Find a local pick your own farm here!

Looking for How Can I Sell My Home-Canned Foods, Like Jams, Salsa, Sauces, Fruits and Vegetables in 2017?  Scroll down this page and  follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above.

If you have questions or feedback, please let me know!  

Notes for August 2017: Blueberries and peaches are going still in northern and cooler areas, but are mostly finished in the Deep South. Blackberries, figs,  and raspberries are in season now. Tomatoes are going strong, although the crop is way diminished in rainy areas like the southeast.  Strawberries are finished, except in the far north, and if the farm planted Day Neutral varieties. Early apples, like Gala, are about to start!

Children's Consignment Sales occur in both the Spring and Fall  See our companion website to find a local community or church kid's consignment sale!

Next year, don't miss an Easter Egg Hunt for your children: See our companion website to find a local Easter Egg hunt!

We also have home canning, preserving, drying and freezing directions. You can access recipes and other resources from the drop down menus at the top of the page or the site search. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to write me! It is easy to make your own ice cream, even gelato, or low fat or low sugar ice cream - see this page. Also note, there are many copycat website listing U-pick farms now.  They have all copied their information form here and usually do not ever update.  Since 2002, I've been updating the information every day but Christmas; so if you see anything wrong, please write me!

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How Can I Sell My Home-Canned Foods, Like Jams, Salsa, Sauces, Fruits and Vegetables

Starting a Food Business - How to Start Selling Home-Canned Salsa, Jams and Other Food Products

Do you make a salsa, jam, jelly, sauce, chili, cookie, cake or other food that freinds and family rave about and say, "You shpould sell that!"? Are you are thinking about starting a food business, there are many regulatory requirements that you will need to satsify; some general and some are specific to a particular food product, such as dairy, low-acid canned food, seafood, or juice. This page will walk you through the basic requirements and resources available.

Food Regulations:

  • Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) requirements,
  • Other federal rules
  • State, and local requirements.

 You may want to start by discussing your specific product and facility with the FDA District Office and the state and local regulatory agencies that have jurisdiction.

Where to start

The production and sales of processed foods is governed by state and federal regulations. Each state is different, so proper advice is needed from a specialist in each state. Some states allow sales at farmer's markets of select foods; others prohibit sales altogether. Most states now have cottage food laws now that don't require a licensed kitchen. In those states, you can sell at a farmers market or roadside stand jams and jellies as well as baked goods that don't require refrigeration. Typically, in those states, you just need to label them with the weight or volume, our name, our address, the words "this item is home produced" and all the ingredients in order by weight. Usually, you can not do anything 'acidified' (like pickles), anything pressure canned, or anything needing refrigeration. For this we don't need a licensed kitchen or any inspections. "

Cottage food laws are applicable to very small startup food businesses that sell certain types of food products.

States with Cottage Food Laws

The vast majority of us now live in states that either have cottage food laws or exemptions.  So, unless you live in KS, ND, MT or RI, click on the link below:

See this page for specific information for your state -   (EXCEPT for Kansas, North Dakota, Montana and Rhode Island)

States without Cottage food laws or exemptions:

Click here if you live in Kansas, North Dakota, Montana and Rhode Island

What if my idea is bigger than a "cottage" business or that isn't applicable?

Don't give up.  Perhaps what you want to do does not fallunder the cottage food laws.  In that case, you're starting  aregularfood business.  These pages will help you understand how to do that:

  1. CoPackers: Want to Sell Your Salsa, Preserves, Jams, Etc.? Learn About Using A CoPacker to Prepare It!
  2. Food testing Labs: Selling your Preserves? See This List of Labs that Can Test Your Homemade, Home-Canned Foods

Registering food Products with the FDA

Insurance

Starting and running a food business can be a high-risk endeavor. Liability insurance protects against financial losses due to allegations of bodily injury or property damage to others

  • from your product or activities,
  • claims that your product caused injury

 Typical policies provide $1 million in coverage. usually, $1 million in coverage is required to rent commercial kitchens or work in kitchen incubators. 

