Here’s What’s Going On: Working Group Updates

Local Production.  Joshua Fiagbedzi has been doing an incredible job with the Local Buying Guide.  He’s interviewing producers and restaurants that are successfully sourcing locally.  This should be out by the end of the year.  Libby Tarleton (Russo’s Roots) will coordinate the Know Your Farmer Fair Event again this year on behalf of the Network.

 

Growing Spaces.  The Town and North Central Health District collaborated to bring $2000 of edible perennials to Windham.  25 fruit trees have been planted in Lauter Park, and a whole range of other perennial crops (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, asparagus, rhubarb, and elderberry) will go in next season.

The new growing space at Lauter Park is nearly established – fence, water line, garden beds – and we have hired a coordinator, Jaron Gaier, to support the project.

 

Education.   These are just the programs out of GROW Windham – there are many programs going on at CLiCK as well!

Libby is also supporting GROW Windham and UConn Extension to host four Farmer Trainings this year at CLiCK – Hoophouses (12/3); Soil (1/21); Vegetable Production (2/4) and Fruit Production (2/18).

GROW Windham is partnering with the Eastern CT Conservation District to host a series of five Urban Ag Conservation Workshops.  The first was Soil Health, which we held on 10/15 (check out this awesome article in the Courant!); the next four will be in the spring, 10-12:30 on the 4th Friday of the Month:  Water Quality (3/25); Water Conservation and Irrigation (4/22); Composting (5/27); and Integrated Pest Management (6/24).

GROW Windham is partnering with the UConn Nutrition Club and the Village Heights Apartments afterschool program to teach a “Veggie Superheroes” nutrition and cooking course.  Thank you to UConn interns Holly Fiorenti and Dani Haims for doing such an incredible job!

 

Access.  The Willimantic Farmers’ Market collaborated with the Access Agency and two local pediatrician’s offices to apply for a fruit/vegetable incentives grant that will bring $7,500 worth of incentives toward the purchase of fruit and vegetables for food-insecure residents, and develop a “Produce Prescription Program” for families that are both food insecure and have children who are at risk of diet-related health issues.

 

Outreach.   The Windham Youth CORE, with the support of Brian Liang, a UConn Intern, is creating a set of outreach materials to use to ask the community what should be done with the produce from the new growing space at Lauter Park.