Hello Food Farmers!
Things continue to roll along nicely here at the farm, as your box this week indicates! What a variety of produce! This week we’re sending the first broccoli, cukes, and beets…yummy vegetables, and good signs of the further bounty that is to come. We continue to get ample amounts of rain which is great for growth, both of the veggies and unfortunately, the weeds. As long as the fields have a couple nice drying days in between the wet, we can get out the hoes and the cultivating tractor and knock the ever-present pressure of weeds back, albeit for a moment. This past week we got to break out the Reigi Weeder implement, a fun and sort of wild tool to use. Janaki drives the tractor while two members of the crew are seated behind on the machine. Each person has control of two spinning wheels that twist and turn through the soil, pulling weeds and kicking dirt around, while the tractor rolls down the bed. It’s an effective and fast way to get after a lot of weeds. Here’s a goofy video from another farm showing it in action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_R-fTC7uYk
As promised, we’ll be introducing the 2016 farm crew over the next couple weeks in this newsletter. They’ve been busy working their tails off but Maia and Madeline were kind enough (and are really, just all around super motivated) to write these little bits about themselves. So here they are:
Maia Killerud: Hi, my name is Maia and I am a UMD student interning at the Food Farm. I grew up raising beef cattle in Willow River, MN where I plan to continue farming after I’ve finished school. My internship at the Food Farm has given me a great opportunity to learn about a different part of the agricultural world. The amount of planning, planting, and care that goes into raising vegetables is incredible. I enjoy the camaraderie of daily work with the crew, all of who are amazingly dedicated and enthusiastic folks. The chickens and baby turkeys at the farm are fun to hang out with, too! I look forward to seeing how the season progresses and having more good times along the way. Enjoy the summer and the veggies!
Madeline Bear: Name’s Maddi Bear and this’ll be my second season at Food Farm. I balance two jobs working a couple days a week here and a few days at Positively 3rd Street Bakery. Both jobs cater healthful ingredients and for this, I am grateful. A little bit about me: I hail from Apple Valley. Since leaving suburbia, I’ve bounced around from one venture to the next. Reasons depended on what mission held fast in my mind. School in the North at Vermilion in Ely; worked on a dairy/vegetable farm out in Skowhegan, Maine. I moved to the woods and back to town just to do it all over again. All for a higher education. Along the way, all roads lead me back to the Lake, to Duluth: home. When I’m not working, I mend and sew and read and write and bike on and on and on and run through the woods like there’s no way I’d ever fall down and sometimes I do and I laugh about it. I’m excited to be a part of this world here at the Food Farm again and looking forward to the season ahead.
Hello Food Farmers!
Storms, heat, Grandma’s Marathon…summer is here! We at the farm wish you a happy summer solstice. Enjoy these beautiful bright days while they last. We certainly are.
A couple quick notes on the box: there are lots more greens this week; lettuce, greens mix, more spinach and bok choi. Along with some sweet and delicious white turnips, the first radishes are ready! A great and simple way to snack on these little red jewels is to butter a slice of nice bread, cut the radishes thin on top and sprinkle with sea salt and a crack of black pepper. Yum!
Farming in harmony with nature, while often romantic, is sometimes a difficult endeavor in reality. A couple of weeks ago we planted our winter squash for the season…Delicata and Kabocha, Buttercup and Butternut, among others. It wasn’t long before Janaki noticed the plants beginning to mysteriously disappear, vanished to the void. Disease? We asked ourselves. Nope. Must be ground squirrels. No again. Turns out, the culprit was our wily and elusive friend, the groundhog. Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks and whistlepigs, are rarely seen here on the farm but can be a heck of a pest in the back field, where the dogs don’t often roam. Janaki and John put their heads together, did some digging around, and thankfully we have lost no more plants. Groundhogs, rabbits, the mouse and the mole… we are grateful for these creatures and value the vibrancy they bring to the farm, despite their sometimes inconvenient (for us) presence.
Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be including short bios of the 2016 Food Farm crew so you can all get to know us a little better. So! To start things off, my name is Sam Karns and I’m responsible for the newsletter this season. I grew up in Minneapolis, have worked on farms in western Wisconsin for the past several years and moved north to join the Food Farm in March. I am SO grateful to be working here, surrounded by such wonderful folks on a spectacular farm. The north country is a truly inspiring place, and I’m loving biking around, running through the woods, the community of good-natured folks in and around Duluth, and the ever-present comfort of the lake. I look forward to getting to know the place better, and getting to know you as well! If you have any questions or comments about the content of these weekly writings, feel free to email me at email@example.com. I appreciate any thoughts or feedback! Thanks, and have a great week.
Week #1 – 13 June, 2016
Hello Food Farmers!
First and foremost, welcome! To our new members, it’s wonderful to have you join us; to returning members, it’s great to have you back. All of us at the farm are tremendously excited to be sharing this summer season and its bounty with you.
Despite winter’s quiet, farming in the north country is a year round endeavor. Washing and delivering the abundance in the root cellar from the previous season, field plans, seed orders, hiring, logistical and office organization, equipment repair…all of these things and much more happen when the snow is on the ground and the only green things around are the house plants. Come March, we find our hands in the soil again, when we seed the very first onions in the greenhouse. So, after many months of anticipation and hard work, the first harvest is here!
We’ve been busy both in the greenhouses and out in the field, thanks to this past week of gorgeous weather. Tomatoes, broccoli, onions, peppers, cauliflower, carrots (of course!) and tons more are all settling in the soil and ready for heat and sunshine. Things are looking great so far this spring, and what a wonder to have so much food already planted in the ground!
It is a beautiful time of year, full of life and growth, light and green. The Indian Paintbrushes are blooming, the first Monarchs have been sighted fluttering on the breeze, and the Red-Winged Blackbirds have found their way back to the cattails along the farm pond’s edge.
Thanks again for partnering with us, we look forward to the season!
Saturday, August 22, 2105
Food Farm: 2612 Co Road 1, Wrenshall, MN 55797
Farm tours and open house 2-4pm (Free)
Operetta 4pm ($10 suggested donation)
On Saturday, August 22 the Food Farm will celebrate the season with an open house and original operetta in partnership with Mixed Precipitation Theater Company. From 2 to 4pm there will be tours of the brand new root cellar, hay rides, farm tours, and family activities. At 4pm Mixed Precipitation will present a guitar-swinging retelling of the 1735 Handel opera, Alcina. Entitled Escape from Alcina’s Island: A Picnic Operetta, this unique blend of music, food, and storytelling is a perfect way to revel in the height of harvest season on the Farm.
Both events are open to the public. The open house is free and the Operetta is a $10 suggested donation and a reservation is requested.
For more on the Operetta visit Mixed Precipitation website
Directions to the Food Farm – From Duluth:
Food Farm is at 2612 County Road 1. Take 35S to Carlton/Scanlon exit (exit #239). Head south on Highway 45 through Carlton. Through no fault of your own, Highway 45 transforms itself into County Road 1. Take County Road 1 through Wrenshall. About 3 miles out of Wrenshall you’ll look to your left and see a big deer fence – that is the farm!
We’ve already gotten the cabbage, cucumbers, cauliflower, and broccoli in the ground and the greenhouse tomatoes are almost a foot high! There are still a few shares still available for the summer season and plenty of new winter shares available. Sign up forms here:
signup sheet 2015-1
Thanks for making us your farmer!
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