Posts Tagged ‘community’

Thanks to John Myers and Bob King of the Duluth News Tribune for the nice article about CSA in today’s paper!

Click here for information about purchasing a summer CSA share.

Check out the photos below for a look around the farm. The winter rye is going to town in the hoophouses and starting to green up in the field. The only problem is, the chickweed and other spring weeds love the warm weather, too!

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Looking for a fresh start on the job front in the new year? Here’s an opportunity that is bound to be intense right about Harvest Festival time, but surely rewarding:

The Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association is seeking someone dedicated to our mission to help coordinate the activities of our member organization.

Coordinator of LSSFA is a paid contract position with two components: organizational work for LSSFA and organizing the Lake Superior Harvest Festival. The main responsibilities include maintaining and recruitment of membership, fundraising, promotion of LSSFA events, maintain LSSFA website, and edit the quarterly newsletter. This position requires the coordinator to use their own computer (PC) with internet connection; be competent in use of Excel, website management, and email marketing software. Must have reliable automotive transportation and flexible schedule. Experience in communications and fundraising is desired.

The Lake Superior Harvest Festival is LSSFA’s premier, visionary annual event that showcases agriculture and promotes local food production as a key component of healthy community, economy and the environment. The coordinator is responsible for all aspects of the festival including sponsorships, publicity, plan site layout and equipment needs, and management of vendors and exhibitors. The coordinator is assisted by the Harvest Festival Committee and the LSSFA board.

Contract pay for 2012 is $9,000. For a detailed job description and information on how to apply, please contact Jamie Zak at jamienels@yahoo.com or call 218-728-2687. This is an excellent opportunity for those seeking to make positive change in our local food system. See www.lssfa.org for more information on this organization.

Job search timeline

Post date – 12/20/11

Resume and Cover Letters due – 1/15/12

Interview Period – 1/17-19

Start Date – 2/1/12

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Duluthians, don’t forget to stop by the Harvest Festival at Bayfront Festival Park tomorrow (Saturday) from 11-5 pm. I’m headed back to the farm in a few minutes to do some of that harvesting stuff. If you can’t make it to the event, get that festival feeling by viewing photos from last year’s fest, all by Michael K. Anderson, our friendly neighborhood photographer.

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Stone’s Throw Farm’s Pick-Your-Own Day was this past Saturday and I enjoyed the company of a few dedicated farm members who picked their hearts out, helping me utilize the many green beans and cherry tomatoes ready at the moment. Unfortunately (typically!) I forgot my camera, so I wasn’t able to visually document all the fun you missed if you weren’t there. Trust me, though, there was a whole lot of pickin’ goin’ on.

I’m getting a little tired of my own company at the farm about now, so it was nice to have farm members around for that reason, too. My parents are on their way to Stone’s Throw Farm even as I type, so I’ll have no shortage of company this week, and the Harvest Festival is just around the corner; I’ll bring the farm to the people that day.

Even though a big farmers market can be a little too much company for this introvert, I’m kind of excited about this year’s Harvest Festival. It’s partly because I’ll now be a veteran at the Farmers Market and therefore a little more clued in about how things go there, and partly because the festival is free this year (I hope this means even more festival-goers) and it doesn’t start until 11 a.m.! This means we farmers won’t have to stay up so late the night before and get up so ridiculously early the day of in order to get everything harvested and to market. I think it’ll make for much bigger smiles behind the produce tables in the market.

If you can’t wait until Saturday, September 10, for a farmers market experience, check out UMD Market Day in the Plaza this Wednesday, particularly my friend Heather-Marie Bloom’s veggie, art, and jewelery table (Rising Phoenix Community Farm). A little bird told me Heather-Marie might be peddling her homemade chocolate beet cake this week as well — yum.

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I hope Stone’s Throw Farm members will be frolicking at our farm sometime soon — whenever all these cherry tomatoes are ready for picking! — but for now everyone is invited to Farm Frolic at Chelsea Morning Farm near Two Harbors this Saturday, August 13, from 2-6 p.m. The event is open to all and is a fundraiser for the Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association’s Farm Beginnings course. Click here for details.

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A yellow swallowtail butterfly that was hanging out in the hoophouse one day. This is totally unrelated to the post!

