Community Food

Food is a central part of all of our lives. Where our food comes from matters - for our health, for the vitality of our communities, for our wallets, and for the environment.

We work with rural communities to build healthy, sustainable, local food systems. Our goal is to create food production and distribution systems that provide affordable fresh food for all, protect the environment, and keep money circulating in the local economy.

Community food systems take many forms, but they all have the same purpose: to connect the local people who grow and make food with the local people who eat it. At the Center for Rural Affairs, we work on several different ways to connect farmers and consumers. 

Community Food Notes

 

Greenhouse to Cafeteria

East Butler Public Schools serves as a pilot for Center for Rural Affairs’ Greenhouse to Cafeteria program. Students grow vegetables in a greenhouse and deliver the food to the cafeteria. Instructor Shane Hennessy also serves as a resource for other schools.

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Growing Healthy Food Systems

This issue brief anchors a project to create a food policy council for Nebraska. It is intended to get you thinking about the opportunities and challenges to be faced in developing food policy councils. The data is Nebraska-specific, but you can use the structure and ideas to tackle the same quest in your location.

Good food policy and effective coordination between our food system’s stakeholders will produce strong farms, a resilient food economy, and a healthy future for all residents - whether in Nebraska or your location. Together, we can build a better food system. 

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Knives, your friends in the kitchen

With farmers market season upon us, we’re all excited to dive into the tasty local harvest. But how can we get the most out of this delicious produce? Proper preparation!

This summer, I will be at the Harrison County Farmers Market in Missouri Valley, Iowa, hosting fun, interactive culinary demonstrations for the whole family. Last month, I hosted a knife skills demo.

For many of us, knife maintenance, care, and proper usage can be an afterthought. However, well-maintained, sharp knives can make cooking more fun, easier, safer, and even tastier.  

Artist workshop in Santee draws beaders

A fun beading workshop was held at the Nebraska Indian Community College in Santee on April 5.

Beaders Deanna James and Emma Stumblingbear demonstrated different beading techniques, as well as shared patterns for beaded moccasins and earrings.

The Farmers Market Program, a joint effort of the Center for Rural Affairs and Nebraska Indian Community College, brought beading supplies so everyone could create something during the workshop, although many folks brought their own projects to work on.

Shop Local at the Christmas Bazaar

The annual Walthill Christmas Bazaar will be held on Dec. 1 at the Walthill Fire Hall, located on the main street of Walthill, Neb. The Bazaar offers unique, handmade jewelry, shawls and bead-work made by members of the Omaha Tribe, and a wide array of other gift ideas.

This is the third year for the Christmas Bazaar in Thurston County, and the second year it has been hosted in Walthill. The Bazaar will open at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1, and runs until 6 p.m. Organizers will serve a lunch special, but, so far at least, the details of the lunch are being kept secret.