Farmers Market Policies 2015

Perennial Plant Sales

To minimize the spread of plant diseases and pests The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development inspects gardens of vendors who will be selling perennial plants. All vendors must have a license before they are able to sell at the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market. Click here for more information on licenses.

Michigan Cottage Foods Information:

Many people express interest every year in selling food items at the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market. While we would love to have lots of food available at market, and welcome their entrepreneurial spirit, we must also be sure that market products comply with state law. Most food to be sold at market must be produced in a licensed kitchen and served by someone who has completed Serve Safe training. There are some products, however, that are allowed to be sold at market even if they were made at home.

Michigan’s Cottage Food Law, PA 113 of 2010, which took effect in July 2010, exempts a “cottage food operation” from the licensing and inspection provisions of the Michigan Food Law of 2000. A cottage food operation still has to comply with the labeling, adulteration, and other provisions found in the Michigan Food Law, as well as other applicable state or federal laws, or local ordinances.

Under the Cottage Food Law, non-potentially hazardous foods that do not require time and/or temperature control for safety can be produced in a home kitchen (the kitchen of the person’s primary domestic residence) for direct sale to customers at farmers markets, farm markets, roadside stands or other direct markets. The products can’t be sold to retail stores; restaurants; over the Internet; by mail order; or to wholesalers, brokers or other food distributors who resell foods.

Operating a business under the Cottage Food Law is not for everyone; some food products do not fit under the exemptions and some businesses aim to make more each year than the $15,000 cap outlined in the Cottage Food Law. However, the Cottage Food Law is a great opportunity for many who have been thinking about starting a food business, but have been reluctant to spend the money needed to establish or rent commercial kitchen space.
Selling directly to consumers under the Cottage Food Law provides an opportunity for new, small scale food processors to “test the waters” and see if operating a food business is the right fit for them. The law also enables farmers who sell produce at farmers’ markets and farm markets to expand their product lines to include things like baked goods and jams. Hopefully, this will be a stepping stone into a full-scale, licensed food processing business for many cottage food businesses in the future.

The information above, and much more, can be found here.

Michigan Farmers Market Association

The Michigan Farmers Market Association works with and for farmers market organizers, managers, farmers, vendors and friends to create a thriving marketplace for local food and farm products. More information here.

MSU Product Center

The MSU Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) was established in Spring, 2003 with funds from the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station and Michigan State University Extension to improve economic opportunities in the Michigan agriculture, food and natural resource sectors. The Product Center can help you develop and commercialize high value, consumer-responsive products and businesses in the agriculture and natural resource sectors. More information here.

Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development

Interested in selling at a farmers market or starting a farm? Check out regulations and resources here.

featured recipe


Spinach Strawberry Salad with Grilled Chicken

We are at a delightful time of the season as the early season greens can be paired with the first of the summer fruits.
Salads are so versatile; with a plate of spinach or mixed greens it can be topped with cooked chicken or your choice of meat, fruit, nuts, cheese and your favorite dressing.  Here is an example of spinach, strawberries and cooked chicken with a vinegar and oil dressing.
The ingredients you may select at the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market for this recipe are: spinach or green, chicken or other meat, strawberries.

If not using meat, skip this step

  • 2 Tbs.  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-3/4 lb. chicken (4 boneless, skinless breast) – optional (also delicious with left over cooked beef or pork)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds – optional (can use walnuts or pecans)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 medium shallot, minced


  • 6 oz. loosely packed baby spinach leaves (about 6 cups)
  • 8 oz. strawberries, stemmed and quartered (about 1-1/2 cups) (later in the season can use fresh raspberries or blueberries or sliced pears or apples)
  • 3 oz. crumbled blue cheese (about 3/4 cup) – optional (or feta, if you prefer)

Grill chicken and remove from bone, if using whole chicken or chicken on the bone. Or, if using chicken breasts,  heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering hot. Pat the chicken dry and season with 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Cook, turning once, until just cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes.

While the chicken cooks, if using almonds,  toast the almonds in a dry 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil with the vinegar, honey, shallot, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries, blue cheese, and almonds and toss with enough of the dressing to coat. Arrange the salad on a platter or plates. Slice the chicken and arrange on the salad. Drizzle with some of the remaining vinaigrette, if desired, and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with a hunk of warm crusty bread and a glass of rosé.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 550; Fat (g): fat g 40; Fat Calories (kcal): 360; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 9; Protein (g): protein g 35; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 24; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 14; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 1100; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 90; Fiber (g): fiber g 4;

  • by Jill Silverman Houghfrom Fine Cooking
    Issue 117 (slightly modified by MEZ)