Local Foods

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    Farmers Market Setup: Choosing a Location

    As the old saying goes, the most important feature of a new business is, “location, location, location.” While selecting a location may be a simple choice in some communities, it may be difficult for others. Community members, city planners and vendors may different opinions about proposed locations for the farmers market based on their goals and aspirations for the market and the community.

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    Drafting Farmers Market Documents: Market Rules

    It is strongly recommended that new and existing farmers markets draft rules to govern the daily operation of the market. Although every market participant hopes that such a document will be unnecessary, it can be a useful tool if and when conflict arises. A positive way to regard this set of rules is to consider the purpose: to clearly communicate the expectations of all persons, including vendors, patrons and managers, at the market.

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    Recommended Educational Resource: Nature Works Everywhere— Food and Carbon

    Nature Works Everywhere— Food and Carbon developed by The Nature Conservancy has activities, support websites, and videos to explore the carbon ‘footprint’ of fruit and vegetable production. This lesson plan utilizes higher-order thinking skills to allow students to explore the relationship of CO₂ when growing food in a garden or obtaining food from locally produced sources vs. purchasing produce brought into grocery stores.

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    SDSU Extension Garden-Based Education Newsletter

    SDSU Extension provides regular updates for garden educators though their Garden-Based Education Newsletter. This newsletter features lesson ideas linked to core subject areas, garden stories featuring projects across the state of South Dakota, horticultural information, links to educational videos, links to current grant opportunities, and a Pick it! Try It! Like It! feature- a produce item from the garden with recipe, preparation video and supporting lesson plans.

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    Garden Clubs & Associations

    Novice gardeners and master gardeners share a love of and respect for nature, which is one of the many reasons why they naturally seek out like-minded individuals to organize clubs or associations. Many cities and counties have their own clubs or associations and the following is not a complete listing, but rather a beginning resource for connecting with others in the gardening community.

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    Additional Local Food Marketing Venues

    Local food producers have a variety of options for marketing their products. Consider on-farms sales for those interested in connecting directly with the consumer at the farm. The set-up could include a farm store, a U-pick or Pick-Your-Own operation and other agritourism components. These features will be appealing to people seeking extremely fresh produce, canners and cooks that are seeking large quantities of product at a reduced cost, and families looking for a weekend activity, wanting their children to experience farm life and food production.

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    Cooperative Networks in Local Foods

    Local foods communities across the nation are working together to form cooperative networks in attempt to have a large portion of local food sales while reducing inputs. Working together to streamline issues related to production processes and inputs, distribution, processing, use or consumption, recycling and disposal of food wastes, and support services to operate can all be explored as individuals begin to collaborate. These articles provide some options for exploring producer and community partnerships.

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