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Farmers’ Market Rules and Regulations

A monthly Farmers’ Market on Tuesday evening featuring local organic produce, meat, fruit, farm fresh products, herbs, artisan goods, and more! Join us for The Learning Council’s local, organic community meal and wood-fired pizza! SNAP benefits are available with additional Double Up Bucks.

In order to achieve our mission, the Arbol Farmers Market Committee, The Learning Council, and the Market Manager will enforce the following Rules and Regulations through the market season.

The Arbol Winter Farmers Market takes place monthly on Tuesday evening from 4pm-6:30pm at The Hearth – 138 Grand Ave, Paonia CO. The winter market will be held on the following dates of the 2022/2023 winter season: November 1 & 22, December 20, January 24, February 14, March 21, April 18.

Market set-up will begin no earlier than 2 pm. The vendor’s booth must be completely set-up and ready to sell by 3:50 pm. If you arrive later than 3:50 pm, you may not be permitted to set up at the discretion of the Market Manager. The Market Manager will be on-site by 2 pm to assist with setup. Please do not arrive earlier than 2 pm.

The market breakdown will start at 6:30 pm and all vendors must be out of the market area by 7:30 pm. Vendors are expected to remain at the market until all their goods are sold or the market closes, whichever occurs first.

It is the market’s goal to support the farmers and producers of the North Fork Valley. The Arbol Farmers Market promotes sustainable, regenerative practices in producing food and goods. In keeping with these goals, vendors must produce their products within a 100-mile radius of Paonia; priority will be given to North Fork Valley producers.

Eligible food producers and vendors must grow and sell food that is Organic Certified, Naturally Grown Certified, or a commitment to grow at that standard or beyond. Non-food vendors must use certified organic, natural or wild-crafted ingredients, or earth sourced, locally sourced, or recycled materials. More details below under “standards” on the Arbol Farmers Market requirements for standards.

There are several spaces available at each market and are given on a first-come, first-served basis after the application process closes. Each non-profit may attend the market up to three separate dates, except as determined by the Arbol Farmers Market Committee. To sign up for market space, contact the Market Manager. There is no fee for information booths where no goods are sold. If goods are being sold by a non-profit, please consider donating the vendor fee.

Branding items (i.e. tee-shirts, caps, shopping bags) that share the vendor’s logo and/or company name may be sold or given away at the market regardless of origin, though the Arbol Farmers Market encourages vendors to source these products from within Colorado and organically grown.

Garage Sale and Flea Market items are expressly prohibited from being sold. Multi-level marketing products (i.e. Avon, Doterra, Arbonne) are expressly prohibited. Value-added foods and crafts not produced by the seller are expressly prohibited.

As the goal of the market is to directly support farmers and food producers of our region, vendors reselling goods not directly produced by their farm/business is not allowed at the Arbol Farmers Market. Resale is not permitted of any products: agricultural, value-added, cottage food, nonfood and body products, crafts, etc. This ensures that each vendor is producing what they are selling.

Each vendor will have 8’ x 8’ of space to set up their entire booth indoors at the Hearth. Vendors will not be permitted to set-up a tent indoors. Vendors will provide their own table, the Hearth will provide chairs for vendors. We cannot accommodate larger booths at this time.

Vendors may Transfer Booth spaces or alternate weeks with another vendor with advance notice and a clear agreement, given both vendors have filled out an application and are approved by the Market Planning Committee. The market manager must be notified 48 hours in advance of any transfers or changes. Please contact the market manager to create this arrangement.

AFM will host a Resale Booth as part of the Market. Vendors may apply to have their items sold at the Resale Booth – the intention of this booth is to sell local products of small volume sales (under $400 per market) from local farms or food producers that may not take up a whole booth space. Examples include eggs, pickled ferments, dried garlic, etc. AFM will charge a 20% fee on products sold and retain the profit in order to staff the booth. Vendors must drop off their products prior to the start of the market and pick up any unsold products at the end of the market each week. Vendors must provide appropriate signage (farm name, price, etc). AFM is not responsible for perishable items. Vendor agrees to pay the City of Paonia Sales Tax on all sales made from the AFM Resale Booth on behalf of said vendor. Resale Vendors agree to applicable Rules and Regulations of AFM. Any vendors interested in selling products at the Resale Booth shall indicate this in their application and will be approved on a case by case basis.

