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Local Food Event Explores Modern Homesteading

Melodie Edwards
Wyoming Public Radio

The 8th annual Laramie Local Food Gathering will offer 12 workshops on “modern homesteading.” Topics range from how to raise small animals for meat and fiber to composting and soil improvement tips, and even one workshop just for kids on edible insects.

Chris Nicholson is director of the Water Resources Data System at the University of Wyoming. He’ll be speaking at the event on how climate change could affect gardening and ranching in southeast Wyoming.

“How do we plan for cooler temperatures and warmer temperatures at different times of the year? How do we plan for less precipitation and more precipitation? And how are these also connected to things like increasing population here in southeast Wyoming?”

They’ll also cover how to choose ornamental trees and what local ranchers can offer for tourism to improve their bottom line. Wyoming Business Council agriculture coordinator Briana Tanaka will sit on that panel. She said ranchers have long known how profitable agri-tourism like dude ranching can be but they might not have thought of adding “you pick it” opportunities or wine tasting or a bed and breakfast.

“It just kind of makes sense,” said Tanaka, “especially since tourism is our second greatest economic industry and agriculture is our third. To have the two industries kind of marry in a sense is a really big opportunity for agriculture farms and ranchers.”

The Laramie Local Food Gathering takes place Saturday, April 29 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The film Inhabit will also screen at the event at 7 p.m. that evening.

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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