Festival of Farms


 July 12, 2014

Festival of Farms

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.

2014 Festival of Farms Events

For quick links to chapter events, click:
Cannon River (Northfield area events: Waxwing Farm, Sweetland Orchard)
Central (St. Joseph area events: Baker’s Acres, Emmerich’s Produce, Dancing Bears and Common Ground Garden)
Coteau Ridge (Pipestone area: DeWeerd farm tour and pollinator discussion)
Crow River (Hutchinson area events: The Farm of Minnesota, New Story Farm, Living Song Farm)

OCIA-MN #1Festival of Farms is sponsored by OCIA MN #1, which is also a Business / Organization Member of SFA. We thank them for their continuing support.


“Picnic Scientifique” Soil Field Day

Farm Tours at Garden FarmePicnic-small

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., July 12, 2014
7363 175th Ave NW, Ramsey, MN 55303

Click here to RSVP

Tour Schedule:

  • 11 a.m. Garden Walk with the Garden Farme Soil Committee
  • 12:30 p.m. Bumblebee & Pollinators Walk with Sarah Foltz Jordan, Xerces Society
  • 2 p.m. Garden Walk with the Garden Farme Soil Committee

This event is sponsored by SFA and is hosted by the Garden Farme Soil Committee, who will direct the Garden Walks. Committee members include:

  • Aurora McRae-Crerar, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Biology, U of Penn, Philadelphia, PA, will present an introduction to soil genomics
  • Christian Klatt, PhD, a researcher with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in St Paul, will interpret soil tests and soil quality in the gardens
  • Dr. Matt Miller, PhD in Soil Science at U of MN, will assist in soil chemistry test interpretation
  • Steve Bauer, MA in Environmental Toxicology, will coordinate the tours

In addition, Ron Bowen of Prairie Restorations will join the Garden Walks to discuss the recently completed prairie management plan for the farm; and Mary Spivey of Cedar Creek Ecosystem Reserve will share soil research on abandoned fields and restored prairie with two invited students.

Sarah Froltz Jordan of the Xerces Society, an organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat, will lead a tour focused on Garden Farme’s work to protect and enhance bumblebees and pollinators on the property.

Garden Farme has been Certified Organic since 1977, and a family farm since 1913. Owner Bruce Bacon offers specialty market gardening and custom growing for restaurants and caterers, sells wildflower bulk honey, and operates a potted tree nursery, a 25-acre prairie restoration, and a permaculture demonstration site.

Food will be available to purchase throughout the day from QFanatic BBQ, and Chowgirls Killer Catering’s Chef Jerry Fodness will be creating salads with JOHN PALMER assisting sampling greens and Jerry’s dressings all day.

For further information on Festival of Farms, please contact Jerry Ford, jerry@sfa-mn.org, 763-244-6659.

Click here to download the full event flyer

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Cannon River


The SFA Cannon River Chapter and Just Food Coop are sponsoring tours of two farms in the Webster area as part of Festival of Farms on July 12, 2014. The tour begins at 9:20 a.m. at Waxwing Farm; a free bus ride is available and leaves at 9 a.m. from Just Food Co-op in Northfield.

Waxwing Farm
Anna Racer & Peter Skold
4800 Dent Ave, Webster, MN

The first farm on the tour is Anna Racer and Peter Skold’s Waxwing Farm, a 40-acre diversified farm located in Webster that raises a wide variety of vegetables, laying hens, and market hogs that are marketed through a 70-member CSA and the Fulton Farmers Market in Minneapolis. Waxwing tries to raise its vegetables and animals in the most sustainable way, and although not certified Waxwing follows organic practices. Through crop rotation, cover cropping, and compost applications, Waxwing aims to manage its land in a way that promotes long-term health and diversity. The farm does not use any synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

“At our farm, you’ll get a first-hand taste of how a diverse farm operates,” said Anna and Peter. “We’ll discuss the challenges and rewards associated with managing a variety of farm enterprises. In addition to a tour of our fields, you’ll see our wood-fired, in-floor heated greenhouse as well as our season-extension efforts in our two hoophouses.”

Sweetland Orchard
Mike & Gretchen Perbix
26205 Fairlawn Ave, Webster, MN

The second farm on the tour, Sweetland Orchard, is owned by Mike and Gretchen Perbix. In their five-acre orchard, the Perbixes grow 49 varieties of apples, many of them heirloom, not counting the cider apples. They also have a few pears and plums. They sell apples at the Kingfield market in Minneapolis, but most of their business is Pick-Your-Own on weekends in September and October. Since moving to the farm, the Perbixes have planted cider apples and make both fresh and hard cider, which is a growing part of their business. During the tour, visitors will view the orchard and cidery, talk with the farmers about growing practices, and sample the cider.

Just Food Co-op, 516 Water St S, Northfield, is sponsoring the free tour bus. Reservations are required at 507.650.0106.

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Click on the above image to register.

Come celebrate with local food enthusiasts and farmers at the 5th annual Central Chapter Festival of Farms, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 12. Join the Facebook event to connect with other festival-goers and register online.

This “Stearns County Farm Crawl” includes tours at five area farms and market gardens that produce fruits and vegetables, beef, sheep, eggs and more:

These farms sell to chefs, consumers and retail locations from Central Minnesota to the Twin Cities.

SFA_Central_RGBAttendees will see where their food comes from and can enjoy live music, a local foods lunch prepared by Chef Daniel Dean from Nick’s Third Floor restaurant, bossy bingo, kid’s activities, and learning from exhibitors during registration and lunch.

