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Crow Wing Energized announces 2023 Vegetable of the Year

Crow Wing Energized launched the One Vegetable, One Community initiative to encourage healthy eating. The University of Minnesota Extension developed the campaign to encourage communities to eat more vegetables.

People dressed as vegetables during a talent show at the Crow Wing County Fair.
Broccoli Derek Owen, Green Bean Kara Terry, Cabbage Adam Kronstedt, Pea Jessica Gangl and Squash Shane Riffle compete Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, during the Veggie Talent Show at the Crow Wing County Fair. The green bean is Crow Wing County’s 2023 Vegetable of the Year.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — The votes are in, the word is out!

The green bean is Crow Wing County’s 2023 Vegetable of the Year. Winners in the past include the carrot in 2020, salad greens in 2021 and the cucumber for 2022.

“It was a tight race between the veggie candidates that included broccoli, cabbage, green beans, peas and squash,” according to a news release about the 2023 winner, which was decided after 1,667 votes were cast online.

Crow Wing Energized launched the One Vegetable, One Community initiative to encourage healthy eating. The University of Minnesota Extension developed the campaign to encourage communities to eat more vegetables.

The One Vegetable, One Community initiative strives to unite the community by encouraging gardeners to plant, grow, cook and/or share a single vegetable.

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Brainerd Mayor Dave Badeaux visited the Warrior Early Learning Center in Baxter May 12 dressed as a cucumber for a community outreach event by Crow Wing Energized to promote the cucumber’s win as Crow Wing County’s 2022 Vegetable of the Year .

As the 2022 vegetable of the year, the cucumber will continue its reign until Jan. 1. The green bean will take over the duties as the successor, including public appearances in schools, at community events, and of course, planting and growing in gardens across the county.

Crow Wing Energized worked with community partners to distribute 2,728 cucumber seed packets, and the cucumber was incorporated into the food served at events hosted by Crow Wing Energized.

Crow Wing Energized’s stated mission is to improve the health and wellness of county residents by focusing in part on mental fitness and workplace wellness. Early childhood education about healthy eating can have benefits that last a lifetime, according to officials.

To see the green bean “crowned” as the Crow Wing County Vegetable of the year for 2023, visit https://youtu.be/mrqh0QgDsTI .

Crow Wing Energized is a grassroots community health and wellness movement led and funded by the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership, Crow Wing County and Essentia Health.

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