The winter can start to feel quite long this time of year – especially with seemingly endless winter vortices, storms and bitter cold – but Spring planting, gardens, and produce are just around the corner!
If starting seeds indoors, now is the time to start your broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, lettuce, and eggplant! As soon as the soil can be worked, spinach and parsley seeds can be tossed in the ground! This week we’re talking about different ways to obtain and grow your own local produce.
Find help in growing your own produce through your local county horticultural department!
In the Green Bay, WI area go to https://www.co.brown.wi.us/ and navigate to Departments/ UW-Extension area you will find tons of resources like classes and articles to help you with gardening needs (and a lot of community resources that you may not even know about!).
There is specifically a page for Urban Horticulture and Natural Resources Program which has weekly articles and resources for soil testing, plant identification, and more.
Find Local Produce Through a CSA:
What is a CSA? In Consumer Supported Agriculture (CSA), a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public in return for a seasonal fee of anywhere from $350-$700 depending on the farmer and program.
Shares typically consist of a box of produce, but other farm products may also be included like jams, baked goods, eggs, soaps, herbs, and more! Many farmers will team up with other local farmers or businesses to provide the largest selection of fruit, vegetables, animal, and/or dairy products they can.
Now is the time to get signed up! Typically farmers take a survey from their pledged consumers before the planting season so they can be sure to provide as much of the things you want as they can. What could be better??
Get to Your Local Farmer’s Market!
Not sure where to find one close to you? Check out localharvest.org and click on Farmer’s Markets where you can search your city or zip code to see a map and listing of markets near you!
The Green Bay WINTER Farmer’s market, weekly at the KI Center, just wrapped but, keep an eye out next season to satisfy your needs for local products when it is frosty out!
Community Garden Blitz!
In the Green Bay area, the Brown County UW Extension teams up with New Leaf Foods with a program called Green Bay Garden Blitz, to provide the resources and knowledge of urban gardening by selling and installing raised garden beds, with the help of volunteers, at a low cost ($175 for an 8’x4’ rot resistant box including delivery, installation, and soil)!
They also provide experienced gardener mentors for new growers. Since 2014, 547 gardens have been built in Green Bay through this program. This year even local public schools will benefit from boxes being installed at school locations allowing classrooms to learn first-hand about healthy food and nutrition (www.newleaffoods.org).