Took a beekeeping class yesterday with The Institute For Urban Homesteading. We want to get bees for the roof at Forage Kitchen, and although I hadn’t planned on taking care of them myself, I wanted to learn a little something about how they work.
Really interesting class! Learned a ton (which was easy considering I knew nothing). I was really struck by a few things. One is just the insane organization of the honey bee colony. At the risk of getting a bit airy, it really does seem magical the way they work. The second they’re born they know everything they need to do (the female worker bees first task is to turn around and clean her own hatching cell, HOW DOES SHE KNOW?!. Alternately the lazy male bees first task is to get fed…).
One bee on its own, while not stupid, doesn’t know how the whole functions functions, but they are born knowing exactly what their purpose is, really fascinating. A queen bee doesn’t rule, but is just a larger bee fed differently. To make a queen the larvae is simply fed royal jelly for its entire incubation period, and put in a larger cell to grow. That’s the only difference, and somehow by being fed differently it knows that the second it’s born its supposed to kill all competing queens, fly out to mate, then lay thousands of eggs for the rest of her life.
It really does bring to mind the idea of the colony as a superorganism; something I’ve become really interested in lately, and that we discussed in the class. A bee is more like a cell in the body than an individual. A white blood cell doesn’t have a brain, and is never taught what to do, it just does it. It is created with all the information it will ever need, and immediately goes to task. A thought doesn’t live in a neuron, but billions of neurons together create the experience of being human. The part creates the whole, without the need for individual agency. This is one of those things that if we didn’t see it happening in nature, we would say it was impossible. Amazing.
The other thing I was really struck by was how little tending bees can live with. This was an alternative hive class, so instead of the standard hive (when you think of a commercial beehive, you’re thinking of a standard hive), we looked at several alternatives. The one that I was most enamored with is the Top Bar Hive. At it’s most basic; it’s a box with a series of 1.25 inch removable slats on top, with a .5 inch vertical piece of wood in each slat. Rather than needing to give the bees a frame to build their combs, they naturally create them on each vertical slat. Some for brood (where the babies are born), which are brown, and some for honey storage.
I originally went to the class really just to have a better understanding of what we were getting into at Forage Kitchen, but now I want my own! If anyone has any tips on where to find some healthy bees send ‘em my way!
Using local food is important to us. Not only is it good for the environment, but even more importantly, buying local is the bedrock of a strong local economy. Each dollar we spend buying local organic produce and humanely raised meat is a dollar a farmer can spend making their business even better. For us local means a foundation of support, and we want Forage Kitchen to be part of that foundation. Rather than just hoping our Chefs are using local ingredients, we're going to ask that anyone using our space orders from our vendor list.
Rather than making each of our Chefs wade through vendors, we'll supply a handpicked cadre of the best of the best. Organic veggies, grass-fed meats, sustainably caught fish. All the meat, veggies, and seafood in Forage Kitchen will come from these vendors, and when you buy a product produced in Forage Kitchen, you can rest easy that only the best ingredients were used.
The relationships we create will assure steady orders for the farmers and a consistent supply for our Chefs. The proverbial win-win :).
I wanted to reach out to see if you had suggestions on folks to reach out to. We only want the best of the best. If course we have the producers we love, but I'm sure there are lots out there we don't know about. The best fishmonger in town, the sliest rabbit rancher around, and the...beefiest ranchers that abound. Ok, but for real, let us know! We love the idea of supporting people doing it right, and with the huge order volume our space will have, we hope to help producers in doing what they do best.
Just went on my first spearfishing trip with Ty, our new chef, in Albion, on the Mendocino coast. It was a family affair. I showed up to the campground and was greeted by his brother, his dad, a crew of friends, and burgers smoking on the BBQ. Freediving is definitely one of my favorite things, and I try to get out whenever I can. There is something incredibly meditative about being underwater without a tank. Nothing mediating the experience except your goggles. Its amazing to get down to the bottom and just pause, resting with the sway of the ocean, quietly drifting with the kelp. Nothing is better.
Since abalone ("abs" to the veteran), season is closed, we went up to a spot for some straight spearfishing, but I have never seen so many abs before in my life! Amazing abundance. Since I dont have my own boat I usually shore dive (basically just swim off the shore with a float to carry my catch), but taking the boats out this time really opened my eyes to how abundant the seas just beyond a few hundreds yards out can be. The one good size fish I caught, a 24 inch ling cod, was more than enough for a meal for me and my girlfriend. I wanted to treat it lightly, so I sauteed and roasted the filets, and wrapped the head in tinfoil with garlic and roasted that in a 400 degree oven. Delicious ling cod cheeks! Some other divers got scallops, which you'll see me holding in the pic below, but I couldn't manage to get any myself. We had some fresh raw scallop on the beach when we got back, amazing flavor. Fresh, briny, I think much better than cooked.
