Try to find a definition for the phrase “domestic arts’ and you’ll encounter old favorites such as ‘home economics’ or more contemporary alternatives like ‘family and consumer sciences’. Personally, the ‘arts’ portion of the phrase is what intrigues me the most; I believe it invites us—maybe even challenges us—to be creative problem solvers.
So, while pondering and Googling the topic, I came across an interesting article entitled Reviving the Domestic Arts in a Slow Economy. It’s an intelligent and well-considered article by Tera Schreiber, who suggests that it’s high time we regain some of the practical know-how our forefathers (and fore-mothers) had.
The article lists several of the more popular ‘arts’ we see trending these days; gardening, canning and preserving, something called ‘wild-crafting’ and yes, raising chickens. The article is informative and filled with common sense advice, and given the state of the economy, common sense is bankable.
To read the whole article, visit seattlewomanmagazine.com
Root Cellar image courtesy of loghome.com
Part of the expanding movement to localize food systems and stimulate small-scale food production is the trend in cottage food production and distribution.
To support this trend, Cottage Food Laws, also known as Baker’s Bills, are emerging all over the country. These are laws that allow people to prepare certain foods in their own home kitchen for sale and distribution. Such initiatives support individuals who would like to start their own food business but can’t afford the financial and logistical burden of having a commercial kitchen.
By taking the first small steps at their home kitchens, budding food businesses can begin to develop a customer base and raise part of the capital that will eventually expand their companies.
Currently, there are more than two-dozen states in the U.S. allowing some sort of commercial homemade food sales. Guidelines differ from state to state; check out this full list of states with Cottage Food Laws.
The trend goes hand in hand with other behavior changes sweeping the country; namely awareness and demand for locally grown and produced food and goods, sustainable agriculture, backyard chickens, and small batches versus mass-produced products.
If you would like to start a home-based food production business, or would simply like more information about Cottage Food Laws & resources see:
Photo credit: Pike Place Honey Jars
Copyright All rights reserved by Laura Zimmerman
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* This post was originally published on September 24, 2011.
Check out the diagram below from a report entitled, Tiers of the Food System: A New Way of Thinking About Local and Regional Food. Some very smart researchers over at the UW Madison Center For Integrated Agricultural Systems generated the report, which outlines the framework of our modern American food system.
The report depicts our food system as concentric circles of food production and consumption, with the vast majority of supply being produced at a distant outer ring, far removed from most Americans’ immediate circle of reference and influence.
Tiers of the Food System UW Madison Center For Integrated Agricultural Systems
From farmers’ markets to supermarkets, there is a spectrum of relationships between consumers and those that grow, process, distribute and market food. The burgeoning local food trend has caused many people to seek food from—and personal contact with—local farmers as a way to connect with the food they eat.
But it’s the bullseye of the Personal Production of Food, aka (Tier 0), that acknowledges the growing number of people who grow, hunt or process at least some of their own food that I want to point out. This tier includes backyard and community gardens, home food preservation, and subsistence farming, hunting, gathering, fishing and backyard chickens!
Tier 0, the bullseye, is the tier we’re trying to facilitate and empower here at Eggzy.