About the Authors

Lisa Kivirist and son, Liam, at a farmstand at 

Inn Serendipity.  Pickles for sale are possible 

thanks to Wisconsin's "Pickle Bill" being passed,

allowing for cottage foods to be sold.

Photo: John D. Ivanko

Lisa Kivirist and John D. Ivanko


A leading advocate for cottage food entrepreneurs, Kivirist served as a plaintiff in the successful lawsuit against the State of Wisconsin with a judge eventually declaring the ban on the sale of home baked goods unconstitutional. As a result, she and her family launched Inn Serendipity Fresh Baked Homemade Bakery, offering truly homemade bakery items to the local community and throughout the State of Wisconsin. At their home, they regularly offer hands-on workshops related to launching cottage food businesses from your home.

Lisa and her husband and co-author-and-photographer, John Ivanko, also write extensively on topics related to homemade food products or on-farm food service, like farm-to-table dinners on the farm or "pizza farms." They work with Renewing the Countryside, an organization that offers on-farm food service training programs.

As authors of fifteen books, national speakers and recognized spokespeople for the national sustainable agriculture movement, Lisa and John are regular presenters at numerous national conferences and library, university and community events. They’re co-authors of Farmstead Chef, the award-winning ECOpreneuring and Rural Renaissance. John is also the co-author of several award-winning children’s multicultural photobooks, including To Be a Kid, Be My Neighbor and To Be an Artist.  Lisa's latest book is Soil Sisters.

Lisa and John are both sought-after experts for the media. They’ve been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, MSNBC and on various radio programs across the country, including Martha Stewart Radio, the Sirius Satellite Network and Good Food on KCRW. As freelance journalists, they’re contributors to Mother Earth News, Urban Farm, Mother Earth Living, Hobby Farms and Natural Awakenings, among many others.


Food Advocacy and Entrepreneurship

Lisa Kivirist serves as a Senior Fellow, Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems for the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Minnesota and served as a distinguished IATP Food and Community Fellow.  She initiated and directs the In Her Boots Project, an award-winning initiative of the Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) that provides resources and networking for women farmers and food-based entrepreneurs. She writes a column for Women, Food and Agriculture (WFAN) entitled “Female Fare,” connecting women in agriculture to national policy issues.


Pioneers of Farm-Fresh Food Travel and Ecotourism

Lisa and John are innkeepers of the award-winning Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast, completely powered by renewable energy. Their B&B features local, seasonal vegetarian cuisine prepared with ingredients harvested from the Inn’s organic gardens. They also write and speak about culinary travel, agritourism and ecotourism trends.


Lisa and John share their organic farm in Browntown, Wisconsin, with their son and millions of ladybugs.

You can connect with Lisa and John on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.