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Posts Tagged ‘local food share’

The one thing we know all too well in our small office, we can’t do what we do without community support. And we have a remarkable community we have in North Idaho. This Thanksgiving holiday, we’d like to point out some of the ways that people have come together this year to make our great region even greater.

With an outpouring of support from paddlers, anglers, and local residents, we were successful in securing more permanent protection of Cougar Bay on Coeur d’Alene Lake for wildlife and quiet recreation. Community members and KEA pitched in with Kootenai County Parks and Waterways to better delineate a no-wake zone across the bay while protecting many of the historic pilings for osprey habitat.

KEA and community members rallied – as we always do – to protect Tubbs Hill from unnecessary intrusion, but we also worked cooperatively to create new opportunities for wheelchair access to Coeur d’Alene’s amazing natural amenity. Currently, KEA is working with literally thousands of local residents who want to protect the trees along the dike road and who oppose the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision calling for their removal.

This past summer, community members joined us at KEA in launching the region’s first “floating treatment wetland” in a pond above Hayden Lake in a demonstration pilot project to restore water quality. If our water monitoring shows success, these wetlands may be employed along docks and shorelines to help clean up Lakes and other waters throughout North Idaho.

Beyond traditional conservation and restoration, our volunteer-fueled Community Roots local food program just completed another great growing season. Thousands of pounds of local fresh food from backyard gardeners and local farms were distributed to food assistance facilities throughout Coeur d’Alene through our Local Food Share program. A good portion of the shared food was harvested in the Shared Harvest Community Garden at 10th and Foster, which completed its third successful volunteer summer. And our unique Roots CSA completed another successful year in Dalton Gardens, helping to make community supported agriculture subscriptions available to low-income members of our community.

We point all of this success out to make a broader point. There will always be lakes and waterways to clean up, landscapes and resources to be protected and, unfortunately, people in our community who will be hungry.  In that sense, our work is ongoing and endless. But what makes it most rewarding for us at KEA is our community’s capacity for making things better.  With every year, with every project, and with every challenge, people in North Idaho step up and help out. Ours is a great community. And for this, this Thanksgiving, we give our sincere thanks.

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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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