Western Chapter Dinner, Tour & Bonfire June 6

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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.t1432596220enich1432596220@gnim1432596220rafel1432596220bania1432596220tsus1432596220 for information.

For more information, contact Ariel Herrod & Mike Jorgenson, Western Chapter Co-Chairs, at gro.n1432596220m-afs1432596220@nret1432596220sew1432596220; 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.

Lake Agassiz Chapter Spring Blossom Orchard Tour is May 21

SFA_LakeAgassiz_RGBSFA Lake Agassiz Chapter is hosting a Spring Blossom Orchard Tour from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thurs., May 21, at the Honeyberry Farm & Nursery, 19736 350th St, Bagley (1.5 miles SE of Bagley). The event is free and registration is not required.

During the tour, The Honeyberry Farm and Nursery will showcase the beauty and fragrances of spring blossoms. Honeyberries burst out first, followed by Saskatoons, dwarf sour cherries, currants, aronia, elderberries, and more. Farm owners Jim and Bernis Ingvaldson will lead the tour.

Attendees will learn how to plan orchards to enjoy fresh fruit from early summer to late fall. Cameras and kids are welcome.

For more information about this free event, contact 218.694.3071 or gro.n1432596220m-afs1432596220@ziss1432596220agaek1432596220al1432596220.

SFA Greater Mille Lacs Chapter Now Official

SFA is excited to announce the formation of a brand-new chapter centered around the Aitkin area – the Greater Mille Lacs chapter.

Erik Heimark, SFA Greater Mille Lacs Chapter President.

Erik Heimark, SFA Greater Mille Lacs Chapter President.

According to Erik Heimark, chapter president, Greater Mille Lacs arose because of the large number of sustainably minded farmers around the Aitkin area.

“The idea to form a SFA chapter came about at a meeting last January where local farmers got together to discuss ways to support each other in the coming season,” he said. “The main goals of the Greater Mille Lacs Chapter are to help farmers market and process their products, provide support to their operations, and to educate themselves and their neighbors about the best practices in sustainable agriculture.”

SFA Network Coordinator Jerry Ford shepherded the new chapter through the formation process, and reminds SFA members that anyone interested in chapter-related issues should visit our Chapter Resource Portal.

Anyone interested in learning more about the new Greater Mille Lacs Chapter can contact Erik at ude.n1432596220mu@2214325962200amie1432596220h1432596220 or membership coordinator Jodi Olson at moc.l1432596220iamg@143259622013ett1432596220eduaj1432596220 or 218.927.1435.

Lake Agassiz Seed Swap April 26 in Bagley

SFA_LakeAgassiz_RGBSFA Lake Agassiz Chapter is hosting a Seed Swap and potluck from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 26, at the American Legion, 112 Main Ave N, Bagley. This event is free and no registration is required.

Attendees can bring extra seeds saved from crops or leftover purchased seeds, all in containers that are not spill-prone and clearly labeled, along with small envelopes to carry home your exchanges. Do not bring treated or GMO seeds. Cuttings, scion wood, etc. are welcome.

No seeds? No sweat! Come anyway and pick up some things that interest you. Discussion welcome on the history of heirloom seeds and ancient grains.

For more information, contact Jim Ingvaldson at 218-694-3071.