Crookston OVOC project represented at TRF workshop

    Over 50 people from around the region gathered in Thief River Falls at the Evergreen Eating Emporium for a workshop focused on One Vegetable One Community (OVOC).

    Among the presenters were Crookston representatives who helped lead the OVOC launch here last year, which in its first year spotlighted the tomato.  

   The workshop was provided by the University of Minnesota Extension in partnership with staff from the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) and TRF Growing Forward. OVOC is a campaign that unites communities around a specific vegetable and encourages gardeners of all levels to plant, grow, cook and share that featured vegetable. It is a great way to start community conversations about food and show that a community supports healthy lifestyles. The goal is to see the featured vegetable in all areas of a community-school gardens, community gardens, home gardens, container gardens at homes and businesses and anywhere else vegetables can be grown.

    Several communities in the northwest region of Minnesota have already had successful OVOC campaigns. Some of these communities include: Crookston, Bemidji, Fargo/Moorhead, Fergus Falls and several others. Participants at the workshop were able to hear about some of these great projects and start planning how this could look in their own communities. Many great ideas were generated and there was a lot of excitement in the room to get started in more communities! All participants will now have access to a toolkit that will help them get started as well as a stipend opportunity from the Regional Sustainable Development Partnership through the University of MN Extension that can be used to get OVOC started- purchasing seeds, supplies, promotional materials or events.

    For more information about OVOC or to get involved in your community, contact local SHIP staff, Frances Tougas at 218 745-5154. Follow regional OVOC on Facebook: www.facebook.com/UMNovoc.