Wednesday, April 6, 2011

FMW SHIP awards 3 new mini-grants!

We are thrilled to announce two new mini-grantees joining our SHIP work! In Faribault County, 4-H and the Blue Earth Area Mentors Program (BEAM) wrote a mini-grant to establish a community garden -in-a-box program. Land has been acquired at the Faribault County Fairgrounds for the box garden projects to go. This program aims to provide education to youth about gardening and understand how and where our food comes from. Two new grants were awarded in Martin County. Martin County 4-H wrote a mini-grant to establish a box garden project. Within the 4-H program, Fairmont Garden Clubs will be established and promoted to youth as a summer activity. Their goal is to incorporate some inter-generational interest by designating 4 sites as home to the garden boxes. Sites will include places like the Martin County Library, daycare centers, Senior and Assisted Living facilities. Youth will be involved in planting, gardening and harvesting their produce. This project will also include an educational curriculum and support from the University of Minnesota - Extension Master Gardeners. Rural Advantage, a local non-profit organization dedicated to connecting local growers with cafeterias, and providing education about local foods, wrote a mini-grant to re-establish the Fairmont Community Gardens in a new site, next the the aquatic center in Fairmont. The land previously used for community gardens will become a new softball complex with construction starting soon. Rural Advantage will be working to re-establish, oversee and market the community garden. Another part of their mini-grant is to incorporate EBT (SNAP Food Support Program) access at the Farmers' Markets in Fairmont. This will allow individuals and families using food support to access fresh, local produce. They will also continue to promote their Farm to Cafeteria Program and provide support to local growers in Martin County.

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