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.
We will also pilot 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.
Project objectives from proposal:
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 Farm Market Hub
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: MOSES, Renewing the Countryside, Farmers Union, Artisan Grain Collaborative, etc