Posts Tagged ‘community roots’

One more Community Roots thing before the official-start-of-summer weekend. Our favorite Local Food Share and Roots CSA worker bee Korrine Kreilkamp reports back to our friends at DOMA Coffee that: “DOMA coffee bean chaff is being utilized at the Shared Harvest Community Garden compost and also at the Roots CSA compost. Sweet!!!!”

Indeed, KEA’s expanding local food operations are acutely aware of the need for quality organic compost to maintain soil fertility to grow food in our region.  By streaming reliable, local organic waste like DOMA’s into our compost, we’re able to provide reliable, organic fertility to our local soils. Meanwhile, DOMA is happy to be not wasting a waste product.

If only we could grow coffee around here. Then we’d really have something.

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Volunteer organizer extraordinaire Angela Earnhart sends us the following report from this past weekend’s Roots Pursuit:

Thanks to everyone participating in the Roots Pursuit last weekend!!!  This being the first year, I know none of you knew quite what to expect, so kudos for being brave enough to check it out!  Seems like everyone had a great time and we look forward to doing it again next year.  If you have any feedback, feel free to let me know.


As the organizer, finding reliable volunteers was perhaps my biggest challenge, so when these people stepped up, I was soooooooooo grateful!

1)  City Park was staffed by Kootenai Environmental Alliance (KEA), the primary sponsor for this event.

2)  East Tubbs Hill Park was staffed by Coeur d”Alene’s Bike & Pedestrian Committee.

3)  Phippeny Park was staffed by KEA’s Community Roots program and the great people at  The Mary House

Oh, and Terry Harris!  He had the tough job of hanging out at Java for 2 hours, watching all of you walk in, look for him, and shout out some awesome Queen lyrics.  He is the executive director of KEA.

Also, Coeur d’Alene’s Bike To Work Week Committee helped secure all the stuff that participants went home with.  So thanks to Monte, Chris, and Charlie for all those efforts, and for letting our event be part of Bike to Work Week.

Here are the businesses that contributed the good stuff.  Next time you visit them, please let them know what a great time you had at the Roots Pursuit and give them a big thanks:

Java on Sherman

Terra Sports

North Idaho Eye Institute

Doma Coffee Roasting Company

Mountain View Cyclery & Fitness

Two Wheeler Dealer

Bicycle Sales & Service

Coeur d’Alene Cycling & Fitness

Vertical Earth

KEA has more photos of the event on their facebook page. (Scroll down their “wall” just a bit and click on the Roots Pursuit link).


Also, if you completed the Roots Pursuit challenges at Phippeny Park, you now know a bit more about KEA’s Local Food Share program.  We are currently looking for volunteers to help us with our Wednesday night produce distributions.  This begins the first week in July and runs through the end of the summer.  It involves bringing your bike down to the Shared Harvest garden, attaching a cart to it, and heading to the downtown farmer’s market (with a fellow volunteer) to pick up any leftover produce that the farmers wish to donate.  You would then bring it back to the garden, help sort & weigh it, and then bike to some of the soup kitchens/shelters/transitional homes in the immediate area to deliver it.  The entire process starts around 6:30 and takes between 1-2 hours, depending on how much food there is.  It’s low-key and kind of fun, and it’s always rewarding to be delivering such fresh, beautiful, local food to people and places who may normally not be able to afford it. 

 If this sounds like something you would like to participate in, or if you just want more information, please let us know. 

THANKS AGAIN to all our participants, volunteers, sponsors — the Roots Pursuit was such a great time.

UPDATE: The Coeur d’Alene Ped / Bike blog has more fun pictures.

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This posting from KEA’s local food hero, Korrine Kreilkamp:

After several successful years of collecting and distributing over 16,000 lbs. of fresh produce to feed the hungry, the Community Roots program of the Kootenai Environmental Alliance is creating a new way to further strengthen our local food system.

 Starting this spring, the program plans to build a charitable Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in Dalton Gardens called “The Roots CSA.”  The CSA model is an arrangement between a farmer and the community. In exchange for financial support in the spring from a group of community supporters, the farmer commits to provide them with a box of healthy, sustainably grown food every other week throughout the growing season.

 What makes this CSA unique is 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.

 St. Vincent de Paul has partnered with The Roots CSA to provide low-income household referrals and a convenient food drop-off point at the new St. Vincent de Paul Help Center for produce pick-ups. Our CSA will focus on those households that, due to unforeseen circumstances such as rising medical costs or the loss of employment, are struggling to keep good food on the table.

“Many of the households that seek our services at St. Vincent de Paul could benefit from eating local nutritious food.” commented Jeff Conroy, Executive Director. “I see this The Roots CSA project as being a great way to enhance our existing life skills classes for low income households.”

photo by KEA BlackberryCam

 The project takes an unused piece of land in Dalton Gardens and turns it into a productive working landscape. In doing so it also allows a talented farmer, Caleb Goss, to market food directly to community clients and to demonstrate organic farming practices that inspire more agriculture in the area.

