We are located on the Mars Hill University Campus, 50 College St in Mars Hill. We set up on the side street which also leads you to the college bookstore, Spillman Hall, and SART.
From Exit 11 off of 26: take Carl Eller Rd toward Marshall and College Street is the first right after the light at Main Street. You can’t miss us!
From Marshall: 213 towards Mars Hill, as you enter Mars Hill and slow down for the University’s crosswalks, turn right at the Farm Bureau building, which is the last right before the light at Main Street.
Yes, parking around Mars Hill University is free. Parking is available across from College St and on Main St. There are a limited number of spaces for handicap parking, allowing ease of access to our customers.
There is no requirement that vendors obtain any certifications proving their commitment to organic and/or sustainable agricultural practices (such as USDA Certified Organic). That being said, our vendors are all committed to growing and producing their products with a commitment to socially and environmentally conscientious practices, and each vendor is unique and many of which extend beyond a label such as “organic”, and we are encouraging of our vendors to pursue certifications as they are able. There are many considerations producers are taking into account which all contribute to the best quality product for the end user possible while being good stewards of our shared planet, including: sourcing local, dedication to non-GMO or open-pollinated seed sourcing, reducing/eliminating/never applying pesticides or herbicides, promoting soil health, protecting native pollinators/pollinator friendly, following organic practices, reducing single-use plastics, encouraging reuse and recycling, and even growing without any animal product inputs. The best way to find out how an individual vendor produces their end products is to engage in conversation with them! We hope to cultivate community and lasting relationships with like-minded individuals through good, wholesome, food and wares.
Pets are allowed, but must be kept on a leash and under control of their handler at all times. Please be aware that the market can be an overly-stimulating environment with lots of new smells, noises, movements, and temptations. It’s also often HOT, and there is pavement. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure the safety and happiness of their companion and we ask that you be mindful of their behaviors in the presence of children, cars, tables, food, fragile items and other incidentals.
Absolutely! We are a family bunch, and we strive to make an enjoyable and safe environment for children. Some vendors even bring activities like sidewalk chalk or balloons to be shared, or even offer activities within their booths to keep visiting children content while their parents shop. Again, it is a stimulating environment with vehicle traffic to be aware of, and parents are responsible for their children at all times. Sunscreen and refillable water-bottles are highly encouraged!
Yes! We have a handful of regular musicians in rotation to ensure there is live music every week of market. We are always on the hunt for more musicians to join us, so if you or someone you know is interested in playing, please see our entertainment page to fill out an application!
We love offering demos at our market! We welcome chefs and artisans to come and demonstrate their skills with everything from soapmaking to cooking with seasonally wildcrafted ingredients. Have an idea for a demonstration? Please see our entertainment page for more information and to fill out an application!
Please read our Bylaws and Rules and Guidelines. If you think you are a good fit and are interested in becoming a vendor, the application can be found here. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or concerns.
Anything you, yourself, grow or have a direct hand in growing, making or producing is permitted. Produce, flowers, grains, flours, live plants, coffee, salsas, jams, breads, meat, crocheted hats, ceramics, soaps, candles, drums, animal fleece and so on. If you produce it on your homestead, in your studio, or in conjunction with a collaborative, we invite you to join us. Items do require pre-approval by the board, so please include all items you are considering for the season in your initial application, and keep us informed if you have additional items come up throughout the season. All vendors shall abide by all state and local food safety and health regulations. It is the responsibility of each vendor to be aware of and to maintain compliance with such regulations as they apply to their products. The number of craft vendors cannot exceed the number of food & produce vendors, so there are a limited number of strictly craft spaces available. A comprehensive list of what we allow at at the market can be found by reading our Rules and Guidelines.
The market is insured but our insurance does cover not individual vendor’s products. We strongly be encourage each vendor to carry their own vending insurance, and it is the vendor’s responsibility to stay current on and maintain compliance with health and safety regulations as they apply to their products. One affordable option for individual vendors is: FLIP.
You need a tent with weights. We understand that investing in your first farmers market setup has a lot of moving parts, and finding a tent is one of the many up-front costs of making it to your first market. If you’re a brand new vendor who doesn’t yet know if farmers market is for them, we are looking for ways to support you in the 2021 market season. We decided to offer a grace period of 3 (three) markets to try out the market and see how it goes. Please let us know if having a tent and weights is going to be an issue for you starting out, we want to try and help you navigate that barrier and join us at market!
Yes! We encourage new vendors to start out as a day-vendor. Fees for day vendors in the 2021 market season are $10/day, and fees for full-time vendors are $100 for the entire season. The season will run 29 weeks, from April 3-October 30. The market will not run on the first Saturday of October we participate in the Madison Heritage Arts Festival.
Our aim is to have a market featuring a rich diversity of vendors and offerings. We encourage our vendors to bring products that are unique to their neighbor’s offerings because we want our customers to have as much to choose from as possible. We also believe that vendors should be allowed to bring what has been successful for them throughout the year, and to support folks who aspire to make this their livelihood during their humble beginnings as they aim to grow their business. It can be challenging for all of us to see other vendors carrying offerings similar to our own, but we want to allow our customers the chance to build relationships with their growers and producers and make their purchasing decisions from a variety of options. So, yes, you will probably see other vendors offering the same things as you. Some popular items include: eggs, greens, soaps, herbal products, cut flowers, mushrooms, candles, carrots, tomatoes, and plant starts, just to name a few. We’re all in this together.
Yes, please! We are looking to partner with more community organizations and non-profits in 2021. We are especially interested in cultivating relationships with health programs to increase awareness about healthy food choices. Please contact us and we would love to talk about having you set up with us for a day!
This blog post will give you an idea about playing music at the Mars Hill Farmers and Artisans Market. We are always looking for musicians to add to our rotation, so please contact us to see about getting on the 2021 Season schedule!