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Cottage Food Operations law in effect.

Reported by: Susan Parker
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Updated: 7/08/2013 7:45 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Will Reed operates Native Son Farm in Tupelo.
 
A significant portion of his naturally-grown vegetables he grows through a Community Shared Agriculture operation.

The rest are either sold at his Mount Vernon Road store or at a farmer's market.

"It does not make sense for us to be importing produce from Mexico or California when it can be grown right here at home. So a farmers market is a great way to get the freshest local food to connect with your local growers," Reed said.

"People are starting to raise their produce and bringing them to the farmers market. Plus, people know when they go to a farmers market there's high quality vegetables and products there for them to get," Mississippi State University Extension Agent Dr. Dennis Reginelli said.

That's one reason why Pomp and Evie Carney take part in the Tupelo Farmer's Market. They love nothing more than to offer up their vegetables, canned products, and breads to the public.

This husband and wife team have been in the business together for some seven years in Baldwyn. They say it's gone really well over the years, but last year they got a shock.

"The state Agriculture Department came in and said that we could no longer make bread. We could no longer sell preserves or basically anything canned that we were doing here at the farm," Dr. Pomp Carney said.

They could not believe what was happening. They were told they could not prepare foods in their kitchen because they had birds and a dog in the house.

"They have no business coming to our farm telling us what we can and can't raise, what we can and can't do out of our kitchen," Carney said.

Their concerns are shared by others. It was only a matter of time before Mississippi lawmakers were contacted.

Now, a new law is in place which eases restrictions for those with a gross annual sales of $20,000 or less.

The Cottage Food operations law does require products be labeled with a list of ingredients, allergen information, weight, and in some cases nutritional information.
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