2015 Festival of Farms event recaps, descriptions
Pictured are scenes from Lakeside Prairie Farm, Berry Ridge Farm and Fruitful Seasons Dairy near Alexandria during the SFA Central Festival of Farms on July 11, 2015.
Lake Agassiz Chapter
Pictured are scenes from Lida Farm and Lost Farm near Pelican Rapids during the SFA Lake Agassiz Festival of Farms on July 11, 2015.
2015 Festival of Farms Event Descriptions
Farm Tour & Potluck
3 p.m. July 12, Aitkin, Minn.
Greater Mille Lacs chapter will host a Festival of Farms tour of two member farms followed by a potluck, starting at 3 p.m. July 12. The event is free and open to the public.
The first tour begins at Mathew and Katie Nix’s Righteous Oaks Farm, 35372 295th St, Aitkin. Items of interest at Mathew and Katie’s place include animals on pasture (broilers, goats, pigs, cattle, bees), high-tensile electric solar-powered pasture fence, an in-progress solar powered water system, and a portable sawmill.
From there, the tour will progress to Debby and Kevin Flowers’ farm, 27793 360th Ave, Aitkin, for a tour and potluck supper. The Flowers are transforming into a sustainable farm, raising potatoes, corn, pumpkins, sunflowers, oats, rye and wheat as well as dairy goats, chickens and pigs.
Please invite anyone who might be interested in learning more about SFA in the Greater Mille Lacs region.
Garlic Growers Field Day & Gathering
2:00 – 6:30 p.m. Sun., July 12
Field Day – 2547 195th St, Clearwater, MN 55320 (map)
Potluck Social – 3655 Plum Creek Drive, Saint Cloud, MN 56301
Details: We’ll start at Plum Creek Garlic’s farm, which is the Clearwater address above (click the map for precise location). We’ll take a look at Chris and Joanne’s garlic, and have some open Q&A time. Dr. Carl Rosen will be there for the really technical questions.
Around 3:30 or 4 p.m., we’ll head over to Chris and Joanne’s house in St. Cloud (it’s about 5 miles off of I-94) for potluck and more conversation. The event will end by 6:30 p.m.
Potluck: Bring food and/or drink to share, be prepared to help clean up a bit, make it low impact. And everything should have garlic in it, of course.
Even more details: We will also explore the possibility of starting a “garlic growers association” under SFA’s nonprofit umbrella.
Lake Superior Chapter
Lake Superior Chapter is hosting a tour of Charlie Danielson’s Up North Farm and Restoration from 1 to 3 p.m. Sat., July 11 at 6551 Bergstrom Rd, 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 his partner 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. Idea for those with a new piece of land or looking at ways to creatively grow on others.
Topics covered will be soil health, animal husbandry with rotational grazing, biomimicry, and how to start small with big ideas. This is geared toward beginning farmers but would benefit any farm.
Lake Agassiz Chapter
Lake Agassiz Chapter Festival of Farms, “Building a Community of Farms in Lakes Country,” will be 1-4 p.m. July 11. The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin at at Lida Farm, 44593 275th Ave, Pelican Rapids; and then move to Lost Farm just a few miles down the road.
Lida Farm is a 20-acre vegetable farm in operation for over 10 years that features diverse marketing strategies, integration of small-scale livestock production, and innovative methods of season extension including a deep winter greenhouse.
Lost Farm is a beginning-farm operation focused on self-sufficiency while exploring local markets for sustainable products. Enterprises include pastured livestock, market gardening, sustainable woodworking, and value-added food preservation.
Picnic Scientifique: Soil as System | Crandall Garden Farme
10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., July 11 | 7363 175th Ave NW, Ramsey MN 55303
- 10:30 a.m. – Garden walk and talk with Soil Sci Committee and “Testing for Soil Health”
- 12:30 p.m. – Ken Meter of Crossroads Resource Center, aboveground impact “Soil, Society, Economics” lunch talk
- 2 p.m. – Garden walk and talk with Soil Sci committee, “Soil System Linkages – Determined or Stochastic?”
A “Post-Modern Soil Day:” The Garden Farme Soil Committee will present an intro to soil quality research and soil sampling techniques. You’ll also learn about the Solvita CO2 Burst Test and how test results inform us about the life of the soil system. Plus, we’ll report on Garden Farme’s first genomic tests and repeat the 2014 tests for humic/fulvic acid from NE Univ National Soil Project.
French Meadow chef George Lohr and sous chef Gerold Gerson will provide choice dressings for Garden Farme fresh-picked gourmet salad mix – free samples.
Soil Committee members: Aurora MacRae Crerar, Christian Klatt, Matthew Miller, Carl Rosen, Steve Bauer. Collaborators: Anoka SWCD, Cedar Creek Ecosystem Reserve, Sherburne SWCD, Elk River NRCS, Oliver Kelley Farm, Ag Resource Consultants [Glen Borgerding]; Nat’l Soil Project, Geoff Davies, NE University; Field Guide Inc.
12:30-8 p.m. July 11 | City Park, 118 City Park Rd, Alexandria
Central Chapter is hosting Festival of Farms on July 11 with a bus tour to and from three local farms, a local foods dinner, and more.
The event begins and ends at the City Park in Alexandria (118 City Park Rd). Buses will transport attendees to each of three SFA farms: Lakeside Prairie Farm, Berry Ridge Farm, and Fruitful Seasons Dairy. These farms feature draft-horse power, grass-fed beef and dairy, pastured pork and chickens, berry production, vegetables, high tunnels, oats and wheat.
Then, at 6 p.m., a local foods dinner was prepared for attendees by chef Eugen Wittemann.
Central’s Festival of Farms is co-sponsored by Local Harvest Market of Alexandria.
Grazing Management and Pasture Forage Quality
Living Song Farm, Howard Lake, MN
Date: Thurs., July 9
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Location: 7616 25th Street SW, Howard Lake
University of Minnesota Extension and Natural Resources Conservation Service are teaming up with SFA to sponsor a pasture field day at Living Song Farm near Howard Lake. Jerry Ford, who has been rotationally grazing since 2006, will be the host. Other speakers include Tom Gervais, NRCS grazing specialist; Julie Reberg, NRCS District Conservationist; and Rod Greder, Wright County Extension Educator.
Animal productivity and farm economics can be enhanced by improved pasture management. Successfully establishing a rotational grazing system and wisely managing pasture forage grasses and legumes can lead to higher carrying capacity and improved gains in grazing animals. Well-planned fencing and watering systems are needed to maximize efficient pasture use. Some local and federal programs can provide financial and technical assistance for graziers wanting to establish high-density grazing systems on their farms.
At this field day we will be presenting management strategies to help improve your bottom line from pastures while also enhancing soil health and protecting water quality. Tools like the rising plate meter, the grazing wedge, and the refractometer to measure forage quality will be demonstrated. Marketing beef, sheep, lamb and poultry produced on pasture will be discussed, as will grazing in the certified organic program.
Registration and program begin at 10 a.m. and the workshop ends at 2 p.m. There is no admission fee. Some walking will be required, and sturdy shoes or boots are recommended.