I am working on a project using some datasets for Farmers Markets and I am trying to determine which locations in the data are on public land and which are on private land. Is there a definition of the terms I'm working with for "Location"?

Specifically, I'm wondering about the following terms:

  • Co-located with the wholesale market facility,
  • Educational institution,
  • Federal/State government building grounds,
  • Healthcare Institution,
  • Local government building grounds,
  • On a farm from a barn, a greenhouse, a tent, a stand, etc.

Any information or pointing me towards the correct resource is appreciated.

  • 'On a farm' could be public land, as our county government rents some land to farms.
    – Joe
    Feb 24, 2015 at 12:50
  • 1
    Could you give a link to the dataset? There might be some documentation for it buried on their website ... or we might be able to cross-check it against something else.
    – Joe
    Feb 24, 2015 at 13:06

2 Answers 2


Below is an excerpt from Establishing Land Use Protections for Farmers' Markets, published by Public Health Law and Policy and funded by the California Department of Public Health. It is an old publication. It doesn't give definitions, but it does provide some examples relevant to your question.

Identify potential farmers’ market sites on public property, including parks, schools, colleges and universities, and other institutions; on private property, including hospitals and commercial centers; and, where feasible, on streets using street closures.

I believe "other institutions" would include the grounds of government buildings. You might want to take a look at your state's legislative resources page for more information.

  • "On streets using street closures" is a bizarre definition of private, to me. That's about as public as it gets. How about sidewalks (as in New York City)? Also, most university campuses (except at public universities) are private property. Feb 27, 2015 at 18:37

From your list, I'd say :

Most likely public:

  • Federal/State government building grounds,
  • Local government building grounds, (this means county, city, town, etc.)

I say 'most likely', as my county decided to sell off lots of their public land, and then rent space from outside developers, so it's possible that a privately owned building could be designated a 'public building' if someone only looked at the fact that it housed public offices.


  • Co-located with wholesale market facility (I think the local wholesale farmer's market is on public land, but not all would be; I could see them being owned by a farmer's co-op)
  • Educational institution (could be a private or public school, or even a private charter school on public land)
  • Healthcare Institution (there exist public hospitals & clinics, but it's most likely this one is private)
  • On a farm from: a barn, a greenhouse, a tent, a stand, etc. (most likely private, but I know of a local farmer that rents public lands)


I'd recommend looking at a few things in the data :

  1. Is it a multi-value field? If something if flagged both 'Local government' and 'Educational Institution', you can be more certain that it's a public school than if it were just 'Educational Institution'.
  2. If this was posted to a website, are there any FAQs, or documentation of what the specific values mean / what their criteria for inclusion was?
  3. Is there a contact address that you could ask for more information?

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