— Ellie Vanasse, Crow River Food Council Member

If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re a fan of buying local. My journey to loving local food began with gardening and canning with my mom, but it was working at Common Ground Garden, a CSA farm, in college that truly solidified my passion for local food. I felt so connected to every vegetable we grew, every person who visited, every flower we picked. It felt like home. This experience also led to an interest in low-waste living, and I’ve been finding ways to decrease my waste since then.

Many recognize the stereotypical zero-waste image: a year’s worth of trash fitting into a pint mason jar. Maybe that’s something you’re striving for. Maybe you think that’s insane. I fall somewhere in the middle of that spectrum; I want to live with intention and care, but I don’t want to create unnecessary stress or pressure. Here are five ways I’ve found to feasibly decrease my waste:

  1. Bring your reusable bags
    I leave several bags in my car so I’m never without. They come in handy at the grocery store, farmers market, thrift store, or even when I’m cleaning out my car.
  2. Freeze in reusable containers
    Freezing is a great way to preserve summer produce for the long winter months. But so many people freeze in plastic bags! I’ve converted to mason jars, silicone bags, steel containers, and other reusable food storage containers.
  3. Make pesto with veggie stems and tops
    Kale stems, carrot tops, parsley, basil, celery tops, kohlrabi greens, beet greens, and turnip greens all combine in a food processor with oil, walnuts/cashews/almonds, and parmesan cheese to make pesto that I freeze in small glass jars to use throughout the year. It’s great on pasta, but I also love pesto on pizza, roasted veggies, soup, and toast.
  4. Save veggie scraps to make broth
    As I cook, scraps from carrots, celery, onions, garlic, sweet peppers, herbs, mushrooms, and zucchini go into a bag in the freezer. Every three months or so, I dump everything in a stock pot, cover it with water, and simmer for four hours to make vegetable stock. And if I have some chicken bones, those go in as well to make chicken stock.
  5. Find a way to compost
    I live in an apartment, which makes backyard composting impractical (if not impossible). But, I found an alternative! A 7-gallon pail on my balcony collects scraps. When it’s full, I dump it at the city compost site. The pail probably takes 2-3 months to fill (it fills a little faster during the summer), so it really is minimal effort.

Note on COVID-19: For some, the pandemic has created more time to explore things like cooking, composting, and other low-waste living techniques. For others, the increased stress of this time has greatly limited the capacity to think of things beyond daily life. Or maybe that stress was high even before the pandemic. Care for the mental and emotional health of yourself and loved ones is a priority. If you are feeling overwhelmed and in need of mental health support for yourself or a loved one, call the Minnesota Warmline at 651-288-0400 or text “Support” to 85511.

National Farm to School Month

— Jamie Stang, Crow River Food Council Member

Did you know that more than half of school districts in Minnesota participate in farm to school activities? That means that nearly a half million students in more than 1000 Minnesota schools eat foods that are grown locally. And more than half of schools districts report they are planning to increase the amount of local food they purchase.

Locally grown foods are served as part of all types of meals in schools in our area, including breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Minnesota schools spend more than $12 million a year on local foods, which averages about 13% of their school food service budgets.

pexels-monserrat-soldú-600615More than 80% of school districts that participate in farm to school activities buy local fruits and vegetables, 29% buy local milk and 22% buy locally-raised meat or poultry. Other foods that CRFC-area schools purchase locally include eggs, dried beans, grains and flour, bakery items, and herbs. The top foods purchased in our area include apples, watermelon, milk, eggs, and cucumbers. Most schools buy direct from local farmers but may also obtain local foods from school buying cooperative programs.

The Buffalo school district has been very active in Farm to School activities for nearly a decade. In addition to the typical foods such as apples that they purchased locally from Deer Lake Orchard, they have received tomatoes, squash and yellow beans from local producer, Trumpeter Swan Farm. Local foods are served every week as part of their school meals programs. CRFC member Sue Spike has been actively creating tasty foods from local foods such as chocolate hummus and black bean brownies.

In addition to school-aged children participating in farm to school activities, one-third of Minnesota preschool children participate as well. Childcare centers, home childcare settings and Head Start programs have developed similar partnerships with local food producers to increase the amount of local foods they serve.

pexels-markus-spiske-168287Farm to school activities go beyond the foods served as part of meals. Many schools, preschools and childcare centers have started gardens, which provide students with the opportunity to learn where food comes from. Children who participate in growing a garden are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables than children who don’t participate in these programs.

