How to write Farmers Market. Market Nosh, The Best Resource for Starting and Running a Market Stall Business

Is it Farmer’s, Farmers’ or Farmers Market? | Fact Checker

Which one is right?

Okay, wait wait wait… I know the excitement the apostrophe causes. I am also aware of the implication of an incorrect apostrophe, however, and I apologise up front, I am not as pedantic (no offence intended) when it comes to this little black mark that causes so much hatred in the world.

We all know our potatoes from our potatoe’s and even the spell checker gets irritated at that one, but what about Farmers Market?

There are a number of discussions online and we’ll start with the English Oxford Living Dictionary. They use Farmers’ Market and define it as

A market where local farmers and growers sell their produce directly to the public.

English Oxford Living Dictionary

I think that is an import place to start in order to work this out and the reason why we at Market Nosh have gone with Farmers Market as the correct way to talk about a marketplace that farmers sell at.

The Farmers Market today sells more than just fresh locally sourced produce. It has stall owners that sell hand crafted goods, ready meals and a fresh cup of coffee. It is much bigger than just fruit and veg! With that in mind lets continue.

Who Owns What?

We first need to work out who owns the market. If we can determine this small nuance then I think we will be able to rectify the correct rendering of the term.

Mr Farmer owns the market

If Mr Farmer, Mr Adam Joseph Farmer, of 1 Hilltop Lane runs a market where he sells his fresh produce then we can be clear what to use here. We call in the mighty apostrophe and slip it into the word. Since Mr Farmer owns and runs the market we would write:

Today I will be going down to Farmer’s Market.

Mr Farmer is the direct owner of the market and the term is showing that he is owner of it.

Many Farmers Own the Market

Okay, lets clear this up. Lots of different farmers, with different last names, all came together and set up a market which they organise and run. They come from all over the area and are unrelated. This would also hold the great apostrophe, to show possession of the many:

Today I will be going down to the Farmers’ Market.

Still with me?

I know it seems such a small thing yet means so much. Imagine a law case trying to work out if Mr Farmer or the Farmers collective are responsible for the bull getting out and ruining the stalls at the market.

Let’s continue…

No Farmers Own the Market

A clever businessman saw an opportunity in the local area and decided to start a market selling fresh produce. He called all the local farmers and asked them if they wanted a stall to sell their produce at and they all agreed it was a great idea.

On the 1st of every month the businessman places an advert in the local newspaper to tell everyone about the Farmers Market that runs every second week.

That being that, there are many farmers attending so we keep using farmers to represent many farmers, without ownership, then the term Farmers Market refers to the market that has many farmers in attendance.


Phew, how did we do? Whichever way you choose to look at it, that is the way Market Nosh is going to approach the grammatical approach to Farmers Market. Since it also includes many other people setting up stalls too who are not farmers, we think that this would be the best way to use the term as a more generic term for including organically produced products, whether it be soap, carrots or a cup of coffee.


I would very much like to thank @pops91710 who contributed to on this topic and who gave me the most convincing confirmation we were correct. You can see other references to this topic at Mother Jones (which gives even more variables to the topic) and Common Sense Journalism for a brief explanation.