Forgot the GoPro this time around, so unfortunately no sea shots, but here's a couple pics of us getting in, taking a superman pose in our suits, and what we caught. Wasn't the best day for fish, but as always any day in the water is a great day.
interested in booking a dinner with us: Click here
What strikes you most, when speaking with Ty Taube, is his love of simple, unadorned ingredients. Last week he caught a live octopus, and proceeded to steam and slice it onto a puckery sunomono salad spiked with local winter citrus and pickled seaweed - also wild. This is what Ty eats at home.
A Michelin star chef from The Restaurant at Applewood in Sonoma, Ty has plated everything from miso cured black cod to whipped ricotta raviolo topped with a raw duck egg. He's equally at home introducing 9-course tasting menus to appreciative guests, as he is roasting a whole pig for friends and family on the 4th of July. He'll tell you about the black trumpet mushrooms he just found on one of his frequent foraging trips, and how he dredges them lightly in cornstarch before frying them in oil until they're puffed.
But Ty is most at home during harvest every Tuesday, when he surveys his Santa Rosa farm for shiny purple eggplant, sprouting lettuces, bok choy, and a veritable parade of other greens. He places equal assortments of these small-crop veggies into CSA boxes for a lucky list of patrons, and onto your plates. You see, not only does Ty work magic with ingredients in the pan, he's also nursed those ingredients from seed to bloom.
We're extremely excited to welcome Ty to the forageSF family. A farmer, second-generation mushroom forager, kayaking fisherman, and California native - Ty couldn't be a more perfect fit if we had conjured him ourselves. Taste his farm-to-table cuisine at one of our Wild Kitchen roving dinners, learn how he prepares local ling cod in a hands-on cooking class, or better yet - let us bring him into your home or company event for a truly seasonal meal you'll never forget.
Ready to meet Ty? Tell us about your next event - we'd love to get started with you!
I hope you’re all having a great holiday. I’m up in northern CA at my dad’s, sitting by a tree cut from the nearby woods. I actually went to church last night for one of the first times (I’m a non-practicing Jew), and was reflecting on how nice it must be to be religious. The foundation that it must give to your life, the calm and reassurance it gives every decision.
The idea that someone is there looking out for you, but also the way the rituals frame your life that non-religious people search for. What to do and not to do in certain situations. How to treat people and how to solve the problems that come up in every life. I think this is one of the reasons I focus on food. Food, like religion, is a way for people to come together around a common set of ideals; a way to join a community of like-minded individuals that live their lives with common purpose and focus.
Food has become so much more than just what we put in our bodies. It has become a lens through which we feel we can view and influence every part of our lives, as well as the world. The environment, the economy, health, society, government policy, we can touch all these through the decisions we make with the food we eat. That’s why I’m excited about opening Forage Kitchen. Yes, it will be a place where people can work, but more than that, it will be a place for people with shared ideas can come together. A place to learn, grow, and nurture, not just discrete businesses, but a community of people who share the same ideals about how the world should be.
Some may say I’m being a bit over the top, but to me food is so much more than what you eat. It’s a daily statement of the direction you want the world to move, and a tangible thing you can hold that expresses what you believe in.
Forage Kitchen is coming: we’re getting the permits signed, the plans through the planning, and the designs on the paper. I’ll see you all there soon. Hope you’re having a great holiday, and ideally eating far more than you should.
A friend of a friend is a teacher in an East Oakland school and she's been paying out of her own pocket to provide snacks to the students who come to school hungry in the morning. She's looking for help.
I'm sure there's a non-profit out there that helps with this kind of thing, but I dont know of one...does anyone out there have any leads?
Or if you would like to get involved in helping out that would be amazing too.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any leads.
Today was a great day. I got the chance to join our class up in the Sierras on the hunt for the ever illusive morel! I try to get out with the classes as much as I can, but usually have to leave them in the very capable hands of our resident mushroom expert Patrick.
The bill to repeal the glove law, AB2130, passed the Assembly yesterday 18-0! Thanks to everyone who sent in letters of support, they really made a difference. We still have to get through the Assembly Appropriations Committee and then on to the Assembly Floor and the Senate. Still a long road to go, but the unanimous vote today shows that folks in Sacramento see this is a bill that the people dont want. Exciting stuff! Iso
Tomorrow is a big day. Its the day the health committee decides whether to repeal the glove law. Your support on this petition is one of the reasons they're meeting at all, but now we need to show them you really mean it.
