Rules, Regulations and Agreement

The Orcas Island Farmers Market supports Island Farmers, Crafters, Food Prepares, and other local service providers and not-for-profits by providing them a dynamic marketplace in which to vend their wares.

OIFM is a marketing and space management non-profit institution. OIFM  provides a consistent, familiar, and legal structure for local independent organizations, individuals, non- profits and other appropriate vendors to offer goods and services to the public. OIFM coordinates vendors, advertising, suppliers (such as San Juan County Parks Department) and others in order to provide a safe and harmonious environment for public activities consistent with the OIFM mission.

All vendors who wish to participate in the Orcas Island Farmers Market must agree to follow the rules and regulations of the OIFM.  These rules are enforceable and mandatory; they are not advisory.Participation in the OIFM is a privilege.  The Board of the OIFM reserves the right to deny the application of any vendor for any reason unrelated to race, gender, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.  As rules and regulations evolve, every effort will be made to provide notice of changes to existing vendors. Rules and regulations are posted on the OIFM web site.

By submitting a completed on-line application, paying the fee and signing this document, vendors request the privilege to offer their goods and services under the provisions of OIFM rules and regulations.Vendors cannot participate in the Market unless they have received confirmation that their application has been accepted by the Market Manager (MM). OIFM reserves the right to place restrictions on any vendor’s application or to refuse to accept the application.


Market Season

Though the exact dates will vary from year to year, in general from the first week in May through the last week of September the Market’s outdoor hours are Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and it will be held in Eastsound’s Village Green.  From the first weekend of October through the second weekend of November the Market will be held indoors at the Oddfellow’s Hall and its hours will be from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Check the web for any changes to this calendar.

Levels of Participation

There are three classes of participation: full season vendor, partial season vendor, and drop-in.

Full season vendors commit to weekly attendance for at least 22 weeks.  They may retain their location within the Market from year to year as long as their annual attendance is uninterrupted, unless the Market layout changes so much that the MM decides this is not possible.

Partial season vendors commit to weekly attendance for 8 contiguous weeks of their choosing.  The Market Manager will attempt to provide them with a consistent location within the Market.

Drop in vendors can participate in the market on a non-consistent basis, if and when space is available.

Vendor Categories and Defining “Island Made / Island Grown”

Please select a vendor category below, read the eligibility criteria, and place yourinitials by the category name to indicate you have read, understand and agree to the criteria.

 The OIFM strives to allow only goods and services that are “Island Made and Island Grown.”  Historically the OIFM has been an agricultural and artisan market, promoting “all things local and handmade.”The OIFM hopes to represent the “flavor of the Islands” to those who visit it.The Market uses the concept of a meaningful “transformative act”

to assess whether a product or service can be considered  “handmade” or “hand-crafted.” “Local” is defined as Orcas Island &Waldron Island, then secondly San Juan County.  It is important to the OIFM to maintain its agricultural and artisan heritage.  It is the job of the Market Manager and OIFM Board to interpret and implement the Market’s goals and policies.

Vendor Categories:  Eligibility criteria for products and services sold at the OIFM:


  • locally grown agricultural crops

  • grown on Orcas Island, Waldron Island

  • no reselling of plants or food grow elsewhere

  • concept of the “transformative act” applies to farmers in terms of selling potted-up plant starts etc.


  • a “transformative act” must be performed which makes a product a creation of one’s own

  • no reselling of goods that have not been transformed in a “meaningful way”

  • the “transformative act” must occur on Orcas Island at least a significant amount of the time

  • the more “handcrafted” or “meaningfully transformed” the better

Food Vendors

  • food should be “hand-made”

  • rules for food vendors entry into the Market are similar to those for crafters

  • a transformative act must be performed to a food product to make it “hand-made”

  • no reselling of food goods – canned drinks, potato chips in bags, even drinks from mixes are discouraged

  • the transformation of component ingredients must be “meaningful” to qualify as “hand-made”


  • “handcrafted services” are a part of the market face painting, tarot readings, massage have all historically been a part of the OIFM over the years


  • information sharing / educational

  • bake sales – though food vendor rules apply


  • vendors that do not easily fit into the above named categories above but fit the criteria for one or more of them

Non-Orcas/Waldron Island based vendors:

Vendors from elsewhere in San Juan County will be admitted by the decision of the Market Board and Market Manager. Non-Orcas/Waldron Island vendors must both meet the above criteria for admittance and not duplicate goods or services provided by an already existing Market vendor. Non-Orcas/Waldron Island vendors are admitted primarily for the purpose of adding breadth and depth to the Market’s offering, and are considered an exception and not the norm at the OIFM.

