Food production and farming are issues that operate at the complex pivot point of where ecology and nature meet the marketplace and political systems. The way agriculturalists and communities handle their resources, both individually, and collectively, depends on their collective vision for the future.
Fresh, whole raw fruits and vegetables grown in South Dakota can currently be sold without a food service license from the South Dakota Department of Health.
Community gardens are associated with urban areas and food production. However, community gardens can also be used as job training sites or small business incubators.
A garden can be used to teach many concepts to a board range of ages. When working with early elementary youth you will want to consider characteristics of their development when planning lessons and activities.
When a producer has decided to sell a product directly from the farm, entertainment or tourism-based activities could be incorporated to create larger appeal. Agritourism could add value to the farm visit though education, entertainment, outdoor recreation, dining, relaxation or other avenues, potentially drawing more customers in.
When developing garden rules or participate guidelines it is important to address activities related to the operations of the garden. Clearly state that gardeners are expected to maintain their plot for the entire season and list the dates of the season during which they are responsible.
Groups organizing a community garden often ask about liability insurance. They will typically consider getting a policy if they have an organization to protect, or as coverage for the landowner in case a participant is injured and elects to sue.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) marketing is an outlet that allows a farmer to sell subscriptions or shares to consumers prior to the growing season. When the produce or food product is harvested it is then delivered on a scheduled basis to the customer.
As drought conditions continue to expand across the state this year, more thought is given towards South Dakota’s limited water resources. We live in a state where weather conditions and rain patterns seem to comfortably exist at the extremes; we either have way too much or nearly not enough. While this isn’t always the case, it is important to keep in mind that our water resources are finite and all of us should be thinking about doing what we can to protect them.
If considering a garden-based learning program for four to five year-old it is important to understand some of their developmental characteristics prior to planning your program. Young children’s abilities will differ greatly from older youth.