The Cornell Small Farms Program is seeking feedback from farmers for a proposal they have drafted in cooperation with New York Farm Bureau to change laws governing the legal dehydration of farm and home-grown mushrooms in the state. Currently, growers must obtain a 20C food processing license in order to process and sell mushrooms legally. The proposal seeks to add “home and farm-grown mushrooms” to the list of approved foods under New York’s Home Processing law: http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/fs/consumer/processor.html
Farmers as asked to register their interest and support, as well as comment on the language of the proposal through a short survey. Farmers can access the survey at:
The proposal currently reads:
PROPOSAL TO AMEND AG & MARKETS LAW REGARDING MUSHROOM DEHYDRATION
WHEREAS, the cultivation of mushrooms on logs, straw, and other agricultural materials is becoming an important niche crop for farmers in New York.
WHEREAS, dried mushrooms are a high-value product that offers the farmer an additional product for sale and relief of the pressure to sell an entire crop fresh
WHEREAS, research has shown that mushrooms exposed to UV radiation (sunlight) for at last five hours increase in Vitamin D content 200 – 300%
WHEREAS, currently New York Regulations prohibit dehydration of mushrooms in home kitchens and require that growers use a 20C kitchen for this activity
WHEREAS, the risks of contamination from dehydrating mushrooms are very low to non-existent
WHEREAS, Cornell Small Farms Program and the northeast Food Venture Center are developing clear protocols for the safe harvest, processing, and dehydration of home and farm-grown mushrooms
THEREFORE, it is proposed that Section 276.3 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets regulations is amended to include “home and farm-grown dried mushrooms” as an eligible home processed food.
Questions can be directed to Steve Gabriel, Extension Agroforestry Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org