S.D. Local Foods Conference to Feature Winter Greenhouses
Carol Ford, a Minnesota vegetable producer specializing in Deep Winter Greenhouse (DWG) production, will provide the keynote speech on Sat., Nov. 2 at the South Dakota Local Foods Conference (SDLFC) at the RedRossa Italian Grille conference area in Pierre, SD.
I produce fresh vegetables in winter thanks to my very efficient and effective deep winter greenhouse. The structure’s passive solar design keeps the temps in the greenhouse all winter long conducive to cool weather crops, mostly leafy greens, which are a highly prized local food in Minnesota’s coldest months,” said Ford.
Ford and her late husband, Chuck Waibel, decided they wanted to grow fresh produce in winter with as little fossil fuel as possible. Waibel created a feasible design while Ford researched the production details. They became overwhelmed by the number of inquiries on their passive solar greenhouse and published the manual ‘Northland Winter Greenhouse.’ Ford is also an educator with the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships of Minnesota Extension.
Ford’s keynote ‘Building Resilient Rural Communities in Northern Climates’ will include big ideas about the concept of resilient rural communities. She will integrate discussion on how DWG production can provide options for young people interested in farming, a method of farming on less land, a welcome income stream in the off-season, a source of fresh foods in food deserts, and a way to circulate dollars locally, bolstering the local economy.
Ford will also provide a breakout session on DWG production. She will give an overview on the design of the structure, discuss how it works, share production methods of crops, and highlight marketing opportunities.
“Every year in Minnesota we see more DWGs being built and not all for the same purpose. I want to ignite the imaginations of any farmers who want to know more about this kind of food farming, that provides a welcomed income stream in the ‘off season’ with minimal effort,” said Ford.
Growers, processors, chefs and consumers passionate about local foods are invited to register for the 2019 SDLFC scheduled for Nov. 1-2. This regional event will provide networking opportunities, speaker panels, vendor booths, meals using local foods, and educational sessions on tools for success, production, and collaborative ideas.
Register by 5 p.m. CT Oct. 21 at https://sdlocalfoods.org
On Friday evening, Drifters Bar & Grille will host a ‘Nose to Tail Chef Experience.’ Guests can enjoy paired drinks from a variety of South Dakota vineyards and breweries while enjoying a sit-down meal guided by Drifters Head Chef, Uriah Steber and Chef Matt Wilson from REDCO’s Sicangu Food Sovereignty Initiative. Event tickets are $75 and must be purchased from the registration site.
The SDLFC is hosted by a collaboration of partners including Dakota Rural Action, the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association, SDSU Extension, USDA Rural Development, South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, and the Rosebud Economic Development Corporation (REDCO).
Anyone with an interest in local foods is encouraged to attend. Direct questions about the conference to Eowyn or Jordan or call 605-697-5204 x 250. Follow the conference event on the S.D. Local Foods Facebook page.
Carol Ford’s Ted Talk.