The full time vendor fee is $50 per season for 7 winter markets, or the equivalent in in-kind donations. The purpose of these fees is to pay for the venue space at the Hearth.

Vendors may also trade in-kind donations for their booth space. In-kind donations may include labor (i.e. helping the Market Manager with procedures, helping The Learning Council in the kitchen or with set-up or breakdown) and may also include a donation of useful ingredients with The Learning Council. To arrange an in-kind donation as a part of the fee structure, please contact

Scholarships to cover fees may be available for farmers upon request. If you feel the annual fees are creating a barrier for you as a vendor, please contact us.

Vendors must also cover their own vendor’s insurance and Colorado Sales Tax License. See more details below under “INSURANCE” and “TAXES”.

Any vendors wishing to sell at the market must submit an application. By submitting the application the vendor agrees to abide by all the terms set forth in these Rules and Regulations and any verbal or written directions given by the Arbol Farmers Market committee and the Market Manager. Anyone found to be willfully violating any of these provisions will forfeit further participation in the market with no refund of fees.

Full-time vendors are expected to attend all markets. If vendors are not able to attend a market, the Market Manager must be notified 48 hours in advance. Partial attendance will be allowed for the winter market, vendors must notify the Market Manager of your intended schedule.

Some vendors may be ‘drop-ins’ if we have the available space. These vendors must sign up 2 weeks in advance with the Market Manager for the markets they plan to attend. Vendor fees for drop-ins are $15 per market for the winter.

Any vendor who displays any harmful or divisive activity is subject to consumer complaint will have his or her membership reviewed by the board of directors and may have his or her membership revoked and/or ask to leave the market. In such cases, any fees will not be refunded. The Arbol Farmers Market committee reserves the right to review and revoke membership and vendor participation whenever deemed necessary.

Vendors cannot engage in aggressive selling, barking, hawking, or calling out to customers in an aggressive way. Vendors should stay within their booth space during the market and not walk up to customers to “pull them in”.

Vendors may be able to use electrical outlets for their booth, please arrange with the Market Manager. Wi-Fi will be available at the Hearth for all vendors during market hours.

Each vendor is responsible for making sure that their selling area is safe. You must remove all potential hazards from your selling area, maintain its cleanliness and remove all trash prior to leaving the market area.

Pets, including vendors’ animals, are NOT ALLOWED at the indoor winter market.

The Arbol Farmers Market is a zero-waste market. Before leaving, please be sure your area is clean and trash-free. Trash cans will be available at the market venue along with recycling bins.
One-time use utensils, dishes, carry-out containers must be biodegradable or compostable. Plastic bags to sell produce in should be biodegradable.

Reusable shopping bags will be made available by the AFM Information Booth. Please direct customers to this booth if they need a bag to carry your products with.

All vendors must provide proof of commercial general liability policy and submit a waiver of liability, indemnifying the Arbol Farmers Market, committee, staff, and volunteers against any and all claims arising from their participation in the market. Vendors must further name the Arbol Farmers Market as an additional insured on their policies. Insurance options for food vendors available (but not limited to) through FLIP. Insurance options for non-food vendors available (but not limited to) through ACT.

The sales tax to sell products in Paonia is 8.7% for general merchandise and 5.8% for food for home consumption. In general, ready-to-eat foods, crafts, body products all will owe 8.7% sales tax. In general, agricultural producers will owe 5.8% sales tax. To learn more about Colorado Sales/Use Tax Rates, see form DR-1002.

Each vendor is responsible for having a Colorado Sales Tax License. Vendors will file their owed taxes to the state. To apply for a sales tax license, visit My Biz Colorado.

