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Residential sales of fresh produce and cottage foods

Shannon Spurlock, Community Initiatives Coordinator

In late March, the Denver Post Editorial Board published an editorial titled Let Denver residents sell food from their homes. Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) strongly agrees. DUG is excited about the proposed amendment to Denver’s Zoning Code that would create a new home occupation and allow sales of fresh produce and cottage foods (as defined by the Colorado Cottage Foods Act) from one’s residence. For almost thirty years DUG has been working to build community, increase food security, and promote economic development; we see residential sales as another avenue to accomplish these objectives.

In practical terms, this change means that Denver residents would able to grow food in their yard, their neighbors’ yards, or in an urban garden, and then sell it from their home address. Raw fruits and vegetables, honey, eggs, and certain low-risk prepared foods would be allowed. In all cases, the person selling the food must be the same person who grew or prepared it.

We hope, with continued leadership from its sponsors on City Council – Robin Kniech, Susan Shepherd and Albus Brooks – that this amendment to the zoning code will be passed by this summer. Many DUG community gardens already participate in the on-site selling of produce in venues such as youth farmers’ markets and summer markets, whereby proceeds from produce sales are in turn reinvested back into the community garden and/or its associated programs. With this proposed change to the zoning code, we are looking forward to exploring further ways in which this can benefit our community gardens in Denver.

To learn more about the proposed amendment to the Zoning Code and the Colorado Cottage Foods Act, click here.

Back to The Underground News: Spring 2014