This time of year I am always getting asked, “So are you about done at the farm?” or “Everything is pretty much done, right?” Well people, I will tell you what I tell them. It feels like we are just starting and getting cranked up for a whirlwind of extreme harvest. I feel like this big end of the season push is what I have been training for physically all season.
Yesterday began the first week of our transition into what I call “the end of season push”. We are now able to use a whole day’s worth of time dedicated to harvesting and packing summer shares towards filling up our root cellar.
With the predicted weather, we have decided this week that we are going to start with the potatoes. Our first planting looked great and was harvested as needed for shares and our wholesale orders. As we began unearthing our second planting we started crunching the numbers. We are predicting 20 tons of potatoes this year!
Janaki has charged this year’s staff with the challenge of harvesting 20 ton of potatoes this week! We worked out all the glitches in the new machinery yesterday and we are ready to accept this challenge.
Stay tuned as I post a photo journal of our week out in the field and keep you updated with our endeavor.
For the crew,
Local food, local art
Saturday, August 23
3 to 6pm at the Food Farm (2612 County Road 1, Wrenshall, 55797)
6 to 8pm at the Free Range Film Barn (909 County Road 4, Wrenshall, 55797)
Local food and local art collide on Saturday in Wrenshall.
The Food Farm is hosting an open house from 3 to 6pm on August 23rd. Food Farm is the area’s longest operating Community Supported Agriculture farm, raising certified organic vegetables and pastured raised eggs and poultry. Farm tours, a hay ride, family games and activities will be free and open to the public.
The farm party will progress into an art party at 6pm when the celebration heads to the Free Range Film Barn. Local artists Kathy McTavish, Joeyllen Rock, and Rob Wittig will present their interactive arts experience Sophronia. The installation premiered at the Walker Art Center during the twin cities’ Northern Spark festival. A potluck dinner will be part of the fest at 6pm in the barn. Popcorn, pop, and water will be available for attendees as well.
At the Food Farm (2612 County Road 1, Wrenshall, MN 55797)
3 – 6pm
3-4:30 Tours of the Food Farm
4:30 Hay ride
5 farm games, activities, and tomato tasting
At the Free Range Film Barn (909 County Road 4, Wrenshall, MN 55797)
6 – 8pm
6-8pm Sophronia Art Event by Kathy McTavish and Joellyn Rock
For more information on Sophronia visit: http://robwit.net/sophronia/
Fore more information on the Food Farm visit: www.foodfarm.us or Food Farm on facebook
In the peak of the season we find ourselves extremely busy. Here is a look at what is happening at the farm right now.
As always we hope this finds you all well and stay tuned for more updates as the farm season progresses.
For the farm crew,
Happy Spring! It seems that Christmas and Easter have gotten themselves confused once again, but things are hopping here on the farm. Dave has been hard at work in the greenhouse since early March, and Jeanne and our new intern Karin just started work two weeks ago. The early season transplants are looking great—the first tomatoes went into the ground in the hoop house on Monday, onion transplants are about 8” tall, and the third planting of broccoli is already a week old. It’s hard to believe that April 19th is our normal plant-out (as in, outside) date for the first broccoli; last year was the first year in memory that we haven’t gotten it in the ground on time and we decided to not even bother seeding it in this year. So with all this snow and cold, when will summer shares begin? We’re planning for a typical start-date of June 16th, but we’ll make a final judgment in a month or so and keep you updated as the season gets going.
We also have a couple of exciting announcements: First, on Tuesday we finalized the purchase of the new land across the road. What better way to celebrate Earth Day than the introduction of new land into organic farming! Big thanks to members Patricia Clure, Jackie Falk, and Kathy Ziells. Without these Food Farm leaders and their vision and support this growth would not have been possible.
Second, we just found out that our root cellar grant was funded! That was just one component to our fundraising for the project, but a very important one. We’re just developing the rest of the plan, so stay tuned in the coming weeks for more information.
On a personal note, Annie and I are excited to announce that we’ll be having a baby this fall! We’re thrilled to add a new aspect to life on the farm and will be glad to have a little helper around!
That’s all the news for now from the slushy wonderland that is the Food Farm.
For the farm crew,
The farmers are all dressed up and making a trip to town! The public is invited to an informal gathering hosted by the Food Farm in the atrium at the Zeitgeist Arts building on Tuesday, February 25th from 5-7pm in Duluth, MN. Drop in for a few appetizers, say hi to the Food Farm crew, meet other members, welcome new shareholders or sign up for the 2014 season and become a member yourself. The Food Farm has officially opened its season – don’t miss this opportunity to sign up for vegetable shares.
This is a great event for those interested in learning more about CSA (community supported agriculture), the role Food Farm has in our local food movement, a way to meet people involved in sustainable agriculture, how to become a member or volunteer of the Food Farm community, or as an easy way to renew your membership. Please come down and say hello; we’d love to see you, even if it is just for a few minutes. Parking after 5pm is free in the lot behind the Sheraton.
At Food Farm our passion is producing high quality food for our CSA members, a sustainable livelihood for our farmers, and sustaining the productive capacity of our land. This is possible by cooperating with the natural and human communities to which we belong, and unleashing the creative power of human imagination. All our vegetables are certified organically grown. We offer Summer, Winter, Poultry and Egg shares and deliver to many locations in Duluth, Superior, Cloquet, Esko and Wrenshall. Come enjoy the fun, good food and great company!
A few days of sunshine and warmth have been interspersed with the quickly approaching cold weather of winter. Luckily enough, volunteers and the work crew at the Food Farm worked together and got all our veggies in the root cellar for the 2013 season. To me, it is almost mind boggling how this happened, but after careful reflection I believe it was due to hard work, tactical strategic planning, and the dedication of steadfast, committed individuals that made this all come together to make something so bountiful and successful.
As we clear and prepare the farm for slumber, I find it a beautiful and chilly experience that leaves my hands numb from the frost and ice that is forming. This last week we were taking down trellis that once supported strong healthy vines and plants. As we pulled out stakes, cut twine, and wrapped trellises- my feet crunched through dried basil- a simple pleasure of the smell wafted through the greenhouse. As we finish for the season we are beginning to delve into the depths of thoughts of what we want for the seasons to come. I know my hands have thoroughly loved being covered with dirt and it had begun to seep into the cracks of my fingers from working, but I can tell with the change in work, the dirt is fading.
When I am out taking care of the turkeys I am coming face to face with the remembrance that their slaughter is near. There is nothing more intense than to see the animals you have raised and cared for being taken from their building and knowing shortly they will take their last breath. As sad of an experience as it is, I feel it is such a beautiful thing to be exposed to the raw and unfiltered experience of seeing where one’s food comes from. It is quite a powerful experience.
As the sun began to set at the farm today, I looked through bright (some almost barren) and icy fields that are holding on to the last remnants of fall with the sky turning to brilliant shades of pink and orange and it makes the whole experience feel so surreal. There are moments in my life where I am utterly blown away by my surroundings and it can almost leave me breathless. This was one of them.