Resources & Recipes to Support Farmers to Diversify Income through Value-Added Bakery Product Sales

Final report for FNC21-1282

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2021: $16,859.00
Projected End Date: 07/31/2023
Grant Recipient: Inn Serendipity Farm and B&B
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Project Coordinator:
Lisa Kivirist
Inn Serendipity Farm and B&B
Expand All

Project Information

Description of operation:

The two farmer leads, Lisa Kivirist and Dela Ends, both run small organic vegetables farms with an added agritourism/Bed and Breakfast enterprise. Ends has been running Scotch Hill Farm for over 30 years and Kivirist has been running Inn Serendipity for over 20 year. Both have long histories of organic and sustainable practices and have been active in advancing cottage food legislation and running their own on-farm home bakery businesses.


July 2023 Final Report Update

Explanation of the problem addressed and the solution pursued

On behalf of our team, we are very grateful to NCR-SARE for this opportunity to dig into and learn about increasing opportunities for farmers to diversify into cottage food baked products.  Cottage food products can prove to be a profitable area for farm diversification, but not many resources and support exist currently.  We met our original project's goals to increase resources for farmers and beyond, as everything we created can also support the broader cottage food entrepreneurial community and increase awareness of utilizing local ingredients.

Key highlights include (all on the main website: :

  • Development of over 30 non-hazardous, recipes (lab tested at the University of Nebraska Food Processing Center) showcasing local ingredients as well as a pool of needed, tested frosting recipes.
  • Pilot rural pop-up cottage food market for increasing attendance and sale and creation of materials and information for others interested in doing this to collaboratively increase sales.
  • Three video interviews with experts on both the science of non-hazardous and importance of local grains.
  • Multiple outreach workshop presentations, including at the Home-Based Food Entrepreneur National Conference and a main project webinar, all showcasing project goals.

Project's research approach (if conducted), educational approach and farmer learning outcomes

Our research focused on the recipe development and how to best approach this process to enable more local produce be safety used in shelf-stable, cottage food baking. Our research involved working with food science experts such as Dr. Pratik Banerjee at the University of Illinois along with laboratory testing at the University of Nebraska Food Processing Center. 

Our recipe research also involved a great deal of experimentation and learning as we went.  Interesting to us in working with experts like Dr. Banerjee, we learned there isn't a "set path of science" in food chemistry. While we learned about clear things to stay away from like meat and larger chunks of fruit with high water content, much of this was a "test and see" on the recipes and for some we went through several testing rounds before determining if it met the non-hazardous criteria or not.

Our educational approach involved creating user-friendly, accessible materials for the website as well as several workshops and presentations. We found this approach a great fit as, not being food scientists or academics ourselves, we could synthesize and present the material in a basic and understandable format. 

Succinct statement of research conclusions

While we bottom line met our project deliverable goals, our efforts and experiences on this project also highlight the fact that the industrial food system is not built to support small-scale producers.  For example, we learned so much about the details of what a non-hazardous product is from a food science perspective; however, there often were situations where either our own skill set (i.e., we are not food scientists!) or the actual process of trying to get answers was way beyond the scope of the average baker. Our project is a start and hopefully sparks some larger scale, most likely university-led efforts to continue to simplify understanding of food safety as it relates to cottage food baking.


Farmer adoption actions that resulted from the education program. A beneficiary outcome story may be included optionally.

The resources and recipes we created in this project are "evergreen" -- and creating a public website with these items enables a longer educational lifecycle.  We've received strong support from attendees at the workshops and off the website, as well as farmers who participated in our pilot pop-up market, especially given the fact that we could support and encourage first-time vendors such as:

The Cottage Food Pop-Up Market was the first time I sold my homemade bakery items at a public event and found the resources and support from this project so very helpful. Being recognized as a first-time vendor and being in a collaborative community of other farmers already doing this boosted my confidence as well as provided me with expert advice and support.  That experience inspired me to take on other bakery sales opportunities and I'm finding the fact that I use items I grow in my products very appealing from a marketing perspective and give me a unique edge.

