A Home-Based Baker Shouldn’t Have To Choose Between Her Dog and Business

Hula is a good girl. She gets overly excited when guests visit, and sometimes she pokes her nose through the backyard fence and barks. But she follows one important rule: She avoids the room between the kitchen and the driveway.

No dogs are allowed inside. Hula, a 7-year-old Belgian shepherd mix, learned quickly when her human parents renovated the space in November 2022, adding an oven, freezer, cooktop and mixers. “She knows not to go in there,” says Hula’s mom, who uses the pet-free zone for a homemade cookie business and asked to remain anonymous for this piece.

The door mostly stays closed anyway, creating clear boundaries between the main kitchen for family meals and the workspace for “cottage food,” which refers to homemade food for sale. The setup eliminates any sanitation concerns about indoor pets.

“I have really high standards for myself,” says Hula’s mom. “My product is a reflection of me and my integrity.”

Despite the safeguards, Hula’s existence jeopardizes the business. North Carolina, where the family lives, bans pets in homes used for cottage food production. The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services makes no exceptions. Even a goldfish or hamster could turn an otherwise legal business into a criminal enterprise.

The pet prohibition puts Hula’s mom in a bind. She could stop selling cookies, move to another state, or lease space in a commercial kitchen, which would mean driving 30 minutes each way to bake on a fixed schedule while paying thousands of dollars in rent—killing flexibility and profit.

The other options are unthinkable. The family could return Hula to the shelter where they rescued her as a puppy. Or they could banish her permanently to the backyard. Hula’s mom refuses.

“Your pet is part of your family,” she said. “I don’t think it’s fair to make me choose between business and family.”

Rather than comply, Hula’s mom took her cottage food operation underground. She pays taxes and obeys other laws, but she skips the mandatory home inspection and certification. Now she must look over her shoulders when she bakes. She cannot advertise, participate in big community events, or do anything else to draw attention to herself.

Too much success could alert government agents, who could show up and bust her. No puppy dog ​​eyes could stop the assault on economic liberty—the right to earn an honest living in a safe and responsible manner.

The zero-tolerance pet policy is just one example of misguided and sometimes unconstitutional cottage food restrictions nationwide. All 50 states and Washington, DC, authorize these home-based businesses. But most jurisdictions also hold them back.

Our public interest law firm, the Institute for Justice, filed lawsuits in Minnesota, Nebraska, and New Jersey to end some of the most stifling cottage food regulations. We sued Wisconsin twice. Yet these are not the only states with problems.

Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington state cap annual revenue at $25,000, leaving little room for profit after expenses. Hawaii tires online sales and mail-order delivery. Many

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I’m a gardening pro and found the eight laziest ways to keep your plants alive – plus they’ll only cost you pennies

A GARDENING pro has shared eight of the easiest tips to keep your plants alive – and they’ll only set you back pennies.

Armen suggested using a tablespoon of cinnamon to keep pesky insects away, and a sponge at the bottom of your plant pots for a no-effort solution to watering.

Armen took to TikTok to share eight easy ways to look after your plants - including using cinnamon to ward off pesky insects


Armen took to TikTok to share eight easy ways to look after your plants – including using cinnamon to ward off pesky insectsCredit: TikTok/@creative_explained
He also recommends using cellotape to remove spider mites from leaves, and leftover potato water to add key nutrients back into your soil.


He also recommends using cellotape to remove spider mites from leaves, and leftover potato water to add key nutrients back into your soil.Credit: TikTok/@creative_explained

He also claimed keen gardeners can use cellotape to quickly remove spider mites from leaves.

Known online as @creative_explained, the content creator regularly shares life hacks and green-fingered tips with his 5.9 million followers.

In a new TikTok reel, he said: “Gardening hacks.

“If you put a sponge in the bottom of a pot it will act as a water reserve for your plants, keeping the soil nice and moist.

“Sprinkle cinnamon on the soil to keep ants away and stimulate root growth!

“Misting your plants with chamomile tea will boost their growth and prevent diseases on the leaves.

“If you want your plants to bloom, sprinkle some Epsom salt on the soil.

“To quickly remove bugs off leaves, just wrap some tape around your hand and then just tap away.

“Check this out…dead on contact. Sorry spider mites.

“After you’ve done boiling potatoes, all that water is packed with nutrients.

“Don’t dump it out. Save it and use it to fertilize your plants!

“Clone your plants with honey! Just get a clipping, cut the bottom at an angle, dip it in the honey and plant it in soil. done.

“Put a whole egg in the hole next time you plant something – it’ll enrich the soil.”

Fans loved his quick, green-fingered tips, with the video gaining more than 32,500 likes and 344,400 views.

In the comments, other TikTokkers shared their reactions, with one writing: “So many ideas!”

“Okay the cinnamon and epsom salt are true and will work. They are not long term like everything in this video, but it works,” another commented.

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A third added: “I love this guy! He has all kinds of tricks for plants and stuff.”

Someone else put: “Constantly learning. Love your info. I use it offensive.”

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Millions of real estate documents to be amended in California county

Sonoma County’s recorder’s office has confirmed that millions of its real estate documents contain racial covenants meant to restrict people of color from owning property, and the county is now taking steps to rectify this.

California has a deep history of redlining, a racist practice dating back to the 1930s that prevented anyone who wasn’t white from living or purchasing property in certain neighborhoods. In Sonoma County, these practices involve including racially restrictive language in real estate documents.

“For example, there are a lot of properties that are restricted to only those of Caucasian descent,” said Deva Marie Proto, Sonoma County’s clerk-recorder-assessor.

Proto said that the recorder’s office is searching for an outside vendor to identify keywords and phrases in documents that may indicate the presence of racially restrictive covenants so that those covenants can be redacted. Some keywords include “Caucasian,” “African,” “Asiatic” and “Mongolian,” she said.

