New Roots is a partnership of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and Cultivate KC

And They’re Off! Farm Season 2024 Officially Begins at Juniper Gardens Training Farm

January came and went with sub-zero temperatures, followed by freezing rain and a week of haze so thick we forgot what the sun looked like. But the sun has returned just in time for Juniper Garden’s 2024 Welcome Meeting. This is a day-long gathering at the start of the Farm Class series when everyone growing at Juniper Gardens together for the kick-off to the growing season.  

Documents are signed, recordkeeping books distributed, food enjoyed. It’s an important meeting for introducing new faces on the farm, including the three new farmers in training, but the new staff members as well.  

Most of all it’s a sign that the growing season is well on its way. With the seeds ordered and delivered, Greenhouse class begins the first full week of February. Soon the greenhouse will be filled with bright green starts, and the smell of promise.  

Thank you to El Centro for letting us use their space for the 2024 Welcome Meeting!

We’re slinging deals on Farm Shares through the month of February.

The deepest, darkest depths of February are a great time to rely on our friendships. Potlucks, game nights, and of course, seed exchanges all help to keep us warm and the hope of spring alive.  

For the entire month of February, if you refer a friend to purchase a New Roots Farm Share, you will receive 5% off the cost of your subscription. Be sure your friend mentions your name in the notes section of the subscription order form, and we’ll help you both get a summer full of fresh, locally grown vegetables. 

Of course, you can sign up for a Farm Share anytime on our website. We’ll be adding a FIFTH pick up location to the Farm Share this year as well. You will now be able to pick up your weekly Farm Share at the City Market, Wednesdays from 4:30-6:00.

Sign-Up to Volunteer in 2024

As always, 2024 will be an important year for volunteer support. In February we will be hosting three information sessions for folks interested in volunteering with New Roots during the 2024 growing season. Follow this link to see if there’s a session you’re interested in! If you aren’t able to make any of the sessions but are still interested in volunteering, send an email to [email protected]. We’d love to have you. You can also sign up to volunteer with New Roots through out website, here.

There are three ways you can volunteer with New Roots this growing season. 

Farm Markets: First year farmers in the New Roots program are accompanied to their markets by staff or volunteers. For many of them, this is their first time at an American farmers market, and having an English speaking ally present helps to smooth over interactions with customers, and build confidence for when they go to market solo in their second year.

Farm Share: The New Roots Farm Share is an important revenue channel for farmers in the program. However, the weekly subscription service doesn’t get distributed without the dedicated help of a small army of volunteers. These are folks who are willing to pick up and deliver produce to one of the five distribution sites around the metro, and those who are willing to hand off the shares to customers. 

Farm Friend: Farm Friends are individuals with gardening or farming experience who get paired with a New Roots farmer, and helps them in their plot throughout the season. Often tasks include weeding, mulching, harvesting, and general garden maintenance.

2024 will be an especially busy year, so the need this season is greater than ever. In recognition of the hard work our volunteers do, we are offering appreciation gifts. For every 3 market shifts you pick up as a volunteer, you will receive a $25 gift card to a selection of local businesses, including Flagship Bookstore, Kinship Cafe, and Planter’s Seed Store.

Farm Season 2024 is going to be big. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for updates about life at Juniper Gardens Training Farm!

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