Put your crop in a can ... A Commercial Kitchen

558FoodForest.Farm is located in USDA hardiness Zone 6. We have about 1.5 acres in production mostly in fruit and some vegetables.

The shelf life on 80% of our fruit is typically 5 to 7 days.... That's a problem!!!

Solution - Turn those cherries, currants and pears into jam, sauce and salsa... But wait, the state and county health officials insist that you have a commercial kitchen before you make your salsa!

Salsa is a high risk food. It can only be sold to the public if it is produced in an inspected Commercial kitchen using strict temperature and sanitation controls.

But that's not all, you need to first check with your local government. ZONING is the way cities and townships try to guide their residents on the use of their homes and lands. Typically farms are zoned agriculture, stores and repair shops are Commercial zoning. Houses in residential.

The township is going to want a site plan showing the buildings, the parking, the rain water run-off and more... if you want a permit for that commercial kitchen.

Oh, I didn't mention the county health department or the MDARD. They are going to want to know how much waste water your going to generate a day? Where is the hand washing sink going to be located? Where is the bathroom going to be? And so on.

Get to know your MDARD inspector. He or she is your link to the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture Rural Development and regulation. If your selling chickens, eggs, fruit or produce, you'll want to seek your local inspector early.


We are going through MDARD commercial kitchen thing.... It can work, if you've got $100,000 and you really like paperwork.

At 70 years of age, I'm weighing the value of such a large investment.

- Creating a Fancy Can kitchen -

I'm going to summarize each step as I go through this process. Share my experience and possibly help you too.