Tag Archives: Farmers Market

Cottage Food Law: The Nuts and Bolts

Inchworm Bakery started just a few days after the Cottage Food Bill was signed into law. Since then, I, fellow farmers market vendors, and others interested to starting a cottage food business have wondered what exactly are the rules. Below are the rules, and answers to most questions.

I learned for example that I could not make veggies samosas that I was planning to feature at the market this week. Nor could I put some parmesan cheese on my foccaccia bread. While there are some limits to what can be produced in a non-inspected kitchen, and the ways we can markets our goods, the Cottage Food Law does offer a good variety of possibilities.

Inchworm Bakery makes pies, cookies, and foccaccia bread. I noticed that the law allows nuts and coated nuts, and we might play around with them too.

Below is the text from a document from Michigan Dept of Ag. The two links are to the specific PDF documents.

Good Luck to fellow Cottage Food Operator. Please tell me about your business. I will be happy to post a profile on this blog.

http://michigan.gov/documents/mda/MDA-CFFAQ-MASTER_327558_7.pdf

http://michigan.gov/documents/mda/MDA_CFLblngGuide-MASTER_327559_7.pdf

Michigan Department of Agriculture
Frequently Asked Questions
Cottage Foods

The Cottage Food Law, enacted in 2010, allows individuals to manufacture and store certain types of foods in an unlicensed home kitchen.

What are Cottage Foods?

Specific types of foods that you manufacture in the kitchen of your single family domestic residence.

What does a single family domestic residence include?

This is the place where you live, whether you own the home or are renting. So an apartment, condominium or a rental home all could be a single family domestic residence. It does not include group or communal residential settings, such as group homes, sororities or fraternities.

What types of Cottage Foods can I produce in my home?

Non-potentially hazardous foods that do not require time and/or temperature control for safety.

Examples include:

Breads
Similar baked goods
Vinegar and flavored vinegars
Cakes, including celebration cakes (birthday, anniversary, wedding) a label with notification and ingredients will need to accompany the cake to the purchasers
Fruit pies, including pie crusts made with butter, lard or shortening
Cookies
Dry herbs and herb mixtures
Jams and jellies in glass jars that can be stored at room temperature
Popcorn
Cotton Candy
Non-potentially hazardous dry bulk mixes sold wholesale can be repackaged into a Cottage Food product. Similar items already packaged and labeled for retail sale can not be repackaged and/or relabeled
Chocolate covered: pretzels, marshmallows, graham crackers, rice krispy treats, strawberries, pineapple or bananas
Coated or uncoated nuts
Dried pasta made with eggs

What types of Cottage Foods are NOT ALLOWED to be produced in my home? Potentially hazardous foods that require time and/or temperature control for safety.

Examples include:

Meat and meat products like fresh and dried meats (jerky)
Fish and fish products like smoked fish
Raw seed sprouts
Canned fruits or vegetables like salsa or canned peaches including canned fruit or vegetable butters like pumpkin or apple butter
Canned pickled products like corn relish, pickles or sauerkraut
Pies that require refrigeration to assure safety like banana cream, pumpkin, lemon meringue or custard pies
Milk and dairy products like cheese or yogurt
Cut melons
Garlic in oil mixtures
Beverages
Ice and ice products
Cut tomatoes or cut leafy greens
Foccaccia style breads with fresh vegetables and/or cheeses
Food products made from fresh cut tomatoes, cut melons or cut leafy greens
Food products made with cooked vegetable products that are not canned
Barbeque Sauce, Ketchup, Mustard

Are pet treats included under the Cottage Food Law?

No- the Cottage Food Law applies to human grade food only. For more information about pet treat licensing, please visit http://www.michigan.gov/mda-feed.

How do I sell my Cottage Foods?

You may sell your Cottage Foods directly to the consumer at farmers’ markets, farm stands, roadside stands and similar venues. The key is you are selling it directly to the consumer. You cannot sell your Cottage Foods to a retailer for them to resell or to a restaurant for use or sale in the restaurant. You cannot sell your Cottage Foods over the internet, by mail order, or to wholesalers, brokers or other food distributors who will resell the Cottage Foods.

Why can’t I sell my Cottage Foods to my favorite restaurant or grocery store?

The Michigan Food Law Cottage Food amendments do not allow this. Because the kitchen is unlicensed and not inspected, the safe food handling practices are not evaluated by any food safety official. Since the safe food handling practices are not being evaluated, the food is not considered an approved source for use in a restaurant or grocery store. Also, it is not possible for the final consumer to discuss your food safety practices with you, as you would not be selling or serving the product to the consumer.

