Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Farmers Market Dreams

Yea, I had my first Farmer's Market dream last night.

Things are moving along on that front. I'm still waiting to get the market seller form/signup thing from the city chamber of commerce.
I'm still trying to figure out what's legal for me to do, and what's illegal for me to do. And by that I mean I'm trying to navigate the murky legalese surrounding "food processing." Iowa's Food Code if you're interested, is here.

I've found out that I could add some baking to my offerings quite easily under Iowa law. And it's looking like if my sales are under 20K, I don't have to have much in the way of licensing. I think I'm not allowed to cut my fruits/veggies though.  I can't seem to find that exact wording anywhere in the Iowa Code, but other states are very clear that while selling cabbages or carrots is fine, grating them to make a cole slaw base, is not allowed without a commercial kitchen.

Will I cut my veggies anyway? Take a copy of the code with me to the market to argue that I don't see that wording anywhere in it? What are the chances I will even see a food safety person up here in NW Iowa at the tiny little market I'll be at? Slim I think.  I know there are market vendors here that sell things that are outside of whole fruits/veg or baked goods. And I doubt that they have licenses for anything.  My brain is still working through all the variables, check back with me next month for my decision.

In spite of the chilly weather, I have a lot growing already, and I'm busy putting as much into the ground as I can, as quickly as I can. I've noticed that I'm a bit quicker than I used to be with some of the basic tasks involved with planting. Familiarity and what not. Hopefully that will help me manage the work load associated with my 1000+ square feet of garden space.  Again, check back with me in a month for an update. :-D

Baby number 2 is already finding his groove in the garden. Yesterday he was eating dirt and sticks and rolling around in the freshly tilled earth. He was so cute he stopped traffic when we were at our new corner garden. I literally had conversations with passing drivers about how I got my kids to like gardening. Hint: Start them young, preferably at birth. 

I have records about what is going where, and as soon as I get everything in, I'll do a bit of a roundup about what all I have planted and how I'm dividing things up. It's a lot! At least for me. :-D

Time to get back to it! Posting will likely be scarce until everything is planted. Just the way of things.

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