Recap of 2011 events: Saturday, July 16, 2011
Festival of Farms™ is an opportunity to learn about sustainable agriculture, network within the community, and have fun at various farms across the state. The Festival is unique to each chapter, but the goal is the same—to build a unified sense of SFA’s presence in communities across Minnesota and tighten connections within the local food community.
Central Chapter – Staples Area Event Details
On Saturday, July 16, Mel and Lorna Wiens of Staples hosted the annual Festival of Farms, a family-friendly event designed to connect community members with area farmers in a celebration of local foods.
The daylong event, held at Wiens’ Acorn Ridge Farm on the North side of Staples, was just one of several “festivals” that took place on July 16, 2011, across Minnesota.
The Central Chapter of the SFA sponsored the Staples area Festival of Farms, which featured a delicious, “local foods” lunch catered by chef Derek Olson of the Harvest Thyme Bistro in Wadena. There also were hay rides, a petting zoo, educational demonstrations, shopping stands, and guided bus tours of three near-by farms.
Cannon River Event Details
Three Goodhue County farms were featured during SFA’s 2nd Annual Festival of Farms™ on Saturday, July 16, 2011: Sogn Valley CSA and Market Farm, Cannon Falls; L & R Poultry & Produce, Kenyon; and Seven Songs Organic Farm, Kenyon.
Sogn Valley CSA and Market Farm
Tim, Leslie and Isaac Mahle have owned and operated Sogn Valley CSA & Market Farm for 5 years. It is a small, family-owned farm just south of Cannon Falls in the beautiful Sogn Valley. They do a CSA for local pickup and off-site delivery, offering a weekly share, a bi-weekly share and a singles share. They also offer a “salsa share,” a one-time box of tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic & cilantro.
L & R Poultry & Produce
Rae Rusnak and her son Leo have been producing food for the local foodshed for several years. L & R Poultry & Produce is a family owned and operated 72-acre woodland farm, featuring rolling hills, streams, and mixed hardwood trees.
They produce eggs, chickens and turkeys as well as maple syrup and a market garden. Their poultry are free range and their produce is grown without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers.
Seven Songs Organic Farm
Melissa Driscoll and husband Jay Hambidge spent 2.5 years searching for their ideal farm before buying one outside of Kenyon in January 2010. They’re transitioning their farm to organic food production, with organic certification scheduled for the fall of 2012. Seven Songs specializes in gourmet garlic, raspberries, humanely-produced eggs, and heirloom vegetables. A hoop house will be built this summer to extend the season for raspberries and cold-hearty greens. They are also building an Eggmobile so they can move their chickens around the farm where they will do the most good for the whole farm. Driscoll and Hambidge sell food to individuals and restaurants and are actively looking for more local customers for the 2012 season.
Crow River Chapter Event Details
FESTIVAL OF FARMS – CROW RIVER AREA TOURS
Natures Folly Farm
Mike Lilja, Owner/Operator
A small suburban farm using the techniques and philosophy of permaculture to ”grow” beyond organic.
14000 Lawndale Ln. N., Dayton, MN 55327
– AND –
Crandall Garden Farme
Bruce Bacon, Owner/Operator
Certified Organic since 1977, and family farm since 1913, Crandall Garden Farme offers specialty market gardening and custom growing for restaurants and caterers. They sell 5 gal. wildflower bulk honey, and they have a potted tree nursery; 25-acre prairie restoration, and are a permaculture demonstration site. They are a host site for agro-ecology research projects, as well seminars and retreats, private parties, picnics, weddings, and plein air painting.
Lake Superior SFA Event Details
Festival of Farms Public Farm Tour was held Saturday, July 16 at Morning View Farm
Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association (LSSFA) in partnership with Gayle Gonsior and Larry Fickbohn invited the public to Morning View Farm for a tour in Port Wing, WI. The farm tour, “Lives in the Balance” was a chance to walk and talk with participants about operations management of a highly diversified family farm, while still having time for personal, family, community and a professional life.
While at Morning View Farm, participants were exposed to a myriad array of enterprises to include grass-fed, sustainably-grown or raised lamb, pork, beef, eggs, turkeys, and vegetables. In addition, Gayle and Larry utilize high tunnels for production, raise much of their own animal feed and fertilizer, participate in University of WI Extension’s hazelnut production trials with 1500 hazelnut trees planted, and are one of two agricultural areas participating in a biomass tree planting experiment in conjunction with Excel Energy and Bayfield County. They have put 100 acres of woodland into a 50-year conservation protection plan and have the capacity to make their own biodiesel from waste oil for use in their tractors.
Gayle and Larry love living and working off of their land as much as possible, and enjoy all the silent sports available in the Chequamegon Bay area. They live simply and economically, supporting local businesses and arts as a matter of philosophy and quality as much as they possibly can. There is a lot to see at Morning View Farm and a lot to learn from Gayle and Larry.
South Central Chapter Event Details
We had three farms in the area of Wells, MN on our tour.
It started at 10:30AM at the Lutteke family organic dairy farm at 56360 200th St., a few miles from Wells. A noon lunch was served at the Lutteke farm.
After lunch we visited the nearby farm operated by Gary Yokiel and his mother, Leona Yokiel, at 58653 190th St. This is an organic grain farm with beef cattle. Also there was a a large collection of Minneapolis Moline tractors on display.
After spending about an hour at the Yokiels we went South to the farm of Archie and Denise Kluender at 7286 State Highway 22 which is an organic grain farm with a wide variety of crops.
All three of these farms are well know for their organic farming practices.
Gary’s father, George, was one of the early pioneering organic farmers in this part of the state. Large organic farming field days have been held on the farm of Dennis Lutteke and his family. The Kluender converted to organic farming many years ago following the good examples set by by the Yokiels and Luttekes.