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Posts Tagged ‘local food’

Big milestones were reached this past week with our wonderful Roots CSA  in Dalton Gardens.

First, after a late start to the growing season, the CSA team delivered a first round of produce to regular and low-income subscribers: bitter greens (bagged), Asian greens, kale, mustard greens (twine bundle), broccoli, bunching onions, lettuce, spinach, salad greens mixed assortments, cabbage, raddish, and red leaf lettuce. As a result, some totally awesome salads are being made throughout North Idaho this week.

Second, the first annual Roots BBQ Cook-off event is sold out.  One possible explanation — that there’s a mid-summer BBQ shortage – could explain the demand for tickets. Mostly, we think our volunteers did a great job with ticket sales. Buy them early next year. (Same goes for the upcoming and always-sold-out Dinner Under the Stars at the Shared Harvest Garden.)

 

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Roots CSA coordinator and all-around local food hero Korrine Kreilkamp provides this breaking news update:

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 Pumpkin Patch is made possible with the support of The Kiwanis Club of Coeur d’Alene, Lowes Do-It-Yourself Center, and DOMA Coffee Roasting Company.

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

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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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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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Roots CSA Mural by Annie Stranger, Under Construction

This week, New York graphic artist Annie Stranger will be completing a mural at the Roots CSA, our charitable community supported agriculture project growing quite beautifully in Dalton Gardens.  The mural, on the side of a shed abutting the CSA, is bringing yet more life to the remarkable project which brings fresh local food to subscribers at all income levels.

Annie Stranger is the talented daughter of Linda and Scott Stranger, the Dalton Gardens landowners who have allowed a portion of their property to be used by the CSA to grow food. Annie, who also maintains an excellent food blog (www.chewonthis.org), was inspired to complete the mural during a visit home, where she was impressed by the CSA project in her parents’ back yard.

Thanks Annie!

UPDATE 8/3:  The Coeur d’Alene Press has a very nice article (and a finished-product photo) in today’s paper.

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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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