Please consult the COVID-19 guidelines.
QFM requires a vendors fee each Sunday for all vendors over the age of 18. The fee system is set up on a sliding scale and operates on an honor system. If you earn between $50 – $100 your fee is $5 for the day. Between $100 – $200, $15 for the day. Between $200 – $300, $20 for the day. Between $300 – $500, $25 for the day.
These fees help us to do several important things that bring customers to the market – we hire musicians and pay for ads, and we hire teen interns to help with market gardens and so much more.
QFM waives all vendors fee for farmers, makers, and growers under age 18. Here’s an idea for youth: food plant starts, like tomatoes and basil, are good sellers and they are double-up $$ eligible.
Who must obtain a Peddlers Permit?
The Village of Questa requires a peddlers permit ($35, good for three months) to sell processed foods, crafts, etc. Only the “sale of vegetables, fruits, meats, foul or farm products raised and sold in an unprocessed state” can be done without a peddlers permit (per Village of Questa Ordinance 2005-122). Contact the Village, (575) 586-0694, for your peddlers permit.
Accepting payment from customers using food benefits
Customers can use SNAP (EBT, food stamps) to purchase fresh fruits and veggies and food staples at our market. Eligible items include: all fruits and veggies grown within 80 miles of our market, packaged take-home items, like jellies, handmade tortillas and tamales, bread, honey, eggs and more. What’s not SNAP/EBT eligible? Prepared hot foods.
QFM is a member of the NMFMA and participates in the Double-Up-Food-Bucks program (DUFB), which makes a customer’s SNAP dollars double if they buy local fruits and vegetables. Eligible foods are fruits and vegetables, fresh-cut herbs (not dried), dried pintos, dried chile pods (not in ristra form) and garden food plant starts (NM grown, within 80 miles of market).
At the start of the season vendors will receive training information about about these food benefit programs and sign an agreement with QFM in order to accept payment from customers using food benefits. At the end of every market day the vendor will receive payment by check from QFM for any SNAP or DUFB sales they had that day.
WIC and Senior Nutrition Program checks
QFM is approved by the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH), to accept WIC and Senior Nutrition Program checks, which means approved vendors may accept these checks at our location. To become an approved vendor, submit a vendor agreement to NMDOH. The QFM market manager will help you through the process. Email the market manager for your agreement today, or call 575-224-2102. If you are already approved to participate with another market, you may not be assigned a new number. Vendors must have a customer sign their check, and then must get this check stamped by QFM. Only checks signed and stamped correctly will be accepted by a bank.
Prepared Food Vendors
Use local ingredients as much as possible. Each prepared food product should incorporate at least one or more local ingredient (local flour – Valencia Mills flour can be ordered in bulk by Cid’s grocery, cornmeal, local beans, meat, eggs, honey, herbs, vegetables, fruits, etc.).
The Homemade Food Act (HB177) has been signed into law.
Here are the specifics:
- Homemade food cannot be produced for sale until July 1, 2021. Any food prepared before that would not be considered “illegal” and should not be allowed at markets. Markets should make it clear immediately that anything produced before July 1 without a permit will not be allowed.
- Homemade foods are limited to non-TCS foods only. The definition of TCS (time/temperature control for safety food) can be found here. So, foods allowed under the Act cannot be TCS according to this definition.
- Food must be sold directly to consumers within the state.
- The seller/producer must obtain an NMED approved food handler card before beginning production on July 1, 2021. Approved programs can be found here.
- Specific rules about the kitchen, transportation, and labeling must be met. (See page 3, line 17 thru page 5, line 8 in Bill linked below.)
- Private farmers’ markets and other private venues do not have to allow the sale of these foods. Meaning, if a market chooses to not allow food items prepared without a permit, they can do so.
- The Food Program plans to put a simple webpage together prior to July 1st explaining the basics of the Act and helping define non-TCS, but work has not started on it yet. It likely will be ready just before July 1.
House Bill 177, the Homemade Food Act passed and was signed by the Governor on April 7, 2021.
Certain “homemade food items” can be sold at QFM and other farmers markets in NM without a State permit from the NM Environment Department. (Provisions of the Homemade Food Act and are exempt from other requirements pursuant to the Food Service Sanitation Act and the New Mexico Food Act.) “Homemade food item” means a food item or non-alcoholic beverage that is produced at the private farm, ranch or residence of a processor, including homemade food items that are packaged at the processor’s private farm, ranch or residence.
What you need to know:
1. What items can be sold after July 1st? Foods that are not time-and-temperature-controlled; shelf stable items like bread, cookies, tortillas, pies, canned items like jelly, pickles, canned salsa, as well as dried teas, fruits, and veggies.
2. The seller sells directly to consumers within the state, including at farmers’ markets, at festivals, on the internet, at roadside stands, at the seller’s home for pick-up or delivery or through mail delivery.
3. A seller must complete a food handler certification course approved by the NM Environment Department. You can take an ANSI certified course online to get this card.
4. The seller maintains a sanitary kitchen, practices good hygiene, protects the kitchen from rodents and pests and keeps pets and children out of the kitchen while producing food
5. If the seller transports food items pursuant to the Homemade Food Act, the seller ensures that the food is transported in a sanitary manner and is protected from pets, children and other hazards.
6. the seller labels or otherwise provides to the consumer the information required (on a label affixed to a package, a label affixed to a container if sold in bulk, a placard displayed at the point of sale when the homemade food item is neither packaged nor offered for sale from a bulk) the name, home address, telephone number and/or email address of the processor of the food item, the common or usual name of the food, the ingredients of the food item in descending order of predominance;the following statement: “This product is home produced and is exempt from state licensing and inspection. This product may contain allergens.”
Read the complete text of Bill 177 here.
To be an authorized/regulated farmers market we have to follow NM state guidelines.
In order to sell prepared food that is not shelf stable (for example; fresh juice, fresh salsa, breakfast burritos, hot food at the market) prepared food vendors must abide by the food safety laws of NM and you DO need a permit from the Environment Department to operate at the QFM.
To get a temporary food establishment permit ($25 a month). Call the New Mexico Environment Department in Taos at (575) 758-8808 or visit https://www.env.nm.gov/nav_permits.html for permit information. At least one person in that booth needs a food handlers card. You can take an ANSI certified course online to get this card.
Prepared non-shelf-stable food must be made in a certified commercial kitchen, or, if made on-site vendors need a permit to operate in this capacity. These prepared food vendors need to obtain a commissary agreement from a certified commercial kitchen. The San Cristobal Community Center and TCEDC in Taos have commercial kitchens certified by the state.
Market Manager call or text: 575-224-2102, or message.
Stronger Local Communities
Local commercial kitchens makes it possible for the QFM to be a regulated market, which means we can participate in state and federal food benefit programs and accept SNAP/EBT, Double-Up-Food-Bucks, WIC and Senior Nutrition Checks.
Our market’s goal is to support local production and particularly small scale agricultural projects. We must maintain a 50% or higher proportion of “food staples” for sale to be a farmers market. Vegetables, fruits, meats, foul or farm products fit into the essential category, as do other basic take-home food items, like bread, tortillas, flour, pies, beans, chicos, and herbs.
Buying and selling, trading and bartering on the local level is a tried and true way to support community and make the place where we live more vibrant. QFM asks vendors to use local ingredients as much as possible. Prepared food products should incorporate at least one local ingredient (for example: local flour, fruit, vegetable, honey, eggs). Craft and non-food products may also emphasize or include local elements.