Do I have to put a label on my Cottage Foods?

Yes, you are required to label your Cottage Foods. Here is an example of a label that should help you develop your own labels.

MADE IN A HOME KITCHEN NOT INSPECTED BY THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Chocolate Chip Cookie
Artie Pinkster
123 Foodstuff Lane
Casserole City, MI 82682

Ingredients: Enriched flour (Wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine, mononitrate, riboflavin and folic acid), butter (milk, salt), chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, butterfat (milk), Soy lecithin as an emulsifier), walnuts, sugar, eggs, salt, artificial vanilla extract, baking soda

Contains: wheat, eggs, milk, soy, walnuts

Net Wt. 3 oz

The basic information that must be on the label is as follows:

Name and address of the Cottage Food operation.
Name of the Cottage Food product.
The ingredients of the Cottage Food product, in descending order of predominance by weight. If you use a prepared item in your recipe, you must list the sub ingredients as well. For example: soy sauce is not acceptable, soy sauce (wheat, soybeans, salt) would be acceptable, please see the label above for further examples.
The net weight or net volume of the Cottage Food product.
Allergen labeling as specified in federal labeling requirements.

The following statement: “Made in a home kitchen that has not been inspected by the Michigan Department of Agriculture” in at least the equivalent of 11-point font and in a color that provides a clear contrast to the background.

What does allergen labeling as specified in federal labeling requirements mean?

It means you must identify if any of your ingredients are made from one of the following food groups: milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, soybeans, fish (including shellfish, crab, lobster or shrimp) and tree nuts (such as almonds, pecans or walnuts). So if you have an ingredient made with a wheat based product, you have two options:
1.
Include the allergen in the ingredient list. For example, a white bread with the following ingredient listing: whole wheat flour, water, salt and yeast. In this example the statement Whole Wheat Flour, meets the requirements of federal law.
2.
Include an allergen statement (“Contains:”) after the ingredient list. For example a white bread, with the following ingredients: whole wheat flour, water, sodium caseinate, salt and yeast. Contains wheat and milk.

The “Contains” statement must reflect all the allergens found in the product. In this example, the sodium caseinate comes from milk.
Are there any special requirements for tree nuts labeling for allergens? Yes, if your Cottage Food has tree nuts as an ingredient you must identify which tree nut you are using.

For example, if you made the following product:

Nut Bread, an acceptable ingredient list would be: wheat flour, water, almonds, salt, yeast. The following would not be acceptable: flour, water, nuts, salt, yeast.

Are there any other limits I need to know about Cottage Foods?

Yes, you are limited in the amount of money you can make selling Cottage Foods – which is $15,000 gross sales annually per household.

Can I make the Cottage Food products in an outbuilding on my property, like a shed or a barn?

No, the law requires the Cottage Food products be made in your kitchen and stored in your single family domestic residence. Approved storage areas include the basement and attached garage of the home where the food is made.

Will I need to meet my local zoning or other laws?

Yes, the Cottage Food exemption only exempts you from the requirements of licensing and routine inspection by the Michigan Department of Agriculture.

What oversight does the Michigan Department of Agriculture have over my Cottage Food operation?

Cottage Food operations are considered to be food establishments, but will not have to meet most requirements outlined in the Michigan Food Law. In all cases, food offered to the public in Michigan must be safe and unadulterated, regardless of where it is produced. As a Cottage Food Operator, it is your responsibility to assure the food you make is safe. In the event a complaint is filed or a foodborne illness is linked to your food, the Michigan Department of Agriculture will investigate your operations as part of our responsibility under the Michigan Food Law. As part of that investigation, it may be necessary for the Michigan Department of Agriculture to enter and inspect your Cottage Food production and storage areas, view and copy records, and take photos during the course of a complaint investigation. The Michigan Department of Agriculture also has the right to seize product suspected of being adulterated, order corrections of label violations, or require you to discontinue making unapproved products.

Where can I get a copy of the Michigan Food Law?

The sections of the Food Law where you can find the definitions, exemptions and requirements for Cottage

Food is:
Section Title
Short description
Section Number
Definitions
Definitions of terms
289.1105 (H,I, and K (i)(ii))
Licensing
Exemptions
289.4102

Are there any additional requirements regarding my home on-site well or sewage system?

No, although annually testing your well for coliforms and nitrates is recommended. Contact your local health department for sampling containers and directions.

Does my equipment, stove and/or refrigerator need to be NSF (a food equipment evaluation group) approved?