A map of the farms will be provided at registration. Tour start times are subject to change slightly. Rain or shine. The event is bike-friendly – all farms are located within three miles of the Lake Wobegon Trail.

Registration includes lunch. Advance registration is $15 individual / $30 family. (At-the-door: $20 individual / $35 family). SFA members attend for free – membership is $30 for individuals, $40 for families. Members are encouraged to make a $7 donation for their lunch

Sponsors, exhibitors, and door-prize donations include: Before It’s Gone coffee shop, the Minnesota Street Market (St. Joseph Co-op), the Good Earth Food Coop, Central Minnesota Credit Union, Forest Mushrooms, Inc., Cherrico Pottery, Dancing the Land Farm, the Sustainable Farming Association, Stonebridge Beef, Stearns County NRCS & SWCD, State Farm of Albany, Coborn’s, and more.

Volunteer needs: If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Lisa at lisa@bakersacresfarm.com. We are looking for someone to plan Bossy Bingo, direct traffic, help with SFA t-shirt sales, etc.

See you there!

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Coteau Ridge


SFA_CRidgeC_RGBIn the Pipestone area, SFA Coteau Ridge Chapter is hosting its Festival of Farms event from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. July 12 at 1826 70th Ave, Pipestone. Visit the diverse farm of Don and Beverly DeWeerd, who have been farming organically and sustainably for more than three decades.

Dr. Kristine Nemec, Postdoctoral Research Entomologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Brookings, S.D., will present on the research project she is conducting at the DeWeerd farm that studies the response of pollinators and natural enemies to oilseed crops.

Dr. Christina Mogren, Research Entomologist at USDA-ARS in Brookings, will share the research she is conducting on the effects of landscape level habitat on native pollinator diversity and honeybee health.

This event is co-sponsored by OCIA MN #1. A lunch will be served.

The event is free and open to the public, but please RSVP at 507.215.7291 for food-preparation purposes.

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Crow River


Here’s an opportunity to tour sustainable farms in the Crow River area, up close and personal.  There will be two tour times at three different farms, and it’s all free to the public!

Tours at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at these farms:

The Farm of MinnesotaFarm of MN
Dan and Donna Moe
24618 State Hwy 15, Hutchinson, MN  55350

The Farm of Minnesota offers CSA shares, fresh produce at farmers markets, service to local restaurants and co-ops – and you can get their fruits and vegetables right there at the farm. Working land that’s been in their family since 1945, they are in transition to organic, and should be getting certified in 2014. They are passionate about providing great-tasting, highly nutritional food.

New Story FarmNew Story Farm
Daniel Zetah & Stephanie Usery
19778 235th St, Hutchinson MN 55350

New Story Farm does not want to be self-sufficient; they want to be interdependent. Farmer/operators Daniel Zetah and Stephanie Usery are actively working toward forming a “cooperative farming village,” a place where others with similar values and visions can work cooperatively on diverse endeavors.

Sharing land with his parents, who have farmed there over 50 years, Daniel’s many skills include welding, fabricating, building & fixing everything from plows to tractors and trucks, while Stephanie is quite adept at wildcrafting and makes teas, medicines and delicious meals from what abounds on the land.

Says Daniel, “Ask any older person that grew up in a small rural town in the 30s, 40s or 50s, and they will tell you all kinds of stories about people working together, sharing tools and equipment, butchering or harvesting together, cooking together, raising each other’s children, laughing, crying, loving. We feel like we deserve that, too, and want to recreate that on this farm.”

Topics of interest include:
Whole-Farm Water Management through keyline design and swales
Managed Grazing
Silvo Pasture
Composting Toilets- Humanure
Grey Water Systems
Rainwater Collection Systems
Deep ripping with Managed Grazing for Optimal Carbon Sequestration
Holistic Animal Husbandry ( herbs for livestock )


Living Song FarmLiving song
Jerry Ford & Mariénne Kreitlow
7616 – 25th St. SW, Howard Lake, MN 55349

Living Song Farm operates on land that has been in the Kreitlow family since 1898. Of the family’s 288 acres, Jerry and Mariénne have 70 acres in transition to certified organic, where they are managing 40 acres of rotational grazing for cattle and pastured laying hens, growing garlic, onions and potatoes for market, managing conservation practices through the Conservation Stewardship Program, including wildlife enhancements, native plant propagation, and soil and water conservation, and growing hay for their beef cattle and replacement dairy heifers.

The two tours at this farm each have a different emphasis:

10 a.m. – This tour will be a general overview of the farm for the public and interested farmers, and will feature such things as:

  • Gourmet Garlic, and other root vegetables
  • Rotational Grazing for cattle and pastured chickens
  • The ongoing Conservation Work that started with Mariénne’s father in the 1940s

1 p.m. – This tour is offered as a cooperative venture of Keep Cattle In Minnesota, the Minnesota Dairy Initiative, the Pasture Project, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and SFA, and intended for farmers, ag educators and members of the public who are interested in conservation, soil health and creative ways to run cattle on smaller acreage.

  • In-depth looks at a rotational grazing system
  • Smaller acreage cover crops
  • Raising replacement heifers and direct marketed beef
  • Soil & water conservation practices and programs

These tours are sponsored in part by Farm Beginnings, a farmer-led, community based training and support program from The Land Stewardship Project aimed at getting more farmers on the land farming sustainably.

For more information on Festival of Farms in the Crow River Area, contact Jerry Ford, jerry@sfa-mn.org, 763-244-6659

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