Danielle Matson, Hidden Garden Bakery (Monroe, WI)


January 2023 Update for Progress Report

This past year we have focused in detail on research and development of the recipe side of the project, as this proved to be the most challenging aspect of our deliverables as it was needing more food science expertise than we originally planned.  Fortunately, thanks to our relationships with the Artisan Grains Collaboration, they were able to connect us with Dr. Pratik Banerjee at the University of Illinois, who has become a vital mentor and ally in our research. 

Thanks to this new relationships with Dr. Banerjee, we collaboratively have been working on the possibility to have our recipes tested at his lab at the U of I.  This would be a great advantage on multiple levels as it would both enable us to utilize the grant budget allocated to lab testing in other more educational ways and cover the increasing cost of supplies as well as having the support of Dr. Banerjee and his team's scientific expertise in recipe development.  Navigating this terrain took longer than planned and we have asked for and gratefully received a project extension from NCR SARE now through 7/31/23.  We should have the answer on this U of I lab possibility by mid-February and will then move ahead with the recipe tests either way (working with U of I or back to "Plan A" with the private lab/Deibel).

We also added two more farmers to core team:  Two farmers, Heather Lynch of Green Haven Gardens and Ashley Wegmueller of Wegmueller Dairy.  Heather brings both an expert growing and baking background along with a science degree and former career in that area. Ashley served on our original grant team and brings that history and her expertise in design. Additionally, we also added two bakers to the core team:  Jobea Murray of Jobea Bakes and Shana Cook of Triple C Sweets. These additions really added to the collaborative idea generation, expertise and motivation of our team. 

This need for research and understanding non-hazardous products resulted in a focus on meeting and planning in 2023, which proved very helpful and necessary for us to fully understand and create our recipe deliverables.  Our core team met ten times virtually in 2022 and one day-long, in-person planning meeting.  Dr. Banerjee also attended five of these virtual meetings to answer a list of questions we prepared, which was very helpful and led us to the idea of including a Q&A segment on our project website.  Our two lead farmers, Dela Ends & Lisa Kivirist, separately met eight times in 2022 for planning. 


Original Grant

While the good news is most states now have a cottage food law allowing bakery products produced in home kitchens to be sold direct to consumer, the problem remains there are not enough resources targeting farmers to diversify their business mix through more tested non-hazardous recipes that use their farm-raised produce and  local grains in bakery products along with marketing tools to reach customers.

This project addresses these issues by supporting farmers to successfully add value-added bakery products through a variety of on-online tools including farmer-developed recipes that both use abundant produce and, importantly meet the non-hazardous water activity and are laboratory tested. This allows farmers to legally and safely bring items like pumpkin breads to market, which typical recipes do not meet the non-hazardous criteria. By using produce in baked goods, particularly blemished product that often goes unused, we keep more land in sustainable, ecologically sound production. 

This process requires the project leads to develop a deep understanding of the food science behind non-hazardous in order to both develop the recipes and communicate this information in accessible, easy-to-understand fact sheets that will be posted online. We are currently wrapping up this research phase and will be heading in to the recipe testing phase with a particular focus on using our farm's produce once the growing season rolls in.

We are also piloting innovative “pop up cottage food bakery markets” that enable farmers to collaboratively sell these baked goods directly to customers during the prime holiday season.  Such transactions enhance social responsibility and farmer quality of life by building healthy community connections as well as the economic viability of their business. Finding an ordering portal that is both accessible and cost-effective is proving to be more of a challenge than we initially realized and are in discussions with some ordering companies (Castiron) to see if we might be able to partner.

We are starting to plan the fall public launch and farmer outreach once the recipes and info sheets are created, with opportunity for educational outreach around these pop-up markets.


Project Objectives:

1. Expand Resource Toolkit

July 2023 Final Report Update

The topics in our toolkit are live on line, bringing to life what was outlined in the original grant proposal.  We added in an additional section on the pop-up market, including both our learning and materials for someone to set up and run one of these in their community (see below).