As a CSA farmer, I really have no idea what my farm members do with the veggies they receive in their share boxes every week. Of course, I hope they enjoy every last morsel that they receive, but do they try the recipes I suggest in the newsletter? Find their own favorites? Throw in the towel and toss half of it in the compost because they can’t find a good way to prepare it? Your guess is as good as mine. So it’s been nice to hear from several shareholders this past week, who in response to a question I posed in the newsletter about how they liked the Napa cabbage I grew (and ate) for the first time this year, let me know just exactly what they did with said veggie. One farm member, Luke, sent a detailed accounting of several ways he and his family prepared the Napa, and another member, Rachel, was kind enough to write out a recipe for a dish she invented. Susan sent me a nice message sharing not just her thoughts on the Napa, but also how she prepared several veggies she’s received this spring (as far as I know, she’s retired and in no way affiliated with the Food Network or Olive Garden! just a fan):

I have had so much fun discovering new flavors and recipes using the ‘surprise’ ingredients. I often turn to the Food Network for inspiration.  We all loved the Napa Cabbage.   I used it in Shrimp and Egg Fried Rice with Napa Cabbage.  Yum!  And with Braised Napa Cabbage with Bacon, Red Wine Vinegar and Mint.

The Bok Choy was another favorite … Spicy Shrimp and Bok Choy Noodle Bowl.  Very good!

The kale found it’s way to a family favorite … Olive Garden Toscana Soup.

And I used the Collard Greens to make Old Fashioned Cabbage Rolls.  I cut off the stem and froze the leaves in a stack.   When thawed, they easily wrapped around the filling.   And when slowly baked in the tomato sauce, they were delicious.

It’s great to get this feedback and some recipe ideas. I think only one farm member was brave and told me she didn’t care for the Napa cabbage. I don’t mind hearing about what people don’t like — I don’t really care for lettuce myself, so I understand that you’re not going to love every veggie. I’d hate to overload our members with veggies that many of them don’t like, UNLESS there are a bunch of other people clamoring for that same veggie. So, keep the comments coming, please!

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I’ll be celebrating Earth Day by potting the rest of the pepper seedlings, and I hope to make it to hear Will Allen speak about “Growing Power and Growing Food” at 7 pm at UMD.

The baby veggies are all out at the farm now, and they seem pretty happy. The Napa cabbage and first set of broccoli plants are ready to be transplanted to the field, but the field isn’t ready. It’s been too wet to work the ground so far. Hold on, babies!

The rye that I seeded in the hoophouse last fall took off this spring and is huge. I need to kill it this weekend so it can be incorporated into the soil and break down before it’s time to transplant the first set of tomatoes into the hoophouse ground. It’ll add a good dose of organic matter to the soil.

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A tornado hit my home town this weekend, but didn’t affect my parents’ farm. Supposedly there were no serious injuries, so that’s a relief, but I feel bad for the townies.

My parents reported that the piglets are doing well. They’re taking the sow back to my grandpa’s farm today, where she’ll be in the company of other pigs and probably have another litter later this year. Happy trails, Longtail!

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Local farmers will take the stage at Amazing Grace Cafe in Duluth on Friday, March 25th at 7 pm. The event is a fundraiser for the Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association, so there’s a suggested donation of $10. I went last year and it was entertaining — farmers were singing amusing songs in tune, playing guitar and other instruments with actual skill, and generally raising a ruckus. I believe there’s been some fantastic storytelling in years past — this is the 9th annual stage-taking.

Mark your calendars if you want to be entertained instead of fed by farmers for a change. If you can’t make it to the show but you want to support the local non-profit organization that supports farmers like me, you can donate online. Thanks!

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Happiness is a loaf of Dave Hanlon’s homemade bread. Anyone who has experienced it knows what I’m talking about:  it’s the best bread money can’t buy. Sometimes donations will get you a slice or two, though. That’s because Dave — one of the most generous people I know — bakes for some good causes, including a couple of my favorites:  Trust in the Land, which benefits Northern Communities Land Trust, and the Sustainable Farming Association’s Annual Meeting.

I missed Trust in the Land this year, but at the SFA annual meeting last month we got an update on the Duluth Community Farm, a project that has been talked about for a while but might actually happen in the near future. According to the DCF’s website:

The Duluth Community Farm (DCF) is a community based, sustainably developed, urban edge agricultural social enterprise organization devoted to education around food and farming and the cultivation of new farmers.  The long term vision of the Duluth Community Farm consists of a food and agricultural employment incubator and educational site that provides a mix of internships and support for beginning farmers, and education to school age pupils and college students. The DCF is accepting applications for onsite farmers and proposals by interested onsite organizational tenants. Please see www.duluthcommunityfarm.org for more information.”

I’ve heard about Intervale, a farm incubator in Vermont that the DCF is modeling this place after (at least in part), so I was interested to hear that the executive director of the Intervale Center will be at UMD February 18th. I hope to attend.  There are some other good topics in their speaker series on New Food Regionalism, so check it out.

The deadline for applying to be the inaugural farmer at DCF is March 21, 2011. I hope the organizers find the right person to lead the charge.

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