These items have been Historically Disallowed:

  • import clothing and jewelry

  • yard sales

  • educational presentations that are clearly vehicles to sell  non-handcrafted products

  • used books

  • new goods that are not of one’s own design – even if assembly requires significant skill or technique

The Market Manager determines if applicants are compliant with the above criteria and suitable for admittance into the OIFM.  In cases that are difficult to determine the OIFM Board will have the final say as to whether an applicant shall be allowed to vend at the Market.

OIFM Code of Conduct:


All vendor members, as well as their children and staff, whether at the Market site, board meetings, committee meetings or Market functions, will behave toward Market customers, Market members, staff and volunteers in a professional manner that fosters a sense of Market community and camaraderie, and a spirit of cooperative involvement that promotes the Market as a whole to the communities it represents and serves.

All Orcas Island Farmers’ Market vendors must follow the Code of Conduct as outlined below:

  1. Practice patience and understanding
  2. Demonstrate sensitivity to people of all ages, ethnicities and diversities
  3. Treat customers with courtesy, respect and honesty
  4. Assist other vendors whenever possible
  5. Treat market staff, volunteers and other vendors with respect and understanding
  6. Notify market manager immediately of any unsafe conditions
  7. Resolve conflicts in an unobtrusive manner
  8. Do not treat any person in a manner that is rough, menacing, vulgar, profane or abusive.
  9. Do not bring dogs or other animals to the market
  10. Practice safe behaviors at all times, including while driving on and off site, loading and unloading
  11. No vendor may be under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol while participating at the market
  12. All products offered for sale must be safe, have a decent life expectancy and exhibit quality of construction.

Complaints / Appeals & Disciplinary Procedures

Enforcement of Orcas Island Farmers’ Market Code of Conduct Policies

The Market Manager will determine if any vendor is failing to adhere to the policies set forth herein. Such failure can result in a verbal warning, or a temporary suspension or permanent removal of a vendor from the Market.

If asked to leave the vendor is responsible for packing his/her product and belongings. If the vendor does not pack, the Market Manager has the authority to appoint others to help pack the vendor’s products and belongings. The Market Association will not be held liable for any damage caused during such packing. The vendor is legally responsible for any damage that might occur while being escorted out of the Market.

In the case of expulsion the vendor may reapply to be a vendor the following year on a drop in basis only.  The Farmers’ Market Board and Market manager will vote to determine vendor eligibility. The following year the vendor can again apply for full season membership.

Product Challenge

It is the intent of the Market to offer customers fresh, high quality handcrafted goods and farm-direct products. Products deemed inconsistent with Market guidelines may be challenged by any vendor, the Market Manager or Board Member. A challenge must be submitted in writing to the Market Manager before action will be taken.  The Challenge Process is as follows:

  1.  Vendor will receive written notice of the challenge from the Market Manager.
  2.  Vendor will be required to respond in writing to the challenge before the following Market day.
  3.  Challenge to be resolved within one week of vendor response to the satisfaction of the Market Manager and two Board Members.
  4.  The disciplinary process will be:

            1st offense – written warning

            2nd offense – one week suspension

            3rd offense – forfeiture of space(s) and Market fees for the remainder of the season. In order to participate in the following year’s                      Market, suspended vendors must make application to the Market’s Board of Directors prior to the following season.

Other Market Rules and Policies:

