts may have a table up to six-feet long at the market. A limited number of non-profits are welcome to be part of each week’s market, as well..

6. PLANTS may be sold at the market in accordance with NC law, which says that individuals may sell bedding plants that they have grown from seed. True seed may also be sold. Selling plants that don’t fall in to those categories, such as perennials not cultivated from seed, may require a Nursery Certificate. (David Pearce in New Bern is the Plant Pest Specialist with NCDA in our area and conducts the inspections for Nursery Certificates. He is extremely helpful and can answer any questions on the subject and the process. David may be reached at 252-636-3796.)

7. FINDING THE REGULAR SELLERS: Regular vendors can generally be found in the same area week after week. Our market has grown so much that there is often a second row of vendors. Among vendors new to the market, priority for desired spaces is given to the produce sellers. Also, because of the ebb and flow of the market, the market administrator sends a layout to vendors each Friday showing which 10 ×10 foot space they will set up in on Saturday.

In order to give customers advance notice of what’s for sale each Saturday, in advance of each week’s market, vendors email the publicist what they plan to sell that Saturday.

8. NO FEE for selling at the Oriental Farmers’ Market. Yep, we are that rare farmers’ market that’s free. At the moment, there is no charge at all — no annual fee, no weekly fee — to sell at the market.

9. NO LIVESTOCK. At a meeting of the vendors on January 28, 2012, a majority voted to ban livestock – live animals — at the market for the time being.

10. VENDOR SET-UPs. The OFM, at its core, provides an opportunity to sell and a space. Vendors provide their own tables, chairs. It is also advised, in the hot weather, that vendors bring a tent or umbrella. Something to anchor tents and umbrellas down is also advisable. (Keep an eye on the wind speeds in the forecast before setting up.) Vendors are welcome to display banners identifying their business, but please do so in a way that does not obscure the vendor next to you or behind you.

11. NO SMOKING. As a courtesy to other vendors, those vendors who wish to smoke will do so away from the grounds of the Oriental Farmers’ Market.

To those who would like to sell at the OFM: While our market is loosely organized and we don’t charge any fees, it is necessary to first get in touch before you sell at the market. Vendors are assigned spaces weekly and a listing of each vendor and their wares is published weekly at this website. That’s why it’s important to let us know in advance. Email Mel at melinda TownDock.net or John at thirddayproducts embarqmail.com

Farmers' Market Hours

Winter Hours: Saturday's 9:00am - Noon

The Farmers' Market is on Hodges Street near the Harbor