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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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    Cultivating Gardeners & Food Producers on Rosebud Reservation

    Despite a cool, wet start to the growing season a whole crop of gardeners; young and old; experienced and novice are enthusiastic about their gardening ventures. Rosebud Extension, along with partners at Sinte Gleska University are serving up new techniques and plenty of advice and support for gardeners at all levels through group and individual year-round programming.

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    Determining What a Customer Will Pay at Market

    Just because you raise the area’s best tomatoes doesn’t mean you can necessarily sell them for 2x their grocery store price. While that may seem simplistic, it is not easy to determine the price to ask for market produce. A former article helped analyze production costs, but just using that bottom line doesn’t take into consideration consumer demand. How do you determine that factor?

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    Farmers Market Food Safety: Growing and On-Farm Production

    Growers producing local foods are responsible for the products they offer for sale. Using Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) while the crops are growing in the field includes precautions such as the proper use of manure and water sources. Additional components of a safe food-handling plan include restricting access by pets or wild animals, and cleaning equipment before use.

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    Community Gardens: Plot Size & Fees

    How much space will your gardeners need? Consider what participants will want to produce. Feedback can be sought by the community or by members on the planning board. For example, if sweet corn is desired by participants, larger plots will be needed to allow for corn to be planted in blocks for proper pollination. Additionally, corn and other tall crops will cast shade, so plots will need to be properly aligned (possibly requiring more space) so they do not shade other gardener’s produce. Vining crops and large tomato plantings will also require more space.

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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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    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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