SFA Connect – Issue 10

SFA Connect

May 16, 2011 : Issue 10

SFA News

Nature’s Nest Farm Art Festival and Farmer’s Market

May 21-22, 2011

If you haven’t been to the Nature’s Nest Farm Art Festival and Farmer’s Market, you need to go. Hosted annually by Cathy Rose, SFA member and Board Member, this 2 day festival brings together all the fun of farming, food and entertainment. The Crow River Chapter of SFA partners with Nature’s Nest, making this another successful event. Check out the website for more information!

Grazefest Minnesota, June 4, 2011

SFA’s annual Grazefest event for eaters will be on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at the Mill City Farmers=
in Minneapolis. SFA hosts Grazefest Minnesota to promote the health benefits of pasture-raised foods, the positive environmental impacts of grazing, and the economic benefits of local, pasture-raised foods. Grazefest Minnesota highlights well-manages grazing systems that result in healthy animals and excellent living and working conditions for farmers and rural communities.

SFA Festival of Farms July 16, 2011

Each year participating SFA chapters arrange for member farms to host farm tours on the same day across the state, providing the public with an opportunity to see first-hand the diverse and innovative sustainable farms that make up the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota. Featured farms raise a variety of products, including pastured meat and dairy, poultry and eggs, vegetables and cut flowers, fruits and berries, nuts and grains, wild rice, and even horses. Each tour provides an up-close and personal experience of the dedication and innovation of local farm families and their unique farming operations. Open to members and non-members alike, all are welcome to join us for a day of fun and adventure, and building connections with local farmers.

SFA Website + Surveys

As part of SFA’s Design Identity revamp we’ve rolled out a new website!  Visit www.sfa-mn.org to see how this new design is easier to navigate and puts SFA events front and center.

We hope you find it more useful and informative. There are a couple of surveys out there that I’d love to have you take a moment to fill out=2E  One is an SFA “user” survey. Here you can tell us what you think about SFA, how you like to interact with us, and SFA’s role in sustainable ag.

The other survey is the New Crops Assessment Survey. Lots of folks stopped by our booth at the annual conference to fill this out. It’s one way SFA is working to expand the market for our members who are interested in meeting local food demand. Check it out!


John’s Note

Is your chapter hosting a Festival of Farms event? We’ve asked Governor Dayton to declare July 16 “Sustainable Agriculture Day” in Minnesota. If he does, we’ll celebrate with our second annual Festival of Farms. Lots of exciting opportunities for SFA Farmer-Members to promote local foods, farms and fun. If you would like to have help in promoting your event, please get specific information to me NOW! Thanks.

MISA Releases New Farmstay Publication

As interest grows in local foods, more people are hungry to establish a relationship with the farmers who grow their food and the land on which it is grown. They want to reconnect with their agrarian roots, or form new roots.

Agritourism offers farmers a way to capitalize on this interest while sharing their love of the land and farming with others. Farmstays, in particular, are a type of agritourism gaining popularity across the country. In the simplest terms, a farmstay is lodging available to paying guests on a working farm or managed forestland. Beyond this, a farmstay can take many forms: a farm family may convert a room in their farmhouse to accommodate overnight guests, repurpose an outbuilding into a sleeping cabin, or build a new structure specifically for guests.

The newly released publication, Farmstays: Diversifying your farm business through agritourism: A how-to manual for establishing a farmstay in Minnesota, is a must-have for those considering starting a farmstay in Minnesota. It guides readers through a series of questions that range from “Is operating a farmstay for me?” to “How do I manage reservations?” Chapters include Elements of a Farmstay, Marketing, Setting up a Farmstay Business, Regulations, and Putting it all together in a Business Plan. The publication also includes a Farmstay Start-up Checklist and several pages of resources.

The Farmstay Manual is a collaboration of the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, Renewing the Countryside, and STEP (Stimulating Economic Progress). The entire publication is available on line at www.misa.umn.edu.

Farmers considering establishing a farmstay at their farms can request a print copy by contacting MISA: ude.n1440988265mu@li1440988265amasi1440988265m1440988265 or by calling 612-625-8235, or 800-909-MISA.


Other News

Farming Forward

Farming Forward is a positive and inspiring look at sustainable farming in Minnesota. Directed by Martin Lang and Ethan Marxhausen in collaboration with the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota, this new documentary paints an intimate portrait of the state’s burgeoning diversity of small family farms, from the rural to the urban, from multi-generational farms to new immigrant operations, from organic to local (or both!) and every point in between. Meet the people, young and old, from interns to elders, who grow your food and are passionate about reestablishing the links between people, the land and their food. Order your copy here.


Out & About

August 13, 2011
Minnesota Garlic Festival

Hutchinson, MN

Minnesota Garlic Festival is the premier event for lovers of garlic, great local foods and good times! Family friendly, fun filled and fragrant, this festival features fantastic foods, celebrity chefs, marvelous music, area artisans, goofy games…and lots of GARLIC – all in support of a healthy environment, sustainable farms and vital rural communities in Minnesota. For more information, see our website.

For more events, check out our online calendar.