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Denver Approves New Urban Farming Law Allowing Some Sales From Homes

The City of Denver could become one big farmer’s market after the city council recently approved a new law that allows Denver residents to sell products they grow and make from their homes. The new law, which took effect July 18, applies to fresh produce residents have grown themselves and cottage foods such as jams and honey they have made themselves in their home kitchens.

“Denver has always been known as a city that appreciates ‘farm-to-table’ and using fresh produce and locally sourced foods, but this new law creates a whole new level of urban farming that will allow the city to become one big farmer’s market,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of Visit Denver.

Denver residents will have to purchase a permit, but then can sell from their home raw and uncut fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs that were grown by the seller either on site or in a community garden.

They also can sell whole eggs produced by chickens or ducks kept by the seller at home, or “cottage foods,” which are low-risk, unrefrigerated food products made on-site such as spices, teas, honey, jams and certain baked goods. People can sell from inside or outside their home from 8 a.m. to dusk and can sell up to $5,000 of goods a year.

“Denver has become a leader in urban farming,” Scharf said, noting that two years ago, the Colorado Convention Center opened the Blue Bear Farm on the grounds of the massive convention center and is now growing 5,000 pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables and spices used in the convention center’s kitchens.

“Many city restaurants have already put in their own gardens and farms, and now they will be able to buy vegetables, eggs, jams, and fruits grown right in the neighborhood,” Scharf said.

Denver’s larger farmer’s markets, such as Cherry Creek Farmer’s Market on Saturday and South Pearl on Sunday, feature live music and food trucks and have become popular weekend destinations. For more information on Denver’s Farmers Markets, go to: denv.co/farmersmarkets.

“Eating locally-sourced food has always been an important part of a vacation to Europe or into the countryside, but now it is being extended into an urban environment and will give visitors a new way to explore—and taste—Denver,” Scharf said.

For more information, visit denvergov.org/homebusiness.

The sale of marijuana or marijuana-infused products is not allowed.

Visit Denver is celebrating more than 100 years of promoting The Mile High City. It is a nonprofit trade association that contracts with the City of Denver to market Denver as a convention and leisure destination, increasing economic development in the city. A record 14 million visitors stayed overnight in Denver in 2013, generating $4 billion in spending, while supporting nearly 50,000 jobs, making tourism the second largest industry in Denver.

In the feature photo at top: The Blue Bear Farm on the grounds of the Colorado Convention Center. (Photo courtesy of Stevie Crecelius)

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