Becoming a Vendor
We welcome applications from farmers, crafters and food producers operating in York (Maine), Strafford or Rockingham (NH) counties. In addition to having all appropriate insurances and permits our vendors may sell only what they produce within our county boundaries.
We are a membership organization, and our market vendors fit into two general categories: members, (members vend more than 6 market dates in a season), and guest vendors (guest vendors can attend up to 6 markets dates in a season).
Here are vendor details and rules, summarized from the governing Rules and Regulations:
- Farm vendors must grow on their farm or forage 100 percent of what they sell at the Portsmouth Farmers Market within existing SGA borders.
- Farm vendors must grow on their farm or forage 90 percent of what they sell at the weekday Farmers Markets within existing SGA borders. The remaining 10 percent may come from an SGA member in good standing.
- Farm vendors may grow on leased land, provided that they are solely responsible for produce grown on that land.
- Baked goods, jams, jellies, and similar prepared foods may be sold if made by the vendor.
- It is the vendor’s responsibility to meet all the requirements of the Health Department and to obtain all necessary licenses. Please note: the application for the Portsmouth Health Department is available on their website. However, the application must be submitted to the SGA during the market application process, please do not send it directly to the Portsmouth Health Department. After you apply to the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market, we will send you a checklist of what you need to submit related to your health permits once your application has been approved.
- Prepared food vendors are limited to 20 percent of the Seacoast Growers Association membership.
- Craft vendors shall be defined as members who offer for sale their own locally made crafts.
- Crafts must be made by the vendors themselves and be made in York County (Maine), or in Rockingham or Strafford Counties (New Hampshire).
- Applications in both craft and fine art will be judged on the basis of design, technical skill, originality, diversity (in regards to other market vendors) and imagination.
- All work must be handmade and the original design of the artist. Participants must exhibit the type and quality of work shown to the jury. Not acceptable items are embellished or made from commercially available kits, plans or patterns; imports; factory made or other assembled items.
- Craft applications for membership will be juried by mid-February. Items to be juried will be brought to a determined location and will be presented to the craft jury panel. There will be three additional jury dates – end of April, mid-June and early August – for members introducing craft products during the season.
- Craft applications for guest vending will be juried from photos sent with application. A visual inspection of your booth will be made on your first market date. Your booth should meet standards or your subsequent dates will be cancelled.
- Craft vendors shall be limited to 20 percent of the membership.
Members may sell products from each of the other two categories listed above, not to exceed 1/3 of their display. Everything a vendor sells must conform to the pertinent rules and regulations of the Seacoast Growers Association (see:SGARules_Regs_amended March26_2014).
Applications can be submitted to any or all of our markets through our online portal (please review the following details and then click on the yellow oval below to log on).
Membership applications will be open by December 5th. Returning membership applications must be submitted by the January 15th deadline. New membership applications must be submitted by the February 15th deadline. It is recommended that guest vendor applications be submitted by March 15th for full consideration, however, they will also be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the season.
Nonprofit applications are reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the season.
- If you are already in the system, be sure you see your existing profile information when you log in so as not to create a duplicate/new profile. If you forgot your log in information, please contact us and we can look it up for you.
- If you can’t see our markets, increase the search radius to 100 miles from you to be sure they pop up.
- Applications are not complete until the membership fees are received.
- Make sure to check the box inside your profile that gives permission to make your contact information public, so it will show up in market patron’s searches.
- If you are having any technical difficulty with your online application, close down your current browser and open a different browser to try again.
Returning Members are invited to complete their annual membership application online between December 5th and January 15th. Members can apply to one or more markets and request their market dates during the application process. The deadline for applications from returning members is January 15th. An application fee of $60 covers application to all of the markets. Your application will not be considered complete until we receive your application fee (checks can be mailed to the SGA at PO Box 4401, Portsmouth NH 03802). Stall fees are: $11 for Dover and Durham markets, $13 for Exeter market and $22/$27 (without/with vehicle) for the Portsmouth market. Once applications are completed, returning members are notified of their application status by February 15th. Acceptance to the Portsmouth market may be conditional on space availability, jurying of any new products you are planning and approval of a Portsmouth Health Certificate if required for your business.
New Members are invited to apply for annual membership online between December 5th and February 15th. It is best to submit your application early. You can apply to one or more markets and request market dates during the application process.The deadline for applications from new members is February 15th. An application fee of $60 covers application to all of the markets. Your application will not be considered complete until we receive your application fee (checks can be mailed to the SGA at PO Box 4401, Portsmouth NH 03802). Stall fees are: $11 for Dover and Durham markets, $13 for Exeter market and $22/$27 (without/with vehicle) for the Portsmouth market. Once applications are completed, new members are notified of their application status by March 15th. Acceptance to the Portsmouth market may be conditional on space availability, jurying of products and approval of a Portsmouth Health Certificate if required for your business.
Guest Vendors are invited to submit their applications by March 15th for full consideration, however, an application can be submitted at any time during the season through our online process. Applications will be processed on a rolling basis during market season. Once accepted, guest vendors may be invited to participate up to six times as space becomes available. An application processing fee of $25 covers application to all of the markets. If selected for vending, this fee will be applied towards stall fees. Guest stall fees are: $35 for Durham and Dover markets and $50 for the Exeter and Portsmouth markets. Guest vendors will receive an invoice for stall fees in advance, which can be paid online. If you are interested in guest vending at one of our markets, please also review the Guest Vendor FAQ webpage before applying.
Insurance – All vendors, including Guest Vendors and Nonprofits, are required to carry liability insurance that lists the Seacoast Growers Association as “additionally insured” on the policy (with a minimum coverage of 1 million per incident/2 million aggregate). Insurance is not available through SGA. Simply inquire with your insurance agent to purchase liability insurance for farmers’ markets, and upload a digital copy in your online profile under Licenses.
Please refer to our Bylaws and Rules and Regulations located below for specific details and vendor qualifications.
SGA Bylaws (Last amended: 2013)
SGA Rules & Regs (Last amended: 2014)
To get started, click on the image below:
For tips on selling at farmers’ markets, download this free resource from UNH Cooperative Extension: Selling Successfully at the Farmers Market.
Nonprofits & Community Partners
We reserve space for community nonprofit groups at many of our markets during the year. This is a great way to promote community events and offer support to the many worthy charitable organizations local to each market. Nonprofits are invited to apply for specific market dates through Manage My Market (see above application information and link). Nonprofits are encouraged to consider their time at market as a promotional opportunity, as sales of craft or food items are restricted to vendors only. Nonprofits may use donation jars, or sell tickets (such as to a fundraising event or raffle).