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Posts Tagged ‘volunteer opportunities’

Yesterday was a great day to attend a conference — overcast with a few sprinkles — and I was able to attend the first part of the Farm to Cafeteria workshop in Cloquet. After the bustle of registration, the 85+ attendees settled in to the auditorium at the Cloquet Forestry Center and heard an introduction from our own LS-SFA’s Joel Rosen. Stephanie Heim took the mike next to give an overview of the Farm to School program, and as I listened to her lovely, soothing voice, I felt . . . tired. Sorry, Stephanie:  I really appreciate your work. I just needed a cup of tea.

It was good to be around other farmers and community members with a shared desire to bring good food to good people and help improve the farming economy in our area. The panel discussion was lively and informative, and it sounded like a delicious dinner featuring foods from local farms (yes, even in April in Northeast MN) was to be served after I left.

Speaking of schools, one of my favorite students, Tristan Pohl, is planning to help out at Stone’s Throw Farm this summer. Here’s a somewhat dated photo of Tristan (on the right) with her dad, Steve, and sister, Autumn. Tristan’s parents are splitting a share this year, and I hear she has quite a green thumb. I’ll be inviting other farm members and non-members to help out on harvest days (Mondays) this summer in exchange for veggies or reduced share prices. Stay tuned for more info on that opportunity.

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hoes in waiting

Despite — or possibly because of — the dusting of snow on my car this morning, I’m dreaming of the first sunny, breezy summer day when I break in my new stirrup hoes — also known as action, hula, or scuffle hoes. I’ve been saving the “golden” hoe that Elden gave me for my birthday one year (trust me, I was thrilled!) for the first hoeing at our farm. I invested in three more stirrup hoes this spring, hoping that I’ll have help from friends and family — and possibly farm members — this summer.

When my dad helped me break ground with the plow at Stone’s Throw Farm last fall, we made three small fields:  one is about 1 acre, and the other two are 1/2 acre fields. It doesn’t sound like much, but when we were done, my dad did one of those take-off-the-cap, scratch-the-head, and replace-the-cap moves, and said, “I don’t know … it looks like a lot of hoeing to me!” 

It takes a little while to get the hang of it, but using a stirrup hoe can be a good experience, especially if you catch the weeds when they’re very small. You just have to find your rhythm, settle in, and think of how happy your veggie plants will be without all the weeds stealing nutrients from the soil and hogging the sunshine. A weed-free bed is a beautiful sight for a farmer’s eyes.

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