The Nitty-Gritty

Bath County Farmers Market Rules & Regulations


The Bath County Farmers Market creates the opportunity for people to buy locally grown and produced products.

Goals and Vision

The Bath County Farmers Market: 

  • Increases access to fresh, locally produced, nourishing and safe foods for all people.
  • Encourages, supports, and promotes the entrepreneurial efforts of local, independent and small scale farmers, local growers, and local artisans, seeking to sell their products/produce directly to the customer.
  • Creates an opportunity for people to meet, eat, and share stories, recipes, and knowledge in a place dedicated to the cultivation of local products and talents.  
  • Strives to create an atmosphere that serves not only the market but also contributes to a prosperous rural area and promotes a sense of community.


Participation is open to growers, harvesters, bakers, makers of prepared food, and artisans (hereafter, “the vendors”) located within a 100 mile radius of Bath County. The Market strives to be a producer-only market, and except as noted below, vendors must participate in production of the product they sell.

Location and Times


Selling Season:     

Day of the Week:  

Hours of Operation: 


The Market Manager shall enforce all the rules and regulations of the Market and work with the vendors to assist in their success. The Market Manager or her/his representative will be present at the Market during operation. If questions or problems arise on Market Day, they will be resolved by the Market Manager.

Market-day responsibilities include the following: Overseeing the set-up and break-down of the Market; recording attendance; assuring all vendors are in compliance with Market regulations; and addressing any disputes or complaints. 

The Market Manager shall be aware of all health and sanitation rules and regulations affecting open-air farmers’ markets.


Vendor Eligibility
The Bath County Farmers Market is primarily a producer-only market.
A producer is defined as the person who grows or makes the product and may also include the producer’s immediate family, partners, and/or employees.
The Market Manager may, in his/her discretion, permit collaborative sales where such selling arrangement benefits the market. Collaborative sales are those in which someone other than a producer sells products on behalf of one or more producers. In any collaborative selling arrangement, the producer and the products must otherwise satisfy the rules of the market and must be labeled to show producer’s name and contact information.
The Bath County Farmers Market gives preference first to 100 percent grower/producer goods and second, to collaborative sales arrangements as described above.
Farmers and food producers are given priority over artisans at the Market. All vendors may be subject to an on-site inspection to verify local production at any point during the Market season.  Routine farm visits are also on-going with the goal of visiting each vendor farm every 2-3 years.


Vendor Information: Application, Fees, Space Assignment, Sales Time and Additional Information

Permanent vendors must annually submit a Market application to the Market Manager for approval. Applications may be modified or updated during the season.  Vendor fees must be paid at the time of application. Anyone who participates in the market, whether vendor, customer or otherwise, attends at his/her own risk. Vendors will operate at their own risk and assume liability from the customers. 

Guest vendors must submit a Market application no less than 48 hours in advance of the day of their participation to the Market Manager for approval. Vendors who show up at the Market without making application in advance will not be able to participate that day.

Included within the Permanent and Guest vendor application is a “hold harmless” agreement that the vendor must sign. This agreement means the producer will hold Bath County Farmers Market and its representatives harmless concerning product liability or other factors that relate specifically to the vendors’ business practice.

Permanent vendors must commit to the entire market season (June through September) and participate on a regular basis (a minimum of 90% of Market days).  Produce availability may limit market beginning and ending dates.  Guest vendors will participate in markets based on the discretion of the Market Manager.

Vendor fees are as follows  Vendors are charged fees to cover the operating costs and related expenses to assure the viability and quality of the Market

The Market Manager will make vendor space assignments in a fair and equitable manner based on the needs of the Market, seniority, previous attendance, sales volume, and term of commitment.

A vendor space is defined as a designated area not to exceed 10 feet wide.

Vendors may begin to set up at 7:00am and are required to be completed by 9:00am.  No sales may be made prior to the official market opening time.  Vendors are required to stay until Market closes at 1:00pm.  Vendors are required to stop selling at 1:00pm. They must leave their spaces clean and remove their display and truck by 2:00pm.

Tables, tents, canopies, pop-ups, umbrellas, signs and display items must be in good condition. 
At no time shall the safety or convenience of customers or vendors be compromised by any vendor’s display.
Vendors will clearly display prices of all items and post their farm name and location. Posting of current licenses, certifications, and inspections is highly recommended. At a minimum, vendors should have copies available at their site.

Guidelines for Market Products

The Bath County Farmers Market strives to be a regional, producer only market with an emphasis on agricultural products. 

It is understood that some ingredients such as spices, sugar, and other minor ingredients used in the preparation of products may not be available for purchase locally. However, the final product must be locally produced in its entirety. 

Along with this goal is the aim of the Market to meet the expectations of the customers with the appropriate mix of products suitable for the Market and will be determined by the Market Manager or his/her representative.

