Come & Get It!

What You Need to Know to Serve Food on Your Farm

Come and Get It on-farm food service manual cover image

Talk about paradise for the local food enthusiast: dining directly on a farm, savoring specialties made with that farm’s fresh-raised fare, and chatting with the farmer who grew it.

It’s appealing from the host farmers’ perspectives as well -- you can foster the intimate opportunity to share both your farm home and bucolic setting while loyal customers taste your harvest in the freshest possible manner.

Add these two motivations together and you see a vibrant movement of on-farm food events, from informal “pizza farms” selling wood-fired pizzas made with farm-raised ingredients to pricier white-tablecloth, multi-course dinners.

But while the concept of sharing a meal around a table reaches back through centuries of history, in today’s business and regulatory reality it isn’t as simple as setting out an extra table and chairs and collecting cash to get something started. Adding any form of on-farm food service to your farm business mix requires a well-thought-out and strategic planning process to bring you to long-term success.

NEWLY UPDATED IN 2019!

cover image for Come & Get It manual  

Come & Get It! Manual (PDF, 3.1 Mb)

 

 
cover image for Come & Get It case studies  

Come & Get It! Case Studies (PDF, 2.5 Mb)

  • Dinner on the Farm
  • Stoney Acres Farm
  • Borner Farm Project
  • Campo di Bella
  • Dream Acres Farm
  • Squash Blossom Farm
  • Suncrest Gardens Farm
  • Together Farms
  • Moonstone Farm
Customer Assessment image for Come & Get It manual  

Customer Assessment of Dining on the Farm (PDF, 394 kb)

 

 
Minnesota Regulations for Come & Get It manual  

Minnesota Regulations (PDF, 4.2 Mb)

 

 
Wisconsin Regulations for Come & Get It manual  

Wisconsin Regulations (PDF, 3.1 Mb)

 

 

Fair Use of Materials:

You are welcome to adapt and use these materials as needed; and to download, print, and distribute any portion of this toolkit. Please do not charge recipients more than the cost of printing and handling. Please give the following credit:

"This publication was a collaborative effort of the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, Renewing the Countryside, Farm Commons, and JDI Enterprises, Inc. Regulatory staff from the Dairy and Food Inspection Division, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; the Environmental Health Division, Minnesota Department of Health; Wisconsin Department of Health Services; and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; provided information and assisted with development and review of this document. This document is not an official publication of any of the above named agencies."

Funding for the original 2015 version of this publication came from the MISA Information Exchange and USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program. The updated 2019 material is based upon work that was supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number H004991248 through the North Central Region SARE program under project number ONC18-043. USDA is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


 

 

You might be interested in these additional MISA resources:

 

Farmstay Manual

Building a Sustainable Business: A Guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses

A Guide to Regulations for Local Food Entrepreneurs

Commercial Kitchen Guide