Policies

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

Yogurt Cucumber Mint

Yogurt, Cucumber & Mint


There are lots of cucumbers at the market and mint and it is predicted to warm up again this weekend. Here is a recipe to help you keep cool.

Maast O Khiar

For Iranians, this dish serves the purpose of cooling you down in the sweltering summers. As in Turkey, Greece and India, a yogurt dish of this sort is a staple on the table during every family meal. Iranians love to vary the content, often using beetroot or spinach in place of the cucumber. In the height of summer, this dish is virtually treated as a soup, so perhaps it is Iran’s answer to the Spanish gazpacho. 
It should be served chilled and, on the hottest of occasions, with ice cubes to help it stay cool.
Persiana

  • 1 large cucumber, coarsely grated
  • 2 tsp dried mint
  • generous handful of golden raisins
  • 500ml (18fl oz) Greek yogurt
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve (optional):

  • olive oil
  • chopped walnuts
  • finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • dried edible rose petals

Carefully squeeze out and discard the excess water from the grated cucumber — you can do this by hand or in a sieve. Put the drained cucumber pulp into a mixing bowl.

Add the dried mint and golden raisins to the bowl, followed by the yogurt, and mix well. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Cover with clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. To serve, drizzle with a little olive oil and scatter with chopped walnuts, finely chopped mint leaves and dried rose petals, if desired.

Variation:

Try adding chopped fresh dill or mint, as well as walnut pieces for a different take on this dish.

From Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour, Interlink 2014.

Yield:

Serves 6 as part of a mezze


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