February 25, 2010

Foods initiative at forefront in local Horizons program

Foods initiative at forefront in local Horizons program
By ALLAN TINKER
The McClusky Horizons group is actively pursuing fresh vegetables for the consumer in McClusky and also trying to create some added economic incentives for growers. Elisha Dockter is the head of the committee that is forming the basic plans for developing a farmers market in McClusky and information is coming in from other towns that have already started this program in their localities.
Bowdon, one of the towns with an all ready established market, accidentally ended up with their farmers market inside, said Bowdon leader Patty Patrie.
She stated the added socialization ease of being indoors was a real plus in the success of their market. Elders could visit and sit down and children had a sheltered place to play, with everyone having access to bathroom and kitchen facilities.
McClusky has had several attempts at a farmers market in the past and this is another effort to create a better organized and larger market on a regular basis for the community.
Linda Bowers, Horizons steering committee member and newsletter overseer, attended a Local Foods Initiative in Jamestown, along with Allan Tinker, who is also seeking an avenue to assist the Horizons program through Sheridan County Resource Center’s complementing and assisting the food growing effort. Tinker is also a member of the Horizons group.
McClusky School is also seeking a grant to encourage vocational ag students to help produce items for local consumption, including the school, as well. Michael Axt is the instructor for that school program.
Some Farm to School programs use school gardens, taste tests, composting programs and farm tours to educate on agricultural processes.
Benefits of the Farm to School program include healthier food options in the school cafeteria and a 3 to 16 percent increase in school meal participation when fresh fruits and vegetables are offered through the local farm fresh programs.
Those who recall the super taste and textures of the vegetables of their parents’ and grandparents’ gardens already know how good fresh produce can be when it is picked within hours of being served or processesdfor later use.
 


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