Two ways to help:
1. Send a letter of support to Benjamin.Russell@asm.ca.gov. There is a sample letter below, but you can also let them know in your own words that you support AB2130 (the bill to repeal the law). If you send a letter please let me know.
2. Go to Sacramento! I know its a drive, but its important that we have people there to show their support. The meeting is at 1:30pm in room 4202 of the State Capitol. Let us know if you can make it.
Thanks again for your support. Your voice is working to change a misguided law that will effect millions of people. We're in the homestretch now, we can do it!
The Honorable Dr. Richard Pan
Assemblymember, 9th District
State Capitol, Room 6005
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 319-2109
Re: AB 2130 (Pan) – SUPPORT
Dear Assemblymember Pan,
[Name of your organization] writes to express our support of your AB 2130, which would
roll back the recently enacted law prohibiting bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food.
This prohibition, created last year by AB 1252 (Committee on Health), will require bars and
restaurants to buy and discard thousands of disposable gloves, imposing a significant financial
burden and environmental impact. The numerous glove changes workers will be required to
undertake will further result in a loss of operational efficiency. Though we are in full support
of ensuring food safety for restaurant customers, small restaurants and bars were not involved
in the discussion surrounding AB 1252. As a result, substantive changes that directly affect our
business and livelihood were put into place without our input.
[Optional: include a brief statement about your organization and the problems created by the
We thank you for introducing AB 2130 to roll back the glove law.
[Name and title]
cc: Members of the Assembly Health Committee
You did it! You signed and they listened! Assemblymember Pan, the chair of the Health Committee (the committee that passed the Glove Law), announced emergency legislation today to repeal the law! We're not done yet, we still have to make sure the bill goes through, but they havnt heard any major opposition so it's looking good. This is super exciting, and a real example of how powerful we are as a group. This is my first time wading into politics, and granted, its a law that was clearly ridiculous, but its really amazing how quickly this all happened. The people spoke and the government listened: If only all politics could work so well…. Thank you all for the support so far, and I'll make sure to keep you updated as we move forward.
Been working working working on getting this campaign going. After just a few days we have over 2500 signatures on our petition! We're going to be meeting with Assemblyman Phil Ting tomorrow, hoping to convince him to champion the bill. Met with the new head of the GGRA (Golden Gate Restaurant Association), Pattie Unterman from Hayes Street Grill, and Earl Shaddix from Bayview Underground Market to talk strategy. We're going to really start pushing this out to media after we get Ting to agree to work with us (fingers crossed!).
Next steps are getting more folks in the city to be aware of the campaign. Going to be organizing some folks to canvas the cities restaurants, getting people to sign the petition. If you want to get involved, email me at email@example.com. This is exciting stuff! I really think we're getting somewhere in pushing back against this misguided law.
I'm sure there are some of you out there with similar concerns, so I wanted to post this email I got, as well as my response:
"Too many of us SF diners have gotten stomach problems from so-called nice clean restaurants. This should not be merely about respect for the chef. Instead it should be about respect for the health of your customers! Your credibility is being shot if you think your email recipients would even consider that the former is more important than the latter. Also, your proposal to change the law implies restaurant chains are as not as clean as small restaurants, when we all know it's far more likely to be the opposite!
A diner and his friends who are tired of expecting a stomach problem every few months of dining at so-called nice clean SF restaurants."
"Thanks for the input. I think that all these issues are important, and the truth of the matter is that gloved hands are not any cleaner (and often much dirtier) than washed bare hands. Having worked in restaurant kitchens, people with gloves on are much less likely to change those gloves when changing tasks (taking out the garbage then cutting vegetables), than someone is to wash their hands. It's really just a truism of the logistics of working in a kitchen. I definitely am not downplaying your desire to avoid getting sick (food poisoning sucks!), but this is not the solution, its just a mirage of safety that actually makes you less safe.
Sign the petition here.
What I’ve learned on the glove law: The last few days I’ve been trying to get up to speed on where this law came from. Who sponsored it? Who voted on it? How did it just appear without anyone in the industry hearing it existed? It’s been an interesting process, delving into the machinery of government, and so far I’ve found out:
The bill was introduced by The Committee on Health in February (weird no one heard about it), which includes our very own Tom Ammiano, and was sponsored (the ones who created the bill), by a group called The California Retail Food Safety Coalition (CRFSC for those long winded acronym lovers amongst us). So that means that this group is the one who actually wrote the bill, and gave it to the Committee on Health to push through. I contacted Pat Kennelly, who is the head of the Food And Drug Branch of California Department of Public Health, who told me that DPH did not advise at all on the bill publicly.
