A strong local food economy means residents have reliable access to a consistent array of diverse foods farmed close by. The more reliable and accessible the products, the more we can count on consumers to regularly support local foods as a staple choice for their daily lives.
In the Treasure Valley area, we face a significant challenge to producing reliable access to a consistent array of nutritious foods: Winter!
On average in Idaho, there is a 145-day block of time each year when it's too cold to grow food in the ground. If it weren't for smart and scrappy farmers like Krista, Brody and Amos, that would mean we could only access local produce for little more than half the year. In the off season, we turn to bigger, further suppliers across the US and around the world.
What if we grew more food locally, even through the winter? Imagine the impact that could have on food security for our communities, and the financial viability it could create for small-scale, independent farms striving to compete in a big-ag world.
This 3-part article series explores innovative contributions to year-round local food production in the Treasure Valley area.
Keep reading to learn what three of our partnering farms are doing to beat the frost and strengthen access to local vegetables that would be otherwise unavailable through the winter.
Luscious Leafy Greens & Herbs from GreenWave Hydroponics in Fruitland
GreenWave Hydroponics is pioneering a system of efficient and reliable year-round farming in Southwest Idaho with pesticide-free, lean-farming methods. Read the hydroponic case study.
The Business & Mechanics of Year-Round Mushroom Cultivation in Southwest Idaho
Brody demonstrates that year-round cultivation requires thoughtful business strategy as well as innovative engineering and mechanics. Read the mushroom farm case study.
Nutrient Density by the Square Foot
Krista Shawley produces nutrient dense microgreens year round through a carefully fine-tuned process designed to mitigate temperature and humidity changes in the cold winter months. Read the microgreens case study.