State agencies and organizations in Minnesota have also developed materials to assist educators in using school gardens and other farm to school activities to meet state curriculum standards. Free resources include the Minnesota School Gardens guide, monthly Minnesota Ag in the Classroom kits, and virtual farm to school field trips during National Farm to School Month. Many of these are available to parents who are educating their children at home during this time of fluctuating school schedules.

Take time during October, which is National Farm to School Month, to celebrate our connections between students and local food, share our farm to school stories and show gratitude to our school nutrition and farmer heroes providing essential services during these pandemic times. To learn more, visit Minnesota’s Farm to School Month website.

— Colleen Wolbeck, Crow River Food Council Member

Farmers Markets are going to look a lot different this year. Life looks a little different and I want to introduce the “New Normal” as we will be operating very differently for the 2020 season and beyond. The Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association and the Minnesota Department of Health has set new guidelines for social distancing and safety during this Farmers Market season. This post will help guide market Managers, Vendors and Customers in possible changes to the market. Please be advised that each market will have different guidelines and your local market may be different.

With the new social distancing and keeping everyone safe, most markets are having handwashing stations at the entrance of every market to keep hands clean. Customers are distanced from vendors with an empty table so customers don’t touch merchandise. Customers will verbally tell the vendor what products they want and then it will be placed on the table to keep every transaction safe. Online orders and curbside and or drive thru will be available at some markets. Vendors are encouraged to have websites and a form of online orders to keep the process quick and contact to a minimum.

person-standing-on-arrow-1745766Markets will limit the number of entrances and the flow of traffic with arrows and exits. One customer will be allowed at a vendor at one time. Exact change or pre paying will be encouraged. Masks will be encouraged for all vendors and customers. We understand that it will be hot during the summer but hope that people will try to wear masks. Frequent sanitizing and limited contact between customers and vendors will be encouraged.

Many markets are rushing to get this New Normal up and running with limited resources or funding to get things started this year. In many counties you can contact the county public health and get funding from SHIP (Statewide Health Improvement Partnership) to pay for COVID-19 improvements to markets. These items will include: distancing measures, handwashing stations and hand sanitizer. Markets looking for sanitizing products can go the website allhandsmn.org to order for the season.

Food sampling is now allowed for vendors, but samples are only allowed in pre-portioned cups as of June 26th 2020. We have found that people are really enjoying the Farmers Markets this year and there is an uptick in new customers. People are buying and buying a lot from vendors! Vendors are happy and while this is a different year, it is an exciting time for Farmers Markets! Happy Summer Everyone.

Blog updated 7/7/2020. For the most updated information and guidelines, please refer to the Minnesota Farmers’ Market AssociationMinnesota Department of Health and your local market.

— Connie Carlson, Executive Director, Crow River Food Council

The COVID-19 epidemic is rapidly impacting all of us in ways that many of us probably didn’t expect. From toilet paper shortages to learning how to make a Zoom call, these times are requiring us to be flexible, resilient, inventive and patient. On behalf of the Crow River Food Council, we hope you are finding ways to take care of yourself and others that maintains both your physical and mental health.

One way that I’m caring for myself is planning out my 2020 garden. This is something I enjoy and look forward to doing every year. I ordered my seeds from my favorite companies, have drawn out my diagrams and planned where I’m going to put my plants. Perhaps in a fit of extreme optimism, I put in a row of carrots and peas with my quarantined teenager this week, just before it snowed.

CRFC_seedsI thought one way I could be of service to my community during this disruptive time is provide new gardeners with some ideas for how they can start their own garden this year. I’ve been hearing through the circles that there has been high demand for seeds and that Victory Gardens might be making a return. (If you don’t know about Victory Gardens, I encourage you to read about them here.)

So, I’ve made a short list of suggestions to think through if you are considering planting a garden this year. I encourage you to post questions, comments or suggestions and keep the conversation flowing!

