Local Foods

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    Community Gardens: Communication

    The community garden program will need to determine its approach to connecting with the garden participants over the season and explain how those participants connect back to the leadership. Will you offer a phone number, email address or mail box for participants to utilize for contact? If the group is volunteer-run and hesitant about providing personal phone numbers, consider if there is a community agency that could be a local contact to filter or forward questions on behalf of the garden.

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    Farmers Market Food Safety: Hand Washing

    There are many situations and times when a grower should wash their hands. However, while working in the fields or at the farmers market, growers may find that there is no sink or running water available. Hand sanitizers and moist towelettes do not replace the need for hand washing. These products are not effective in removing bacteria when debris such as food particles or dirt are on hands.

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    2014 Annual South Dakota Local Foods Conference Announced

    The dates for the fourth annual South Dakota Local Foods Conference have been set for November 14-15, 2014 to be held at the SDSU Extension Sioux Falls Regional Center at 2001 E. Eighth St., Sioux Falls, SD. The Local Foods Conference is sponsored by a collaboration of partners such as SDSU Extension, South Dakota USDA Rural Development, South Dakota Specialty Producers Association, Dakota Rural Action, National Relief Charities and the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.

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    What is a CSA?

    CSA’s, short for Community Supported Agricultural Programs, are gaining popularity across the nation as well as in South Dakota. This is an additional avenue for producers to direct market their produce to local consumers. This type of program allows a farmer to sell subscriptions or shares prior to the growing season. When the produce or food product is harvested it is then delivered on a scheduled basis to the customer.

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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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