Securing or Expanding Your State Cottage Food Law


Lisa Kivirist, co-author of Homemade for Sale, eager to sell her baked products in Wisconsin

Nearly every state in the country has some form of cottage food law on the books, allowing you to sell “non-hazardous” food products made in your homestead kitchen.

As I write about in my previous blog, many homesteaders take advantage of the growing number of farmers’ markets to sell their products, one of the most widely accepted venues for sales of cottage food products.

However, while some of the laws can be broad and sweeping, others can be narrow and restrictive.

If you live in a state with no cottage food law, don’t throw in the kitchen towel. Get active with the cottage food movement in your state. Every cottage food law passed in the last decade has resulted from an initial individual citizen organizing others in their state to come together to get the bill passed, with the help of the state representative who sponsored or co-sponsored the bills. The laws are inspired by the artisan bakers, picklers or jammers, just like you.

Likewise, if your state law is limited — if, say, you want to sell cookies but your current law only allows you to sell high-acid pickles and preserves — then you too will need to take democracy by the horns and advocate, lobby and amend an existing cottage food law to include such items. Or, depending on your state’s legislative protocol, this expansion may require a full new cottage food law.

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