Bitterroot Valley - - Community Food Projects

Bitterroot Valley Food System

Our Food System Projects:

1. We are forming a Food Policy Council.  We have completed a community food assessment and developed a Plan for building a more sustainable, local food production and supply system that fosters the economic health of our communities and farms, the social and physical health of our citizens, and the environmental health of our valley.  

2. Bitterroot Food Co-op - The idea is to adopt the Oklahoma Food Co-op model which would offer online ordering and a distribution system. Both producers and consumers would be member/owners of the business.

3. Community Gardens/Edible Schoolyards - to have gardens in each community used by the residents and associated with the schools, being used by teachers to give hands on lessons in many subjects that growing food entails. Activites will continue throughout the summer.

4. Food Sharing Project - collecting surplus and donated food from local producers and giving it to food banks, soup kitchens, and directly to low-income families. Over 2600 # of food and 57 gal. cider were distributed this, our first year (2009).

5. Farmer Mentoring - using the knowledge of currently successful farmers to help new and transitioning farmers get started or expand production; and using our connections, connect land owners who are not farming but who would benefit if their land were in agricultural production with people who want to farm but cannot afford land .

6. Farmland Protection - serving as a counselling and clearinghouse of information and models for avoiding development of prime ag. land while benefiting retiring farmers.

7. Education - using a variety of formats and media presentations to inform the citizens of the valley about our projects and about the many benefits of choosing local food.