  1. Keep It Simple: if this is your first year or first time growing something, keep it simple. Gardens do require regular weeding, watering, pest management and harvesting and if you haven’t managed one before, it’s easy for them to get away from you. Simple is wonderful.
  2. Do Some Homework: there are a few things to know about gardening that will help start you out on the right foot and the University of Minnesota Extension website is great place to get good information. These are the very first things you should know:
    1. Our Growing Zone: Wright County is in Zone 4. When you pick seeds or plants, be sure to select ones that are within our growing zone.
    2. DSC_0062Cool season vs. warm season: Some plants grow better when the soil is cool. These include peas, salad greens, carrots and beets. This list of plants can be sown directly from seed and are even frost tolerant. Some plants need the soil to be warmer, like cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and squash. Some of these plants can be started from seed in your garden (cucumbers and squash) and others will need to be started indoors or purchased as seedlings (tomatoes and peppers). Seed packets and labels have this information printed on them.
    3. Soil Nutrients: it’s always smart to test your soil before you plant your garden. Doing this will tell you if you need to amend your soil with additional nutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) or potassium (K). You can learn about how to do a soil test here. Don’t worry about the soil test if you are going to grow in pots this year and will be using purchased potting soil.
  3. Make a plan: Some people start with pots or dig up a small patch of their lawn in a sunny spot.
    1. Sun: Vegetables need at least eight hours of sunlight, so before you dig up your lawn, watch the area to see what type of sunlight it gets.
    2. Water: Also, be sure to consider your water source and have a plan for how you are going to keep your garden adequately watered.
    3. Weeds: One of the best ways to keep down weed pressure is to mulch around your rows. I use grass clippings (I don’t spray my yard), but wood chips, newspaper, cardboard or straw works too.
  4. Expect to Make Some Mistakes: I grew up on a farm with a family garden and have had a garden every year for over 20 years but every year brings something new. Some years, my tomatoes are the pride of the neighborhood and other years I’m begging friends to share their extras. Sometimes my mistakes are carelessness, but most of the time when things don’t go right, weather or pests are to blame. That’s just the way it is with gardening. Be kind to yourself and keep your expectations realistic.
  5. Prepare to be Surprised: I enjoy working in the soil, watching for signs of life and listening to birds and wildlife as I garden. Every year I learn something new when I garden and every year my garden surprises me. I love using fresh herbs in my meals and watching my kids forage for a snack amongst the snap peas. Even after all this time, I’m still surprised and delighted by my garden. Good luck with your garden and enjoy the gifts it brings you every day.

Gardening from the Ground Up; a Webinar Series

A group of local Extension Educators has come together to bring you Gardening from the Ground Up; a Webinar Series. This series will take place May 12-15, 2020. Each session will be from 1:00-2:30 pm. Register at z.umn.edu/GardenUp.
●  Tuesday: Soil and Soil Testing
●  Wednesday: Fertilizer & Nutrient Deficiencies
●  Thursday: Cover Crops
●  Friday: Beneficial Insects
To receive the links to the live workshop you must register by May 11, 2020 at 12:00 noon (z.umn.edu/GardenUp). If you register after that you will receive the recorded links only. You only need to register once to gain access to all workshops. If you cannot attend all of the sessions in the series that is alright.

Seed Starting

— Jamie Stang, Wright County Master Gardener and Master Food Preservation Specialist, Crow River Food Council Member

Starting seeds indoors can be a great “pick me up” during the short, cold days of February and March. Growing your own seedlings is a great way to try out new or unusual varieties of vegetables that you may see in seed catalogs but are not available at your local nursery. It can be more economical than purchasing seedlings, especially if you have a large garden or if you share seedlings with family and friends.

plants-macro-growth-soil-113335Growing plants from seeds is easier than most people think. The trick to successful seed starting is planning ahead so that your seeds have adequate time and optimal conditions for growth. Most seeds need 4-8 weeks of indoor growing time before they are ready to plant out, so March is the ideal seed starting time for Minnesota gardeners.

Seeds should be starting in a space that has good air circulation but doesn’t have large temperature fluctuations or cold drafts. While many people are tempted to start plants on a sunny windowsill, the radiant cold and heat fluctuations are not good conditions for seedling growth, and many windows provide inadequate light. A basement or interior corner of the house that is lit with artificial lights can be an ideal location for seed starting.

