If you’re a fellow Iowan, you know that the summer months are good for only one thing: sweet corn. You may have noticed that while driving around Iowa, or pretty much anywhere in Midwest, local farmers have created roadside stands to sell their produce. This is a great business move because let’s be honest, if there’s one product that will appeal to all walks of life, it’s food.


These stands sell all kinds of homegrown produce like sweet corn, tomatoes, watermelon, herbs, and so much more. The producer gets to meet the consumer face to face and, while the producer gets to have full control over their rates and prices, the consumer is met with inarguably better prices than those at a grocery store; everybody wins!

What Goes Into This?

There are so many things these hardworking Americans have to think about while legally selling these items.


You aren’t going to find a corn field in urban Waterloo, and most people don’t want to drive out of their way to visit stands which is why finding a good location is key. Many vendors partner with businesses to use their parking lots, that way they both draw in business for each other. Easy access is a must!


Most produce stands are so charismatic because of their simplicity of them! From selling corn out of the back of a pickup truck to hand-painting signs to promote business, customers are drawn in by the endearing characteristics that radiate the concept of family.


There are some stands that only sell sweet corn while others have a whole plethora of products and both are equally effective as long as the product is high quality. Locally grown crops from family farms give off a much stronger Iowan charm than chemically altered vegetables from a grocery store. So, as long as the products are good and grown within their correct season, they pretty much sell themselves! Farmers' markets also have some pretty amazing grown stuff.


Finally, vendors should be careful before setting up shop to ensure that they are following all city laws related to selling produce. It varies from state to state so it’s important to recognize and follow zoning and licensing regulations and requirements. Though there are some pretty basic guidelines as well.

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How Legal Is It?

Apparently, it's pretty legal. If that wasn't obvious by how many people do it, according to Iowa Valley CD there are a few things to keep in mind.

Whole and uncut fresh fruit and vegetables may be sold at a farmers market to consumers without the vendor being licensed as a food establishment at the market. Once cut, fruits and vegetables may be considered "potentially hazardous foods." For example: Melons, once cut, have to be held below 41°F.


Farming is a lot of work in itself, but adding long hours of transporting and selling the produce increases the effort needed by a lot. That being said, make sure you support these local farms, stop by a stand if you see one, and pick up some sweet corn for you and the family!

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