Rural Food Network: Growing and Keeping Food in Gasconade County, Missouri
Relationships have been developed with area growers. At the present time we represent twenty three (23) growers. We are now serving as a hub for the distribution of produce grown in or around Gasconade County, Missouri. We are serving growing markets in Columbia and St. Louis. We continue to produce high quality produce at Nolte Hills and our reputation has become widely known.
Standards of quality have been set and carried out.
Other points of the grant which have been accomplished to date:
1.We offer locally grown produce through our market stand in Morrison, MO.
2.Nolte Hills is providing a means for area growers to sell their produce.
3. The Gasconade County region is being represented in Columbia and St. Louis as growers of high quality produce.
4. Nolte Hills has developed a Facebook page to alert customers to inventory available for purchase.
The overall success of the project as intended, to keep food in Gasconade County, is moving forward. Approximately 50 percent of our buyers are in the Gasconade County region. We are also assisting area growers in finding markets for their produce in other markets. Our name recognition and work in these markets has allowed us to build a customer base and that base places a high value on the food being produced in Gasconade and surrounding counties. We are increasing sales and volume; therefore we are helping our area producers increase their bottom line. Inevitably, this will increase the income of growers in our home county and will increase the available dollars to be spent in our area. Our growers buy fuel, seed, supplies and other goods from area merchants infusing the local economy with income from new and outside sources.
WORK PLAN FOR 2013
• We will continue to make it known that we have goods for sale in Gasconade County and will encourage local commerce.
• We will continue to do outreach in the Gasconade County area.
• We will continue to supply produce to fill the demand in St. Louis and Columbia. Our goals are to increase not only our sales but those of the growers that are partnering with us.
• We will continue to develop relationships with local growers and offer them a market for their produce.
• We will further explore opportunities to supply area restaurants with our produce and continue to fill the current demand.
• We will participate in outreach programs such as the McKittrick Food Circle and other organizations/events.
• Nolte Hills hosted a field day/open house with approximately 75 people in attendance. This group was composed of growers, buyers, CSA organizers, educators and neighbors.
• As of this writing, Nolte Hills will be featured in two publications offered by Lincoln University’s Innovative Small Farmers’ Outreach Program. The first will be a summary of the project, thus far, distributed throughout the state in “Down to Earth” the program newsletter. The second will be a feature in a book on the Innovative Small Farmers’ Outreach Program which will be published in 2013.
• We reach numbers upwards of 75 people per week at our markets and inform them of our efforts.
• We will host an additional field day/open house in the Fall of 2013.
• We will continue in our outreach efforts in Gasconade County.
• We have a constant flow of customers to our booth at the Columbia, Missouri Farmers’ Market. We use this opportunity to talk about our project, to connect and share with our customers.