We added 33 recipes to the site.  This ended up being a little less than our original 40 estimate because, as we described above, the food science process is not always that clear or supportive of individual home bakers. For example, bread is considered by all states non-hazardous and is legal to sell; however, for various foods science reasons too complicated for the average person to understand or frankly need to understand, the water activity lab tests for bread come in over the .85 legal threshold -- even though they are perfectly safe.  Rather than confuse users and the fact that these lab tests technically were "unsafe" by a numeric perspective, we did not include new bread recipes in the portfolio. Additionally, we had over 12 recipes come back hazardous, some of which we were able to further tweak and make safe and are included in the mix, including a fabulous Rhubarb Oat Muffin developed by Dela Ends.

Team member Jobea Murray created a very helpful Trello Board to manage the recipes in this project and she trained the team on using this free, collaborative resource that helped us significantly keep the elements organized, accessible and current. 

We amplified the local grain resources by including two video interviews with both an organic grain farmer (Halee Wepking of Meadowlark Organics) and a cookbook author (Beth Dooley of The Perennial Kitchen and other books) providing engagement diversity on the website and bringing in direct grower connections.

Note an update from our last progress report:  After nearly six months of discussions, we were unfortunately unable to work with the University of Illinois food laboratory to do the recipe lab tests.  While amicable and the university wanted to work with us, it proved to be another example of a "square peg trying to fit in a round hole" -- or as in our case "a farmer baker trying to fit into academic complexity."  Specifically, U of I would have required many pages of detailed paperwork and documentation for every recipe submitted that would have taken hours for each submission, putting us in the same category as the General Mills of the world doing recipe development.  We didn't have the gear or time nor was there a need for that level of detail for our home baking needs. Fortunately, we were able to connect with the University of Nebraska Food Processing Center who had a set-up more friendly to cottage food bakers in which we just needed to send in one small sample for the test, which worked well for us and enabled us to achieve our goal.

We did still include a video interview with Dr. Banerjee on non-hazardous basics.  We so appreciate for all his contributions to this project and our learnings; he was an incredible mentor and resource.


January 2023 Update for Progress Report

We are making strong progress on our original deliverables, as well as expanding with additional resources based on our research and feedback.

Our project creates farmer-developed resources to increase sales by adding value-added baked goods through the following:

1. Expand Resource Toolkit
A) 40 new non-hazardous recipes using farm-produce
B) Local grain resources
C) Information sheets on understanding non-hazardous

Jan. 2023 update:

We are on track/in the middle of recipe development, having tested many recipes in 2022 when specific produce was in season and are awaiting next steps with the U of I lab potential relationship.  We are also including a series of frosting recipes as safe, tested frosting recipes are in high demand and can get confusing for bakers to navigate as there are no existing resources.

We are also clarifying and expanding the informational sheets on non-hazardous to include a Q&A with Dr. Pratik Banerjee, focusing on key basic questions a farmer-baker would have. This Q&A format gives us the needed food science expertise input and gives the U of I welcomed opportunity to connect with the farmer-baker audience directly, which has been a challenge for them.


2. Test new marketing outlets
A) Pilot “pop up bakery markets” around holiday season
B) Develop software for direct ordering capabilities via an accessible/free portal TBD


July 2023 Final Report Update

Building off the pilot October market described in our January update, we added in an additional section on the pop-up market, including both our learning and materials for someone to set up and run one of these in their community (see below).  Team member Ashley Wegmueller created a pool of great informational graphics and examples of booth signage that are part of the informational page and that we are happy to send the links to for anyone interested.

Jan. 2023 update:

After much research and pricing analysis, our original idea of utilizing software for direct ordering capabilities proved to be too complicated and expensive, as they have monthly fees that would need to be absorbed by farmer-vendors, which directly conflicts with our goal of having these markets be "pop up" and intermittent.  We found these types of software services are typically used by farmers market like entities with regular events and broader budgets. 

