The purpose of the Columbus Farmer’s Market is as follows:
1) To provide consumers a venue for them to purchase locally grown and produced foods, plants, art, and handcrafted items.
2) To provide local farmers/growers/artisans an opportunity to sell directly to the local public.
3) To provide a place for non-profit groups to educate and fundraise.
4) To accomplish this in a healthy and family-friendly manner.
The mission of the Columbus Farmer’s Market is to provide an annual seasonal event designed to bring our farm and city communities together by providing a venue that is more than just a market intended for commerce but a market that is fun, family-friendly, entertaining, healthy, and adds considerably to the quality of life of the citizens of Columbus and the surrounding area.
Operation of Market
Columbus Farmer’s Market is organized under the direction of the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department. The Market Coordinator may be contacted by email or by phone at (812) 371-1866.
Regular mail may be sent to
Columbus Farmer’s Market
P.O. Box 858
Columbus, IN 47202-0858
Frequently Asked Questions
The Columbus Farmers Market is a Pet Friendly market and we welcome well-behaved pets and owners. However, no pets are allowed within vendor booths except for service dogs.
The following conditions apply to all animals and owners:
- Pets are to be kept on a short leash.
- Pets are to be kept under control and by the owner’s side at all times
- Pets must be friendly with other pets and people.
- Owners must be considerate of those who do not wish to be in contact with pets or other animals.
- Owners must clean up after pets and provide own waste bags.
- Owners may not place pet waste in Market trash receptacles. Pet waste must be removed from the market footprint and disposed of off-site.
Vendors who observe pets and pet owners not complying with the above rules should notify the Market Coordinator immediately. If the Market Coordinator is not immediately available, vendors should ask a pet owner to clean up after their pet if they see a pet relieving itself without proper clean up.
Columbus Farmers Market reserves the right to request that owners remove pets from the Market at any time.
Political or religious displays, advertisements and/or solicitations of any other kind are not allowed.
Some customers may be eligible to use WIC and Senior Farm Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers, and some Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (S.N.A.P. double bucks).
Goods Permitted to be Sold
Columbus Farmers Market is an open market and we do not limit the number of vendors selling specific products. When approving new vendors, the Market Coordinator takes into consideration the number of current vendors already selling a similar product.
At least 50% of the products sold at the market must be grown, raised, caught, gathered or produced by the vendor. As part of the approval process, the vendor must provide information pertaining to farm/ranch or production location and any other required information as contained in the Application Form.
All products must originate and be processed or manufactured in Indiana and must be pre-approved before being at the market. Wholesale or resale items, memberships or subscriptions are not permitted to be sold.
Food (Not for Immediate Consumption)
The following goods may be sold at the Columbus Farmers Market subject to applicable Federal, State, and Local laws, regulations and guidelines.
Plants, Produce, Cut Flowers
All plants and produce must be grown in the state of Indiana. Vendors are expected to grow at least 50% of what they sell. Goods grown by another Indiana farmer may be sold by the vendor if they are acquired directly from that farmer. Vendors must provide location information for any products grown by other farmers. Each plant must be cultivated by the vendor from seed or plug for a minimum of six weeks.
Plants or produce for sale cannot be purchased from a wholesale supplier. All sources of plants and produce must be listed on your application. If any vendor is found to be purchasing produce or plants for resale they may be asked to leave the market for the remainder of the season and no refunds will be paid to the vendor.
Vendors selling micro-greens or sprouts must possess a Temporary Food Vendor license from the Bartholomew County Health Department and have it available in your booth at all times.
Vendors selling wild mushrooms must have a Mushroom Certification License from the State of Indiana or have your product certified by a licensed mushroom expert. Vendors must also indicate location information showing general location where mushrooms have been foraged.
Processed Food items must be created or prepared in a facility in accordance with Indiana law and sold in prepackaged form and must be the original product of the vendor. All vendors selling processed foods must have their Board of Health licenses available at their stands at all times. Some examples of processed foods include:
- Jellies, Jams, and Preserves
- Dried vegetables and fruit
- Cider or other Pressed Juices
- Ice Cream
- Vinegars and Oils
- Baked Goods
- Honey & Syrups
- Flour and ground grains
The sale of these food items requires proper labeling and must consist of the following:
- Name of product
- Location of preparation
- Description of contents
- Net weight or units
Any questions regarding minimally processed food or high acid items should be directed to the Bartholomew County Health Department.