CRFSC is a lobbying group comprised of state health officials and private industry. Some interesting members include:
The head of the California Food and Health Branch, Pat Kennelly, as well as heads of several other California Health departments, Jack in the Box, YUM! Brands (the largest fast food company in the world, they own Pizza Hut and KFC amongst other chains), Olive Garden, and Safeway to name a few.
I am just learning about this group, but for me reading that list is disquieting. Imagining the folks who decide on our health code, the people who are being paid by us to protect and represent the people, sitting in a room creating legislation with fast food and supermarket chains, certainly gives me pause….I sent them a request outlining their justification of the law, and we’ll see what comes out of that.
I also reached out to Assemblymember Richard Pan, who is the chair of the Health Committee, to ask what information factored in their decision to support the legislation.
So at this point it seems that the bill was created by a lobbying group with made up of CA health officials and corporate food giants, and quietly passed through committee. They did reach out to the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, who as I understand it does not support the bill, but for some reason none of us heard about it….More updates soon.
On Jan.1 Jerry Brown signed into law a new addition to the California Retail Health Code, the document that governs all restaurants and food service establishments. This new provision requires nearly everyone working in a kitchen to wear gloves. Single use disposable gloves that they change every time they change tasks. What the law states is that people touching food which won’t be cooked after contact need to wear gloves, but if you think about it logistically, that’s everyone. That’s a bartender squeezing a lemon into your drink, a chef salting a dish after plating, chopping garlic, rolling sushi, really anything done in a restaurant. The reality is that if followed to the letter, it would force every chef to go through dozens of pairs gloves a day.
This really bothers me. For the aesthetic crime of not letting chefs touch their food (which I firmly believe makes good food almost impossible to make), the environmental waste of tens of millions of gloves filling up landfills daily, and from what research I’ve done so far, the fact that studies suggest it actually creates a more bacteria rich environment (think about how sweaty your hands get wearing latex for more than a few minutes, how impossible it is to put on gloves with damp hands after you wash them, and how often they rip).
I disagree with this law, and I’m going to work to do something about it. At the moment we’re gathering information on the states justification of the law. I filed a Sunshine Request, like a FOIA for California, with Pat Kennelly, the head of the Food and Drug Branch of the California Department of Public Health, to find out the specific justifications of the law. What the process they used in creating the law, and what research was used to back the decision, what studies were done on the environmental impact of the law, etc.
If you want to get involved in the campaign, or if you have info that you think could help the cause, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
More info soon…
A public service message from forageSF
The holidays are a time for giving. For searching our hearts and minds, attempting to find just the right gift to satisfy those we love. Perhaps its that ipad they've been lusting after, or maybe a fine book of fiction, one that will gently lull them to sleep, bundled up in front of a crackling fire on those cold Bay Area winter nights (I don't care what East Coasters say, 50 degrees is cold!). Perhaps you have an art lover in your life, and are leaning towards a gift of oil paints, those nice ones that caught her eye at Flax last month, and for the less imaginative amongst us, pre-paid gift cards to Best Buy are always a hit.
I am the fist to say that these are all great gifts, but we at forageSF would be remiss if we failed to remind you of the coming post-apocalyptic dystopia. It could be a foreign power that shuts down the grid, a torrential flood caused by global warming (if you believe in that kind of this), or the ever popular fire and brimstone, rained down upon us for our myriad sins (I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure the rapture is going to be leaving me behind). Sure, it could come in 50 years, or it could come tomorrow. Our team of experts are still working out the specifics, but they predict with 100% certainty* that it will come "very soon" (*with a margin of error of 0-100%).
We don't like to think about it, but the truth is that when it does come we'll all have to choose teams. There wont be room for everyone on our ship, and two by two we'll choose those with the skills to survive. I don't know about you, but those that can hunt, fish, and forage will be first on my list.
