DENVER (July 17, 2014) - The City of Denver could become one big farmer's market after the City Council recently approved a new law that allows Denver residents to sell from their homes fresh produce they have grown themselves and cottage foods such as jams and honey they have made themselves in their home kitchens.
"Denver has always been known as a city that appreciates ‘farm-to-table' and using fresh produce and locally sourced foods, but this new law creates a whole new level of urban farming that will allow the city to become one big farmer's market," says Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER.
Under the new law, which takes effect on Friday, July 18, 2014, Denver residents will have to purchase a permit, but then will be able to sell from their home raw and uncut fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs that were grown by the seller either on site or in a community garden. They will also be able to sell whole eggs produced by chickens or ducks kept by the seller at home, or "cottage foods," which are low-risk, unrefrigerated food products made on-site such as spices, teas, honey, jams and certain baked goods. People can sell from inside or outside their home from 8 a.m. to dusk and can sell up to $5,000 of goods a year.
"Denver has become a leader in urban farming," Scharf says, noting that two years ago, the Colorado Convention Center opened the Blue Bear Farm on the grounds of the massive convention center and is now growing 5,000 pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables and spices used in the convention center's kitchens. "Many city restaurants have already put in their own gardens and farms, and now they will be able to buy vegetables, eggs, jams, and fruits grown right in the neighborhood," Scharf said.
Visitors will be able to hop on a B-cycle, Denver's bike sharing program, and bicycle from farmer's market to farmer's market, stopping at individual homes along the way to try baked goods and fresh vegetables. Denver's larger farmer's markets, such as Cherry Creek Farmer's Market on Saturday and South Pearl on Sunday, feature live music and food trucks and have become popular weekend destinations. For more information on Denver's Farmers Markets, go to: denv.co/farmersmarkets.
"Eating locally sourced food has always been an important part of a vacation to Europe or into the countryside, but now it is being extended into an urban environment and will give visitors a new way to explore - and taste - Denver," Scharf said.
For more information, including how to secure a permit, a list of permissible cottage foods, and tips for your home garden, visit denvergov.org/homebusiness. The sale of marijuana or marijuana-infused products is not allowed.
Additional resources are also available at the Colorado State University Denver Extension Office, which provides resources on soil testing as well as classes on urban farming, cottage foods and food safety. Visit denverext.colostate.edu for more information.
For more activities in Denver go to visitdenver.com.