Nelson Farmers


Market Cooperative

The Nelson Farmers Market Cooperative (Market) is a PRODUCER ONLY market.  The Market was incorporated December 2, 1997, a result of collaboration among a small group of Nelson County farmers.  This group wanted to provide a place where local farmers could sell high-quality produce directly to customers and promote their individual businesses. They set up their first market on property owned by Joan Gibson in Nellysford.  When Joan passed away, Wintergreen Realty Company permitted the farmers to move to their property.  Today, High Country Associates and Wintergreen Property Owners Association generously allow the use of their land at the entrance of Stoney Creek/Wintergreen Resort as home to the Nelson Farmers Market Cooperative.  The Virginia Extension Office assists with promotion of our market.

 The Nelson Farmers Market Cooperative is a for-profit association of farmers.  The Market’s purpose is to promote sales of high-quality, locally grown produce in a family-friendly atmosphere.

 The following rules, regulations and guidelines are intended to make it as easy as possible for local farmers to sell their products directly and legally to the general public.  The success of our Market depends on a good growing season as well as the active participation and cooperation of our many and varied Producers.  The Nelson Farmers Market Cooperative welcomes local producers to apply to become part of our market.

 The Board of Directors of the Nelson Farmers Market Cooperative oversee the business operations of the market on a volunteer basis.  The Market is run by and for our Producers with no support from the county or state.  Nonprofit entities and organizations are not allowed as vendors.  All Producers are encouraged to participate.  Fees collected by the Market are for the express purpose of promoting and operating the Nelson Farmers Market Cooperative.  This includes normal administrative expenses such as tent maintenance, market manager expense, advertising and operating fees.

                                                               Rules, Regulations and Guidelines


  •  For 2018, the Market will be open for retail sales between the hours of 8:00AM and 12:00PM on each Saturday from May 5th through October 27th, weather permitting.


  •  RESERVED SPACE FEE is $120.00 and is due with application submission.  If the application is NOT approved, fee(s) will be refunded.

  • DAILY SPACE FEE is $10.00 per market with total fees for the year not exceeding $200.00. 

  •  Applications for Processor Producers and Arts and Crafts (Guest) vendors shall be submitted to the Market Manager not later than February 15th of each season.  Applications for Bona Fide Agricultural Producers shall be submitted on a rolling basis.

  •  Each vendor space shall not exceed 10x20 feet.  Displays shall be confined to the area within the allocated 10x20 space, shall not be more than 10 feet wide and shall not impede pedestrian traffic.  Vendors shall supply their own tent should space under the main tent not be available.

  •  Market layout for vendors shall be consistent and shall ensure all voting members have a space under the main tent. 

  •  When checking out at the end of each market day, each vendor shall pay the Market Manager   6 % of their gross daily sales (this is the Market fee).  This fee shall be paid each day the vendor sells at the market and is in addition to any season or one-time reserved space fees that a vendor shall be responsible to pay.  Market fees shall be paid to the Market Manager, either by check or by exact change by the end of each market sales day.  A receipt shall be provided to each vendor showing fees paid.

  • Reporting of sales data shall be truthful.  Fraud in reporting will result in immediate expulsion of the vendor for the remainder of the market season. 

  •  Each vendor shall be responsible for the collection and remittance to the Commonwealth of Virginia of sales tax due on taxable sales.  The Market is not liable for collection or payment of sales taxes.

  •  A PRODUCER’S REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE must be completed in full, signed by the applicant, approved by the Board of Directors and signed by the Market Manager before a vendor can sell at the market.  By completing and signing the certificate, a vendor agrees to:

           1)  follow these rules; and

           2)  allow full production site inspections upon request of the Board of Directors

           The certificate states that all products offered for sale are grown, raised or made by the       vendor, his or her immediate family, and/or employee(s) or partner(s).  The Board of Directors retains the original certificate, which is valid for one season.  When a current Producer sells his/her business, a new application must be submitted by the new owner(s).

                                               SPACE ASSIGNMENTS AND RESERVATIONS

  • Vendors with reserved spaces must be in their assigned space by 7:30am.  Contact the Market Manager when running late.  Late arrivals will be assigned a space where setup will make the least impact on the operation of the Market and the safety of the customers.  If you notify the Market Manager that you will be late, your space will not be reassigned.  If you know you will be absent from the Market, notify the Market Manager as soon as possible, so a “daily vendor” may be contacted to fill your space.  Absentee notification by 5pm Thursday, will be appreciated.

