In May, the Roots Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), a program of the Kootenai Environmental Alliance, partnered with Dalton Elementary for a second season to provide a hands-on learning experience for the first grade students. In the classroom, Roots CSA volunteers educated students about the vocabulary and process of growing from seed, then helped them sow their very own pumpkin seeds.
This coming week those first graders will get to trek over to the Roots CSA garden, which is just a block away, to plant their seedlings in their very own pumpkin patch. In the fall, those same students will return as second graders, to tour the CSA garden, learn about harvesting and finally harvest the same pumpkin they had begun from seed in the spring.
By inviting young students to participate in the process of supporting and re-building our local food systems and reducing our environmental footprint, we hope they will become more connected with the land and the community that feeds them. We hope this will also make them more likely to view fruits and vegetables as a nutritional gift to be enjoyed.
The Roots CSA is unique in that a large portion of the CSA shares will be accessible to families of limited means. These low-income subscriptions, offered at a discounted rate will be supported by full-price subscriptions, low-income household sponsorships, and a significant percentage of volunteer labor. With a waiting list of 50 families, The Roots CSA garden is working to secure more land in Dalton Gardens to expand its number of food shares as well as its educational outreach in area schools.
If you would like to see and support The Roots CSA head out to the garden on Saturday, June 11th from 10 am– 4 pm for their annual Yard Sale fundraiser, located at 6039 Davenport Dalton Gardens. For more information contact Korrine Kreilkamp at 659-0287, or rootscsa [at] kealliance.org