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


Roast Chicken and Vegetables

A whole chicken is usually less expensive than buying single pieces like breasts or thighs—plus you can make stock later from the bones and any meat too difficult to get off. The leftovers can be used in sandwiches, tacos, over a salad, or tossed with sauce and mixed into pasta.
This is a base recipe:
add spices to the butter or sprinkle over the surface of the chicken to change up the flavor in any way you like.
1 whole chicken (available at the market)
1 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic (available at the market)
1 lemon
salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 400 °F.
Remove the giblets and neck from the chicken. Keep them for stock later.
Rub the entire bird with butter, then sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
Smash the garlic cloves with the side of your knife and slice the lemon in half.
Stuff the garlic and lemon into the chicken’s body cavity.
Place the chicken in a roasting pan or an oven-proof skillet.
Let it cook for 1 hour. If you have a meat thermometer, check to make sure the chicken is at 165 °F, the temperature when chicken is completely safe to
eat. But 1 hour should be long enough to fully cook it.
Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before you carve it to make sure you don’t lose any of the tasty juices.
After you’ve carved away all the meat, make chicken stock from the carcass. Simmer it for several hours in a pot full of water along with scrap vegetables like the ends of onions and carrots, plus a generous helping of salt.
Roasted Vegetables
When the weather turns cool, I want only to eat warm, flavorful food. Roasting is easy, it warms up the kitchen, and it makes the house smell like the holidays. If you’re uncertain how to prepare a new vegetable, you usually can’t go wrong with roasting—most things end up sweeter, with nice crunchy bits. If you roast a bunch of vegetables at the beginning of the week, you can eat them throughout the week in various ways: with eggs at breakfast, folded into an omelette, as a side dish, in a taco or sandwich, on toast, or with any grain.
olive oil or butter
salt and pepper
r o o t s
potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, onions, parsnips, carrots, sunchokes, kohlrabi, fennel
n o n-r o o t s
bell peppers, winter squash, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, asparagus, eggplant
e x t r a s
whole garlic cloves (unpeeled), lemon slices or lemon zest, anything you would pair with roast chicken, tough herbs like sage, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, any dry spice combination
Set the oven to 400 °F.
Clean and chop your vegetables. Generally, I prefer to leave the skin on for the following reasons: skin tastes nice and gets crispy; there’s a lot of nutrition in the
skin; peeling is slow! Just be sure to wash the vegetables thoroughly.
It’s up to you how you want to chop your vegetables.
Many are nice roasted whole, like new potatoes or little sunchokes or turnips—they will be crispy and salty on the outside and bursting with fluffy, starchy goodness inside. The general rule is that the smaller you chop things, the faster they cook, so try to keep everything about the same size so nothing cooks faster than anything else.
Dump your vegetables into a roasting pan. Drizzle
everything with olive oil or melted butter—about 2 tablespoons per medium-sized roasting pan.
Season generously with salt and pepper and add any other extras from the list at right. Use your hands to coat the vegetables thoroughly with the oil and spices.
Pop the pan in the oven for 1 hour or longer, but check on the vegetables after 45 minutes.
Test them by poking them with a knife. If it meets no resistance, they’re finished; if not, let them cook longer.
Don’t worry: it’s not much of a problem if you overcook them. Unlike vegetables overcooked through boiling or steaming, overcooked roasted vegetables may dry out a bit, but still retain their shape and flavor.
After you pull the vegetables out of the oven, push them around with a spatula to free them from the pan.
Remove any garlic cloves and smash them into a fine paste (removing the skins at this point), then put the garlic back in the pan and mix together.
Squeeze the juice out of any lemons and discard the woody bits of any cooked herbs. Add a little more butter, a bit of favorite sauce, a little soft cheese or mayonnaise, and serve.

serves six
recipes from:Good and Cheap by Leanne Brown

A crispy greens salad and apple pie finish off the meal. (Practice for the apple pie contest at the market on Oct. 17)