You may also want to purchase other types of insurance, like:

  • property insurance,
  • workers compensation,
  • commercial auto insurance,
  • businessinterruption insurance,
  • disability income protection,

Making Health, Nutrition and Other Claims

Claims like "Organic", "low-fat", "sugar-free", "a good source of", etc., are regulated by the government. There are federal regulations that limit the kinds of claims you make and how they may be used. You will certainly need to check with a lawyer who specializes in the food industry, and a food lab to test the claims.

The FDA's page about allowable claims and requirements is here.

You will be required to also provide a nutrition facts label. Allowable Nutrient Claims were established by the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act. : A Food Labeling Guide is available here.

 Related stories and articles

Books

Sell Your Specialty Food: Market, Distribute, and Profit from Your Kitchen Creation (Paperback)
by Stephen Hall

In Sell Your Specialty Food, Stephen Hall outlines every food marketing opportunity and then supports entrepreneurial action with detailed guidance. Whether you own a business or you are thinking about starting one, Hall will show you how to:

  • Identify a winning product and its most appropriate markets.
  • Get your product ready to market.
  • Advertise, promote, and sell your product.
  • Create your own success niche. Professionalize your business.
  • Also included is updated information about the role of the Internet, health and organic food markets, the latest government regulations and technological advances, and contact information for dozens of valuable resources.

How to Start a Home-Based Catering Business, 5th (Home-Based Business Series) (Paperback)
by Denise Vivaldo

Description
From pricing your services to honing your food presentation skills, this comprehensive guide provides a wealth of information about building a home-based catering business.
From the Back Cover
Are you passionate about parties? Do you live to cook? Now you can realize your dream of working from home at something you enjoy - a home-based catering business. Author Denise Vivaldo shares her experiences and advice on every aspect of setting up and running a thriving home-based catering business, from estimating your start-up costs and finding clients to outfitting your kitchen and staying profitable. She even offers tips on the latest high-tech help, including CD-ROM recipe books, culinary Web sites, and computer software designed especially for chefs and caterers. Learn all about defining your market niche, selling yourself as a pro, establishing your daily schedule, pricing your services, organizing parties with ease, honing your food presentation skills, avoiding the 10 most common home-based mistakes and much more.

 

Homemade for Sale: How to Set Up and Market a Food Business from Your Home Kitchen Paperback

March 24, 2015
by Lisa Kivirist (Author), John D. Ivanko (Author)

Homemade for Sale is the a guide to conceiving and launching your own home-based food start-up. Packed with profiles of successful cottage food entrepreneurs, this book covers everything you need to get cooking for your customers, creating items that by their very nature are specialized and unique.

Other food business links

Federal Resources for Small Businesses


Credit is due to NC State Extension, VPI (Virgina Tech), Brian A. Nummer, Ph.D. and Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph. D., both of the National Center for Home Food Preservation for most of this information! 


If you have any information to update this synopsis, please write me!


Cooperative Extension Program Links and State Food Regulations

State Resources
Alabama Starting A Food Processing Business? What You Should Know Before You Get Started
(HE-753, New May 1998, Alabama Cooperative Extension System)
http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/H/HE-0753/

(PDF version of above)
http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/H/HE-0753/HE-0753.pdf

 
Alaska State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, Alaska:
http://www.idea.iastate.edu/foodsafety/state_contacts.asp?state_id=2

 
Arizona Direct Farm Marketing and Tourism Handbook
University of Arizona, Agricultural and Resource Economics:
http://ag.arizona.edu/arec/pubs/dmkt/dmkt.html

 
California University of California-Davis, UC Food Safety Website
From Kitchen to Market Manufacturing Options
Getting Started in the Food Business
www.ucfoodsafety.ucdavis.edu

