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Posts Tagged ‘community roots’

KEA’s Adrienne Cronebaugh and Korrine Kreilkamp report:

The Community Roots and Shared Harvest gals have eagerly been awaiting spring so they could dig in and get their hands dirty.  Although it’s still a bit rainy and gray outside, the programs are already flourishing due to the renovation of a new greenhouse at the The Jewitt House. With the wonderful people at the Jewitt House, along with more wonderful people at the City of Coeur d’Alene’s Parks Department, Waste Water Treatment Facility, and Water Department, a dilapidated shed has been renovated into a gorgeous community greenhouse, and we’ve put it to use for Roots charitable food purposes.

This past week, we planted seeds that will serve as starter plants for the Community Roots CSA, Shared Harvest plot owners, and city Xeriscape (water conservation landscaping) efforts.

The Community Roots CSA is a charitable Community Supported Agriculture program that is entering their second season in Dalton Gardens.  The CSA allows the community to be involved with the production of locally grown, environmentally friendly food, while promoting sustainable farming methods and the reduction of our carbon footprint in “food miles.”

Shared Harvest is a volunteer run community garden located at 10th and Foster in downtown Coeur d’Alene. A once vacant lot was transformed into garden plots where neighbors sow individual plots while learning environmentally friendly gardening and water conservation techniques.  Excess produce is also collected and donated to local food assistance facilities in the area.

Xeriscapes are water efficient landscapes that help protect our scarce water resources. Xeriscape plants use only a fraction of the water needed by thirsty lawns and some require little to no supplemental watering once established.  Xeriscape seedlings will be handed out free to the public at the upcoming Wednesday Farmers Market along with additional water-wise information.

Next weekend our gardeners will finish up planting. However, we are still looking for volunteers to help with weekly watering at the greenhouse through May.  If you or someone you know may be interested in getting more involved, please contact Kara at kldg@me.com.

 

 

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KEA's Korrine Kreilkamp, pleased with the meeting -- photo by KEA BlackberryCam

As if they just knew that the groundhog would be calling for an early spring, KEA’s Roots CSA scheduled their meeting for last night at the ever-supportive Art Spirit Gallery to begin preparations for the new growing season.  With a few of last year’s shareholders and some new CSA team members, the meeting kicked off the planning for what we hope will be another successful season for our region’s only charitable community supported agriculture (CSA) effort.

In the Roots CSA, half of the subscriptions are specifically reserved for low income subscribers, whose subscriptions were subsidized by donations and fundraising efforts. A central premise in our CSA model is to provide access to fresh nutritious local food to anyone, including those in need.

Roots CSA 2011 Team: Kara, Susan, and Korrine -- photo by KEA BlackberryCam

The new Roots CSA team was introduced: Along with KEA’s local food wizard Korrine Kreilkamp, Susan Selle is our enthusiastic new farmer, and new addition Kara Carleton will be assisting with new outreach and educational components to the CSA.

The evening’s brainstorming session first identified some new ideas and improvements for this growing season. For example, last year’s subscribers to the CSA got a big box of fresh vegetables every other week. Among the ideas at this brainstorming session was to make a smaller box of veggies available every week. But the brainstorming also led into a discussion of what an expanded CSA might look like. More food, for more people, sustainably, organically, and locally, of course, but so many details to work through.

Although the temperatures haven’t really rebounded, the sunlight is sticking around a little longer in the afternoons. No better time than now to think about summer.

 

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We sent a version of this post to our friends and members earlier this week, and we thought we’d share our thoughts on 2010 here as well. We’ve had a pretty good year at KEA.

As this end-of-year letter is being written, the Kootenai County Commissioners are finally completing work on the long-awaited comprehensive plan. As you know, KEA has been involved at every step of the way. Although the final product is not all that we would have liked it to be, the new plan is still a vast improvement over the hopelessly out-of-date version currently in effect. KEA’s friends and members can take credit for most of the improvements within the new plan, and for fending off attempts to derail those improvements by developers, builders and misguided business interests.

In other 2010 accomplishments, KEA’s Community Roots program started up Kootenai County’s first, and only, charitable CSA in Dalton Gardens, making CSA fresh produce accessible to food stamp recipients. Meanwhile, the Roots program also maintained our plot at the Shared Harvest community garden and continued our fresh food deliveries to food assistance facilities in Coeur d’Alene.
KEA continues to comment on U.S. Forest Service proposals in the region, and was successful this past summer in pressuring the local USFS office to release overdue monitoring reports. We continue to be engaged in very preliminary collaborative conversations about forest management throughout the Panhandle, and we increased our coalition and coordination efforts with fellow conservationists and forest activists throughout the region.

In the past year, KEA spent a great deal of time and effort on difficult and controversial water quality concerns. With our partnership with the Environmental Law Clinic at Gonzaga Law School, KEA was successful in forcing the Federal Highway Administration to correct serious deficiencies in its Fernan Lake Road reconstruction project. KEA also provided substantial comments into the Spokane River cleanup process and EPA’s proposed cleanup for the Upper Coeur d’Alene Basin.

