NCGS § 66-255 Changes to Farmers Market Requirements

NC Revenue Building

Please consider writing your NC state legislators and asking them to reverse new requirements which make farmers markets monitor the sales tax status of their vendors. This requirement is burdensome in that it over-extends are already busy volunteers and detracts from other market activities.

You can read more about these requirements over on Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s website.

Below is a sample e-mail that you can send to your legislator, who you can locate on the North Carolina General Assembly website.

Representative *INSERT NAME*,

In response to the changes to N.C.G.S. § 66-255 and its application to specialty markets (see here to the legislative analysis from the NC Farm Bureau and Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project – http://fromhere.org/news/new-nc-legislation-n-c-g-s-%C2%A7-66-255-to-impact-farmers-markets/), I respectfully request that you make an effort to remove this requirement from the farmers markets.

I certainly understand the need to ensure that the State collects the money that its due, but, this regulation represents one more hoop that detracts farmers markets from their core missions.  The regulatory burden on farmers markets is already onerous in that individuals who are volunteering to bring a service to their community which feeds people, provides farmers with an accessible marketplace, and encourages entrepreneurship (within a venue that is unmatched in its value for startup businesses) get caught up in trying to understand a confusing myriad of rules at all levels of government.

I feel that it’s irresponsible to make the farmers market complicit in aiding to collect sales tax.  Farmers markets simply provide a temporary rental space for vendors to engage in the sales of their wares (similar to say a mall or shopping center).  The relationship is that of a tenant and a landlord and it’s an overstep to imply that a landlord has any responsibility in ensuring that the tenant is paying their basic civic debts.

Please consider revising this legislation and allowing farmers market volunteers to return to our actual mission rather than overwhelming community oriented folks who may not be well versed in accounting and tax issues with this unnecessary bureaucratic process.

Thank you,

*YOUR NAME*

2014 Market Applications Now Available!

Fresh Local Produce

The Oakley Farmers Market is now accepting vendor applications for the 2014 market season. Local farmers, value-added food producers and crafters are welcome to apply.

Vendor membership is $150 for the season for applications received by the early-bird deadline of Feb. 24. Membership rates increase to $175 after Feb. 24.

The 2014 market will be held 3:30-6:30 p.m. Thursdays May 8 – Oct. 16 in the parking lot behind Oakley United Methodist Church, 607 Fairview Road, Asheville. Online applications are available at oakleyfarmersmarket.wordpress.com/forms/. For details, contact Carly Esslinger at oakleyfarmersmarket@gmail.com or call 828-407-0188.

Now Looking for a Super Intern!

Oakley Farmers Market is looking for an intern interested in advancing their knowledge of agricultural retailing and community-led food security initiatives.  This internship is not specific to any field of academic study, we’re just looking for someone looking to help make the world a better place through an increased sense of community and access fresh, local food.

The Oakley Farmers Market internship position is an important role in the function of the market.  Responsibilities include the management of the market and compiling demographic data to further enhance our understanding of the needs and wants of our customers, farmers, and community at large.  This position is 6 hours per week of scheduled work with additional opportunities for research and data collection.  Internships are currently unpaid positions.

If the part about pay didn’t scare you away check out or internship page for more information and shoot us your resume.

Oakley Community Garden Workday (and Easter Egg Hunt)

Come share the love on Saturday, March 30 at 12pm at the market’s home of the Oakley United Methodist Church for a community garden work day.  For even more fun, bring the kids down at 11am that day for a church Easter Egg Hunt and hot dog lunch!  We’d love to see you there!  Volunteers are needed to hide eggs, cook hot dogs, help clean brush, prepare garden beds and install tree swings and a swing set (we’re working on getting one!).  We are also in need of donations for the garden and market, such as garden tools (hand held and larger tools) and outdoor children’s toys.

Gearing Up for the Festival with Cider, Roasted Chestnuts, and PRIZES!

Well here we are!  One week left of good ol’ market fun before our first annual harvest festival on October 25!  What better way to kick off the excitement this week than with hot apple cider and roasted chestnuts from Sakshi’s Old Fashioned Roasted Nuts!  Who needs dinner after that?  Parents, bring the kids down for a fun apple print activity at 4:30pm, and stick around for children’s story time with the Oakley Library at 5pm.  Enjoy music this week from Tristan Buie-Collard.

