SFA Returns to Mill City Farmers Market on June 6

Mary Jane Miller

Mary Jane Miller

SFA is making our yearly trip to the beautiful and bountiful Mill City Farmers Market, and this year we’re bringing ketchup.

2015.6.2 Crow River KetchupOn June 6 – this Saturday – SFA will be the featured guest at Mill City and along with Mary Jane Miller’s cooking expertise  and our usual booth of goodies and conversation we’ll be making the Minneapolis debut of Crow River Ketchup (right with spokesmodel Dan Zetah). Bottles will be available for purchase, Crow River farmers will be on hand, and Mary Jane will be cooking creative recipes that include the ketchup or go well with it.

We’ll have SFA t-shirts for sale as well – including the return of our “Back End of a Cow” shirts that sold out during our winter conferences.

The vibrant Mill City Farmers Market is held from 8 a.m.1 p.m. Saturdays in the courtyard of the Mill City Museum overlooking the Mississippi River and Stone Arch Bridge, and is next door to the architectural marvel that is Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater. The Market was founded by chef and restaurateur Brenda Langton and is next door to her popular farm-to-table restaurant, Spoonriver. SFA has been a regular at Mill City for many years, and we’re thankful to the Market for all its support.

If you can’t make the market but are hankering for Crow River Ketchup, it will soon be available for sale at all three Lakewinds Co-op locations. 

Next SFA Deep Winter Greenhouse Class Announced

Deep RootsRegistration is now open for our next Deep Roots Farmer Development Program short course on “Deep Winter Production of Greens and Livestock Fodder Utilizing Passive Solar Energy,” set for Nov. 7, 2015, at Paradox Farm north of Ashby, Minn.

During the class, Paradox Farm owners Sue Wika and Tom Prieve will provide a detailed overview of the construction and operation of their deep-winter greenhouse, which utilizes passive solar energy with underground heat storage. The greenhouse provides greens for local consumers. In addition, the structure is utilized to produce fodder for the farm livestock.

Students will be in the greenhouse to see how greens and fodder are planted and harvested. This is a hands-on workshop. Students should be prepared to get their hands in the soil.

Registrants: Don’t forget to bring a sack lunch. Cost is $100. Farm Skills 101 graduates may register for $30.

Click here to register.

Paradox Farm is at 11643 State Hwy 78, Ashby, MN 56309 (Directions: 7 miles north of Ashby; 10 miles south of Battle Lake). For more information, contact gro.n1435619293m-afs1435619293@eus1435619293.

Western Chapter Dinner, Tour & Bonfire June 6

Western for Web Use JPG

SFA Western Chapter will host an open get-together at 5 p.m.Sat., June 6, at Prairie Horizons Farm, 31008 State Hwy 29, north of Benson. The event is free and all are welcome to attend for an evening of food, farms, fire, and friends!

Dinner will be a potluck meal; please bring a dish to share. After dinner will be a farm tour by hayrack ride including comments from Dr. Margaret Kuchenruether and Dr. Sharon Weyers, who have conducted research at Prairie Horizons Farm since 2008.

After mixing it up with food and research, it will be time to kick back for a musical jam and bonfire, with thirsts quenched by whatever beverages you have stocked in your cooler in anticipation of this joyous gathering. Bring your instrument and voice to join the jam.

Camping is available on site by permission: RSVP to ten.t1435619293enich1435619293@gnim1435619293rafel1435619293bania1435619293tsus1435619293 for information.

For more information, contact Ariel Herrod & Mike Jorgenson, Western Chapter Co-Chairs, at gro.n1435619293m-afs1435619293@nret1435619293sew1435619293; call Ariel at 410-660-0184; or visit www.sfa-mn.org/western.

SFA Deep Roots Graduate Making Positive Impact with Native Seed Initiative

By Jason Walker • SFA Communications & Membership Coordinator

Zachary Paige, a recent graduate of SFA’s Deep Roots Farmer Development Program, is proof that Deep Roots is training the next generation of farmers and community leaders.

Zachary Paige, a recent graduate of SFA’s Deep Roots Farmer Development Program, is proof that Deep Roots is training the next generation of farmers and community leaders.

It didn’t take long for Zachary Paige to become a positive force in Minnesota’s Native American community, helping to devise a project that culminated late last year in a significant grant to create an indigenous seed keeping network.

As a recent graduate of SFA’s Deep Roots Farmer Development Program, Paige, 30, is also proof that Deep Roots is training the next generation of farmers and community leaders. Paige, of Ponsford, Minn, took the program then known as Sustainable Food Production in 2012-13, and said he gained a holistic vision of sustainable food systems by looking at the issue from many different angles.

“I had no experience farming until after graduating college,” he said. “I taught music and worked on farms for two summers in the off-season teaching music. I had all sorts of questions brewing in my mind regarding plant cultivation, breeding and why many ‘sustainable’ farms didn’t save their seeds. I really thought that this was something important that would close the gap in the cyclical nature of sustainable food systems.”

While in the program, Paige gained real-world experience, extensive skills training, and the educational background needed to become a sustainable food producer. Further, Deep Roots’ commitment to community development and mentoring boosted Paige’s desire to develop a progressive project that would positively impact the indigenous community.

To continue reading about Zach, click here.

From the Executive Director: Organic Valley’s Grass Up!, Featuring SFA Speakers, is May 7

John Mesko

John Mesko

By John Mesko

There is still time to RSVP for what I think could be a watershed event in the sustainable agriculture movement: Organic Valley is teaming up with key organizations and experts in the field of sustainable agriculture to bring energy and focus about our future at a FREE event this Thursday called Grass Up!

Click here to learn more and RSVP.

An invitation-only event, which is set for 6 p.m. May 7 at Macalester College in St. Paul, Grass Up! helps people understand the connections between soil, pasture, climate change, seeds, nutrition, and pollinators. It will gather people with expertise in these areas and help us all understand the points where these six areas intersect.

SFA is a part of this event in several ways.

I’ll be one of two keynote speakers, offering a short overview of how these issues connect for farmers today and in the future. Also, Kent Solberg, SFA’s Livestock & Grazing Specialist, will join me at the discussion tables after the keynotes to network, learn and share. Kent will be an expert at the pasture discussion table, while I’ll be networking with others about agriculture’s response to climate change.

It’s basically a fantastic cocktail party, with great food, great learning, and an excellent opportunity to network, and I hope you’ll be able to make it. I’d love to see you there, and to let everyone know SFA’s Farmer-to-Farmer Network® organization is providing solutions for our future!

Space is limited. Click here to RSVP.