We know that the most successful strategy for environmental protection is a well-educated community. This is why KEA has worked hard to improve our communications and outreach efforts.  We have utilized social media to extend our reach to a wider audience than ever before via Facebook, Twitter and this KEA blog and we continue our work to improve our newsletters, e-news, and website.  Also, our 38th year of noon meetings at the Iron Horse may have been our best so far.

In October, our Second Annual Junk2Funk Eco-Fashion Show bigger, better, and more successful than the previous year. With more than 35 artists participating in this chic eco-fashion event, our annual event has made environmental/conservation awareness positively fun.

Looking ahead to 2011, we expect to make more progress, and new progress. This spring and summer, look for KEA to begin a new phase of our Hayden Lake Project with some demonstration projects in collaboration with local schools.

Look to KEA to gain greater protections for beloved Cougar Bay. And look to KEA to lead the efforts to re-write the zoning and development regulations in Kootenai County to protect natural and scenic resources, maintain rural areas, stop sprawl, and protect our quality of life.

If you’ve heard me speak about KEA, you’ve probably heard me say it it before, the most important prerequisite for environmental protection in our region is a healthy KEA. The strength, breadth and commitment of our grassroots members and supporters are what gives us influence and power to do the critical conservation work that none of us can do alone.


Please consider an end of year contribution. If you’re not a member, consider joining. If you are a member, consider an additional contribution. If you’re a contributor, consider contributing a little extra this year. We know that this economy is tough and your household finances are stretched thin. At the same time, the threats to our environment and quality of life remain, while KEA’s already-tight budget is projected to be even tighter in the new year.

We accomplish what we accomplish because of your support.

From all of us at KEA, our very best for 2011.

Terry Harris
Executive Director

 

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This post from Korrine Kreilkamp at our wonderful Roots CSA:

Thanks to a grant from The Fund For Idaho, Coeur d’Alene Kiwanis, and numerous individual sponsors, this spring we were able to initiate the first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in Kootenai County. The CSA consisted of 17 full priced shareholders and 12 discounted shareholders. We received  72 hours of on the farm volunteer labor and we were able to grow and fill 232 boxes of fruits and veggies (each consisting of 6-10 varieties) starting in  July and running through mid October. One of the primary principles behind the Roots CSA vision is that in order for a real local food movement to take hold, the food must be enjoyed and supported by people of all income levels.

Along with receiving the freshest and tastiest produce, Roots CSA Shareholders also received regular newsletters with their share boxes that provided information on how to prepare the vegetables for eating, how to get involved in shareholder work days and how to participate in social outings at the Roots CSA.

Planning for next year is already underway. Our wonderful CSA farmer, Caleb Goss, is off to even greener pastures next summer, so we’re looking for someone to work the CSA next season. If you know somebody who likes to get their hands dirty, let us know. We’ve just posted a job description here.

We are very proud of what has been accomplished in our first season and we look forwarding to incorporating new energy and skill in the years that follow. If you would like to become a Roots CSA supporter, give us call at 659-0287.

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 The Roots Local Food Share season is officially underway.  The first night of the fourth year of fresh food donation to local food assistance facilities kicked off at Shared Harvest Garden yesterday.

 Since its inception in 2007, Roots volunteers have distributed over 16,500 pounds of donated fresh produce to local food assistance facilities, mainly through environmentally friendly bicycle deliveries.

 KEA intern and Roots super-helper Jordin Jacobs reports that a half-dozen or so volunteers turned out to assist with the opening night. Roots volunteers biked to the downtown farmer’s market for fresh leftovers, sorted food donations, harvested vegetables and helped out in the dedicated Roots plot at the garden.

 According to Jordin, early season donations included “lots of salad greens,” snap peas, strawberries, cherries, kale, and dill. Also, three extremely early tomatoes.  

 The first 2010 mid-week deliveries were made to Mary House, First Presbyterian, Anchor House, Coeur d’Alene Senior Center, the Womens’ Shelter, and the Food Bank.

 Roots currently takes fresh food donations at the Shared Harvest Garden at 10th and Foster in Coeur d’Alene on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 – 7:00.  Our friends at Davis Donuts on 4th Street will also take donated produce.

If you’d like to donate food, if you’d like more information, and especially if you’d like to volunteer, contact us here in the KEA offices.

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Our friends at Doma Coffee and our Roots volunteers have made it to the finals of the Green America grants program! Now we need your vote to win the grant. With this grant we hope to fund a hoop house to extend the growing season at our Dalton Gardens CSA, and to acquire some bicycle equipment to help with our composting partnership with Doma. It only takes a half a minute to click over to the grants page and vote. It’s simple, and easy and our awesome agricultural operations would really appreciate it.

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Although the growing season has barely begun, we were pleased to see that our brand new Roots CSA has already gained some level of success. We’re big fans of one of our CSA’s big fans, and we were pleased to see that the nice folks at ilovecda.com were able to take some early harvest spinach and turn it into something that looks absolutely scrumptious. Check out the recipe here.

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