  1. Outdoor set up can begin at 8:00 a.m.  If a vendor has not arrived by 9:15am (no exceptions), his/her space can be given to an awaiting “drop-in” for the day.  Also, the Market Manager has the right to fill in any gaps in the booth lineup created by a full season vendor who has not arrived by 9:15 a.m. with another vendor willing to move, in order to create an unbroken line of booths.  Indoor set up times will be announced prior to the beginning of the indoor Market.  If a vendor has not arrived by 9:30am, they will NOT BE ALLOWED participate in the Market that day. 
  2. “Piggybacking”, in which a vendor offers booth space to a non-vendor to sell whatever they might have, is prohibited. Substitution, in which a vendor who will not be able to attend on a given day offers their booth space to a non-vendor, is prohibited. In short, the annual subscription vendor may not sublease or delegate some or all booth space to anyone at anytime without the specific written authorization of the MM.
  3. Please unload as quickly as possible and remove your vehicle from the Green.  No vehicle traffic is permitted on site between 9:45 a.m. and the Market closing time (3pm).
  4. Parking: There will be no parking by Market members in the spaces along North Beach Road in front of the Market. There must be no vendor parking in front of any businesses. OIFM has created a Parking Map showing preferred and prohibited parking areas; vendors agree to abide by map guidelines. Contact the MM for a copy of the map.
  5. The Market opens at 10:00am.  Please honor this time and do not accommodate customers before then. Very likely other vendors are still in the process of setting up their booths and people in line are not going away in those few minutes.
  6. It is essential that each full or partial season vendor inform the Market Manager if he/she will NOT be attending the Market no later than Friday evening at 8:00 p.m. before the Saturday of the Market.  If it is necessary to cancel the day of the Market, please call the OIFM cell phone (see the “contact us” menu item on the OIFM web site for the number) and/or otherwise contact the MM.  Spaces are valuable and there are many who wish for the opportunity to “drop-in”. Annual subscription (i.e., full or partial season) vendors who do not attend or communicate to the MM for three (3) consecutive weeks risk losing their assigned space.
  7. Spaces: Each OIFM booth space is 10′x10′. A vendor may purchase one or more spaces; however, the spaces must be contiguous and used for that vendor’s activities only. Booths may not be shared by multiple vendors or subletted.  Vendors must try to align their booth with others around them and be considerate of those other vendors. Spaces are arranged by the Market Manager, taking vendor seniority among other considerations into account.There is great effort to arranging the Market so that there are NO BAD SPACES. Be of help to your fellow vendor and courteous to customers.
  8. The success of the Market is each vendor’s responsibility. With this in mind, please act in a safe and sane way. Keep your vending space clear of garbage and/or other potential hazards. By law, all umbrellas and tents/ canopies MUSTBE SECURED or taken down on windy days. Any vendor who fails to properly anchor his or her canopy will not be allowed to sell at the Farmers’ Market on that market day unless that vendor chooses to remove and stow their canopy and sell without it. The Market is a NO SMOKING ZONE.  If you need to smoke, please leave the selling area. Vendor dogs are NOT ALLOWED at the Market during market hours and must be leashed before and aftermarket hours.
  9. Each vendor must have a valid, current, Washington State Business License. This applies even if you are selling non-taxable items. To acquire a business license, contact the Bellingham office of the Dept. of Licensing at 360-676-2114 or on-line at Vendors who sell taxable items are reminded that they are required to collect sales tax. OIFM neither serves as an agent of the State of Washington to enforce sales tax collections nor serves to protect vendors from any behavior they engage in which is in violation of any law.
  10. If you are selling processed food of any kind, the county requires a food handler’s permit and a food vendor permit. All such food products MUST be prepared in a certified commercial kitchen.The class for this is given on a regular basis. Call the San Juan County Health Dept. at 378-4474.
  11. Vendor communications with the MM and/or the OIFM board regarding OIFM policies are welcome; vendor communications are encouraged to be in writing and delivered via email. The OIFM web site will provide current contact information. Harassment or other demeaning communication toward the Market Manager or OIFM Board is grounds for denial or revocation of an application to purvey at the OIFM.
  12. Vendors must restrict their activities to ensure that no nuisance of any kind is created by, in or around their booth. Smoke, noise, trash, etc. if generated must not in any way disturb other vendors or any participants at the Market. Vendors whose operations create a nuisance, as defined by the MM, will be asked to immediately cease operations or entirely mitigate the nuisance.
  13. All goods or services sold at the OIFM must conform to the criteria description attached as anAddendum to this document. Vendors must signify that they have read and accept the appropriate criteria by placing their initials on the line by their category.
  14. Vendors cannot engage in any illegal activity or operations.
  15. The MM has authority and discretion to enforce these regulations and to create regulations and policies on an as-required basis to deal with issues and contingencies not explicitly noted here.
  16. Separate from the UBI number, vendors who offer services that are licensed by any governmental unit (national, state or local) must provide the MM with a valid copy of their license to offer that service. Example: licensed massage therapists.
  17. OIFM does not represent that the facility used to host the farmers market is suitable for any vendor or for any purpose. OIFM accepts no responsibility for providing a market facility that meets any conditions. A vendor who is accepted to sell or offer goods or services through OIFM specifically agrees to hold OIFM harmless for any legal action brought against the vendor by anyone for any purpose. OIFM does not insure any vendor for any purpose or against any claim. Vendors who may offer services or goods that carry any risk to anyone are advised to have their own insurance policy.

Failure to adhere to these and other OIFM regulations may result in the cancellation of your contract with OIFM. There is no refund of vendor dues for contract cancellation or other circumstances.

The Market reserves the right to decline or revoke admission to any applicant or current vendor who acts with hostility toward other MarketVendors, the Market Manager or the OIFM Board.The Market does not discriminate based on race or gender.

Misrepresentation of information provided in any communication with the MM or OIFM, including but not limited to the application for market participation, oral statements made before, during or after a Saturday Market event, or through omission of material information (e.g., a cancelled license) may result in immediate termination of vendor status.