Scales must be certified by the State of Colorado and must have the current approved seal of the State of Colorado Measurements and Standards Section.

Vendors are permitted to offer samples of food at the Arbol Farmers Market given the following restrictions: vendors must have gloved hands to prep and serve food samples, samples must be in single serving portions, hand sanitizer must be available near the samples. Vendors must not serve food samples if they are feeling sick or have been in contact with someone who is sick.

The following fines will be issued to those vendors in violation of the Arbol Farmers Market Rules and Regulations. Fines apply to all vendors including nonprofits. The Market Manager has the ability to use their discretion on rule enforcement and fines. The penalties that can incur fines are as follows:

  1. Market absence notification to the Market Manager must be made 48 hours in advance, otherwise, a $20 fine will be imposed on the second offense.
  2. We encourage our vendors to communicate with the market manager via text, call or email if something comes up and you cannot show up at the last minute. This will help our market manager “fill in the space” so as not to have an empty space in the market. A no-show, no call on Tuesday evening will incur a $20 fine.
  3. Arriving late to the market is not acceptable. Any vendor showing up after 3:50 pm will not be allowed to setup at the market and a $20 fine will be imposed.

The Arbol Farmers Market committee and Market Manager may enforce these fines as they see necessary. Continued violation of Rules and Regulations could result in being excused as a vendor from the market with no refund. It is your responsibility to know and understand these rules and share them with any employee who may be working at the market in your place. If you have questions about the Rules and Regulations, please ask the Market Manager.

The Arbol Farmers Market reserves the right to prohibit anyone from selling at the market or to prohibit any product from being sold there. These determinations will be made based on market demands, applicable laws and health codes, the rules and regulations of the Arbol Farmers Market, and at the committee’s discretion. Rules and regulations are subject to change for special event days and/or at the discretion and judgment of the Arbol Farmers Market committee.

In the event that any one or more provisions contained herein shall, for any reason, be held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable in any respect, such invalidity, illegality or unenforceability shall not affect any other provision of these Rules and Regulations nor any agreement between the vendor and the AFM, but these shall be construed as if such invalid, illegal, unenforceable provisions had never been contained herein unless the deletion of such provision or provisions would result in such a material change so as to cause completion of the transactions contemplated to be unreasonable.

As a vendor, you must sell products that are in alignment with the Arbol Farmers Market Standards. Please carefully read the standards listed below. If you have questions, please contact us.

Agricultural Producers

  • All meat vendors must sell frozen products, no fresh meat allowed
  • Meat vendors must process their product at a USDA facility or State-certified facility
  • All dairy must be processed at a licensed facility
  • Growers must produce food at Organic Certified, Naturally Grown Certified, or a commitment to grow at that standard or beyond
  • Vendors are allowed to sell their own merchandise i.e. branded hats, totes, etc.
  • AFM honors the “Small Flock Exemption” for processing poultry as approved by the state of Colorado. All Small Flock Poultry vendors will be approved on a case by case basis and must agree to allow the AFM Market Committee to visit on processing day and see the facility before being accepted as a vendor to the market

Value-Added Foods and Cottage Food Vendors

  • Value-added foods must be prepared in a commercial kitchen or in compliance with Cottage Food Industry regulations
  • Ingredients should be locally sourced and organically grown if possible. If not possible to source locally, ingredients must be Organic Certified or Naturally Grown Certified

Honey and Honey Products

  • All honey being sold at AFM must be approved by the market committee prior to selling
  • All beekeepers must provide information to AFM on where they source their bees when purchasing new or replacement bees
  • Any vendor selling honey will be asked to provide information on how their apiary is treated for mites

Nonfood/ Body Products

  • Body care items should be made from scratch and use certified organic, natural or wild-crafted ingredients
  • Preference for body products in which plant materials, honey, beeswax, etc. are locally sourced
  • Preference is given to organically sourced carrier oils and alcohol

Craft Vendors

  • Priority to crafters whose items are earth sourced, locally sourced, or recycled materials