Editor’s note: this is a dormant page available only for historical purposes. It was originally published on April 29, 2010. The video and some of the links are no longer active and have been removed.
April 29, 2010 Going to the Farmers Market is always an uplifting adventure. Not only do I get to meet and talk to the farmers who grew the food, I get to taste what has just been harvested. And, for those artisans who create delectable treats for my palate – crafted mustards, cheese, and breads come to immediate mind – I get to sample what is sure to become my new favorite.
But wait, the opportunity to do this doesn’t happen at every Farmers Market. In Austin, it has been against the law to share samples straight off produce or out of the jar. What was accepted was small pre-packaged items, fully covered either by wrap or lid, for individual tasting.
But that is about to change. I talked with Suzanne Santos, of Sustainable Food Center, and she informed me that the Austin City Council did vote in favor of the new ordinance (item 28)*, which would give vendors the right to pass out free samples. Each vendor, though, would need to display their mobile food vendor permit, and get their food handlers permit too. Santos pointed out the fact that each participating vendor at the Austin Farmers Market already has the prior permit, and the food handler’s permit is readily available through Austin’s Health and Human Services Department as a 2 hour online course.
The new ordinance is expected to go into effect 10 days after the Mayor signs it. So sounds like there will be some good eats (and buys!) going on at the Austin Farmers Market come Saturday, May 8th.