Both florescent and LED bulbs can be used in place of commercial “grow lights”, which tend to be more expensive. The use of either two “cool” spectrum or a “cool and natural” spectrum combination of lights will provide adequate light for seedlings. Plants that emerge should be 2-4 inches from the light, so it’s important that either the lights can be raised and lowered by hanging them from adjustable chains, or that shelves can be adjusted as plants grow taller. Seedlings need at least 8 – 12 hours of darkness each day to mimic outdoor conditions. An automatic timer can be useful in assuring adequate but not too much light exposure.

tomato-lot-1327838The use of heat mats is beneficial for starting seeds, especially for seeds such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil and other plants that prefer warm soil conditions. Electric heat mats are available online and where seed starting supplies are sold. Heating pads sold for human use are not safe around moisture and do not provide the same level of temperature control, so they should not be used.

The best soil to use is a seed starting mixture, which is lighter than typical potting soil and is easier for tiny roots to establish themselves in. A mixture of seeding start mixture and a light texture potting soil can also be used. Because these mixes are light, they dry out quickly. But it’s also important not to overwater, as tiny roots will decay quickly in wet soil. Water lightly every day or two and check the soil about ½ inch below the top to see if moisture is needed. Spraying the seedlings with a misting bottle can be helpful in dry, indoor conditions.

Seeds should be started in small individual containers. Several seeds can be planted in each space, then thinned out as needed. Domed covers that have openings to allow for air circulation can be very useful as they help keep moisture from escaping while also allowing light in. They also help to retain heat. If used, you will want to check to make sure that excessive moisture doesn’t build up and harm seedlings.

Seedlings should be hardened off about 2 weeks before you plan to plant them into your garden beds. Start by putting them outside in a sheltered location for a few hours, then bringing them in overnight. Gradually increase the exposure to direct sun and the time outside until the temperatures are right for planting.

You can find more information and resources for starting seeds at home at the University of Minnesota extension website.

Never eat this food again!

— Katie Henson, RDN, Crow River Food Council Member

Image 2I have to admit, “Never eat this food again!” might be my most disliked click-bait of all time. Between fear mongering blog posts, ads, and the never-ending quest to find the magic bullet for weight loss, I fear that we are losing the joy in eating. The truth is, unless you have an underlying health issue, allergy, etc. there is no food you should never eat again. As a Registered Dietitian, the old tried and true (but not catchy or sexy) saying is “variety and moderation.” Any one food can be bad for you if you overdo it – even water is toxic if you drink too much! So the key is to enjoy all of your foods and focus on filling up on the good stuff. We all know what we are supposed to be eating – more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins, but I hope we can somehow find our way back to eating the occasional piece of dessert without shame and guilt. Because if you feel bad eating food that you like… what’s the point? Food tastes good and it should truly be enjoyed. And just maybe, if we truly savor our indulgent foods, we can feel happy and content with having it only occasionally. There is a quote from a Registered Dietitian that I just love,

“The answer to food guilt isn’t more self-control, willpower or discipline. It’s PERMISSION.”
–Emily Fonnesbeck

I leave you with a challenge – instead of challenging yourself with healthy eating, avoiding certain foods or eating less… I challenge you to do one of the following:

  • Find one new healthy food that you enjoy OR
  • Take a favorite recipe and add in some more healthy goodness. My favorite ways to do this:
    • You can swap out half of your flour in a recipe for whole grain flour without impacting the amount of baking soda or baking powder (in my experience it also doesn’t impact the taste much!)
    • Swap out applesauce for the oil

I would LOVE to hear from you if you have any success – let me know if you found a new recipe you love! Email us crowriverfoodcouncil@gmail.com.

— Cody Hanson, Crow River Food Council Member

Minnesota deer hunters have the opportunity to donate their harvest to families in need in our communities. The following is information regarding the wonderful and unique partnership between the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture that allows for venison donations.

The main page is here: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/deer/donation/index.html, which lays out the program, how hunters can participate, and where funding for the program is allocated from. It is important to note that deer must be donated whole, after field-dressing; individual cuts of meat cannot be accepted for donation.

The Department of Agriculture page here: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/food-feed/hunter-harvested-venison-donation-minnesota also lays out the process, provides information for interested charities who want to register, and offers cooking instructions for venison.

Second to last, this page: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/food-feed/reg-venison-processors contains a list of registered vendors for the year 2019. Each processing site must adhere to special processing for deer harvested by firearm, to include x-rays for lead fragments.

13984332612627After the deer have been inspected and passed, they are processed into cuts. An average-sized Whitetail Deer will provide 140 meals to needy families (per the University of Mississippi Deer Lab). The cuts are collected by Second Harvest from these vendors and then distributed throughout the state to registered food shelves, usually in the early spring. One interesting note about the program is that the registered processors and food shelves are required by Minnesota Statutes to provide a disclaimer that lead exposure may occur while ingesting the venison.

