Farm Bill Success Stories at Vine Street Brewing
If you’re a vegetable grower in the city, you might be familiar with one of our biggest pests: the groundhog! These vegetable loving critters come out in the spring and summer to snack on leafy greens, brassicas, snap peas, herbs, even some flowers. At Juniper Gardens Training Farm, we have several families of groundhogs living behind our brushy fence line.
After years of complaints from farmers, we finally found Amy Bousman, the district Education Specialist at Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks. A few weeks ago, Amy and New Roots for Refugees partnered to teach both a Groundhog Trapping workshop, and a Groundhog Processing & Cooking demonstration. The first workshop was taught at Juniper Gardens Training Farm, with support from Amy and a Game Warden in the state of Kansas.
While hunting and fishing are regulated in most states for most animals, there are very few regulations around groundhogs, as they are considered a nuisance species. On private property, folks can trap and do as they please with groundhogs. Most people in city limits either relocate the groundhogs away from their property or drown them. The Game Warden went over several trapping methods, and at the end of the workshop, we set two livetraps near the perimeter of the property. Several New Roots farmers were familiar with hunting, fishing, and processing wild game for eating – however, some of the regulations and animal species were unfamiliar to them.
The following day, at First Seed Farm homestead, Amy Bousman and Sam Nash, a wildlife trapper, demonstrated processing and cooking of groundhogs. The meat was processed, marinated, and grilled and several attendees will confirm: it tastes like chicken! We Were thrilled to be part of this collaboration with Amy Bousman, who is an excellent foraging guide and is helping us rewild our diets.
Interested in hosting a similar workshop? Amy would love to repeat this program for your group! Contact her at email@example.com for details.