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Posts Tagged ‘local food movement’

2016csa guild posterIf you’re still looking for someone to grow your produce this season, get the story straight from the farmer’s mouth:  stop by the CSA Open House at Clyde Iron on Sunday, March 20, from 2:00-5:00 pm. Check out the various offerings and find a CSA share that’s right for you.

More info about the open house is available here and here.

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Farmers Take the Stove ⋅ Tuesday, December 2 ⋅ 5:30 – 7:30 pm at Peace Church in Duluth, MNStove_sm

This much-anticipated event is a fundraiser for the LS-SFA, with a splendid dinner grown, prepared, and served by farmers and LS-SFA members. Also featured is a unique “sustainable silent auction” with farm experiences, local goods, and mouth-watering desserts up for bid.

Tickets available at the door or online by clicking here are $12 for adults, $5 for kids 6-12, and free for kids ages 5 and under.

Hope to see you there!

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vanpackedYou might be expecting a photo of our fabulous produce display from the Harvest Festival farmers market, but no. What I offer you is a view of our old van (it looks a little rough, but it runs okay) just prior to unloading it on Saturday morning, because I was really appreciating the best thing about a very full vehicle:  there’s no way for the contents to shift during transit. When I arrived at Bayfront Park, everything was exactly where it was when I left the farm. Nice.

Also nice was the weather (mostly); the steady crowd, including some of our CSA members — sweet; the other vendors & exhibitors; and the work of our volunteers and (of course) our Festival Director, Jean Sramek. Jean put it all together, Gina Temple-Rhodes signed our sponsors, Joel Rosen headed the committee and kept the farmers in line, Nels & Carol Hursh supported the food vendors, Jason Wussow brought in the musicians, and others helped plan the event and made it run smoothly — thanks!

Behind the scenes at Stone’s Throw Farm, my parents harvested potatoes and carrots; my mom bagged, bunched, and packaged; and Elden manned the wash & prep station.  My dad took care of the rest of the farm work (there’s work beyond picking?!?), and everyone helped at the Fest on Saturday. We are such a team.

If you missed the event but want to help support your local farmers and cultivate new ones, click here to donate to LS-SFA’s current campaign. Thank you in advance.

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As if I wasn’t already convinced that CSA members are some of the best people on this earth, the Duluth News Tribune reports today that our across-the-road neighbors, Rick and Karola Dalen at Northern Harvest Farm, got some help from their CSA members in financing the balloon payment on their farm loan.

The DNT also points out that there’s still time to join a CSA! We still have 2 shares left at Stone’s Throw Farm, and WhatDoYouHavewe’ll have info on how to order our pastured pork soon.

Time is running out before the first leafy greens of summer are delivered, but there still are openings for additional members at some of the 15 Community Supported Agriculture farms in the Northland.

Community Supported Agriculture connects farmers with eaters to form a sustainable system for local food production and consumption. Most of the farms are organic and use far fewer chemicals to produce their food. They also are local, meaning less energy is used and less pollution expended to harvest the crop and bring it to consumers.

Members benefit by having direct access to fresh local food on a regular basis. And they also may gain a connection to the land and the source of their food.

The farmers gain by having a set income, no matter what the weather or market conditions bring. Members share in the rewards of a bountiful harvest but also share in the risk of farming.” – Duluth News Tribune

Thanks to John Myers and the rest of the staff at the DNT for bringing all this to the attention of their readers, and to Rick & Karola for sharing their story.

PigClusterLuckyPigAnd now, a couple more pictures of our currently-muddy piggies (they were so clean for a while! But, they do love to root in the mud). As Elden said this weekend, “When did the pigs get big?”

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WingtipsInSnow

Recently at the farm, Elden & I noticed several signs of winged predators.

Yup, it’s that time of year again. Even though there’s still snow on the ground, it’s time to buy fresh, locally grown produce . . . it’s just not quite time to eat said produce. Sign up for your 2013 Stone’s Throw Farm CSA share now, and enjoy the fruit of our labor starting in mid-June.

WingtipsInSnow2SnowyTruck

Soon the farm will be bustling again. I’ll start onions from seed next weekend . . . and once the work starts, there’s no stopping!

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goodfoodnetworkFriday & Saturday, March 8 & 9:  Good Food Transforming our Region Summit

About the keynote:

Dr. [David] Wallinga applies a systems lens to think about health impacts of food and how it is produced, processed, packaged and distributed in today’s global, industrialized food system.”

About the workshops:

Through the lens of food, workshops will include topics such as economic development and jobs, farmer and producer networking, food access, policy advocacy, healthy food, research and infrastructure, food hubs, and farm to school.”

CSA_OpenHouse03-14-13Thursday, March 14: FREE  CSA Open House

Stop by the Zeitgeist Arts Lobby between 5-7 pm to:

  • Meet local farmers (including ME!)
  • Learn about your share options
  • Choose the right CSA for your family

Friday, March 22:  Farmers Take the Stage

Everyone is welcome at this much-anticipated annual event. In addition to great music by great farmers, there will be a silent auction, stories, humor and more.”

This event is a benefit for the non-profit Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association.

