Montevideo American-News
  • Elk’s Bluff hosts students hoping to establish CSA

  • Tim and Shelly Elkington are always willing to share what they’ve learned at Elk’s Bluff greenhouse.
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  • Tim and Shelly Elkington are always willing to share what they’ve learned at Elk’s Bluff greenhouse.
    This is their second season since now retired Tim built the greenhouse and the couple are very willing to share what they’ve learned as a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
    “We’ve been involved in CSA since before we built our own greenhouse,” said Shelly Elkington. “Our goal was to get into this to grow foods like these.”
    The variety of veggies that the greenhouse supports and grows are numerous.
    “And you won’t find a drop of pesticides or poop on any of them anywhere,” said Elkington.
    All natural soils, and sustainable practices are how Elk’s Bluff does their growing.
    The couple have sold shares and provide fresh vegetables to 15 families in the area. There is now a waiting list for other families who want to enjoy fresh produce throughout the winter.
    The Elkington’s hosted the Youth Energy Summit during their Winter Workshop 2014 tour.
    Students from Lac qui Parle Valley, Yellow Medicine East, New London-Spicer and Redwood Valley toured local green houses, including Elk’s Bluff, to learn about establishing their own CSA’s as part of their curriculum.
    “I would think one of the biggest challenges schools would face would be who would care for the plants if school is closed, or during the weekends,” said Elkington.
    Lac qui Parle Valley, which has built a greenhouse, runs into that problem. Instructors noted that since the school is out in the country it is difficult to ask the students to be responsible for the watering and plant care.
    “On some of these winter days there are times you can’t see the school building from the green house,” said Lac qui Parle Valley instructor Rachel Rigenhagen, LQP Science teacher. “You can’t ask students to be out in those conditions.”
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