However, we decided to experiment in meeting our goal of testing new marketing outlets by partnering with an existing event, Creekside Fall Festival on 10/1/22, and created a "market within a market" to showcase cottage food producers.  We were pleased to have nine cottage food vendors at this inaugural event and created signage which each vendor had at their booth that included "badges" identifying if they were a farmer, used locally-sourced ingredients and we even had special signage identifying the two vendors who were selling at their first market ever.  This gave a special supportive shout-out which we found helpful as potential customers were keen on supporting first-timers.  We partnered with Soil Sisters (another SARE-supported project of women farmer networks) and the Wisconsin Cottage Food Association. Overall, things went well and the weather fortunately was fall perfect.  Overall traffic was lighter than expected and vendors ended up with extra product, which exemplifies the quandary with our pop up market concept:  We're somewhat dependent on the outreach/advertising efforts of the host organization -- yet at the same time creating our own event from the ground up would have been a challenge. We also organized a photo shoot of the market, which will provide great illustrative visuals for the website update.

We are tweaking the signage templates and will have those on the final updated website as a public resource -- those worked really well!


3. Share learnings & results
A) Create webinar (Midwest & national access)
B) Outreach via partner groups farmer team connected to: Midwest Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Education Services, Renewing the Countryside, Farmers Union, Artisan Grain Collaborative, etc


July 2023 Final Report Update

We successfully completed the two workshops described in the January report, including the public/free webinar that was held on 6/13/23 (the original May date didn't work with our team).  This session was edited and now posted on the site.

Here is our overview press release on the project which we sent to our various partner groups to further amplify outreach.

Jan. 2023 update:

Our team will be hosting a public/free webinar on Wed. May 10, 2023 from 12 pm - 1 pm with an overview of this project and the recipes we created.  We already have several organizations confirmed as partners and will be adding more:  Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Renewing the Countryside, Wisconsin Farmers Union and Artisan Grain Collaborative. We will be in touch with Marie Flanagan for outreach support via NCR SARE once our registration/materials are live into March. 

Additionally, Lisa Kivirist will be facilitating a workshop at the upcoming Home-based Food Entrepreneur Virtual National Conference (April 10-13, 2023) on this project.  Description below.  NCR SARE is also a sponsor of this conference, as they gratefully were for the pilot in 2021 which attracted over 900 attendees.  Renewing the Countryside will again be hosting the conference.


Workshop title:  Local Ingredient Love: Increase Sales with Fresh & Seasonal Recipes

Tap into the growing consumer interest in supporting local farmers and the “buy local” movement by celebrating seasonal flavors in your products from spring rhubarb to fall pumpkins. Resources for using local grains along with tested non-hazardous recipes will be shared along with creative marketing and sales ideas if you live in a lower-populated rural area.


Original Grant

Our project creates farmer-developed resources to increase sales by adding value-added baked goods through the following:

1. Expand Resource Toolkit
A) 40 new non-hazardous recipes using farm-produce
B) Local grain resources
C) Information sheets on understanding non-hazardous


2. Test new marketing outlets
A) Pilot “pop up bakery markets” around holiday season
B) Develop software for direct ordering capabilities via an accessible/free portal TBD

Longevity:  This online ordering software will be available for use after project officially ends.


3. Share learnings & results
A) Create webinar (Midwest & national access)
B) Outreach via partner groups farmer team connected to: Midwest Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Education Services, Renewing the Countryside, Farmers Union, Artisan Grain Collaborative, etc


Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Dela Ends - Producer
  • Dr. Pratik Banerjee (Educator and Researcher)
  • Jobea Murray (Educator)
  • Heather Lynch - Technical Advisor (Educator and Researcher)
  • Ashley Wegmueller - Technical Advisor
  • Shana Cook - Technical Advisor (Educator and Researcher)
  • Dan Harrigan - Technical Advisor (Educator)
  • Beth Dooley - Technical Advisor (Educator)


Materials and methods:

Logic Model for project uploaded .Logic Model Home Bakery SARE Kivirsit Ends

July 2023 Final Report Update

In final review, we met our original outline and choices described in the logic model.  To be perfectly honest, writing such a logic model was something new for our farmer team back when we first developed this grant proposal (out of our farmer wheelhouse!) and felt a little strange, but now in the final evaluation phase can see and appreciate the big-picture importance to keep the project on track. 

