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

Farm Classes Wrap Up, New Staff, Eat Local & Organic Expo, and Juniper Gardens Transplant Sale

Farewell to Farm Classes 

The last week of March sees the end of the New Roots Farm Class series. Around this time plants in the greenhouse are getting ready to go out in the fields, and farmers are getting too busy for classroom work— which means it’s time to get dirty! 

This spring featured a new series of workshops specifically for New Roots graduates. These continued education opportunities build on the basic skills taught in the farm class series, with an emphasis on the practical skills farmers need on their new growing sites. These include everything from advanced pest and disease management to tools and construction, and everything you need to know to set up new land for production: utilities, soil prep, orchard and bramble planning, permits and the list goes on. 

While there is a LOT of activity this time of year at Juniper Gardens Training Farm, this season is particularly special because the Catholic Charities team is welcoming two new members! 

New Year, New Staff 

Craig Howard, Sales Coordinator 

First, we have the illustrious Craig Howard, who will be taking over the coveted Sales Coordinator position. He will be helping New Roots farmers connect with new wholesale and CSA customers, as well as help build relationships with existing markets. Are you interested in learning more about how to buy produce from New Roots farmers? Drop him a line [email protected]

Craig actually joined the New Roots in February of 2024 and is a dedicated advocate for locally sourced, organic food and sustainable farming practices. He established Howard’s Café, Grocery, and Catering in Kansas City’s Crossroads District in 2015, emphasizing scratch-made dishes with fresh, organic ingredients. Howard’s Farm in Pendleton Heights further showcases his commitment to sustainable agriculture, providing produce for his customer’s and local restaurants. 

Elizabeth Graham, Education and Outreach Coordinator 

Next we have the famed educator, Elizabeth Graham, of Fort Scott legend. She will be taking over the Education and Outreach Coordinator role this April. As such she will be teaching the English for Farming curriculum and working with Cultivate KC staff to hone in Farm Class curriculum.  

She will also be the point person all of your questions about volunteering with New Roots, so feel free to shoot her an email at [email protected]

Elizabeth has a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary English Education from The University of Kansas. She has experience working with first-generation college bound students and their families at a Saint Louis non-profit, and she has worked in a rural public high school teaching English and Reading.

Elizabeth developed urban farming experience and knowledge of food systems in the 2022 season as a Growing Growers Apprentice, farm crew member, and by gardening at home in raised garden beds since 2021. She loves arts & crafts, trying new foods, and her dog, Foxy. Although she has always enjoyed growing tomatoes or peppers the most, last year was her first year growing flowers and that might be her new favorite! 

Come meet Craig and Elizabeth at the Transplant Sale on April 27th at Juniper Gardens Training Farm, 9:00am-12:00pm. There will be transplants, crafts, and local goods to nibble. 

Farmers, food and fun! Get ready for the Eat Local & Organic Expo 

New Roots and KC Food Circle will be kicking off the farmers market season with the Eat Local & Organic Expo Saturday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Johnson County Community College. This family-friendly farmers market is free and open to the public. You can shop with more than 30 KC Food Circle farmers who pledge to meet high standards for growing plants and mushrooms, beekeeping and raising animals. Sign up for weekly farm shares, buy transplants for your garden, get the freshest early spring products for your table and bring the kids to enjoy the free Kid Zone. 

The Expo is a great place to get to know farmers and find out how you can be more connected to your food and the people who grow it. You can buy from some of the best local, organic, free-range farmers, ranchers, and small-batch artisans in the area. Most vendors accept credit card payments and some 

accept cash only. Volunteers and corporate sponsors are needed to help make the event a success. Visit for details. The Expo is hosted by KC Healthy Kids for KC Food Circle. 

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates on events we have coming up! Like the April 27th Transplant Sale, 9:00am-12:00pm at Juniper Gardens Training Farm. We’d love to see you there! 

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