Don't let your loved ones be picked last. For their sake and for the sake of all of us, set that ipad aside, and get them a gift certificate from forageSF: here
Blessings this holiday season,
From Iso and The forageSF family to yours
At last Sunday’s Batch Made Market we tried something new, live fishing. The idea was simple: teach people how to catch, clean, and cook a fish from beginning to end. Along with all the classes we teach, the aim of the live fishing class was to provide the rare opportunity to observe, learn, and experience urban fishing.. It wasn’t something I’d ever seen anywhere else. Without a model to work off of, we decided to take a risk and try it out. We thought through the process, researched the fish, got the pool, and lined up a lifelong commercial fisherman to help guide the class. The response to the idea was overwhelming and the class sold out almost immediately.
While majority of responses were positive, I did get a few vocal concerns about the event that I’d like to address:
We came up with this idea as an attempt to show people the reality of what it means to catch and eat fish. Watching the entire process of killing and cooking an animal should enliven a respect and gratitude for the food we eat. Last Sunday we found that the fish were not interested in biting. This wasn’t a consequence of inhumane treatment. The fish were handled very gently. Freshly bought from a fishmonger down the block (incidentally, they had much more room to swim around in our pool than in their previous home) and placed into fresh water. After it became clear that it wasn’t going to plan, we cut it off, and decided to show folks how to filet, gut, and fry fish instead.
At forageSF our mission is first and foremost to support and educate people about the food they eat everyday. Sometimes that’s taking people out into nature to find it, sometimes that's taking them into the kitchen to cook it, and sometimes that’s taking them into the dining room to eat it. It’s great when we can get people out into nature to see the reality of their food, but that isn’t always feasible. The people who came to our event came because they wanted to learn what it means to take a fish from live to cooked. As in all things we do, we created this event to take people one step closer to being comfortable obtaining and preparing delicious food. We will continue to search for innovative ways to bring fresh food to urban settings, and to hew to our mission of supporting a vibrant local society through the lens of great food.
Oil Poached Albacore
With Sungold Tomatoes, New Zealand Spinach, Sweet Corn and Feta
Every season is great for produce in California, but the bright crispness of summer is something special. Right now is peak time for tomatoes, the corn is sweet, the albacore are running, and our one of our favorite local wild greens, New Zealand spinach, is just right. So I figured why not just add butter, olive oil, thyme, fresh pasta from Lucca’s, and leave the flavors to shine through. This is on our menu at The Wild Kitchen this week. Info here. Serves 4 (with leftovers) You’ll need: 1.5 lbs fresh parpadelle 4 ears corn 1 lb sungold tomatoes 1/2 lb new Zealand spinach (forage this by the beach) 1/2 lb. butter 4 quarts olive oil 1 lbs albacore loin 2 heads garlic bay Miripoix (1/2 lb onion, 1/2 lb celery, 2 carrots) 1/2 lb feta cheese-First you’ve got to poach your fish, and get your pasta water going. (Basically giving your fishy friend a warm oil bath). To save oil, you can also do this in foodsaver bags sous vide style. If you need to cheat, you can use tuna canned in olive oil. It won’t be quite as tasty, but still pretty delicious.-You probably know how to cook pasta, but just in case, get a large pot of very salty water boiling.-Cut albacore into 4 inch chunks.
-Add garlic and bay to oil in a large pan. You want the oil to be able to cover the fish.
-Heat oil to 120 degrees over low heat, and then add the fish. The timing depends a lot on the consistency of the temp, as well as the size of the fish. You want the loin to cook through without drying out. When the fish pulls easily apart, its done, usually about 20-30 minutes. Don’t stress too much though, it’s a forgiving process with all that oil around.
-While that’s cooking, prepare your sauce.
-Clean all your veggies, shuck corn, pull leaves away from the spinach stalk, dice your miripoix, mince your garlic, and pick your thyme.
-Now make your sauce: Sweat onion until translucent in oil and plenty of butter (the butter is going to be what coats your pasta, so be generous), add celery and carrot, cook 5 minutes, add garlic and corn, simmer 5 more, then add tomatoes, reduce heat, add thyme, and reduce to simmer while you prepare the fish
-By now the fish should be done. Pull it apart into teeth sinkable chunks, and mix into sauce. Add salt and pepper to season.
-Now throw your pasta into the water, and cook until done (when it floats and is delicious). Drain, add it to the sauce, and stir gently for 3 minutes so you get a good coating of deliciousness on there. Mix in cheese. Done! Eat! Add some bread if you like (which I do). If you’re feeling fancy, grill the bread and brush it with fresh garlic. While not many people support the starch on starch thing, we all know it tastes great.
You can come enjoy the summer pasta with us (tickets here), or make it at home, but either way try this dish, tis’ the season.