Home Based Vendor Products
The Indiana General Assembly created a home-based vendor (HBV) exemption with House Enrolled Act 1309. This exemption allows an individual to produce “non-potentially hazardous food products” in a home kitchen to sell only at farmer’s markets and roadside stands. No HBV foods may be sold (or resold) at other venues, including retail food establishments, festivals, carnivals, or any other event.
Foods that may create a public health risk are considered potentially hazardous foods and may NOT be produced and sold under the HBV exemption. A potentially hazardous food product includes a food that is natural or synthetic and requires temperature control because it is in a form capable of supporting the growth of disease-causing bacteria. All non-potentially hazardous foods have a pH of less than or equal to 4.6 AND water activity of less than 0.85.
Food products processed by a HBV (Home Based Vendor) are currently sellable under Indiana law providing they are only sold at Farmers Markets or Roadside Stands. Items produced by a HBV must have proper labeling, which must consist of the following:
- Name and address of producer
- Common name of the product
- Ingredients included in the food product listed in descending order by weight
- Net weight and volume of package
- Date the food product was produced.
HBV products must also contain a label with the following warning: “This product is home-produced and processed and the production area has not been inspected by the State Department of Health” in at least 10-point type. For more detailed information about home based vendors, see the Purdue Extension Entrepreneur Series.
Some examples of Home Based Vendor products include:
- Baked Goods
- Candy & Confections
- Tree nuts and Legumes
- Honey, Molasses, Sorghum, Maple Syrup
- Jams, Jellies, Preserves-only high acid fruit
Beer and Wine
Beer and/or Wine products that are made by the vendor may be sold and sampled. They must be made and packaged in accordance with all state and federal laws. Vendor must have proper permits on display in their booth.
Vendors must obtain a current egg license issued by the State Egg Board, a Temporary Food Handler License from the county health department if selling quail or duck eggs, and sell in accordance with the following regulations:
1) Eggs must be clean and sound shelled (cracked eggs removed).
2) Dealer must be licensed by State Egg Board and present license upon request.
3) Eggs must be held under refrigeration at an ambient temperature of no greater than 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
4) Used egg cartons may be used ONLY if relabeled with name and address of supplier of eggs.
5) Pack date and expiration date must appear on each carton. Expiration date is 30 days from date of pack
Vendors must obtain a Temporary Food Handler License from the county health department. Meat must be kept frozen at all times. Meats must be processed from an establishment inspected by the Indiana Board of Animal Health or the United States Department of Agriculture. Appropriate labeling must be clearly stated on each meat product sold.
Food Concessions (for Immediate Consumption)
- A limited number of spots are available for food concessions.
- Vendors must make all food items themselves.
- No wholesale, resale or prepackaged foods are permitted.
- Vendors are encouraged to use Indiana grown ingredients in their foods.
- A menu must be included with your application.
- A minimum double booth space is required for all Food Concessionaires that cook.
- Health Department and/or Fire permits must be obtained and all rules followed.
- Have a working ABC fire extinguisher on site and readily accessible.
- Trash cans must be provided if you use disposable service ware.
- Ground covering must be provided to protect space from spills, residue, or damage.
If you are selling pet food, an Indiana Commercial Feed License must be obtained and displayed. All applicable rules must be followed.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and Craft items will be juried by the Columbus Farmers Market Staff. All work must be designed and executed by the vendor. No commercially manufactured items or objects produced from kits are eligible. Items should be original and of the highest quality.
Staff reserves the right to jury any unacceptable items on site. Vendors should submit photos representative of the types of items they intend to sell. Photos should show the range and quality of the product. The Market Staff may request further information about the creative process of various items.
A limited number of spots are available for non-profit groups to fundraise or provide education to the public. Non-profits who wish to sell items from any of the above categories must follow the rules and regulations that apply to all vendors selling products or services. Items offered for sale are to be pre-approved by the Market Coordinator.
All vendors will be required to provide a general liability certificate or personal liability certificate along with the booth rent payment, if the vendor is approved for participation at the Columbus Farmer’s market. The liability coverage shall be 1mm for single occurrence and 2mm for aggregate coverage.* It shall name the city of Columbus, its employees and officials as an additional insured. The issuing insurance company shall have an A.M. Best rating of B++ or better. If the vendor is selling alcohol, the coverage shall be 2mm per single occurrence and 2mm aggregate coverage with the same clauses and rating requirements.
If a policy has no annual aggregate (such as a farm policy or homeowner policy) that also will satisfy the liability requirements as listed above. A notation in the comment section of the certificate indicating the policy in question has no aggregate is sufficient.