As a Cottage Food operator, you would not be required to meet NSF standards for your equipment used to manufacture the Cottage Food product.

Can I bake bread in a wood fired oven?

Yes, as long as that oven is in your home kitchen.

Do I need to have a DBA for the Cottage Food law?

A DBA (Doing Business As) may be a requirement of your county or local municipality; you should contact your county offices to determine if a DBA is appropriate for you.

When are Cottage Food products subject to sales tax?

The Cottage Food amendments are to the Michigan Food Law. The amendments do require that the Cottage Food Operators meet all other provisions of law regarding businesses, including tax law. MDA recommends that you contact the Michigan Department of Treasury for further information on what food products are considered taxable. Their website is available through this link, Contact Treasury.

In general, sales tax is not charged on prepackaged foods that are not for immediate consumption.

If you have additional questions, please contact MDA-Info@michigan.gov; please include your zip code in your request.

Apple Heritage Museum: Amadeaus Scott

Ann Arbor Food

The Apple Heritage Museum is a traveling collection of the history of the apple and its uses in Washtenaw County. Exhibits include apple coring, peeling, and cider making equipment, maps and inventory of local apple trees, and a recipe collection.

The museum is run by Amadeaus Scott and has exhibited at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.

At todays exhibit, Amadeaus had apple pie. In talking to her about the project, she hopes to eventual have a space for the museum. I for one would visit a museum that offered free apple pie samples to visitors. In fact what museum would not benefit from offering pie.

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

$3-5 Submissions

I will be posting links to submission for $3-5 local meals

Here is a submission from MK of Motherskitchen.blogspot.com

The recipe is for crock-pot collard with ham hocks , and cornbread

Local Grains and Beans: Detroit’s Eastern Market

Ann Arbor Food

I am back from a trip to Detroit’s Eastern Market. The place was huge, more like a regional distribution center than what I am familiar with at small farmers markets like Ann Arbor and even Portland Oregon. The mission was to stock up on grains and beans from Hampshire Farms. The haul was 26 pounds of assorted grains, seeds, beans and flour.

2# Popcorn
2# Rolled Oats
2# Pastry Flour
2# Bread Flour
2# Sunflower seed
4# Black Turtle Beans
2# Adzuki Beans
4# Green Lentils
2# Pinto Beans
2# Barley
2# Corn Meal

The cost was $40

They had rye grain/flour, whole wheat berry, buckwheat, spelt berry and green split peas (listed on the web site but not at the market)

My focus lately has been trying to create locally sourced meals on a budget of $3-5 dollars. Looking at all of these local ingredients, I see inexpensive meals with a lot of variety. The local beans, grains, seeds and flours sell for $1-2 per pound. I usually use one pound of grains and/or beans for a meal for four, which comes to $.25-.50 per serving.

One thing that stands out is the sunflower seeds because I see as potential for a sunflower oil industry in Michigan. The more people push toward locally sourced food the more I feel we will see a great variety of local food products available like wine, cheese, sauces, condiments, vegetable oils, and other regional specialties.

More $3-5 local meals on the way.

$2.50 Local Meal: Black Beans, Cornbread and Kale

Ann Arbor FoodHere is a cost breakdown of my local meal. I am still trying to find a local source for cooking oil, so I used olive oil. The meal came to $2.58 per serving, but cheaper local beans were available, so the meal could have cost $2.08.

Cornbread

8 servings

14 ounce corn meal $1 Ernst farm

2 cups buttermilk $2 Calder Dairy

1 cup of milk .40 Guernsey Dairy

1 1/2  sticks of butter $1.50 (local)

3 eggs $.75 Farmers Market (FM)

$ .70 per serving

Black Beans

6 servings

 

2 onions $.50 (FM_

1/2 kaboshia squash $1.50 (FM)

3 carrots $.50 (FM)

2 cloves of garlic .25 (FM)

2 pounds of black beans $6 (but have seen beans for 1.50 per pounds)

1/4 olive oil  .6 (not Local)

1/8 rice vinegar .5 (not Local)

Kosher salt and pepper

$1.55 per serving (with cheaper beans could have been $1.05)

Steamed Kale

6 servings

 

one bunch of kale, $2 Tantre Farm

pinch of brown sugar

pinch of salt

$.33 per serving

$2.58 Total per serving


Sauerkraut Making:Fermentation fun at home take two

Ann Arbor Food I was thinking sauerkraut again when I saw a purple cabbage at the Ann Ann Farmer’s Market. You might recall in the previous post, fermentation fun at home, how some ravenous red cabbage seeking fiend aced me out of my red cabbage last time. I was lucky this time and was able to score some of the red.

