Happy Harvesting!

Tis the season to harvest and reap the benefits of Mother Nature’s bounty! Apple, pear and plum trees are bending under the weight of their fruit, a cornucopia of squash is ready for plucking and corn is as high as a . . . well, you know. You don’t have to be a farmer or bide your time until the next Farmer’s Market to take advantage of this season of abundance. Several organizations exist around the Missoula area that are eager to match consumer with farmer.

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New to the local food scene, Missoula Community Food Exchange has yet to develop a website, yet their Facebook page is all you need. Local farmers with a surplus of goods can use this page to post their available crops while consumers can post their “needs”. Craving haricot vert beans? Clark Fork Organics has them. Need tarragon for that classic French dish? Contact Urban Herbs. The page also features news items about community food issues and foodie “happenings” around Missoula.

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Each Fall, the Great Bear Foundation leads “picking parties” as part of their Bears and Apples campaign. Fruit tree owners that lack the time and resources to glean their orchards get help from pickers looking for free and fresh fruit. This not only benefits those of use looking for a bushel of apples, but also keeps the bears out of the neighborhoods and therefore out of trouble. As a bonus, pickers have access to the foundation’s cider press! Read more on their website.

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Ripe Near Me is a budding website where growers can post their wares and those of us looking to buy local can find those growers. Just put in your town or zip code and you can find growers eager to sell eggs, apples, pears and other goodies.

Along the same lines, Local Harvest is another helpful website to find local farms, Farmer’s Markets and CSA opportunities in your area. Some, such as Urban Herbs even have a link allowing you to shop their products online.

Let us continue to strengthen Missoula County’s food system by taking advantage of these wonderful avenues for enjoying fresh food. Happy harvesting!

This blog post was written by Susie Wall, a dedicated CFAC volunteer. If you are interested in writing blog posts or other volunteer opportunities, please contact us today! 

As Seasons Change

The projects CFAC accomplishes each season would not be possible without the support of our community members and volunteers. Thank you for helping to strengthen our food system! Please consider joining us for one of our many upcoming opportunities this Fall.

Susie Wall – Volunteer of the Summer Season!

Susie, a freelance writer and enthusiastic CFAC volunteer has dedicated much of her energy to our Farmer Profile projects. Keep your eyes peeled for these profiles, offering insight into different farmers’ lives.

259“I choose to spend my time volunteering for CFAC because supporting Missoula’s local food community is a cause I’m very passionate about and I want to be able to share that passion with others. It has also given me a chance to talk and learn about many of our local farmers so I truly know where my food comes from, which to me is the basis for eating local. And, of course, I never tire of feasting on local flavors!”

Growl For Good – September 17th – 5-8 pm

Join us for some chuckles and cheers to Agland at the Laughing Grizzly Bar and Grill – 2300 W. Broadway. Celebrate harvest season and the close of Summer by toasting to a vibrant local food system with us! Buy some raffle tickets for a chance to win one of the many fantastic prizes. Montgomery Distillery gift basket, Patagonia sweatshirt and more! Tickets are $2 each or 3 tickets for $5.

268Thanks for Taking Time to Stop By Our Table!

As many of you know, Summer is the season for tabling. Thanks to everyone who helped out, especially if you stopped by to talk to us about these important issues. We are looking forward to having some videos up along with our Farmer Profiles. Keep your eyes posted to our website!

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 Special thanks for Jeff and Meredith with Arrowroot Productions for taking the time to interview people at the Farmer’s Markets.

Farmland Conservation Process Delayed Once Again!

Many thanks to all of you who have submitted comments to the Planning Office regarding their draft framework for addressing the impacts that subdivisions have on agriculture. We appreciate comments from folks who feel the same way we do – that preservation of agricultural land means preserving land so it can actually be used for farming – in a single ag lot, separated from houses. Unfortunately, the process has been delayed yet again. Please encourage the County to keep the process moving and stop delaying by e-mailing them at caps@co.missoula.mt.us.

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Please help us Keep Ag in Our Culture by voicing your opinion today!

Register for Harvest Montana Grain Conference on November 20th!

Registration is open for the Harvest Montana Grain Conference! Tour spaces are limited, so register early. Purchase your brew fest entry ticket with your registration and you can save $10!

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Find updated speaker information, tour schedules and more at the

Montana Farmers Union website.

Old West Autumn Fest on September 20th!

Volunteers Needed for Opportunity Resources

5th Annual Old West Autumn Fest!

Mark your calendars for this fun festival to be held at Opportunity Ranch in Frenchtown! Opportunity Resources is a 59 year old non-profit serving 500 individuals with disabilities on a daily basis. Services include housing support, employment, training, art, recreation and transportation. They are looking for 100 volunteers to help make this event a success.

