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Local farmers can learn how to safely and effectively offer a taste of their farms with this series

How local farmers can best access the Field-to-Market program will be the focus of five workshops put on by the North Willamette Research & Extension Center beginning in February.

There is nothing better than enjoying farm fresh produce from local growers, and now growers can offer a taste of their farm, year round, through the sale of jams, pickles, sauerkraut and other canned and bottled goods.

It is a great opportunity for small farmers or food entrepreneurs to produce a farm-direct, value-added product, such as jelly, fruit syrup, salsa, etc… that can be sold at farmers markets, but according to Kelly Streit, Food & Nutrition Instructor with the OSU Extension Service Family & Community Health (FCH) Program, implementing that law has posed some challenges.

The first Field-to-Market workshop will be Feb. 10 at th NWREC in Aurora.

"Small farmers report that the information stating how to interpret the law is unclear, and that there are questions regarding liability, and proper labeling of products," said Streit. "And farmers' market managers that want to allow sales of farm-direct products want to be assured that the products sold are safe."

To address these challenges and encourage wider implementation of the law, the Oregon State Extension Service FCH Program and Metro Small Farms Program are partnering with the Oregon Department of Agriculture to offer a series of education and skills-based workshops titled "Field-to-Market."

The workshops will explain the rules and regulations, and address the interpretation and implementation of the Farm Direct Law. The series is partially funded by a 2018 Clackamas County Innovative Funds grant.

The Field-to-Market program consists of a series of five workshops.

Attendance at the first workshop, the "Essentials," is required in order to participate in any of the remaining 4 specialty (hands-on) workshops. The Essentials delves into the topics of recipe selection, production costs, pricing, labeling requirements and implementation of the Farm-Direct Law.

Workshops

1. The Essentials – Saturday, Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

2. Acidified Foods – date to be determined

3. Dehydrated Food – date to be determined

4. Fermented Foods – date to be determined

5. High Acid Foods – date to be determined

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