 
Colorado State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, Colorado:
http://www.idea.iastate.edu/foodsafety/state_contacts.asp?state_id=7

 
Connecticut Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship
(A Partnership of Cornell University and University of Vermont):
http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/necfe/index.html

 
Delaware State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, Delaware:
http://www.idea.iastate.edu/foodsafety/state_contacts.asp?state_id=9

 
Florida University of Florida Center for Agribusiness:
http://www.agbuscenter.ifas.ufl.edu

 
Georgia Getting Started in the Food Specialty Business,
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service Bulletin 1051:
http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/business/food_business.pdf

Is Your Agribusiness Project Feasible?,
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service Bulletin 1066: (pdf only)
http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubs/pdf/B1066.pdf

Starting a New Food Business Website, with helpful links to regulations and University of Georgia Food Science and Technology resources available to help:
http://www.efsonline.uga.edu/EFS_NFB/index.htm

Don't miss this!

Starting A New Food Business in Georgia
The link to more info is https://estore.uga.edu/C21653_ustores/web/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCTID=1092

Tuesday (1-5 pm) and Wednesday (8-5)
October 9-10, 2012
Extension Food Science Teaching Facility
242 Food Science Bldg., 100 Cedar Street
University of Georgia Campus
Athens, Georgia 30602

 
Hawaii Some Costs and Considerations for Establishing an Entrepreneurial Community Shared-Use Kitchen or "Test-Kitchen" Incubator,
University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service Publication FMT-2:
http://www2.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/FMT-2.pdf

 
Idaho University of Idaho, Food Science & Toxicology Web Site
Food Processing Extension Programs:
http://www.ag.uidaho.edu/fst/food_processing_extension_programs.htm

 
Illinois University of Illinois, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics Website
Illinois Specialty Farm Products:
http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/value/

 
Indiana Purdue University, Department of Food Science,
Value-Added Processing Assistance Website:
http://www.foodsci.purdue.edu/outreach/feep

 
Iowa Iowa State University Extension,
Website - Kitchen Incubators & Other Food-Related Small Business:
http://www.extension.iastate.edu/incubator/

Selling Food Products,
North Central Regional Extension Publication No. 259:
http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/NCR259.pdf

Iowa Laws: Sale of Home-Prepared Foods,
Iowa State University Extension Publication PM 1294:
http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM1294.pdf

 
Kansas Kansas State University, Department of Animal Sciences and Industry Website:
Value Added Services and Programs:
http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/meatscience/ValueAdded.htm

Kansas Department of Commerce, Agriculture Marketing Development
http://kdoch.state.ks.us/public/agency/divisions/div_details.jsp?divId=997990295060

 
Kentucky Home-Based Business: Making & Selling Food Products in Kentucky,
University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service Publication H.E. 9-100:
http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/FCS9/FCS9100/FCS9100.pdf

 
Louisiana Louisiana State University, Food Science Department:
http://www.agctr.lsu.edu/foodscience/

 
Massachusettes Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship
(A Partnership of Cornell University and University of Vermont):
http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/necfe/index.html

 
Maine Starting a Home Business in Tough Times,
University of Maine Cooperative Extension Bulletin #4154:
http://www.umext.maine.edu/onlinepubs/htmpubs/4154.htm

 
Maryland State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, Maryland:
http://www.idea.iastate.edu/foodsafety/state_contacts.asp?state_id=22

 
Michigan Food Regulations For Small Home Business,
Michigan State University Extension Publication Small Business Bulletin E317921:
http://www.msue.msu.edu/msue/imp/modsb/e2317921.html

 
Minnesota Starting a Food Business in Minnesota
Minnesota Department of Agriculture Publication:
http://www.mda. state.mn.us/dairyfood/startingfoodbiz.pdf

University of Minnesota, Department of Food Science and Nutrition Website - Pilot Plant:
http://fscn.che.umn.edu/services/pilot_plant.html

