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How do I start a cottage food business?

By Suzanne Driessen Extension food safety educator
Do you have extra produce in your garden? Make the tastiest granola? Perfected jalepeƱo apricot buffalo wing sauce? Why not turn these products into a cottage food business and join the ranks of 2600 Minnesota registered cottage food producers.
Under the 2015 Minnesota Cottage Food law, many shelf stable or unrefrigerated food products made in a home kitchen can be sold to the direct consumer at farmers’ markets and community events. Examples of cottage foods include high-acid, canned food products--preserves, pickles and salsas--and low-moisture baked goods fruit pies, bread, pastries, cakes, cookies and specialty items like candy, dried herbs jam and jelly dry mixes, flavored vinegars and more.
Interested? Here are tips to get started as a cottage food producer (CFP): Learn the provisions of the law.Check out the allowed and not allowed food list here. Stop by your local farmers’ market. What are other CFPs making and selling? What do…
Recent posts

Hops Workshop in Waseca

University of Minnesota (UMN) and Minnesota Hop Growers Association (MHGA) are pleased to offer a Summer 2018 Workshop at the UMN Southern Research and Outreach Center (35838 120th St, Waseca) on August 4th, 2018

Discussion will include new hop varieties from UMN and their future distribution, hop quality with brewer insights, and powdery mildew control and prevention. An on-site tour of UMN’s hop field plots will also take place later in the workshop. Lunch is included in the registration fee. 

Registration is $20 for MHGA members and $40 for non-members. 

Please register online here.
Workshop Agenda
9:00 - 9:30 - Registration - Coffee & snacks will be available.9:30 - 10:15  - Hop Breeding Research Update
Charlie Rohwer, UMN10:15 – 11:00 a.m. – Hop Variety Commercialization Process: Future Prospects for UMN Hop Varieties
BJ Haun, UMN11:00 – 12:00 – Post Harvest Factors Affecting Hop Quality
Dave Buss, Davali Ridge Farm, Waterloo, WI12:00-1:00 - Lunch
Included with regist…

Grape Grower Workshop - Get Ready for Harvest

UMN Extension along with the Southern MN Wine Grower Alliance (SMWGA) are partnering to hold a workshop focused on harvest preparations to include quality testing, netting, late season sprays, and cellar equipment maintenance, wine oxidation management, and more.

When: Monday, July 30th from 4-6 pm
Where: Indian Island Winery, 18018 631st Ave, Janesville, MN 56048
Cost: $25/person and $20 for SMWGA members.
Instructors: Annie Klodd, UMN Extension Educator Fruit and Vegetable Production and Drew Horton, UMN Enology Specialist

Register with Lisa Smiley, winegroweralliance@gmail.com or call 651-492-5393. Checks can be made payable to SMWGA.

For more details view the event flyer.

What's Killing My Kale? Episode 7 - Diseases of Brassicas

This month's episodes of "What's Killing My Kale?" are all about plant diseases. In this episode, we talk with Michelle Grabowski about diseases in Brassica plants, and what growers should be thinking about in terms of scouting and management in the upcoming weeks.

You can listen to this episode here, on Stitcher, or iTunes.

What's Killing My Kale? Episode 6 - UMN Plant Disease Clinic

This month's episodes of "What's Killing My Kale?" is all about plant diseases. 

We start in part 1 with a trip to the University of MN Plant Disease Clinic to learn about the services they provide to growers. Visit their website here: https://pdc.umn.edu/.

You can listen to this episode here, on Stitcher, or iTunes


Pesticide Drift on Organic Farms in Minnesota

By Natalie Hoidal, UMN Extension

Protect your Farm from drift

List your farm on DriftWatch so that applicators know to avoid spraying near your farm. It is also a good idea to plant buffers around your farm to create a physical barrier for spray droplets.

If you are exposed to pesticide drift

If you suspect that you’ve been personally drifted on, consider seeking immediate medical attention. Take a long shower (30 minutes) as soon as possible, and use plenty of soap. Put your unwashed clothing in a plastic bag and freeze it separately from food to prevent cross contamination; your clothing could be used as evidence in a drift complaint. If you choose to file a complaint, contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) immediately or as soon as you able. Most pesticides degrade quickly in the environment, so act quickly to improve the likelihood that your Agricultural Chemical Inspector (ACI) can determine a pesticide or fertilizer violation of the law. Contact your certifying agenc…

Silvopasture Workshop: Central Minnesota

Farmers, livestock producers, natural resource professionals are invited to learn how to use silvopasture to improve productivity of wooded and marginal pastures while achieving environmental conservation! At this workshop, you will learn how silvopasture can be employed as part of your rotational grazing plan.

About the Workshop: The workshop will begin Friday evening, July 13th, with a networking and a panel discussion composed of practitioners, and natural resource professionals to share their experience about Silvopasture. And then it will continue on Saturday morning, July 14th, with indoor presentations and site visits to three sites in the afternoon. We will visit three farms including the Camp Hill Village, the Early Boots farm, and Stonebridge Beef that is practicing silvopasture and is raising grass-fed beef using the system. At this workshop, participants will conduct a case study as an exercise applying the establishment and management principles of silvopasture.

Expert sp…