  •  Vendors will sell from only ONE VEHICLE and must occupy only one space as assigned by the Market Manager.  Maximum vehicle size is a 1-ton pickup or van.

  •  The Market Manager designates the vending location for all Producers with or without vehicles, and, if the Market Manager deems it necessary, may request a Producer to relocate.

  •  Vendors sales staff:  Workers names must be on the application before they may work in the vendor’s space.  During the season, a request for additional workers may be submitted in writing to the Market Manager explaining the need for additional workers along with the names of the persons they wish to add.  The Market Manager and Board of Directors will review the request and render a decision.

                                                            RULES AND REGULATIONS

1.  Only PRODUCERS within a 50 miles radius of the Market’s sales location may sell at the market. 

      Producers are defined as follows:

  • Bona Fide Agricultural Producer - must grow and/or raise the produce offered for sale, i.e., fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, honey, herbs, and flowers

  • Processor Producer - must make the food products offered for sale, i.e., baked goods, jams, jellies, vinegars, beverages, sausage, and acidified foods, and processed dairy products.

  • Arts and Crafts Producer (guest) - must make the arts and crafts products offered for sale, i.e., paintings, pottery, jewelry, soaps.

 2.  All goods sold at the market must be grown, raised or made within a 50 mile radius of the

      Nelson Farmers Market Cooperative.  

  •  Complaint(s) by a Producer of known or suspected violations of these Rules and Guidelines must be submitted to the Market Manager.  All complaints will be investigated by the Market Manager and/or Board of Directors.  Producers refusing to allow a full site visit and inspection will no longer be allowed to sell at the Market.  ALL PRODUCERS ARE SUBJECT TO INSPECTIONS BY THE MARKET MANAGER AND/OR BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

  •  Wholesalers and nonprofit organizations are not allowed.

  •  Products described in any manner as “organic” must meet federal and state regulations for such labeling.  Producer are required to provide a copy of the relevant certificates with the Market Manager.

3.   Vendors must check out by 12:30.  If you make sales after 12:00, you can add them to the following week’s sales total.  All debris, boxes, containers, etc. must be loaded for removal within one hour of Market closing time.  All vendors must bring their own trash cans and nothing can be left under the tents.

4.  ARTS AND CRAFTS may be permitted for sale at the Market with approval of the Board of Directors to be a Guest vendor.  All art and crafts must be made by the Guest vendor, immediate family or employees and must be produced within a 50 mile radius of the Market.  No reselling is allowed at the Market.  No items purchased for resale or commercially produced products are permitted.  Any questionable items shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.  Because the Nelson Farmers Market Cooperative is primarily a market for agricultural products, the Board of Directors reserves the right to limit the number of Guest vendors.  In the event space is needed for a Nelson County bona fide agricultural producer, preference shall be given to the bona fide farmer and implementation of “last-in, first-out” shall apply to all Arts and Crafts Guest Vendors.

  • The following items are subject to Department of Agriculture approval:  cider, jams, jellies, relishes, honey, canned goods, baked goods, frozen meats and dairy products.  Any vendor selling these products must contact the local health department and/or the VA Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services (804-276-1550) for any necessary inspections and permits.  Any questionable items shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.  Beverages containing alcohol are prohibited.

  • It is the responsibility of each producer to abide by all state and federal regulations that govern the production, harvest, preparation, preservation, labeling or safety of the product the vendor offers for sale at the Market.  This includes scales that are certified legal for trade. 

  • Vendors are liable for their own products.  The Market Manager, the Nelson Farmers Market Cooperative Board of Directors, market managements and the property owners shall not be liable for the products offered by vendors.  Product liability insurance is the sole responsibility of the producer.   The Nelson Farmers Market Cooperative recommends each vendor obtain product liability insurance.

  • The sale of cooked meats, game, poultry or fish is allowed at the market if the food comes from a Dept. of Agriculture inspected and approved kitchen and is held at proper temperature at the market.

  •  In order to sell raw, fresh or frozen meats, game or poultry, each item must be raised by the Producer, must meet all government requirements for retail sale and must be maintained at an approved temperature at the market.  Unpasteurized products are not allowed to be sold or offered for sample or gift at the market.  The item may also be required to carry a USDA label.

