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Community CROPS January 2012 Newsletter

New Projects for 2012

Community CROPS is getting ready for yet another big year, even better than last year. Here's a few of the projects in the works:

  • Watch for updates in the February CROPS newsletter about some BIG and EXCITING new plans for the CROPS Growing Farmers Training Program 2013!!!
  • The CSA program for 2012 will feature a market style box and options for local eggs and cheese.
  • The Community Garden Program planning to add at least 2 new community garden locations and expand many of the existing sites.
  • The Growing Farmers Program is expanding to more program participants. This program works with immigrants and refugees on growing and marketing fresh food direct to consumers. If you know anyone who is interested, or would like us to come make a presentation about the program, please see our Farming Project page for more information.
  • Community CROPS Staff will be offering cooking classes in April focusing on food preservation and cultural cooking. We are also offering classes at SCC starting this month.
  • CROPS Staff and Board of Directors are working to build new partnerships with local businesses for the 2012 garden, farm, and event sponsorships.
  • And our ultimate goal is to get more people throughout the Lincoln community to grow their own food!

Community CROPS Calendars Still Available

Be sure to pick up your 2012 Community CROPS calendar and enjoy a year of beautiful photos of local food! They are full of beautiful photos of the community gardens and farm, gardening tips for every month and printed on 100% post-consumer waste paper! This wonderful calendar can be yours for just $9.95 (plus tax)!

Pick your calendar up at any one of the following businesses: Meadowlark Coffee, Earl May, Leon's, & The Mill. Calendars are also available on-line or at the Community CROPS office. Ordering Information

2012 Growing Farmers Training Program

Saturdays, January 21- April 21

The Community CROPS Growing Farmer Workshop series is entering its fourth year of training small-scale, beginning farmers to develop successful farm businesses.

These workshops are tailored to individuals or families who have a desire to grow horticultural crops, such as vegetables, fruit, herbs or flowers, with an emphasis on sustainable and organic production techniques. Our workshops are equally balanced between business and production skills. If you want to start a small farm but focus on other products, such as livestock or grain, you can still register for the business skills workshops, and we can connect you with other training programs that focus on other farm products. Information and registration forms here.

Community CROPS Market Intern

Community CROPS is currently accepting applications for a part-time Market Intern. We are looking for someone who is excited about local food and wants to learn more to help on weekends with harvesting and selling at the Sunday farmers' market. Full job description and requirements.

New community garden located in the heart of Lincoln

If you happen to be walking, biking or driving around the First Presbyterian Church on the corner of 18th and F Streets, you'll surely notice a change of landscape. What once was a vacant lot, serving as informal parking for cars, is already underway to becoming one of CROPS's new community gardens. Since the Fall of 2011, the First Presbyterian Church, in conjunction with Community CROPS and Jacob's Well, a religious non-profit organization located in downtown Lincoln, has been collecting materials and mapping out plots for neighborhood members hoping to garden there in the Spring. Due to the compacted and poor quality of soil, the individual garden plots will consist of 18 raised beds measuring at 20'x5'. The new garden location will serve many families and individuals in the community, all from very different cultural and economic backgrounds. The lot had initially been bought by the church to turn into a parking lot, but later the plan was regarded as ineffective. When the church offered the land to CROPS to develop as a community garden for one year, it became fairly popular because of its location and many passersby and was also incorporated in various church youth projects. With any luck, the new garden will develop with even more potential for community building and promoting healthy lifestyles the second time around.

The 2012 Community CROPS CSA is right around the corner

Registration forms will be available very soon for the 2012 CROPS CSA. We are changing to a market style for the box pick up this year, so members will be able to pick out their own produce, and also be able to choose egg and cheese shares.

Keep updated on the Community CROPS CSA through our Sunset Farm Blog.

CROPS Classes at SCC - Winter Quarter

Making Eco-Friendly Products with Amy Brt, Tuesday, January 24, 6:30-8:30 pm. Registration fee $10, supply fee $20.

Seed Starting with Ingrid Kirst, Wednesday, February 8, 6:30-8:30 pm. Registration fee $10.

How to Make a Worm Bin with Amy Brt, Wednesday, February 15, 6:30-8:30 pm. Registration fee $10, supply fee $10.

All three classes are listed on pages 24 and 25 of the SCC Winter Course Guide. For additional information and to register, go to http://www.southeast.edu/continuing.

Holiday Donations Making an Impact

Thank you to each and every one of you who has made a recent donation to Community CROPS. Over the past month we have received a wonderful outpouring of support for our work, and we greatly appreciate it.