 
Mississippi Exploring the Potential for New Food Products,
Mississippi State University Food and Fiber Center,
Extension Service Publication 2170:
http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p2170.pdf

Considerations Before Starting a Small Food-Processing Business,
Mississippi State University Extension Service Information Sheet 1554
http://msucares.com/pubs/infosheets/is1554.htm  

 
Missouri State of Missouri - Frequently asked questions

University of Missouri, Outreach and Extension Website -
Missouri Value Added Development Center:
http://valueadded.missouri.edu/index.htm

Getting from Idea to Implementation,
Missouri Department of Agriculture AG Innovation Guide:
http://www.aginnovationcenter.org/IdeatoImplementation.pdf


Montana Starting A Specialty Food Business,
Montana State University Extension Service Resource Guide:
http://www.montana.edu/extensionnutrition/docs/FoodBusinessResourceGuide.pdf

Montana State University, Extension Service Web Site (online training series) -
Growing A Small Business and Staying on Top:
http://www.montana.edu/%7Ewwwcommd/newbusiness.htm

 
Nebraska University of Nebraska, The Food Processing Center Web Site - 
http://www.fpc.unl.edu

University of Nebraska, The Food Processing Center Web Site -
Food Entrepreneur Assistance Program:
http://fpc.unl.edu/marketing/ent.htm

 
Nevada State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, Nevada:
http://www.idea.iastate.edu/foodsafety/state_contacts.asp?state_id=31  

 
New Hampshire New Hampshire Specialty Food Producers Handbook and Resource Guide,
University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Publication:
http://ceinfo.unh.edu/Family/Documents/Sf_intro.pdf

Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship
(A Partnership of Cornell University and the University of Vermont):
http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/necfe/index.html 

 
New Jersey Rutgers State University, NJ Agricultural Experiment Station Web Site -
Food Innovation Research & Extension Center (FIRE):
http://www.foodinnovation.rutgers.edu 

 
New Mexico State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, New Mexico:
http://www.idea.iastate.edu/foodsafety/state_contacts.asp?state_id=34

In the Specialty Food Business, Getting Started Is No Piece of Cake,
New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service News Release:
http://www.cahe.nmsu.edu/news/1996/081996_testkitchen.html

 
New York Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship (at Cornell University)
http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/necfe/index.html   

New York State Food Venture Center Publications (at Cornell University):
http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/necfe/pubs/pubs.html
 
North Carolina North Carolina State University, Cooperative Extension Web Site -
Developing a Food Business:
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/foodsci/ext/programs/ncfood/faq.html

North Carolina State University, Cooperative Extension Web Site -
Publications for Developing a Food Business:
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/foodsci/ext/programs/ncfood/pubs.html 

 
North Dakota Food Entrepreneur, your Resource Guide to the Food Industry,
North Dakota State University Extension Service Online publication:
http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/cdfs/foodent/fex-2.html

Developing a New Co-Owned Agricultural Business: How do we Start a Value-Added Firm?,
North Dakota State University Extension Service Publication EC-1137:
http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extpubs/agecon/market/ec1137w.htm  

 
Ohio Ohio State University, Food Science and Technology Web Site -
Gould Food Industries Center:
http://www.fst.osu.edu/fic/foodpp.htm

Ohio State University, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Web Site -
Small Business Series (Entrepreneurhsip, Home Business & Micro Enterprises):
http://ohioline.osu.edu/lines/busi.html#BCDEV 

 
Oklahoma Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Food and Agricultural Products Research and Technology Center Website:
http://www.fapc.okstate.edu/ 

 
Oregon Oregon State university and Oregon Department of Agriculture Web Site -
Food Innovation Center:
http://fic.oregonstate.edu

Oregond State University, Extension Service News Release (and contact for Food Marketing Specialist) -
OSU to Offer "Food School":
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/news/story.php?S_No=47&storyType=news 

