DEAR NEW FARM:
What are the rules regarding homemade items like salsa at
farmer’s markets? When I was with the J-town, Kentucky
farmers market, I thought homemade items were not legal to
sell. I thought you were required to have your kitchen state
certified or something. I would like to make salsa for next
year’s market. I love your site!
Thanks for the compliment; we are certain that we would love
your salsa as much as you love our site.
We posed your question to veteran farmer’s market manager
Nina Planck (who hails from a proud lineage of farmers marketers
and is founder of the nonprofit Local Foods). Here’s
what Nina had to say:
“On selling preserves and other processed foods:
Each state regulates the sale of preserves and other processed
foods. Some states allow home processing of jams, jellies,
pickles, relishes for commercial sale. Others require you
to take a food processing course, get a home processing
license, or even build a certified kitchen.
The main concern is the minimum temperature, minimum
acidity, and sugar content of the preserves. All of those
factors affect the likelihood of spoilage. Highly acidic
and very sweet things retard spoilage and reduce risk. Record
keeping is important. In New York State, for example, you
have to keep a log of batches and temperatures.
Check with your state’s department of agriculture
us with comments, suggestions and questions.