A huge thanks to the following individuals who have donated to Community ClROPS in the past year:

Brigid Amos, Pat Anderson-Sifuentez, Marcille Ansorge, Sarah Arkebauer, Pam Baker, Union Bank, Ashley & Ben Barber, Keith and Mary Bartels, Amy Behrhorst, Celia Sherman and Russel Bradley, Woods Bros, Amy Brt, Sarah Bauman and Miles Bryant, Becky Buchanan, Tom and Sally Burke, Doug and Mary Campbell, Judy Cherry, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, Gene and Linda Crump, David Kaseman, Andrea Davis and Michelle Muhs, Barbara DiBernard, Kathryn Dolan, Steve and Faye Doolittle, Lisa Durso, Jim & Lyn Dyck, E. H. W., Dick Esseks, Barb and Alan Frank, Faith Garfield, Jan Gauger, John and Jan Gradwohl, Alicia Guerra, Raymond Hames, Richard & Christy Hargesheimer, Judy and Matt Harvey, Norm and Linda Helzer, Nebraska Herbal Society, Melvin and Eve Hoffman, Withold Lehmann and Tracy Hofman, Sue Howard, Sarah Howell, Eric Hunt, Sid and Jon Ihrig, Margaret and Karl Indriksons, Catholic Health Initiative (St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center), Tim K. Johnson, Tommi Foy Jones, Jessica Jones, Georgia Jones, Cindy Jorgensen, Dennis Keim, Chet Kincaid, Mary and Jim King, Helga and Roger Kirst, Ingrid Kirst and Jeff Epler, Mary A. Kuhlman, Steve Larrick and Janine Copple, Craig and Pippa Lawson, Frances Leach, Heather Strait and Scott Lewandowski, Schyler Lindekugel, Bertine Loop, Margaret Jacobs and Tom Lynch, Max and Mary Martin, Marilyn McNabb, Edith Meints, Michael Heavican, Kay Monson, Alan Morris, Laura Nisley, Paul Olson & Frances Reinehr, Alice Henneman and David Palm, Esther Park, Nick and Claudia Parks, June Pickel, Maggie Pleskac & Pat Clinch, Hadley Richters and Patrick Poepsel, Chris Preston, Ellen Rainbolt and Bill Achord, Lisa and Bob Rauner, Jane Raybould, Bob Reeves, Peter and Jane Reinkordt, Tim Rinne, Mahoney Manor Apartments, Roberts & Hall, Amy and Wayne Robertson, Sissy Ruley, Keith and Donna Samuelson, Liz Sarno, Dan and Marge Schlitt, Pam Schneider, Nan Schweiger and LaMont Richards, Paul and Alyce Scott, Dr. Rebecca F. Scott, Carol Smith and Robert Pewthers, David & Tracey Smith, Wendy and Eric Smith, Curt and Rozanne Snoberger, Chris and Vicki Sommerich, Kathie Starkweather, Deila and Donald Steiner, Keith, Kathy, Jon and Ben Stewart, Shelley Stoltenberg, Ronald Svoboda, Scott and Roxane Swanson, Carl Tarlowski, Kim Thompson, Alan Tomkins & Vicky Weisz, Truists, UAAD, Dawn Bringelson and Kevin Wieser, Vernon Williams, Brad Wilson and Michele Tilley, Elizabeth Wolf and Steven McFadden, George Wolf and John Taylor, United Methodist Women’s Group, Paula Yetter and Anonymous (3)

Thanks to these donors and many others throughout the year, community gardening in Lincoln has a bright future. Have you made a donation yet? Donations of any size are welcome at any time of year. This is a great time to give as we make our plans for spring planting. Visit our donation page for a form, or on-line donating, or send your check to Community CROPS at 1551 S. 2nd Street, Lincoln NE 68502. Thank you.

Celebrate National Seed Swap Day

Saturday, January 28, 1pm, Meadowlark Coffee

Are you a seedsaver or interested in learning about how to save seeds from one season to the next? Kick-start your garden this year with a seed swap! Open Harvest will host a community seed exchange for National Seed Swap Day, Saturday, January 28 from 1-3pm at Meadowlark Coffee and Espresso. Come and share gardening tips and, of course, seeds! Bring seeds for vegetables, herbs, flowers, and native plants. Please label your seeds and bring extra envelopes, if you have them. We will have guest speakers beginning around 2:00 pm. Information will be available about plant selection for our local climate, as well as additional seed sources. Save the date and we will see you there!

Another interesting seed swap location is at the on-line swap with the National Gardening Association.

2011 Rural Advantage and Healthy Farms Conference

February 10-11, Nebraska City, Nebraska

Plan to attend the Healthy Farms & Rural Advantage Conference in Nebraska City, Nebraska at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center. Our keynote this year is Fred Kirschenmann. We will also have our annual All-Nebraska Foods dinner and auction with proceeds going towards the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society (NSAS)! There will also be a full schedule of youth programming complete with hands-on demonstrations, youth-led sessions, and more.

Conference details

CROPS Sustainable Ag Library

A corner of the CROPS office is devoted to a growing collection of books on sustainable agriculture. We'd like to make them available to all of you for reading. A great volunteer put together a list of the books, so look through that and then contact us to come by and check out a book or two to read!

Contact CROPS

For more information on any of these projects, contact us at 402-474-9802 or e-mail us at info@communitycrops.org. You can also find CROPS on Facebook.