To further highlight the point made in the January 2023 Progress Report on "Activities/Who We Reach" -- and how these resources are gaining traction beyond our farmer community, we definitely experienced that -- in a good way -- more than we originally predicted.  The wider cottage food entrepreneur net is way bigger than just farmers, and often involved people (mostly women) who are first-time entrepreneurs and using pretty average industrial ingredients from the supermarket.  Because we were able to include some tested recipes for frostings in the project, this was definitely a "lure" to bring more non-farmers to the website as those recipes are always of interest and need.  This gave us the opportunity to expose these folks to opportunities within local food and supporting their local farmers, further expanding outreach for our sustainable agriculture movement broader than we originally thought.

An area that remains challenging is that there is often not one "100% correct" answer in the world of food science and we found different answers depending whom we talked to or where we did our research.  If this was the experience of a team of dedicated farmers motivated to find answers, you could imagine what this would be like for the average aspiring cottage food entrepreneur trying to do the right and safe thing.  We heard lots of stories from folks who would talk to two people separately at the health department and get two different answers.  What happens as a result is mistrust between producers and agencies, a bigger barrier that we hope our work can plant some seeds to further and more significantly address in the future.

January 2023 Update for Progress Report

In reviewing our original logic model, we feel this project is overall on track with what we originally set out to do.   We have found under "Inputs/What we Invest" that "Partners: Expert advisors from various nonprofit/agency" proved to be much more important than we originally thought because for us to meet out goals of creating non-hazardous, tested recipe -- this required a professional level of food science expertise none of us had.  We farmers know how to grow the ingredients, but the actual scientific process of baking and food ingredient interaction was beyond us. Fortunately, we were both able to bring in that expertise as well as increase our team with farmers who -- while they don't have doctorates in food science -- have a strong interest and passion for this which tremendously strengthens our team and outcomes.

Additionally, under "Activities/Who We Reach," we find the interest in our project and in particular the tested recipe database reaches way beyond our farmer target as more and more people, particularly women, are launching these cottage food businesses.  Our project provides the opportunity to educate about using more locally-raised ingredients and to potentially buy from local farmers, something that is often new for the more mainstream cottage food baker population.

Research results and discussion:

July 2023 Final Report Update

Webinar & Workshop attendance:  80+

33 recipes developed plus website resources

On the project website, the frosting recipes continue to be the most popular as, per how we described earlier, a popular piece that brings folks in and then can explore other resources and recipes.

One area that remains a challenge is pricing for profitability.  Locally-sourced, farmer-produced ingredients such as local grains cost more than industrial-produced ingredients, which results in needing to charge higher prices and a consumer will only pay so much for a muffin.  We realize this is indicative of the broader problems in our food system -- and an even tougher issue to address in today's inflationary economy.  But it's something that will be an on-going challenge for cottage food producers:  to create a high-quality, locally-sourced product at a price customers our wiling to pay that still maintains profitability.  But that said, we are farmers understand the reality of cost-inputs.  Our challenge is that the average customer "expects" to pay 99 cents for a loaf of bread, not the true value and what we would need to charge, especially if using local grains.  The on-going solution to this remains education and personal story-sharing, additional opportunity for future cottage food projects to explore and amplify.

January 2023 Update for Progress Report

As we head into the final phase of this project, our results will be measured in webinar attendance, media outreach and website hits and downloads.  We will be surveying webinar attendees on how helpful the information was and how/it was in building confidence and the decision to diversify into value-added baked goods.

Participation Summary
20 Farmers participating in research

Educational & Outreach Activities

50 Consultations
6 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
1 On-farm demonstrations
2 Online trainings
2 Webinars / talks / presentations
1 Workshop field days
1 Other educational activities: For the 10/1/22 Pop Up Market Pilot at the Creekside Fall Festival in Evansville, WI, we had an educational booth with information on the project and support for cottage food start-ups.