 In this challenging economy many people are in the midst of redefining themselves, and now is the time to close the loop in our charitable food system so that food handouts can become food how to’s.

If you would like to be involved as a supporter of The Roots CSA or if you would like to sponsor a low-income household for the season, contact Korrine Kreilkamp at rootsCSA (at) kealliance (dot) org

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Thanks to the donations in the community, our Community Roots program delivered more than 9000 pounds of fresh nutritious food each week this past summer to food assistance facilities, shelters and transitional homes.

We’re proud of the effort, but we realized that maybe we should also be proud of our recipients too where our donated produce is turned into meals. What’s even more amazing, we deliver some odd vegetables sometimes.  Would YOU know what to do with broccoli rabe, beet greens, and lemon cucumber? 

So, we’ve decided to compile our first annual Community Roots Cookbook – which will feature our gardeners, farmers, people and facilities involved in our Community Roots efforts. And, of course, recipes!

Which is where you come in – send us your favorite fruit and vegetable recipes.  Especially recipes for the more unusual produce we come across, and for the more prevalent produce donations. (There’s decidedly NOT a shortage of zucchini and tomatoes in late summer around here.)  Help us help our facilities, and have your recipe published.  

Email recipes to amber AT kealliance DOT org, snail-mail them to Amber here in the KEA office, or post them to the Community Roots facebook group.

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Some of you may recall that Kootenai Environmental Alliance was competing in a competition for grant funding from Tom’s of Maine, the toothpaste maker and good corporate citizen. Well, despite all the clicking, KEA came up short. Tom’s recently announced the grant winners on their website.

Tom’s is funding some excellent projects:  a backyard garden program for low income residents in Ohio, improvements to a low income housing project in North Carolina, a spay-and-neuter program in Houston, and a fruit tree  gleaning  program for low income households (much like KEA’s Community Roots program) in Washington DC.

But one winner caught our attention and we suspect we should take some sort of consolation prize.  An elementary school in Venice, California won a Tom’s grant to create a native plant rain garden to deal with stormwater runoff.  That would be Coeur d’Alene Elementary School.   In Venice, California.  Not in Idaho.

Voters were probably just confused.

Seriously, congratulations to the winners. Thanks to all our IDAHO voters. And maybe we’ll try again next year.

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Community Roots, a program of Kootenai Environmental Alliance, has completed its third season of collecting surplus produce from local gardeners and farmers markets for delivery to local food assistance facilities.  Beginning with only a handful of people and 3,000 pounds of donations in 2007, the program has now more than tripled its impact. More than 9000 pounds of fresh produce was distributed this season to people in our community who needed it.

Community Roots 2009 Volunteers

Community Roots 2009 Volunteers

This year, Community Roots maintained a garden plot at the Shared Harvest Community Garden on 10th and Foster in downtown Coeur d’Alene. Through the generous efforts of  the KEA and the Garden’s supporters, particularly The Art Spirit Gallery, Community Roots built a garden shed out of re-claimed wood to act as a donation drop-off point and volunteer headquarters at the Shared Harvest Community Garden.  Produce was sorted, weighed, and loaded into bicycle carts and vehicles for delivery at 15 partnered food assistance facilities in the area.

Shared Harvest Garden organizer Kim Normand contributed to the success by fielding volunteer phone calls and by encouraging plot owners at the garden to donate food to the program. Garden volunteers signed up to rotate watering and harvesting days at the Community Roots plot, and Normand’s leadership kept the entire community garden flourishing all season long. 

Meanwhile, Davis Donuts, a great local business, publicized the program’s efforts on their street side sign. More importantly, their twice-weekly fresh food drop-off contributed enormously to Community Roots’ 2009 success. (Seriously, 2520 N 4th St, Coeur d’Alene — visit them and say thanks for us!)

This year also marked the first in a series of food preservation classes put on by the Community Roots Program.  A great success, the class contained both volunteers and people on the receiving end of the produce donations.  Community Roots intends to expand this venture into next year, focusing on education for both gardeners and recipients.  “Educating people on how to best make use of what they grow or what they receive from our program is the real way to make a lasting impact on the community,” declares Korrine Kreilkamp, founder of Community Roots. “We think we have a lot more to offer in that regard, and we hope next year’s success will top this one.”

Community Roots remains a group effort.  Without the aid of over 20 volunteers who regularly donate their evening or weekend, the program could not function successfully.  “This unique kind of ecological and social service has attracted good people,” comments Kreilkamp. “There are a lot of smiles and laughter that go into being a Roots Volunteer.”

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