Community Food News

New cottage food law supports Nebraska’s entrepreneurs

In 2015, a working group gathered to talk about the challenges Nebraska food consumers and producers alike face, and how to best address them.

In 2019, Nebraska Legislative Bill (LB) 304 was passed, expanding the state’s food laws to facilitate growth among cottage food entrepreneurs, or those who bake and prepare certain foods in their home kitchens and sell them on a small scale.

Transplanted gardener welcomed at Omaha Nation Farmers Market

Tomas Delacruz lives north of Macy, Nebraska, where his two acres of land host an ever-expanding garden. 

Growing up in Mexico, Tomas and his family harvested chilies and peppers. Now, living in Nebraska, he continues to grow those familiar staples, and has added a plethora of other vegetables to his garden, some of which he was able to sell last summer. 

For assistance in selling his produce, Tomas reached out to former Center for Rural Affairs community food associate, Bounthy Parker, who helped run the Omaha Reservation Community Farmers Market, in Macy and Walthill.

Learning is a lifelong endeavor for Center staff member

Since 2015, Suzi French has been a valuable member of the Center for Rural Affairs team, and, recently, she just became even more of an asset to the Center’s work. 

As a community foods associate working alongside the Omaha Tribe in Walthill, Nebraska, Suzi focuses on assisting residents who live on the Omaha Reservation. She helps people plan and start their gardens, as well as guides them in building a business from their home gardens, all while bringing the community together.

A 7-step recipe for a community garden

A community garden is a way to grow delicious, fresh produce and to bring together neighbors and community members. A community garden also requires buy-in from the community, proactive planning, and ongoing maintenance.

Every community is unique, and every garden has different needs and ingredients for success. Here are tips for a successful, sustainable community garden:

1. Plan ahead. Don’t feel like you need to plant all at once. Space plantings so you have a harvest most weeks.

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