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The event will be held on a 160 acre working ranch with a variety of farm livestock and produce. Free activities will include: hayrides, pony games, live music, dancers, Montana Back Country horseman, firefighters and educational exhibits. Sale items include: food, pumpkins, vegetables, scare crows, crafts and vendor products. Fair Vikings will be sold at the Fest thanks to the Sons of Norway.

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Volunteer Need!

Volunteers are needed to ensure a successful and smooth event. Shifts include:

Thursday, September 18th, 5-8 pm – help with set-up                             Festival shifts: Saturday, September 20th, 9:30-1:00 & 1:00-4:30

Contact Rita Pastore at 406.329.1769 if you are interested in volunteering!

Event Details

Where: Opportunity Ranch, Frenchtown

When: Saturday, September 20th, 10 am – 4 pm

Cost: Tickets are $5. Kids 12 and under get in free. They can be purchased on site or in advance at Opportunity Resources.

For more information, contact Tim Furey at 406.329.1709

Field Day – Wednesday, July 30th!

Conserving Soil and Water – Examples and Stories of Putting Good Tools to Use

Have you been wondering about ways that you can add innovative soil and water conservation practices into your operation? Learn about tools that are being practiced by Foothill Farm in St. Ignatius and Deluge Farm in Camas Prairie. Hear from NRCS agents about cost-sharing opportunities you can use to make these tools a reality on your farm!

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Wednesday, July 30th from 5-8 PM at Foothill Farm
Cost: $5, includes a light supper
Location: 61240 Foothill Rd, St. Ignatius

Registration closes on Monday, July 28th! Click here to register now.

Questions? Contact Annie Heuscher at annie@missoulacfac.org or 406.830.8218

 

Crop Mob on Tuesday, July 22nd!

This upcoming Tuesday, July 22nd, help out farmer friends, have fun in the sun and enjoy a FREE farm fresh lunch! We are excited to host our first ever Crop Mob, yet need volunteers to help make it successful! Join us from 9 am – 2 pm for this fun volunteer workday. Carpooling will be available for the Hamilton locations and folks will be biking or driving to the Missoula location. Read about each farm and the projects below. Good luck deciding which farm you’d like to help out on!

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The Hart’s Garden

Located in the Target Range area of Missoula, George and Marcia Hart grow around 200 varieties of Asiatic, Oriental and hybrid lilies. In 2014, they expect to grow more than 10,000 stems for sale at the Clark Fork River, Polson and Seeley Lake Farmer’s Markets. They also grow tulips, iris, peonies, delphineum, dahlias, sunflowers, chrysanthemums and other species. The Hart’s strive to offer attractive, locally grown bouquets to Western Montanan’s. They also sell several varieties of peppers, tomatoes and other produce plants.

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Project need – They have a large area to be tilled and prepped for planting. This project will include turning soil with shovels and mixing in compost and soil pep. Imagine a mob of people shoveling for a cause!

SweetRoot Farm

Noah Jackson and Mary Bricker have an incredible vision for their diversified start up farm located in Hamilton. Volunteers will be able to sip unlimited coffee (roasted by them) as they enjoy incredible views of Blodgett Canyon! In their first season, they are focused on growing vegetables, fruits, poultry and community connections. They seek to grow delicious and healthy food in ways that enhance the quality of the soil, water, air and support the human and ecological communities to which they belong. They believe that sustainably grown food should be available and accessible to everyone in the community, so they actively seek creative ways to market farm products and build stronger connections between growers and eaters.

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Project need – Enjoy munching on delicious strawberries while weeding an mulching the strawberry plants in need of much TLC. Imagine all the coffee and berries your little heart desires!

 Homestead Organics

It’s hard to avoid wanting to be a farmer after talking with Laura Garber and Henry Wuensche, owners of Homestead Organics. Located on the Skalkaho Highway outside of Hamilton, their 14 acres have been farmed organically for the past 10 years. Only about two acres are used for active vegetable production while the rest is rotated as pasture for livestock and cover crops. Dedicated to the conservation of farmland, they have started teaching upcoming generations about the joys of farming. Children can attend their Farm Camp’s to get inspired and realize their potential for becoming farmers if that is what they desire.

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Project need – Volunteers will help with planting along the stream bank, transplanting, weeding and goat petting. Imagine helping to cultivate this outdoor classroom for children!

Please Join Us!

We need the dedication of community members to ensure a successful Crop Mob! Interested in volunteering yet can’t commit to the entire time? No problem! We are flexible and can make sure you get set up at the Missoula location. Don’t feel like driving to Hamilton? We have a carpool set up!

Details

Please RSVP to Kate at 406.273.8740 or volunteers@missoulacfac.org. Plan to dress for the weather, wear closed toed shoes and bring gloves. People carpooling to Hamilton will meet at the Cabela’s parking lot, while the folks biking to the Hart’s Garden will meet at the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition’s office at 117 W. Broadway. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, July 22nd at 9:00 am! 

 

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