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    Lessons from the Garden: Winter Squash

    Squash can be grouped into two categories, winter types and summer types. Winter types can be identified by their hard rind versus the soft skin found on zucchini and other summer squash. Though ‘winter’ is in the name, it still must be grown during the frost-free season. It requires most of the season to reach maturity. Seeds of many of the varieties can be roasted just like pumpkin seeds.

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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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    Farmers Market Profile: Benefits of accepting SNAP & electronic purchases

    In 2010, the Vermillion Area Farmers Market (VAFM) became the first market in the state to accept SNAP/EBT purchases. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture and Nutrition Service to help alleviate hunger in the U.S. At the same time the VAFM began accepting debit and credit purchases. Before, their market was cash or check only.

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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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    Local Food & Product Regulations: Certified Organic

    According to the United State Department of Agriculture National Organic Program, “Organic is a labeling term that specifies that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through accepted methods using cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.

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