The racial covenants in places like Sonoma County differed from redlining practices in other parts of the Bay Area, which more often involved literal lines being drawn on government maps indicating which neighborhoods were “undesirable” and therefore off-limits to mortgage lenders and insurance providers.

“Racial covenants were even more specific than that and were written into the deeds of specific properties and sometimes entire developments to prevent the sale of those properties to certain groups,” said Holden Weisman, senior director for economic equity at the Greenlining Institute, an Oakland -based nonprofit that focuses on racial and economic equity in the Bay Area.

The racial covenants being identified in Sonoma County usually existed in whiter and wealthier areas, Weisman said. Even though they differ from the practice of outlining “undesirable” areas on a map, they still fit within the broader definition of redlining as the systematic practice of excluding communities of color from economic opportunities based on race.

“One big distinction that I’ll draw between them is that these covenants are generally found in what we would see as higher-opportunity, higher-income, more white areas now, because those were the areas that worked trying to exclude communities of color and other groups from entering those communities,” Weisman said.

The use of racially restrictive covenants was deemed unenforceable by the Supreme Court in 1948 and made illegal through the Fair Housing Act of 1968. However, the long-term effects of their use — and the use of redlining practices in general — are still felt across the state.

“We are seeing the lasting effects of these practices in terms of health disparities, in terms of the racial wealth gap that persists, in terms of environmental factors that different communities face, and in terms of just the general quality of life that different communities have access to. And that is tied directly back to both redlining and to these kinds of practices, like racial covenants,” Weisman said.

In 2021, Assembly Bill 1466 passed in California, which created a process for local recorders to identify and redact racially restrictive language within real estate documents.

So far, Sonoma County is

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Actor Tyler James Williams Takes His Love for Gardening Beyond ‘Abbott Elementary’

On the award-winning series, Abbott Elementary, actor Tyler James Williams often shows us his Black boy joy through gardening. However, what many don’t know is that his love for beautifying urban spaces and vacant stems a lot beyond the television screens. It’s something he’s passionate about in real life. To celebrate National Gardening Day, which is today, April 14, 2023, the Everyone Hates Chris star is teaming up with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day for an initiative that not only honors his love for getting his hands in the dirt, but one that also seeks to bring joy to communities across the country.

“Growing up in New York, I never really saw gardens or spaces like this, so I didn’t know much about it,” the actor shares with EBONY. “It wasn’t until I got older and had money that I was able to experience the joy that gardening brings. Oftentimes, things like this [gardening] are reserved for the affluent, but the Lots of Compassion initiative with Mrs. Meyer’s will help to change that. So I am always down to team up with something that helps to better our communities.”

For every Compassion Flower product sold on mrsmeyers.com & Grove Co., $1 will go to the Lots of Compassion Program. The goal is to fund $1 million in grant programs over the next 5 years so that local community gardens and their surrounding communities can thrive.

Williams shares that by allowing Black and Brown communities to have resources to spruce up the often run down vacant lots found in inner cities, it can help not only transform that area, but it can positively impact the residents’ mental health as well. Off camera, he often spends time helping out in gardens around Los Angeles. He even recently helped plant Compassion Flowers in the Third Street Elementary School garden.

But, for him, it’s also about increasing representation in the gardening space.

“When most people hear gardeners, they think of their grandma or aunties. But Black men garden too,” shares Williams. “I am proud to help bring that representation to light, but I think the pandemic also really heightened the visibility as well. We’re seeing more and more men in the gardening space, and I love it.”

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Home business bill SB 1162 shot down by Hobbs | Kingman Daily Miner

PHOENIX — Gov. Katie Hobbs killed legislation Tuesday that proponents said was designed to make it easier for people to operate home-based businesses.

Current law allows such operations as long as they meet certain conditions. And it even allows for temporary commercial signs and offering items for sale.

SB 1162 would have gone a step beyond, declaring that home businesses are “allowed as a use by the right” as long as it doesn’t run afoul of deed restrictions. And it would have eliminated any requirement for licensing that would have allowed city officials to be aware that a business was operating in the area.

“You should be able to operate a home-based business,” said Sen. Steve Kaiser, R-Phoenix, the sponsor of the legislation. He noted that many people started such businesses during COVID.

“We don’t need heavy regulation,” Kaiser said.

Hobbs, however, sided with local officials who were in opposition to effectively removing all their power to regulate.

“While there is no doubt that more can be done to support small businesses in Arizona, this approach is far too broad,” the governor said in his 25th veto of the session. “This bill would create challenges for public safety and code enforcement in neighborhoods.”

That mirrors the comments of Tom Savage, a lobbyist for the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, who was tested against the measure when it was heard by the Senate Commerce Committee. He said the measure would make it more difficult for communities to take care of the needs of adjacent property owners.

“The bill seems to tip the scale in favor of the property rights of those who want to operate a home-based business over the property rights of those who bought their home expecting their neighborhood to be quiet and free from commercial activity,” Savage said . And he said the fact that there are home-based businesses now, under existing local regulations, proves there is no need to further restrict the ability of communities to have some oversight.

But Jenna Bentley, lobbyist for the Goldwater Institute, said the measure is justified.

“Sometimes this is a primary source of income,” she tested. “Sometimes this is a side job they do to help pay for groceries.”

And Bentley said SB 1162 is structured so that it applies only to those operations that have “no impact” on neighborhoods.

Hobbs, in her veto message, was unconvinced.

“I believe that there is a common-sense approach that balances the needs of neighborhoods and small businesses,” she wrote. “This bill fails to strike that balance, and I look forward to working with the Legislature and local leaders to support entrepreneurs and small businesses.”

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