The venison donated during this time is important not just as another way for low-income families to access protein, but as a way to share in the celebration of our outdoor and self-sustaining culture that we cherish in Minnesota.

— Jamie Stang, Wright County Master Gardener and Master Food Preservation Specialist, Crow River Food Council Member

Now that fall is officially here, the first frost of the season isn’t far behind. It’s time to turn our attention to harvesting and storing produce such as pumpkins and winter squash. Here are a few best practices for making the most of your fall produce, according to the University of Minnesota extension program.

food-pasture-pumpkin-209515Harvest your squash and pumpkins before a hard freeze. It’s OK to leave them out during light frosts, which are often designated by nights at 29 degrees or above. Don’t worry if the vines turn brown or die back from the frost, as they are less cold tolerant than the fruit. When cutting the fruit from the vine, leave a few inches of stem attached.

The best way to cure your squash is to leave it in the garden for a week or two during dry sunny weather. This helps the skin toughen and lengthens the time it will store. If the weather is damp or rainy (as our year has been) you can take the fruit indoors and store it in a room that is around 80 degrees. Make sure you don’t crowd the fruit, as ventilation is important to allow the skin to toughen and to prevent molding. Handle the fruit with care to avoid bruising, which can speed up the process of rotting. If the fruit starts to rot, toss it in the trash quickly as squash and pumpkins can go from hard gourds to “soup” in just a few days.

butternut-squash-food-fresh-53458If you don’t have space to store whole fruit, you can preserve pumpkin and squash by roasting or boiling them, then freezing the mashed cooked fruit. Slides of squash can also be dehydrated. Canning cubed pumpkin and winter squash is fine if done in a pressure canner, but cooked pumpkin or pumpkin butter should not be canned due to the high pH and thickness of the product.

More information about preserving your squash and pumpkin can be found at the UMN Extension website: https://extension.umn.edu/preserving-and-preparing/preserving-winter-squash-and-pumpkins.

— Colleen Wolbeck, Crow River Food Council Member

The Crow River Food Council is driven to make food grown by local producers readily available to the consumers in our area. This year we have a committee who spearheaded a cooking demo program at local Farmers Markets. This idea originated from Rockford Farmers Market Manager Colleen Wolbeck who is on the Council. After a few planning meetings this idea came to life on August 9th at the Rockford Farmers Market. The second cooking demo was at the Howard Lake Farmers Market on August 29th. The chef for the demos were Jamie Stang (Rockford, pictured below at right) and Kristi Varner and Donna Gjesvold (Howard Lake).

Aviary Photo_132098762695621743The original recipe used this season is a Zoodle (Zucchini Noodle) Recipe where you spiralize zucchini into noodles. This recipe is vegan, healthy and can be lactose free if you omit the parmesan cheese. For those who don’t have a spiralizer, you can shred, use a peeler, or cut your zucchini to pasta size. Recipes will be catered to what is available at the market on the day of the demo. You can find the recipe at the bottom on the page.

All of the produce can be found at your local Farmers Market. We were lucky to have had generous produce donations by vendors and chefs. The chefs have been fellow Crow River Food Council members and a chef from Main Street Farmer in Saint Michael, but in the future we are planning to bring in more local chefs to inspire us. These cooking demos are a tool to help customers get new ideas for using the produce they buy at the market. The calendar for the rest of the season is as follows:

Monticello Farmers MarketThe market operates Thursdays, 3:30-7:00PM in the Monticello Library Parking Lot at 200 West 6th St. in Monticello. The cooking demo will be from 5-6PM on September 12th. The recipe will be the Zoodle Recipe below. The chef will be Colleen Wolbeck, a member of the Crow River Food Council and home chef.

Rockford Farmers Market – The market is open Fridays, 3:00-6:30PM at 6121 Main Streeet in Rockford. The cooking demo will be from 4-5PM on September 13th. This will be a new recipe called Summer Vegetable Quesadilla. The chef will be Stacy Besonen who is a Crow River Food Council member and Wellness Coach.

Albertville Farmers Market – The market is open Thursdays, 3:00-7:00PM located just off Main Ave in Central Park. The cooking demo will be from 5-6PM on September 26th. The recipe will be determined by what is available at the market at that time. The chef will be Colleen Wolbeck who is a member of the Crow River Food Council and home chef.