My fermentation luck continued as readers might also recall when I was having Breakfast at Selma, and I eyed some shiso in Jeff and Lisa’s front yard. Jeff hooked me up, and the rest is fermentation history.

I usually use a one gallon glass jug to weigh down my kraut, but I have since forked out the extra bucks for some nice ceramic crocks. I used my one gallon crock as a weight inside my two gallon crock where my last batch of kraut is being fermented.

Then I thought to myself, “Self! Why can’t I make another batch and put that one in the one gallon crock and use that for the weight for the two gallon?” Brilliant! I can ferment two batches of kraut in the same space at once. I have yet to test the limits of this stacking method. Can I use a five gallon crock, with a four gallon inside, with a three inside that, and a two inside that, followed by a one gallon crock, with this process continuing and ending with a pint size batch? I call this the Russian Doll Method of fermentation.

Here is a 1/2 gallon recipe. This recipe is a quick summary of the sauerkraut making process. Please refer to my previous post for a full description of the process before you make a batch.

Purple Cabbage, Turnip, garlic and Shiso Seed/leave Sauerkraut: Make 1/2 gallon

1 medium size purple cabbage (2-3 pounds)

2-3 medium sized turnips, washed, and grated

1 1/2 Tablespoons of kosher salt

3-4 cloves of garlic, left whole*

small bunch of Shiso (beefsteak) seeds pods and leafs**

*I put in whole garlic, but they can be smashed or minced for a stronger flavor. Ginger can be substituted or included in this recipe. I wanted to use ginger in fact, but I did not have any, so I used garlic, but you can add other ingredients at anytime.

**Go easy on Shiro seed because they have a powerful fragrance, and can over power the kraut, so that you think you are eating perfume. Shiso Leaf, and shiso powder can be found in some asian markets and use for good results. The fresh seed pods that I am using are not as easy to come by. Here is where being a home gardener comes in handy.

Shredding the cabbage

Ann Arbor Food

Grating the Turnip

Ann Arbor Food

Adding the Aromatics (Shiso seed pod, leaf and garlic): I use whole garlic cloves to reserve them and eat them whole when I feel a cold coming on as a home remedy in winter.

Ann Arbor Food

Shiso plant with seeds

Ann Arbor Food

All of the ingredients in the crock

Ann Arbor Food

Mashing up the Kraut

Ann Arbor Food

After mashing down the kraut, about half the volume

Ann Arbor Food

Putting a plate on top of the kraut, inside the one gallon crock. Put a filled one quart jar on top of the plate, then put the one gallon crock inside the two gallon crock, and top with a towel

Ann Arbor Food

Fermentation Resources: Wild Fermentation By Sandor Katz

Inchworm Microgreens: From The Home Grow Festival

Ann Arbor FoodFirst off I want to say thanks to everyone who stopped by the Inchworm Microgreens table. I did my best to tempt you with fresh cut pea shoot microgreens and micro cilantro. Marsella pictured here on the left from Project Grow was our first ever customer. She is shown here posing with a two ounce bag of pea shoots.

I also want to thank Jeff McCabe who invited me to present my microgreens at the Home Grown Festival.

This was the first time I sampled my microgreens to anyone other than my family. There were a few surprises. The first was that people did not know how to eat pea shoots.  They asked me if they ate them whole. “Yes. Just like sprouts,” I said. The pleasant surprise was that kids love pea shoots. Some were shy about trying them, but were pleasantly surprised how sweet the pea shoots were. I had a young child circle back with his mom to have her by a bag for himself. I took this as a great sign considering I had competition from plenty of great food venders, especially Sweet Gem Confections my favorite Chocolatier.  Nancy Biehn of Sweet Gem traded a bag of pea shoots for two truffles, a peach and a raspberry.

Ann Arbor Food

FYI, anyone interested in trading microgreens for hand made chocolate or other handcrafted, tasty items, I am game.

I stayed at the table must of the night, but I was able to walk the festival a little. I had a great slice of pizza from Silvios Organic Pizza. It had blueberries and blue cheese. There were other food venders like The Grange Kitchen and Bar.

There was live music and a wine and beer tent. I really enjoyed the set up and thought it would be great if the Saturday Farmer Market had live music, more prepped food venders and a tent set up with chairs and tables for eating.

My favorite picture of the night was the Peeps

Ann Arbor Food