We are excited to announce that the new 2012 Savor the Season Crops have been selected!
The new crops to be featured in 2012 will be:
- Snow Peas
- Bell Peppers
- Spaghetti Squash
These crops were selected by asking market farmers and managers, through a survey, which crops they felt should be prioritized. After analyzing the results of the survey, members of the Savor the Season Advisory Committee (a group made up of eight specialty crop professionals) made the final crop selections.
As previously reported here, the Kansas Rural Center was awarded a Specialty Crop Block Grant from the Kansas Department of Agriculture in October that will help expand and develop the 2012 Savor the Season program. Collaborators for the project include Our Local Food, K-State Research and Extension, Kansas Vegetable Growers Association, Kansas Master Food Volunteers, and KSRE's Rapid Response Center to name a few.
The goals of the 2012 Savor the Season Program are to 1.) Improve the diversity of specialty crops grown, and 2.) Increase sales of these crops in Kansas. To achieve these goals, the Savor the Season program will offer farmers educational programming and resources on the production and marketing of specific fruits and vegetables. Participating markets and farmers will receive attractive marketing tools such as colorful recipe cards that support consumer outreach. The program will also communicate with consumers the ease and benefits of eating from this diverse list of healthy, locally-grown specialty crops through materials such as the colorful recipe cards and events.
The Savor the Season program was developed in 2009 and continued in 2010 with support from a KDA Specialty Crop Block Grant. To date, sixteen specialty crops have been featured including acorn squash, green beans, beets, bok choy, cantaloupe, chard, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, napa cabbages, okra, onions, salad mix, sugar snap peas, and sweet potatoes.
More information on how your market or farm stand can participate in the 2012 Savor the Season program will be available in January. For questions, contact Natalie Fullerton at southcentral [dot] olf [at] gmail [dot] com or Mercedes Taylor-Puckett at mercedes [dot] taylorpuckett [at] gmail [dot] com.
Happy growing and eating in 2012!