Our current projects, what we're up to, and future project planning
WMC Hospital Garden
Our team is delighted to continue the initiatives of David Cavagnaro at the Winneshiek County Medical Center; initiatives which began in 2009 when David Cavagnaro and his team of interns from The Pepperfield Project established an Edible Landscape in the courtyard of the hospital. The purpose of this landscape was to provide a space for both aesthetics and sustainability, helping the nutrition services department to provide people at the hospital with fresh and hyper-locally sourced food.
ReRooted Connections took over the hospital garden project in Spring 2022, including plant production, design, maintenance, and harvesting. With the generous help from volunteers, ReRooted provided over 500 vegetable and flower starts using the seeds from David Cavagnaro’s collection. In past years, the garden has produced approximately 1,000 lbs. of produce to be processed, cooked, and served by the hospital kitchen staff. Extra produce that is not able to be used in the kitchen is either donated to local food pantries or hospital staff. Our work at the hospital garden aligns with our mission to provide people access to locally grown food, minimize food waste, and give back to the community. We are so excited to continue this partnership.
ReRooted Core Garden
At ReRooted Connections, we are guided by principles of environmental justice and equitable access to healthy, organic, and locally grown food. We believe in working with and for the land, engaging in practices that support soil health and regeneration, establishing systems that promote beneficial insects and pollinators, and utilizing technology responsibly to promote social and environmental health.
The garden we maintain on-site at ReRooted Connections serves as the learning grounds to master these practices. It is our aim to adopt and follow the principles of permaculture and soil regeneration, understanding that these changes come best as small, incremental adjustments that are sensitive to the nuances of the organic system.
It is our aim to facilitate the distribution of this knowledge through our internship program, immersive lodging experiences, classes, and public use of facilities while providing food, seeds, and a sense of community for those involved.
ReRooted Seed Collection
Starting in 2022, ReRooted is thrilled to be propogating, cataloging, and curating a comprehensive collection of heirloom seeds. Originally donated generously by David Cavagnaro, many of these seeds have been selected for their success in the Driftless region. While this project is just starting, creating this seed collection is a crucial part of our mission to cultivate heirloom varieties that are adapted to local climate, naturally hearty, and a part of a worldwide heritage of seed saving over generations. In coming years, our goal is to offer access to the seed library to jump start beginning gardeners and provide seeds for those in need.
2023 Project Planning
Looking forward to 2023, we are looking to focus and reinvigorate around the following programs, in addtion to those listed above.
- Internship Program
- We are looking to fund a paid internship program so those invested in learning regenerative ecology skills can earn an income while doing so.
- Farm Incubator
- Establish operational and physical structure for beginning farm-to-table producers to get a start.
- Commercial Kitchen Updates
- The existing commercial kitchen at ReRooted will need updates to be recertified and made available for community use.
- Tool Library
- We are fundraising and grant-searching to establish a community tool library program to provide tools and machinery needed for many typical farm projects and other DIY efforts.
- Outdoor Classroom
- We are working to make an outdoor classroom space for use in ReRooted educational activities and also made available to the community.