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    Community Gardens: Liability Insurance

    Groups organizing a community garden often ask about liability insurance. They will typically consider getting a policy if they have an organization to protect, or as coverage for the landowner in case a participant is injured and elects to sue. Not all landowners will require liability insurance, but for those that do, this involves an additional step in the development process.

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    Community Gardens: Budget & Fees

    In order to have a sustainable project, it is very important to identify all of the expenses that are involved in the operation of your community garden.  Are there costs associated with utilizing the site, site preparation (tilling, plowing, soil testing, or soil amendments), on-site resources (hose, fencing, or shared tools), marketing the garden, water usage, or insurance?

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    Community Gardens: Site Plan

    You will want to develop a site plan that provides a visual of all the elements of the space. Begin by marking the boundary of the lot and incorporating into your drawing or map any existing trees or vegetation, driveways, infrastructure, paths or parking that will remain on the property. If there are many trees on the property, it will be important to monitor the hours of sun exposure to ensure you will reach adequate levels for your garden.

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    New Whole Farm Revenue Protection Available in Near Future

    The US Department of Agriculture has announced a new revenue insurance product for diversified farming operations, Whole-Farm Revenue Protection. The 2014 Farm Bill contained the provision. The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board of Directors recently granted approval. This news was released by the Center for Rural Affairs out of Lyons, NE, in their July 2014 newsletter.

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    Farmers Market Food Safety: Cleaning or Washing Produce

    After harvest, excess field dirt and plant debris can often be removed from many types of produce by gentle scrubbing with a dry brush. Be sure to clean the brushes frequently, and use a tarp or container to catch the dirt so it does not contaminate the processing area. It is recommended to use this method of dry brushing when possible, rather than washing, before packing or marketing fresh fruits and vegetables.

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    Rapid City Children’s Garden

    The Rapid City Children’s Garden sits off Canyon Lake Drive, tucked neatly behind Canyon Lake Senior Center. Canyon Lake Senior Center graciously allows the Rapid City Garden Club to house their educational garden on their property. A segment of the educational garden is dedicated the children’s garden. The goal of the Children’s Garden is to provide gardening education to children with a hope they will continue to garden once they become adults.

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    SDSU/Cheyenne River Extension Local Food News

    Work on a school garden continues at Cheyenne Eagle Butte School as Extension staff, summer youth workers, and local volunteers take time each week to get plants in the ground. So far it’s looking really good! Earlier in the year, SDSU/Cheyenne River Extension made collaborative efforts with the Cheyenne Eagle Butte school administration and facilities department to work out a positive relationship to create a school garden on campus.

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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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