Picture 2It’s that time of year for farmers “to get ‘er in the ground before the rain comes down,” as Blake Shelton says.

Of course, strawberries are an early crop, among the first into local farmers markets.

And no one has more strawberries than New Roots. That’s because the nonprofit New Roots is a community effort created to address the lack of fresh produce in some Louisville neighborhoods.

The inaugural Shively Strawberry Festival debuts Tuesday, May 20, at Farnsley-Kaufman House, 4610 Cane Run Rd.

As you can see here, prices start at $3 per quart for organic strawberries from VanMeter Farms in Clarkson, Ky. And you have to pre-order.

-1The third Annual Shawnee Strawberry Jamm Festival is Thursday, May 22, at Redeemer Lutheran Church at 37th Street and River Park Drive near Shawnee Park.

The events includes massive amounts of strawberries, music, entertainment and strawberry treats.

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From the New Roots news release:

These Strawberry Festivals demonstrate how communities that pull together, plan together and buy together can improve food access and choices.  Through New Roots, more than 250 families pooled SNAP Benefits and cash to qualify as volume purchasers from VanMeter Farms in Clarkson, Kentucky. 

While the New Roots serves all, it primarily works with low-income families who would otherwise be unable to purchase local berries.  “Pooling resources in this way makes local strawberries affordable and available to everyone,” said Mary Montgomery, a Shawnee Neighborhood Fresh Stop leader.

New Roots links farmers to neighborhoods heavy with fast-food outlets, but with little or no access to  fresh and organic crops.

Founder and Executive Director Karyn Moskowitz has created a network of providers and markets.

From the New Roots website:

Our vision is that every family in Louisville have the ability to access fresh, local food in their neighborhoods, integrate cooking from scratch into their daily routines, reduce diet-related illnesses, and enjoy long, healthy lives. New Roots has already implemented three successful community Fresh Stops in Louisville, with a new one on the way, and one in Washington, D.C.

Fresh Stops were created to address the lack of fresh produce in Louisville neighborhoods. The Fresh Stop Project is a community-driven fresh food access project where families pool their money and SNAP benefits to purchase in bulk from local farmers on a sliding scale. Each family receives a “share” of seasonal produce which feeds 2-4 people, depending on the Fresh Stop.

For more information, or to donate to the cause of fresh food for everyone, go to the New Roots website here.

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