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Tag Archive | "farmers market"

Fresh Market—the Cottage Food Law


BLOOM-Fresh-market-Apple_pie-webBy Vicky Babcock

 

The scent of lavender and sun-kissed strawberries wafts upon the breeze; farm fresh eggs tempt the palate; an array of colors and textures delight the senses. Welcome to your local Farmers Market! Tickle your taste buds with samples of honey, fresh fruit and—wait—is that fresh bread I smell?

If you’ve come to Market lately, you may have noticed a trend—small start-up businesses offering a variety of breads, flavored oils, baked goods, jams and jellies and other delicacies. Prior to 2010, these goods were rarely seen at Markets. Start-up costs were counter-productive. State regulation required licenses, licensed industrial kitchens and inspections, drastically cutting into the bottom line of most hopefuls. A business began in the red—many stayed there until quietly packing up shop and eating the costs—until 2010. That’s when Michigan adopted the Cottage Food Laws. The relaxed regulations make it possible for farmers to expand their line of products and for others to test the waters without getting in over their heads. With a small grocery list of staples, a person can begin operations.

However, rules do apply. Sales must be documented. Individuals cannot earn more than $20,000 a year. This changes on December 31, 2017 to $25,000 per year. You need to maintain sales records and provide them to a Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) food inspector, upon request. MDARD has regulatory responsibility for the Cottage Food Law.

Products must be labeled with your name and physical address as well as an ingredient list with a note of possible allergens and the following statement, “Made in a home kitchen that has not been inspected by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development”—this last in 11 point font or larger (about 1/8” tall). Products must be produced in your own kitchen with no animals or pets in the room. You cannot cook for yourself and for sale product at the same time.  Hand-printed labels are acceptable if they are printed legibly in durable, permanent ink and equal or greater to the 11-point font size.

Foods that are allowed under the Cottage Food Laws include:

• Breads and similar baked goods

• Vinegars and flavored vinegars

• Cakes

• Sweet breads and muffins that contain fruits or vegetables

• Fruit pies (cooked)

• Jams and Jellies that have been processed to be stored at room temperature

• Dried herbs and herb mixes

• Dry baking mixes, dip mixes and soup mixes

• Dehydrated vegetables or fruits

• Popcorn and Cotton Candy

• Nuts (coated or uncoated)

• Dried egg noodles

• Roasted coffee beans or ground roast

• Vanilla extract or baked goods or that contain alcohol (be aware that these products require licensing by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.)

Foods that are not allowed include:

• Meat and meat products

• Fish and fish products

• Raw seed sprouts

• Canned fruits or vegetables like salsa or canned peaches

• Vegetable or Fruit butters

• Canned pickled products

• Pies or cakes that require refrigeration

• Milk and Dairy products

• Hummus

• Cut tomatoes or chopped/shredded leafy greens

• Foccaccia style breads

• Sauces and condiments, including barbeque sauce, hot sauce, ketchup or mustard

• Salad dressings

• Pet foods or treats

All products must be wrapped or otherwise sealed. For example, you cannot sell slices of pie unless they have been individually wrapped for sale. Cottage Foods must be sold by the person producing it to the person consuming it face to face. You can advertise over the internet but you must do the actual transfer of product in person either at a Farmers Market or something similar or from your home.

For a more complete list of allowed or disallowed products or additional information on the Cottage Food Laws please Google™ Michigan Cottage Food Laws or check out the web page at http://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-50772_45851-240577–,00.html

Here is a sample label for home product:  note that sub ingredients are required and any nuts must be identified such as, walnuts, almonds, etc. not simply nuts.

Ready to give it a try?  Try out our recipe below for a starter. See you at Market!

 

CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI  CAKE

1 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

2 tsps. Vanilla extract

3 cups  grated zucchini

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 tsps . baking soda

1tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. baking powder

½ cup chopped nuts

½ cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.  Combine oil, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and zucchini in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.  Add zucchini mixture to dry ingredients.  Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.  Pour into 2 greased 5 x 9-inch loaf pans.

Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack and remove from pans.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

 

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Cedar Springs to open Farmers, Crafts and Flea Market


In a spin-off from Solon’s popular market, Cedar Springs Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Farmers Market beginning Monday, June 9 from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. and running every Monday through October. Many of the vendors will be ones you might recognize from the Solon Market, but it is open to everyone on a first come, first setup basis. Although Solon Market’s committee is helping to get this market running, Vicky Babcock, Solon Market Manager, stressed that this is not Solon Market.

“We are doing what we can to get the new market up and running, but we have enough on our plates with one market to manage,” explained Babcock. “Ultimately it will be up to the vendors to see that this market continues.”

The market will set up on Ash Street north of the Cedar Pub. For information, contact Vicky at 696-4227.

 

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Solon Farmers/Flea market is back


For those of you looking for some good deals, the Solon Farmers, Crafts and Flea Market will run every Saturday beginning May 5 through harvest, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Some tables are available. No charge for vendors with the exception that first time flea market vendors will be charged a refundable $20.00 fee. This fee will be returned following clean-up. Solon Farmers Market is located at 15185 Algoma Ave., Cedar Springs. Call (616) 696-1718 for information.

 

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Farmer and flea market in Greenville


Would you like to get some great deals and have the profits go for a good cause at the same time? Now you can! The Jesus Non-Denominational Church and community impact center has started a farmer and flea market in the old Meijer store parking lot on 1220 N. Lafayette, Greenville. According to Pastor Tom Turner, the profit goes to feed 3,000 people monthly.

The market is open on Fridays and Saturdays, and shoppers can expect to find everything you would normally find—fresh fruits and vegetables, and everything from antiques to hand-crafted woodwork.  And a big plus for both shoppers and vendors is that it is open all day! “We have 1,000 cars that pass us every hour,” explained Turner, “so vendors stay set up all day. Other farmer and flea markets close at noon because the public leaves. But we have customers all day.”

Turner said they only ask for a $10 donation for three full car spaces from vendors—about a 30X18 space per day. He said that in the future they would like to build their market to around 300 vendors and use the profits to build their community impact center dream.

They are open for vendors starting at 6 a.m. and the public at 7 a.m. Call 616-225-9999 or visit www.jesusndc.com for more info.

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Fresh food and opportunity at your local farmers market


Solon Farm market offers fresh produce, a flea market and craft market each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

By Elisha Smith, Center for Rural Affairs

August 7th–13th is National Farmers Market Week. Farmers Markets are expanding to communities across the nation at an amazing rate. This year over 1,000 new farmers markets have been created nationally.

According to the USDA’s 2011 National Farmers Market Directory, 7,175 farmers markets operated throughout the United States this year, up from 6,132 last year, as more farmers are marketing their products directly to consumers.

Farmers Markets are good for rural communities. They bring farmers and consumers together to create a stronger local economy, provide consumers with fresh, nutritious, affordable local food, and create opportunities for family farmers and ranchers – especially beginners – to diversify their operations and sell what they produce.

Make sure you visit your local Farmers Market this week and return often. To find a farmers market near you check out the USDA National Farmers Market Directory (http://search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/)

If you don’t have a Farmers Market nearby, help create one in your community. Get started by giving our Farm Bill Helpline a call at 402.687.2100 (ask for the Farm Bill Helpline) for more information about available assistance, then check out the Farmers Market Promotion Program (http://www.ams.usda.gov/fmpp/).

Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) grants provide an excellent opportunity for market farmers, market gardeners and rural communities to recoup some of the costs of establishing a farmers market, promoting an existing market or other direct-to-consumer food marketing as well as satisfying the need for fresh, nutritious food in places where people hunger for that access the most.

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