Farmers are bringing the heat

Farmers like Ian and Hannah in the Quad Cities are growing food regeneratively, serving their community, and making amazing breads, spices, and hot sauces. And with your support, farmers like them will have the resources they need to grow.  

Your donation of any size will help more small farms and food businesses grow in your community and across the state. 

Ian and Hannah run The Mad Farmer’s Garden in Coal Valley. 

They take great pride in being able to grow a diverse array of produce for not only their own family of four children, but their community as well. 

This year they organized a farmers market to help bring more farmers and community members together. The market is volunteer run– and they are the volunteers! 

Nothing goes to waste on their farm: they pickle and preserve as much as they can, turning their beautiful produce into ketchup, spices, and hot sauces in their home kitchen.

Ian has a passion for baking as well. He gets up before dawn to bring hearty breads, baguettes, and focaccias to the market. 

But because Illinois cottage food law restricted sales of cottage food to farmers markets, they don’t have a place to sell these beautiful products over the winter. The law made it hard for their business to sustain their family and to grow, until this year! 

This past spring, members and partners of Illinois Stewardship Alliance worked together to pass new legislation called the Home-to-Market Act, which creates smart new regulations for cottage food producers, enabling them to reach new customers and grow their businesses. 

Thanks to these reforms going into effect in January, Ian and Hannah can now sell their baked goods and hot sauces online and at fairs and festivals, and even ship them across the state. Which means YOU could try their products no matter where you live in Illinois! 

They are excited to be able to bring their products to their customers throughout the winter and to grow their business. 

But small farms and food businesses like Ian and Hannah’s still need support. They need:

  • resources to help them navigate the new law; 
  • technical assistance on product labeling, food safety, insurance, starting an online ordering system, and taxes; and 
  • opportunities to join with other cottage food producers to build leadership and advocacy skills to solve problems and shift policy towards a more just and regenerative food system. 

You can help. Donate to Hot Ones: Cottage Food Fundraiser Edition.

Your donation will support Illinois Stewardship Alliance’s work to create resources, provide technical assistance, and build a thriving community of small farms and cottage food producers across the state. There has been so much outreach from these businesses that we need more hands on deck!

During this fundraising event, modeled after the popular YouTube series “Hot Ones,” we’ll interview Home-to-Market Act champion Rep. Will Guzzardi  about the cottage food industry, exciting new changes for small businesses, and how people power makes a difference.

Rep Guzzardi will answer questions all while he eats progressively hotter hot sauces made by cottage food producers across Illinois!

Your donation of any size will determine the level of heat on those hot wings– 10 donors for mild, 50 for medium, 75 for medium hot, 100 hot, and 200 for five-alarm fire!

The first hot sauce on the list is the mild Cherry Chipotle Sauce made by Ian and Hannah of the Mad Farmer’s Garden!

Can you can help us make Rep. Guzzardi sweat with a medium hot sauce? 

Donate today to help us reach medium!

Grab your friends, make a donation of any size, and tune in to the Illinois Stewardship Alliance Facebook Page at 7pm on Tuesday, November 30th for a good cause and good old-fashioned fun.

All the best, 


P.S. Follow the Mad Farmer’s Garden online here! If you’re in the Quad Cities area, you’ll be able to find their products online through their Quad Cities Farmers Market all year round.