These days, it’s hard to imagine not being able to sell products online. But that’s exactly the hurdle Libby and Derek Ervin of Glacier’s End Farm face. Illinois’ Cottage Food Law limits sales for producers, like the Ervins, to seasonal farmer’s markets. New legislation (SB 3077)) could open sales at fairs, festivals, and direct online to cottage food producers- that would mean more great local food choices!
Products from Glacier’s End Farms are nostalgic of time-honored canning traditions with a twist; syrups and jellies made from native foraged items growing on their Southern Illinois property. The couple makes elderberry and hickory bark syrups (when combined, referred to as Shagberry), honeysuckle and ghost pepper jellies, apple butter, and “Hickory Fire” barbecue sauce.
Selling all these imaginative and delicious products at the Carbondale Farmers Market built their business and customer base, but selling online, at fairs, and festivals would allow them to grow and expand the business as they wait for their new apple orchards to mature.
Libby and Derek’s dream is to open a cidery. Like hundreds of farmers in Illinois, they count on cottage food sales to build a sustainable farm business. You can help! Join the Alliance at Local Food Lobby Day on April 2nd in Springfield to educate lawmakers about changes that would expand local food and support farms, like the cottage food law. No experience necessary. You’ll be trained and paired in groups to make it simple and easy to make a difference.