Participation Summary:

40 Farmers participated
4 Ag professionals participated
Education/outreach description:

July 2023 Final Report Update

Two key outreach presentations:

Home-Based Food Entrepreneur Virtual National  Conference

Lisa Kivirist led a well-received workshop and Q&A session on the project and the importance of locally-raised ingredients:

WORKSHOP: Local Ingredient Love: Increase Sales with Fresh & Seasonal Recipes

Tap into the growing consumer interest in supporting local farmers and the “buy local” movement by celebrating seasonal flavors in your products from spring rhubarb to fall pumpkins. Resources for using local grains along with tested non-hazardous recipes will be shared along with creative marketing and sales ideas if you live in a lower-populated rural area


Project overview webinar:


Dela Ends, Jobea Murray and Lisa Kivirist hosted a project overview webinar:

Start your Farmstead Bakery: Recipes & Resources

65 registrants with 40+ attendees at the live session.  Recorded edited session on main project site.  Because of the Wisconsin-based nature of this project and that our team has been deeply involved with advocating for cottage food reform in Wisconsin, we expanded the webinar to include an informational session on Wisconsin and the current status after the official webinar wrapped, which added value and interest.


Final project press release, sent to regional media and partners in July, 2023, as the project wrapped up.  We expect to see media results and further interest over the next couple of months.

Thanks to the growing cottage food scene, we will continue to have opportunity for outreach and education around this project, extending way beyond the grant cycle.  For example, coming up on August 4, project team members Lisa Kivirist, Heather Lynch and Ashley Wegmueller will be helping lead an all-day women farmer field day, Soil Sisters Share: A buffet of resources, support and inspiration for women farmers, with an expected 50+ beginning women farmers in attendance where they will be sharing on cottage food opportunities and this project.


January 2023 Update for Progress Report

We are working towards the outreach phase of this project, kicking off with our May 10, 2023 educational webinar and updated website.  More details to come in our final report. 

A piece of good news separate from this project is that the lawsuit that project leads, Dela Ends & Lisa Kivirist, serve as plantiffs in ruled in our favor on 12/28/22 -- which now legalizes all non-hazardous products in Wisconsin. This ruling has fueled a flurry of media attention (thanks to Ends' multiple interviews with the media) that has amplified cottage food awareness in Wisconsin and that will continue into 2023, nicely timed for outreach of this project.  The Wisconsin Cottage Food Association that project team members Ends, Kivirist and Murray serve on, now has over 1,200 members which will be another strong opportunity for outreach.

Learning Outcomes

30 Farmers reported changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness as a result of their participation
Lessons Learned:

July 2023 Final Report Update

A key learning for us through this project is, while our work gave farmers a start in value-added product diversification through baked goods, there is much opportunity for more resources.  The reality is, however, as we've been narrating in our final report, that the industrialized food system and related agencies are too big and complex to relate to and support the small scale producer.  That is an on-going, structural barrier inherent in the status quo.  The rules and regulations and food science behind all of that do not always align with our business scale or that we bake from scratch using local ingredients. They definitely not farmer-friendly.  We would love to see more resources developed, especially larger projects led by universities that have the infrastructure, capacity and expertise to really take on food safety and non-hazardous education.


January 2023 Update for Progress Report

As we mentioned in the Project Summary update, we continued to have a need for research and understanding non-hazardous products resulted in a focus on meeting and planning into 2023, which proved very helpful and necessary for us to fully understand and create our recipe deliverables.  Thanks to NCR SARE for allowing us to extend this project through 7/31/23 to fully explore potential testing partnership opportunities with the University of Illinois as well as amplify outreach with our workshop at the Home-based Food Entrepreneur Virtual National Conference, leading up to our project webinar 5/11/23.


January 2022 Update for Progress Report

In the research phase of this project (which we are currently in as of January 2022), we realized we needed expertise in both the food science side along with baking expertise in order to create value-added product recipes that would use farmer produce and both meet the non-hazardous criteria and taste good.

