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    Clearing up Consumer Confusion: What are Conventional, Organic, and Local Foods?

    According to USDA’s MyPlate, people who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. It is recommended that we make half our plate fruits and vegetables. More specifically, adults need 2-1/2 to 3 cups of vegetables and 1-1/2 to 2 cups of fruit daily, depending on age, sex and level of activity.  

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    Benefits Beyond Blood: Rapid City Children’s Garden

    On September 7th, we celebrate National Grandparents Day! It is an exciting opportunity for grandchildren and grandparents to spend time together. But those activities don’t have to be confined to people who are family. Older adults and children benefit from engaging in activities, even if they are not related.

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    Community Gardens: Garden Rules—Operational Guidelines

    When developing garden rules or participate guidelines it is important to address activities related to the operations of the garden. Clearly state that gardeners are expected to maintain their plot for the entire season and list the dates of the season during which they are responsible. Garden hours should be established, such as limiting gardening to daylight hours.

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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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    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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