By John Mesko • SFA Executive Director
Another successful Festival of Farms event was held by SFA chapters in 2015. Those of you who participated as hosts, volunteers and attendees have all gotten a feel for the importance of telling the world what we are doing in sustainable agriculture. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in this year’s event around the state.
Lisa and I were fortunate enough to attend the Lake Superior Chapter event held at Charlie Danielson’s and Kristin Gibbs’ Up North Farm, just north of Duluth.
This permaculture-style homestead shows off the power of diversity and working with animals to build healthy soil while creating many value-added goods. Since 2007, Charlie and Kristin have raised 12 species of animals for milk, meat, eggs, tillers, fertilizers and friends. They grow a mix of annual and perennial plants along with mushrooms – as well as ideas for those with a new piece of land or looking at ways to creatively grow on others.
The day started with an overview of soil health and permaculture principles, followed by a tour of the farm where those principles were demonstrated in action. Up North Farm uses Hugel beds en masse, and many other techniques which drive diversity of plant and animal species.