Knowing Your Roots

Posts tagged ‘Snap Beans’

Behind the Scenes: Working together to protect our water—The Little Plover River

Blog 29Harvesting the bounty of the Central Sands is already underway –peas and snap beans are on the way to consumer’s plates and sweet corn, potatoes and carrots are just around the corner.  As we watch and enjoy this remarkable productivity unfold, it is a good time to reflect on what makes it all possible. The Central Sands themselves and the underlying aquifer of groundwater laid down by glaciers 25,000 years ago and constantly recharged by rainfall, snowmelt / runoff are the corner stones in the foundation. Maintaining the delicate balance between the water resource and the needs of everyone who uses and depends on it is an ongoing challenge that we all must be a part of so future generations will enjoy the benefits of this unique area.
One particular area of focus is the Little Plover River watershed in northern Portage County. The Little Plover is a trout stream and an important drainage outlet that meanders its way westward from its headwaters east of the ancient Johnstown glacial moraine through wetlands, woods, farmland, and the homes, parks, businesses, and industries of the bustling Village of Plover to its confluence at the Wisconsin River south of Stevens Point. In recent years, the Little Plover has experienced highs and lows, which have ranged from flooding and ruined basements in some years to reduced flows in others. Although the little stream has persevered through it all and remains a great place to fish and enjoy the outdoors, everyone who lives in the watershed is concerned about its future and is working to secure it.   (more…)

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Thoughts for Food: Conserving water and changing the landscape

Blog 32

The Central Sands is one of the nation’s premier potato and vegetable production areas, ranking 3rd in potatoes, 1st in snap beans and 3rd in sweet corn.  Agriculture in the Central Sands is vital to Wisconsin’s economy, generating over $6.4 billion in revenue and providing 35,000 jobs.  This agricultural bounty is possible because of the area’s broad expanse of fertile soils (developed as a result of retreating glaciers over 10,000 years ago), by our mild temperate climate, from the hard work and dedication of the farmers who settled, manage and continue to operate on the landscape and ultimately, the groundwater.   (more…)

More Than Just Cheese Heads

Wisconsin – America’s Dairyland.  Whether it is the cheese heads our fans wear to cheer on the Green Bay Packers, our notoriety for award-winning cheeses, or the 1.2 million dairy cows that dot our landscape, Wisconsin is most often referred to as a dairy state.  It’s even on our license plates! However, what many don’t realize is the diversity of agricultural products grown or produced within our state’s borders.  And, it is this diversity that makes agriculture Wisconsin’s leading industry.

Cranberries

America’s Dairyland leads the nation in cranberry production

Yes, Wisconsin leads the nation in the production of cheese and dry whey (a by-product of cheese production). But, did you know that Wisconsin ranks first in six other products as well?  America’s Dairyland leads the nation in cranberries, cabbage for sauerkraut, snap beans, dairy goats, mink pelts and corn for silage – that’s what we feed those dairy cows.

 What is even more impressive is the diversity of food produced here and the number of agricultural products where Wisconsin ranks in the top five for national production.  We all know that carrots help you see in the dark, but did you know that Wisconsin is the nation’s second largest producer of them?  That is not the only vegetable Wisconsin produces.  Our state ranks third in the production of green beans and sweet corn for processing (aka canning), as well as American’s favorite vegetable – potatoes!
Potatoes heading to market

Wisconsin is the largest producer of potatoes east of the Mississippi

Let’s take potatoes as an example.  Most Wisconsinites don’t realize that we are the largest producer of potatoes east of the Mississippi, and rank only behind Idaho and Washington State for overall production.  Not only does Wisconsin produce a variety of different crops, but also we produce multiple types and varieties of each crop.  When it comes to potatoes, we grow Yellow Flesh, Round Red, Round White, Blue, Purple, and Russet.
Besides vegetables, don’t forget about the delicious maple syrup, cherries, honey, and strawberries that come from Wisconsin.  So, the next time you go to the grocery store, look in your cart and think about all the foods that come from Wisconsin.  And, when you go to brush your teeth tonight, the mint in your toothpaste might have originally called Wisconsin its home.

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