FTTStage

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If you’re interested at all in expanding the availability of locally-raised meat and poultry in northern Minnesota, please take a few minutes to complete this survey from the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture and statewide Sustainable Farming Association. Those who complete the survey will be entered in a drawing for 3 copies of the Minnesota Homegrown Cookbook and two Sustainable Farming Association caps.

Speaking of locally-raised meats, last week my dad came up for a few days and helped me seed some oats and peas for our pigs to graze on later this season and set up the pig pen that we’ll put them in when they arrive, possibly later this month. We also hauled compost from our neighbors’ cattle farm (Randy & Kathi Wolf) and spread it on the fields where our early crops will be, then disked it in.

Until the pigs are relocated, my mom has been staying home to take care of them when my dad comes up to help and she took these videos last week; I just haven’t gotten around to posting them until now. The piglets were weaned this weekend and are doing well, my parents reported. They’re probably much bigger already than they were when these videos were taken. My parents said the pigs want to be outside all the time, so they’ll probably be very happy on pasture at Stone’s Throw Farm . . . assuming these freezing nights end soon!

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Front row, left to right: Rick & Karola Dalen, Northern Harvest Farm; Heather-Marie Bloom, Rising Phoenix Community Farm; Janna Goerdt, Fat Chicken Farm; Sarah Weik, YKer Acres; Lise Abazs, Round River Farm. Back row, left to right: Dave Hanlon, Food Farm; Charlie Kersey, La Finca, Janaki, John, & Jane Fisher-Merritt, Food Farm; me (Catherine Conover, Stone's Throw Farm); Matt Weik, YKer Acres. Unable to attend (but with us in spirit): Chelsea Morning Farm, Good Nature Farm, and Hermit Creek Farm.

Largely due to the example the Food Farm set early on and their great reputation among consumers in our community, as well as their efforts to educate, encourage and mentor beginning farmers, many new Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms have sprung up in recent years. There are now 11 vegetable CSA farms that I know of in the Lake Superior region.

We have five vegetable CSAs running in Wrenshall alone. Rick and Karola Dalen began their farm business, Northern Harvest Farm, at the Food Farm in 2005, and I learned at the Food Farm in 2008 and 2009 before starting Stone’s Throw Farm in 2010 across the road from Northern Harvest. Matt and Sarah Weik started YKer Acres just a few miles away the same year I started farming on my own. Heather-Marie Bloom interned at Northern Harvest Farm and is now running her business, Rising Phoenix Community Farm, on my land. So it seemed appropriate to me when Rick and Janaki Fisher-Merritt of the Food Farm invited the rest of us to meet at the Food Farm on March 17 to talk about how we CSA farmers could work together for the benefit of us all and of the community as a whole.

We talked about some common challenges and possible solutions, and also threw out some “big ideas” about organizing and effecting change in our communities. What this group ends up doing and looking like remains to be seen, but it’s exciting to me that we (almost) all got together and started officially working together.

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Ponder the above question at the Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association 2012 Annual Meeting, Saturday, Jan 21, 2012. Or, come for the soup and bread (sounds like it’ll be a steaming-bowl-of-soup-type of day).

Noon – 4:45pm

With Keynote: Gary Zimmer, “Feed the World”

LOCATION:

Peace United Church of Christ, 1111 N. 11th Ave, Duluth, MN 55805.

INVITATION:

All are welcome to participate in educational workshops and enjoy a local foods dinner of hearty winter soups and homemade bread.

ITINERARY, WORKSHOP, AND COST DETAILS:

Noon — Welcome and Registration.  Visit display tables.  Renew your membership.

Cost: $10.  $5 for SFA members.  Kids under 10 free.  Meal ticket an additional $5.

12:30 – Workshops (concurrent)

1. Interpreting Soil Test Results for Organic Soil Management – Allen Philo, Midwestern BioAg.

We have different soil labs, different opinions, different approaches. What common ground can we find? How can we use these tests effectively? Dividing out soil correction from crop fertilizer sure helps understand and simplify a fertility program. Learn and discuss a logical approach to nutrient management on farms from grazing to intensive vegetable farming.

2.Making Local Food Accessible Across the Income Spectrum – Jane Jewett, MISA.On-farm SNAP/EBT acceptance.    CSAs: SNAP/EBT and other options. Farmers’ Markets: WIC-FMNP and Senior FMNP vouchers, “Market Bucks”, other incentive programs, SNAP/EBT.    Food rescue:  gleaning operations, food shelves.    Examples of a variety of efforts happening across the country.

1:30 — Local Foods Dinner.   BYO soup bowl if you can.

2:30 — Business Meeting  (Elections, Budget, Discussions)

3:15 — Keynote Speaker Gary Zimmer “Feed the World” Starting with your local community… with nutrient rich, clean, high yielding crops. Can we do this organically? What is achievable? Gary’s presentation will be on successful farms around the country and what they have done to work toward this goal.  It’s a system of farming, certainly not a single silver bullet, but a ‘silver buckshot’ approach to success. You can’t violate the principles, the basics need to be addressed for a guaranteed success. This will be an upbeat, positive approach putting profit and fun into farming.

4:45 — Adjourn

For more info about the LS-SFA or to become a member, visit  http://www.lakesuperiorfarming.org/.

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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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