 
Pennsylvania Penn State University, Deparment of Food Science Web Site -
Resources for Small Food Processors & Potential Entrepreneurs
http://foodsafety.cas.psu.edu/processor/ent_res_text2.htm 

 
Rhode Island Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneursheip
(A Partnership of Cornell University and University of Vermont):
http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/necfe/index.html 

 
South Carolina Starting a Food Business: An Overview,
Clemson Extension Home & Garden Information Center Publication HGIC 3867:
http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC3867.htm  

 
South Dakota South Dakota Department of Agriculture, Division of Ag Development Web Site -
The Value Added And Crop Marketing Program:
http://www.state.sd.us/doa/ag_dev/marketing/crop.htm

State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, South Dakota:
http://www.idea.iastate.edu/foodsafety/state_contacts.asp?state_id=46

 
Tennessee Getting Started in a Food Manufacturing Business in Tennessee,
University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service Publication PB1399:
http://utextension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/pb1399.pdf

Starting Your Own Wine Business
,
University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service Publication PB1688:
http://utextension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/PB1688.pdf


Considerations for a Value-Added Agribusiness,
University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service Publication PB1642:
http://utextension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/pb1642.pdf

Design and Construction of Food Processing Operations,
University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service Publication ADC Info #18:
http://cpa.utk.edu/pdffiles/adc18.pdf

Texas Texas A&M University, Texas Cooperative Extension Web Site -
Home-Based & Micro Business, Entrepreneurship:
http://fcs.tamu.edu/money/your_business/index.php

Adding Value to Agricultural Products,
Texas A&M University Agricultural Extension Service Publication L-5361:
http://tcebookstore.org/pubinfo.cfm?pubid=1302

Evaluating Your Value-Added Business Plan,
Texas A&M University Agricultural Extension Service Publication L-5438:
http://tcebookstore.org/pubinfo.cfm?pubid=1708
 

 
Utah
State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, Utah:
http://www.idea.iastate.edu/foodsafety/state_contacts.asp?state_id=49  

 
Vermont Northeast center for Food Entrepreneurship
(A Partnership of Cornell University and University of Vermont):
http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/necfe/index.html  

 
Virginia Starting a Food Processing Business in Virginia,
Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension Publication 348-963:
http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/foods/348-963/348-963.html  

 
Washington Producing Value-Added Products for Market: Start with Food Safety,
Washington State University Cooperative Extension Publication EB-1902:
http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/eb1902/EB1902.pdf

Value-Added Enterprises for Small-Scale Farmers,
Washington State University Cooperative Extension, King County,
Agriculture and Natural Resources Fact Sheet #518:
http://www.metrokc.gov/dchs/csd/wsu-ce/agriculture/PDFs/ValueAdded.pdf

Washington State University, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition Web Site -
Food Processing Pilot Plant:
http://pilotplant.bsyse.wsu.edu

 
West Virginia State food safety contacts for Cooperative Extension Service, West Virginia:
http://www.idea.iastate.edu/foodsafety/state_contacts.asp?state_id=54  

 
Wisconsin University of Wisconsin, Cooperative Extension Web Site -
Starting a Value-Added Farm-Food Business:
http://www.uwex.edu/ces/agmarkets/starting.html  

 
Wyoming Wyoming Business Council Division of Agriculture.
If your business is agriculture-related, the Wyoming Business Council Division of Agriculture may be able to offer you assistance with marketing, market research and training. Call Bill Bunce at (307) 777-6581.
http://uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/SBDC/starting/opportunities.htm

Wyoming Business Council Web Site -
Promoting Products "Made in Wyoming":
http://www.wyomingbusiness.org/ag/ag_wyfirst.aspx

University of Wyoming, Small Business Development Center Web Site:
http://uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/SBDC/
 

Credit is due to Brian A. Nummer, Ph.D. and Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph. D., both of the National Center for Home Food Preservation for most of this information!

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