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The “Veggie Lady” Speaks in Sheridan

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Powder River Basin Resource Council presented a talk on Friday, March 22, at the Fulmer Public Library by Casper resident and well-known local foods advocate, LeAnn Miller, better known as the “Veggie Lady.”

She is the owner of EAT Wyoming, an on-line Farmer’s Market, where those wanting fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables can sign up for a VeggieBox, delivered to Casper, Lander, Sheridan, Worland, and Laramie. Each delivery includes reminders, tips, and recipes will help keep the kitchen exciting each week.

Miller gave advice on how to expand your local foods production business. She said she grew up on a dairy farm in Minnesota, she said if “You throw a seed there, it grows.”

She moved to Wyoming and tried to garden, and there are a lot of barriers to growing vegetables and crops, the short growing season, and sometimes poor soil.

About ten or 11 years ago, her son was studying to be a doctor, and said he needed more nutrition in his food and began to do more research on food. She talked about how Wyoming gets much of its food.

At one career day, Miller said she met,

They began doing feasibility studies, and soon came up with a way to deliver fresh, Wyoming grown foods to restaurants, schools and individuals.

At first it was just in Natrona County, but in 2017, Miller expanded to many other areas of the state. She said there were a lot of backyard gardeners in the state, but she needed growers that produced more food.

She talked about another barrier, which was transportation in Wyoming, getting food from the producer to the consumer. Miller came up the concept of VeggieBox which is a local agriculture initiative based on the idea of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). A CSA is a partnership of mutual commitment between a farm and a community of supporters that provides a direct link between the production and consumption of food.

Community members receive local, fresh foods, and the farmers and growers are guaranteed a reliable market for a diverse and seasonal selection of crops and food goods. Most of her growers are not certified organic, but most grow without using harsh pesticides.

She also mentioned some of the vegetables that are always in demand, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and squash. She added that lettuce can be grown year around in a good greenhouse.

Miller talked about some of the needs she sees for Wyoming food producers, one is a need for greenhouses to expand Wyoming’s short growing season. Wyoming’s soils are not always the best for growing vegetables and more composting to improve the soil,

While growing her own gardening and marketing business, Miller helped found the Wyoming Food Coalition as well as the WY Food Matters and Wyoming Farm-to-Plate stakeholder networks. Currently she is the local food broker for Fresh Foods Wyoming and the Eat Wyoming Online Farmers Market, connecting producers and consumers throughout the state.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Pennie Vance

    March 25, 2024 at 9:42 am

    LeAnn’s experience in marketing local food is proof that a statewide, economically viable local food business network in Wyoming is a reality that can dramatically expand our agricultural economy.

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