  • EGGS sold at the market may not require a USDA sticker, but shall always be held at proper temperature.

  • The sale of live animals is not allowed at the Market or any of the grounds/fields. 

  • No poultry, game or livestock will be slaughtered or dressed within the Market area.

 5.  Vendors may sell produce by piece or by weight and shall be in compliance with VDACS guidelines.

6.  Fraudulent, dishonest or deceptive merchandising or collusion to set prices between or among vendors will be grounds for forfeiture of the right to do business of any kind in the Market for a length of time to be determined by the Board of Directors.

7.  Generators are not allowed at the market. Batteries are allowed to run equipment, as long as they do not produce noise.

8.  Solicitation, canvassing or petitioning for products, services, causes, organizations or charitable contributions not specifically addressed as a market commodity by any persons present at market is not permitted without written permission of the current season’s Board of Directors.

9.  Master Gardeners may set up a tent outside of the main tent, if space is available.  The Market Manager shall direct location/times for setup and oversight.

10.  Children under the age of fourteen may not be vendors.  However, younger children are welcome and encouraged to participate when directly supervised by an adult responsible for the child’s conduct and safety.

11.  No cooking within the Market area is permitted without prior written approval of the Board of Directors.

12.  Commercial enterprises such as area restaurants, bed & breakfasts and bakeries may sell baked goods if they make/bake them.  Nurseries may sell beddings plants and houseplants if they grow them.  Other agricultural items that may be processed by commercial enterprises (flour mills, coffee roasters, peanut roasters, etc.) may be sold at the Market only after approval by the Board of Directors.

13.  Wildflowers or native plants sold at the Market must not be on the state’s list of rare wild plants, which is published by the Division of Natural Heritage.  No plants may be sold that were removed from public lands.  ALL PLANTS AND FLOWERS FOR SALE MUST BE GROWN BY THE VENDOR.

14.  All displays, including umbrellas and canopies, must be securely anchored, must not extend beyond the limits of the assigned space and shall not be attached to the Market tents.  Failure to secure the canopy makes it susceptible to taking flight and injuring vendors or customers and creates a liability issue for that vendor.  If it becomes windy and the canopy is not securely anchored, the vendor will have the option to take the cover off the canopy or leave for the day.  It is required that all vendors use safe displays and be aware of tripping hazards.

 15.  Vendors are not allowed to bring pets.

 16.  Public restrooms are available.  Water is available.

17.  The sale and/or use of alcohol and/or drugs is prohibited on the Market site/grounds/fields.  Any vendor or workers found with an open container of alcohol or exhibiting behavior consistent with the use of alcohol or drugs will be issued a written warning, asked to leave that day and suspended from the market for the following week’s market.  The issuance of three (3) written warnings pertaining to this rule will automatically prohibit the vendor from participation in the Market permanently.

18.  Three Strike Rule:  If a violation of any of the rules, regulations and/or guidelines occur, the Producer shall be notified of the violation via written warning from the Market Manager.  Should a second violation occur (of the same or any other rule, regulation and/or guideline), the Producer shall be notified of the second violation via written warning from the Market Manager.  Should a third violation occur (of the same or any other rule, regulation and/or guideline), the Producer shall not sell any product for the remainder of the season and shall forfeiture participation privileges as a vendor for the remainder of the season and not be entitled to a refund of any fees paid.

19.  Disruptive, unprofessional or abusive exhibited behavior will not be tolerated.  The Nelson Farmers Market Cooperative’s Board of Directors reserves the right to enforce the dismissal of any producer, vendor, exhibitor, employee or guest whose actions are deemed to be detrimental to the operation of the Market

20.  The Market Manager will have the full power to enforce all rules, regulations and guidelines on the day of the market.  For that day, the Market Manager’s decision is final.  Appeals may be brought before the Board of Directors.  All complaints concerning other vendors must be given to the Market Manager in written form – signed and dated.  Failure to comply with any of these rules, regulations and/or guidelines may result in the forfeiture of the right to do business of any kind in the market for a length of time determined by the Board of Directors, at its discretion.


Nelson Farmers Market Cooperative
P. O. Box 622
Nellysford, Va  22958

VDACS Bureau of Food Inspection            (540) 562-3641                                  
Department of Weights and Measures    (804) 786-2476          
Organic Certification – Kent Lewis            (804) 371-6098
VA Dept. of Taxation (ST-9 form)