We were very fortunate to connect with Dr. Pratik Banerjee, Associate Professor of Food Safety at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Extension who has wonderfully served as an expert advisor for us to understand and navigate the food science side of non-hazardous recipes, particularly understanding water activity and pH testing.  Project leads Lisa Kivirist and Dela Ends have had two Zoom sessions with Dr. Banerjee where together we worked through our list of questions to help us develop safe recipes. Lisa Kivirist also had several initial exploratory calls with Dr. Banerjee. His guidance and insight was extremely helpful in us crafting a recipe testing plan. 

We learned both what can work (pH testing for fruit fillings if we add enough sugar) and won't work/stay away from (fruit chunks in items -- too watery and therefore hazardous).  These insights will both drive the recipe development as well as be included in the information sheets/webpages we are creating for this project.  Dr. Banerjee has helped us understand water activity to the point that we may not need to purchase the water activity tester originally budgeted in the grant and instead be able to jump to lab testing and use those funds for expanding educational resources.  We are in discussions with CTL Testing Laboratory, a commercial testing facility in Colfax, WI, on a potential partnership to help support this project with reduced testing fees (all recipes need a final lab-certified test).

Our general approach for recipe development which is the area Dela Ends is taking on is to develop several fruit fillings that showcase seasonal farm fruits and that can be used in a variety of products such as pies, bars and pastries.  Jobea Murray of Jobea Bakes both runs her own cottage food business and is a trained pastry chef specializing in pies and serving as a consultant in developing the recipes.

Dela will be leading the recipe development and testing to coincide with seasonal fruits  and tapping in to our local farmer network and Soil Sisters listserv (200+ women) for recipe ideas and testing, particularly when we can hopefully return to in-person events and our regular Soil Sisters potluck gatherings when COVID safe outdoor events can resume in spring, 2022. We will also tap into the Wisconsin Cottage Food Association (which Dela and Lisa co-founded) for ideas and feedback, now at over 800 members.

We are researching and in discussions with several companies (Castiron) and other services (LocalLine) on how to best establish the ordering system for the pilot pop-up markets. We're running into barriers as many of these companies that host software services for customers to order directly from producers (typically used for farmers markets) require a monthly fee for producers to join.  While this would make sense for a farmer as part of a regular market, that system would be cost-prohibitive for a pop-up market and we are looking at alternatives.  Our plan is to test the pop-up at the Soil Sisters event in August, 2022 and share insights/learning for fall and holiday markets.

Our plan is to have most of the 40 new recipes finalized/tested by August, 2022 and update the website. We plan to do a public launch of the project in early fall with the webinar, on-farm farmer-focused workshop, press release and fall market schedule.  The successful lawsuit that lifted the ban on the sale of home baked goods and made them legal to sell in Wisconsin (Ends and Kivirist served as plaintiffs) will celebrate it's five year anniversary in October, 2022, which will be a prime opportunity for media outreach. The NC SARE Farmer Rancher project that this one builds off of (FNC18-1130
Increasing Value-added Product Sales through Cottage Food Bakery Products Produced in Home Kitchens) came out right as COVID-19 hit in March, 2020, causing us to cancel the scheduled farmer workshop and unfortunately really negatively impacted the release as at the time farmers' priorities were not expanding businesses into local value-added.  The bright side to this now is this will give us a very strong opportunity for release of this project and generating publicity and farmer interest as there wasn't our planned awareness the first time.

Project Outcomes

8 Farmers changed or adopted a practice
1 Grant received that built upon this project
8 New working collaborations
Success stories:

Thanks for the opportunity to learn about ways to add value to my operation by incorporating what I grow into baked goods. Being able to search recipe by ingredient, based on what I have in abundance, makes things very efficient and enables me to bring some more unique items to market that helps me stand out as a vendor.

Organic vegetable farmer in southern Wisconsin


We so appreciate NCR-SARE's support of this project and understanding that these types of farm diversification efforts like cottage food can really positively impact farmers.  As we've discussed in this report, almost all of the current cottage food resources are not farmer nor local-ingredient friendly, which historically has been a real missed opportunity until now.  There is a lot more that can be done in this arena to further support farm diversification, especially as the "food freedom" movement continues to grow which would enable farmers to do even more out of their home kitchen, including TCS (temperature control for safety) food products as well as full meals.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.