Sometimes I worry that it is. That all this; local food, local community, organic food, humane treatment of animals, developing local economies based on people running their own businesses, mutual trust built on real relationships, the move away from industrial food, that it’ll all go away. It’s happened before. This philosophy was popular back in the 1960’s; canning, foraging (Euell Gibbons is still my go to for wild edible knowledge), small-scale farming… all the kids were doing it. Then came the 80’s with TV dinners and… well, honestly, I wasn’t too aware of what was going on in the 80’s, but I do know that in the 90’s I went to a hippie boarding school (Buxton!) where we chopped our own wood, the dorm I lived in was called “The Barn,” but we still had chicken patty Wednesdays and “Orange Drink” on the table at every meal. By then the pendulum had swung back, and no one gave a second thought to what they were putting in their bodies. I sometimes worry that this decline will happen again. I got a book in the mail the other day that gives me hope that this won’t be the case. It’s called “Farming the City” , a book created in Amsterdam, and at its heart it’s a glossary of food movements taking place around the planet. There’s Brook Park Chickens in the Bronx, a small volunteer run chicken coop; Turntable Urban Garden In Helsinki, a government-funded community garden, educational space, and café; Culinary Misfits in Berlin, started by two women who reclaim produce deemed unsuitable for sale (which is often thrown away) to repurpose into jams and preserves; I could go on. For that list I just opened the book to random pages, and throughout there are scores of similar projects, great examples of people who come up with an idea, then fight to make it happen. From starting my own business I know how hard it must have been for each and every one of them. From the day they had that light bulb moment, to the days and months and years it took to tear it out of their brain and manifest it for the world to see.
What gives me hope is that people seem to keep doing it, and not just here, but all over the world. There’s a lot of talk of us living in a bubble here in The Bay Area, and we do, there is no arguing that. What we are, and what the bubble allows us to be, is an incubator for ideas that spread across the world. The support and excitement that people here show for new ideas catapults things that otherwise may have never existed into reality. People look to our ideas and create their own, and the freedom of our bubble inspires others to see the ability in themselves to create the change they want to see in their own world. What is great about all this is that we're not the only bubble. We're part of a global community of people, all with their heads down working hard to reshape the world into one they want to exist. We look to others for inspiration and they look to us. I truly do believe that if we all keep it up, the world will be a very different place when we’re done.
The Cottage Food Law, which allows the homemade production and sale of certain foods, was passed on Jan 1st. I was so excited because I assumed that people would be able to start getting permits right away, but of course, that is not how government works. I’ve recently started looking into where we are in the process, and wanted to share what I’ve found. It looks like DPH has set their guidelines and has started to issue permits. Before those permits can be official, however, the ordinance needs to be pushed through by the board of supervisors, specifically the Budget and Finance committee (you can check here for updates on the ordinance). To do this, one of the Sups needs to become a sponsor of the ordinance, and then a vote can be called. This should happen at the end of this month or early May, but in advance of that, The Health Department is taking applications for permits and issuing licenses. DPH (The Department of Public Health) has outlined the structure of the permits on their end. They’ve set the fees at:
This permit allows production and direct sale of homemade foods. So if you’re making something and plan only to sell it to people face to face, this is for you:
No application fee
$100 billed to you by city after registration accepted (annual fee)
$127 zoning referral fee (one time cost unless you move) sent in with your application.
You’ll need this permit if you want to sell through a secondary market (grocery store, mail order, etc):
$332 application fee (one time cost unless you move) send in with application
$127 zoning referral fee (one time cost unless you move) sent in with application
$350 annual fee billed to you after application accepted.
Personally I’m not sure why there should be a zoning department fee for this ordinance. If you’re not opening a retail store out of your home, it doesn’t seem like it should fall under their jurisdiction. Honestly though, I’m still learning about all this, so we’ll see.
I’ve reached out to David Chiu, the president of the Board Of Supervisors, to get more information about the best way to nudge along the process, and we’ve been discussing different avenues to get people on their way to making (and selling!) their homemade goods.
We’re hosting classes taught by Patricia Kline and Christina Oatfield, both of whom were instrumental in getting the law passed on the state level. They will have more in depth info about what can/cannot be made under the law, and all the info you’ll need to start your home food business. Check here for dates.
This is exciting stuff! I feel like this law is really moving us in a more sane direction on the issue of homemade food. This is a first step. Once we prove that we can keep people safe, and that small producers are not the ones we need to worry about, that if anyone should have mandatory inspections it should be huge meat plants—not-home based cookie makers—hopefully we can expand the law to cover all kinds of homemade foods.