Can we serve produce from our garden to our guests?

  • 07/11/2018 4:25 PM
    Message # 6377335
    Bertha deBastiani (Administrator)

    Question made by our member Rev. Lawrence Jay from Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center. If you have information about it, please answer him through this blog of contact him directly 978.682.8815 x 2. Thank you!

    We have an organic garden on our property.   It is officially managed by a local church, with the produce supporting a local pantry.   Their "rent" for farming on our property is a tithe of 10% of the produce, which we then serve in our dining room.  This has been going on for three years.

    Yesterday, someone from the Health Department said that unless the farm is licensed, we cannot serve produce from our garden to our guests.  She wrote us up for this with the need to comply, but because of push back from our kitchen, she is looking up the legal grounds for her decision.  My Culinary Services Manager has been looking this up online, and cannot find anything that supports this as the garden falls below the size cut-off ($500K gross annual sales), they are not processing the vegetables in any way, and they are simply providing a direct to consumer "sale" to us as a farm stand would do.

    I am wondering if there is a way for me to reach out to members of IACCA who have gardens on their property and if they know of any legal restrictions for serving garden produce to guests.

    Thanks for your help.

    Pax et bonum,


  • 07/13/2018 8:15 AM
    Reply # 6380005 on 6377335

    I have never heard that you can't serve vegetables or fruit you've grown yourself,  or purchased from a farm stand, orchard, or the like. We serve garden grown vegetables, and many other centers do as well. I think your inspector may be confusing a similar rule that applies to meat- you can't serve meat that hasn't been inspected etc. such as wild game in a commercial kitchen.

    I'd love to hear the rule the inspector sites if they don't change their mind.

    Last modified: 07/19/2018 10:23 AM | Reuben Todd

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