Buffalo Farmers Market – The market is open Saturday mornings from 8:00AM-12:00PM located at 100 1st Ave NE in Buffalo. The cooking demo will be from 10:30-11:30 AM.  The recipe will be determined by what is available at the market at that time. The chef will be Stacy Besonen who is a Crow River Food Council member and Wellness Coach.

We are very excited to be able to introduce this important program to help the community eat local and healthy. We plan to expand the program next year to more markets in the area. So be sure to check out one of the demos that is in your area.

Here is the recipe we have used so far (courtesy of Inspired Taste Garlic Parmesan Zoodle Recipe):

Guilt-Free Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles Pasta Recipe

PREP 8mins
COOK 12mins
TOTAL 20mins

We’re in love with this easy zucchini pasta recipe. There’s fresh zucchini, tomatoes, basil, parmesan, and lots of garlic. Plus, it only takes 20 minutes to make. Make this with 100% zucchini noodles or swap half of the zucchini for regular spaghetti for a heartier meal.

Makes 4 Servings

4 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 to 4 cloves)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like the pasta
2 medium tomatoes, chopped, see note (about 12 ounces)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 cup basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons cold water
Salt, to taste


    Trim and spiralize the zucchini. Cut extra long noodles so that they are about the length of spaghetti.
    Add olive oil, garlic, and the red pepper flakes to a large, deep skillet. Turn to medium heat. When the oil begins to bubble around the garlic, add the zucchini noodles. Toss the noodles with pasta tongs and cook until al dente — they should be wilted, but still have a crunch; 5 to 7 minutes. Do not let the noodles cook any longer or else they will become mushy. As they cook, keep tossing so that all the zucchini noodles have a chance to hit the bottom of the skillet.
    Stir in the tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese. Cook for one minute. Use pasta tongs to transfer the noodles, tomatoes, and basil to a serving dish. Leave the liquid in the skillet.
    Bring the liquid left in the skillet to a simmer.
    Combine cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl then whisk into the simmering liquid. Cook, while whisking until the liquid thickens to a sauce; about 1 minute.
    Taste the sauce and season with salt. Pour the sauce over the zucchini, tomatoes, and basil. Finish with more parmesan cheese on top and serve immediately.

— Stacy Besonen, Crow River Food Council Member

Our group of dedicated community volunteers are working hard to connect our community to local grown food. Research shows that if we eat local, we are healthier and our community thrives. This summer, we have several programs in the works. Here’s a little summary of a few of them:

  1. PoP program: Each week, kids* receive a free $2 token to spend on produce at the farmers market! Registration required, no income restrictions. Participating farmers markets: Albertville, Annandale, Buffalo, Delano, Howard Lake, Monticello, Otsego and Rockford. Partnering with the PoP program helps the program thrive, if the program thrives then local kids thrive with increased consumption of local fruits, veggies, and berries! See graphic below for dates and times. (*age eligibility depends on market)
  2. Senior CSA: A program we are hoping to develop and test this summer in which 20 area seniors will be gifted a CSA share. This is a small box of locally grown produce. Boxes will be delivered directly to the home for six weeks during peak harvest. Breaking down barriers for these seniors to have access to local produce will improve his or her wellness.
  3. Little Boon FarmMonthly meetings will be held at different locations throughout the summer. We visit local farms, restaurants that source local foods, farmers markets, food hubs and food festivals. Visiting local sites helps the council get a pulse on what is happening and what projects we need to focus on in the future.
  4. Planning and coordinating a Cooking Competition, using locally growing produce, with area high school students. We are mentoring and inspiring future chef’s and food service entrepreneurs. These students will also involve area middle and elementary school students in to the cooking competition process.
  5. Group1Farmers Market Coalition Manager: continuous communication with our area farmers markets helps everyone understand the need for locally grown produce, not only for our communities, but for our farmers, too! Read about our latest Farmers Market Manager meeting here.
  6. Saving food from being wasted! Working with our farmers to save the ugly produce, extra produce before it spoils, and those who could benefit and consume this produce. To see a list of what other states are doing with gleaning, click here: https://foodtank.com/news/2017/11/gleaning-fighting-food-waste/

If you are interested in becoming involved in any of these projects or have ideas for us, please feel free to connect.


WC PoP 2019


Feature image is a stock photo.