Speaking of the harvest festival, remember to bring the kids and dogs down for our kid and pet costume contests!  Our great prizes include handmade kaleidescopes, a $20 gift certificate to Biltmore Village’s toy store Once Upon A Time, and a $50 handmade leather dog collar crafted from the talented hands of our roasted nut vendor, Sakshi Gantenbein.  And your generous donations for a delicious dinner enter you in our raffle for three gift baskets full of hand crafted goodness from our many vendors, each at a value of over $40!  We are so excited to celebrate our first season with you, so stay tuned all week on Facebook, our website and with our newsletter for more info on all the fun that awaits.   Take in the autumn flavors this week with a variety of greens and root veggies like beets, carrots, turnips and radishes.  Roasted veggies are abound with broccoli, potatoes, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, and winter squashes.  Get to bakin’ with fall apples and remember to get your Jack O’ Lanterns too.  You can still find sweet summer flavors with okra, squashes, eggplants, bush beans and peppers. 

Remember to visit Rachel’s Delectables for holiday orders for pumpkin mini cheesecakes!  Vandele Farms is running a great sale on bone in soup meat and breakfast sausage.

See you at the market!!

Harvest Festival! Looking back and looking forward!

The leaves are starting to change in our lovely neighborhood, and there are just a two market days left in our inaugural season! We want to thank all of our vendors, volunteers, and community members in making such a wonderful farmers market possible in our own backyard. We’re not done yet! Come celebrate with us at the Oakley Farmers Market Harvest Festival! Its going to be a great way to celebrate the bounty of our local farmers and crafters, and an excellent way to close out our first year.
The market steering committee is still hard at work! They’ve been hard at work not only closing this year out with a great celebration, but planning for next season! The committee has drafted a letter to the Mayor and Members of City council about our successes and challenges we’ve faced in our first year. Read all about it here.

See you at the market this week!

Fire Trucks, Shiitakes, Fall Transplants and More!

October is upon us, which brings beautiful scenery and a kickoff to all of the fun fall holidays.  But did you know that October is also National Fire Safety Month?  Bring the kids down to visit the Oakley Fire Station #9 Fire Truck at 4pm!  Our dedicated Oakley firefighters will provide educational fun for everyone.  And if parents need any help with car seat installation, they got you covered!  Of course kid time wouldn’t be complete without the Oakley Library 5pm children’s story time.  And enjoy music this week from Tristan Buie-Collard.

We’ve had many changes at the market lately.  Some of our wonderful vendors are done early for the season.  Natalie Horne, from Natalie’s Naturals, is expecting her baby girl in just a couple of weeks.  We wish her well and hope for a safe, healthy labor and delivery.  Good luck Natalie!  Our friend Lorri Helms from Angel Ridge Farm is busy preparing for events and festivals.  We miss her smiling face and adorable baby goats!  We look so forward to a visit with her goats again, so stay tuned!  And our lovely vendor Catherine Classen from Finally Farm is working on healing an old injury so she can join us again next season.

For you fall gardeners, visit Asheville FRESH Herbs this week for fall transplants of broccoli, lettuce and brusselsprouts.  The best part is they come in biodegrable newspaper cups for easy planting!  Welcome our new vendor, High Mountain Mushrooms, for delicious shiitake mushrooms, polymer and sewn crafts .  Continue to enjoy fall greens such as collards, lettuce, arugula, mustard, tot soi, mixed baby greens, kale varieties, endive and more.  Find long scarlet radishes, turnips, golden and blue potatoeswinter squash varieties, half runner beans, giant sweet potatoes, garlic, and late summer eggplants, okra and peppers.

Our friends at Vandele Farms will be gone the next two weeks, but they’ll return October 18 with sales on bone in soup meat and breakfast sausage.  Don’t hesitate to email Kathleen at kat@vandelefarms.com if you ever want her to bring different meat items to the market for you to peruse.  Have you ordered your Thanksgiving turkey yet?  Stop by Which Came First Farm to sign up for the perfect sized bird for your holiday needs.

As always, we can’t wait to see you this Thursday (3:30 – 6:30pm) at the market!