Eligible Products
All products in the following categories must originate within a 100 hundred mile radius of Bath County.
Complete Grower/Producer Origin. These goods must be personally grown/produced only by the vendor, vendor’s employees, or primary family members except as otherwise provided in these rules.
Limited Grower/Producer Origin. These goods must originate in the counties listed but may be grown/produced by partners on land or facilities not owned by the vendor. This includes crops harvested by the vendor from “you-pick” farms.

Product Labeling and Pricing
All home-prepared consumable products must meet the Virginia Department of Agriculture Rules and Regulations.
Vendors set their own prices and are responsible for accurately representing their products. All scales or weighing devices must have a current and valid certification sticker signed by the Virginia Department of Weights and Measures.

Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, and Herbs
Produce must be fresh and of the best quality and locally grown preferably by organic principles. Over-ripe vegetables and fruits must be labeled and marked as suitable for sauce or preserves.

Baked Goods, Processed Fruits and Vegetables-Jams, Preserves, Fruit Syrups and Purees, Pestos, Flavored Oils, Mustards, Vinegars, Salsas and Relishes, Dehydrated Food and Seasonings, Frozen Dairy or Fruit Products

Products should highlight local produce, seasonal ingredients and be freshly prepared by the vendor. The use of as many locally produced ingredients as possible is strongly encouraged in all baked goods, beverages, and other prepared foods.

Products for consumption at the Market including Sampling of Products

Beverages and other products for consumption at the market including items offered as a “sample” must comply with VDACS and/or Health Department regulations.


Honey and bee pollen must be from the beekeeper’s own hives but may be processed and bottled off-farm. Product must have this label, “PROCESSED AND PREPARED WITHOUT STATE INSPECTION. WARNING: Do not feed to infants under one year old”


All meat products must be 100% from animals raised by the farmer.  Animals may be butchered or processed off-farm. Meat must be certified and/or inspected. 

Milk/Dairy and Cheese

Milk must be from the dairyman’s own herd or creamery. Cheese and other dairy products must be made by the vendor. All dairy products must be certified and/or inspected.


Eggs must be from the farmer’s own fowl.  Eggs must be clean and labeled according to VDACS instructions.  Labels must include: name and address of the farm and date of collection and show grade or labeled “ungraded”.  Eggs must be kept at 45 degrees F or less at all times.

Plants, Fresh Cut Flowers and Greens
The grower must grow potted plants and cut material. Potted plants and cut plant material must not be on the state or federal list of invasive or rare and endangered plants published by the Division of Natural Heritage.

Value-Added Products

Candles, soaps, creams, lotions, massage oils, insect repellents, and scrubs must be made by the vendor from a majority of locally grown and produced ingredients.

Seasonal and Holiday Products

Dried flower or herb bouquets, decorative berries, fruit, pods, cones, pumpkins, and wreaths produced should be from materials grown or gathered locally.

Liability Insurance

All vendors are required to ensure that their insurance will cover off-site sales.


When applicable, attach the appropriate state/USDA inspection certificates.

1.      Organic growers must present a Certificate of Organic Production from the USDA Organic Farm Certification.

                 2.      For cheese and other dairy products, meats, and baked goods, the producer must supply documentation of                                          compliance with local VDACS ordinances and inspections.

Taxes, Licenses, and Permits 

Vendors must have visibly displayed any licenses, certifications, and permits required by law for all products. The collection and filing of all related taxes is the responsibility of the individual vendor. Information and applications can be obtained from the Virginia Department of taxation, PO Box 114, Richmond, Va. 23218-1114  Call 804-440-2541 to request forms. For customer service or questions call 804-367-8037, ext.1833.

Health, Sanitation and Safety

Each vendor must abide by all state and federal regulations, which govern the production, harvest, preparation, preservation, labeling or safety of products offered for sale at the Market. Vendors are liable for their own products. It is the responsibility of each producer to be knowledgeable of and abide by, all regulations pertinent to their individual operation. To set up a kitchen inspection, contact  the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) at 540-562-3641.  The local Bath County Health Department contact is Tim Abbott, Environmental Health Manager.  To reach him call 540-839-7246 or


  • Vendors will be responsible for the collection and removal of all refuse generated from the sales at their space.
  • Vendors must have all new products approved by the Market Managers prior to being offered for sale.

    The use of tobacco products, alcohol or illegal substances are not permitted at the Market.
  • Behavior by vendors or customers judged to be disruptive or detrimental to the peaceful operation of the Market will not be allowed.
  • Small children brought to the Market by vendors must be kept under the supervision of a designated adult.
  • Any unsafe or unsanitary conditions should be brought to the immediate attention of the Market Manager.
  • No live animals, fowl, or fish may be sold at the Market.
  • All dogs must be leashed. 
  • Any accident or injury must be immediately reported to the Market Manager and 911.
  • Neither Bath County Farmers Market or its representatives are responsible for damage or loss of any personal belongings.

Anyone who participates in the market, whether vendor, customer or otherwise, attends at his/her own risk. Vendors will operate at their own risk and assume liability from the customers.


Want to become a vendor? Here's how!