Local Foods

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    Local Foods Cost Calculator for Chefs and Food Service

    There is little doubt that millions of Americans want to buy food that is sustainably produced on farms nearby… says a publication called, “Putting Local on the Menu,” produced by SCALE (Sequestering Carbon, Accelerating Local Economies). The production aims to provide tools and strategies for increasing the utilization of locally raised food in restaurants and food service. Put out in 2014, the publication introduces a tool called the “Local Food Cost Calculator.”

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    Small & Backyard Poultry Flocks: Produce, sell and cook it safe

    Even though they don’t affect human health or food safety, events such as the ongoing avian influenza outbreak help raise awareness of safe food production and handling all the way from the farm to the table. Everyone along the chain – from producers and processors to retail outlets to consumers – shares responsibility for providing families safe, wholesome food.

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    Drafting Market Rules, Bylaws and Vendor Applications for the Farmers Market

    Taking time to draft, revise and approve official market documents is invaluable to the health of a new or developing market. Yet, this task can seem overwhelming. Rather than encourage new markets to start from scratch, SDSU Extension conducted focus groups with experienced market managers from South Dakota to gain insight into the needs within the state.

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    SDSU Extension Awards Seeds to Educational Gardens in 2015

    Twenty-nine educational garden programs across the state were awarded vegetable and flower seed packets from the SDSU Extension Seed Bank this spring. Seeds were donated by Master Gardeners, seed dealers, individuals, and clubs across the state to assist youth and adult programs that are utilizing a garden to provide education. SDSU Extension is storing the seeds and coordinating the seed bank effort.

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    Five Steps for Founding a New Farmers Market

    Organizing a new farmers market is a dynamic process. The end results should fit the unique needs and demands of each farmers market and will likely be different for each community. The following five steps were developed from the suggestions of market managers from South Dakota during a 2012 focus group, and each step has been widely used by markets in South Dakota and across the United States.

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    2015 Children’s Garden Mini-Grants Awarded

    Ten youth and school gardens received funding this spring to launch or enhance garden programs across the state. SDSU Extension and the Community and Family Extension Leaders provided funding for the $150 mini-grants. The gardens can use the funds to purchase seeds, plants or small garden equipment or utilize the award to purchase programming materials.

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    Founding a Farmers Market: Form a Market Association

    New farmers markets that wish to be vendor-run should consider forming a Market Association. Research shows 25% micro size market (5-8 vendors) establish board of directors, but as they grow to a small size (9-30 vendors), 65% decide to establish board of directors (1). The Market Association will provide an organized structure for the market, while ensuring that the market is managed by vendors.

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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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