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Posted 7/28/2015 11:07am by Minnesota Food Association.

MFA and Big River Farms was featured in the 2015 edition of Minnesota Made!

 Agriculture community helps immigrant farmers overcome production barriers

Farming has never been easy.  For people new to the United States, the hurdles can include limited access to capital, equipment markets and affordable land with long-term availability.  "The most pressing challenge is access to land," says Becky Balk, principal planner and land use program manager at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.  

To combat this handicap, organizations like the Minnesota Food Association have established incubator farms that enrich farmers' knowledge while providing other key resources.  "We work with farmers from all cultural and language backgrounds," says Hilary Otey Wold, executive director for the Minnesota Food Association and Big River Farms.  "We have a full array of classes and curriculum for beginning farmers to develop sustainable farm businesses," including the unique opportunity to learn certified organic farming methods...  To read more, click this link.  


 

 

Please Note:  The contents of your CSA box may vary slightly from what is pictured.  

Reminder!  Please make sure to flatten your boxes and leave them neatly stacked up in your pickup spot.  If you are taking your boxes home with you, please remember to bring them back next week.  They are expensive and we reuse them.  Thanks!  


Click on each crop listed below for some tasty recipe ideas, and click on the farm names to learn more about the amazing people who grow your food!

Posted 7/23/2015 8:34am by Minnesota Food Association.

We're at the Kingsfield Farmers Market!

We have had an awesome season so far at the Kingfield Farmers Market! The market staff is incredibly welcoming, our customers are fun to chat with, and the other vendors are the icing on the cake - especially with cold and sweet St. Pops popsicles as our next-door neighbor! We also enjoy swapping jokes and stories with Rona and Moses of Dawn2Dusk Gardens. Moses is a Big River Farms program alumnus, and it's great to catch up with him at market and see the success of the farm he and his wife run.

Our customers' favorite veggies are definitely broccoli, spicy French Breakfast radishes, garlic bulbs, snap peas, basil, cilantro, and eggplant! We were finally able to offer garlic to customers after weeks of anticipation - "Is there garlic yet?" Anticipation is one of the joys of eating local, and seasonal availability can encourage us to try new things. So even when our customers couldn't cut into some savory garlic bulbs, they did get to try garlic scapes for the first time! If you're a Big River Farms CSA member, you're very familiar with garlic scapes at this point - they are the curly-straw-esque, savory, storage-friendly flower bud that "escapes" from the top of the garlic bulb above the dirt early in the season before the garlic is ready. Garlic scapes require no marketing, as their curls draw customers in - "What is that?". They are perfect for stir-frying and we have created many garlic-scape converts at the market.  Between a more holistic season-long local-eating regimen and the variety that comes from having ten different farmers from several different cultures, languages and ethnicities, you will always find something surprising and new at our Kingfield Farmers Market stand, as well as your favorites (hello, broccoli and green beans).  

Customers have loved chatting with the interns running the market stand and the BRF program farmers to learn new ways to use produce - our farmers from southeast Asia were especially helpful with demystifying fennel for our customers! We have been delighted to receive customers' recipes and photos of dishes made with farmers market produce for our Pinterest board, started by intern Susan. If you're looking for a way to use your produce, check it out - just search "Big River Farms 2015" on pinterest.com under Boards. If you want to submit a recipe made using our produce, we would love to pin it and credit you! Just email the recipe and a photo to susan@mnfoodassociation.org

So as we near the peak of the harvest season, please come visit us at the Kingfield Farmers Market on Sundays from 8:30 to 1:00 pm! It's at 4310 Nicollet Avenue South in Minneapolis, and you can park right on the street for free. See you there!

 


 

 

Please Note:  The contents of your CSA box may vary slightly from what is pictured.  

Reminder!  Please make sure to flatten your boxes and leave them neatly stacked up in your pickup spot.  If you are taking your boxes home with you, please remember to bring them back next week.  They are expensive and we reuse them.  Thanks!  


Click on each crop listed below for some tasty recipe ideas, and click on the farm names to learn more about the amazing people who grow your food!

Posted 7/21/2015 11:02am by Minnesota Food Association.

We're at the Kingsfield Farmers Market!

We have had an awesome season so far at the Kingfield Farmers Market! The market staff is incredibly welcoming, our customers are fun to chat with, and the other vendors are the icing on the cake - especially with cold and sweet St. Pops popsicles as our next-door neighbor! We also enjoy swapping jokes and stories with Rona and Moses of Dawn2Dusk Gardens. Moses is a Big River Farms program alumnus, and it's great to catch up with him at market and see the success of the farm he and his wife run.

Our customers' favorite veggies are definitely broccoli, spicy French Breakfast radishes, garlic bulbs, snap peas, basil, cilantro, and eggplant! We were finally able to offer garlic to customers after weeks of anticipation - "Is there garlic yet?" Anticipation is one of the joys of eating local, and seasonal availability can encourage us to try new things. So even when our customers couldn't cut into some savory garlic bulbs, they did get to try garlic scapes for the first time! If you're a Big River Farms CSA member, you're very familiar with garlic scapes at this point - they are the curly-straw-esque, savory, storage-friendly flower bud that "escapes" from the top of the garlic bulb above the dirt early in the season before the garlic is ready. Garlic scapes require no marketing, as their curls draw customers in - "What is that?". They are perfect for stir-frying and we have created many garlic-scape converts at the market.  Between a more holistic season-long local-eating regimen and the variety that comes from having ten different farmers from several different cultures, languages and ethnicities, you will always find something surprising and new at our Kingfield Farmers Market stand, as well as your favorites (hello, broccoli and green beans).  

Customers have loved chatting with the interns running the market stand and the BRF program farmers to learn new ways to use produce - our farmers from southeast Asia were especially helpful with demystifying fennel for our customers! We have been delighted to receive customers' recipes and photos of dishes made with farmers market produce for our Pinterest board, started by intern Susan. If you're looking for a way to use your produce, check it out - just search "Big River Farms 2015" on pinterest.com under Boards. If you want to submit a recipe made using our produce, we would love to pin it and credit you! Just email the recipe and a photo to susan@mnfoodassociation.org

So as we near the peak of the harvest season, please come visit us at the Kingfield Farmers Market on Sundays from 8:30 to 1:00 pm! It's at 4310 Nicollet Avenue South in Minneapolis, and you can park right on the street for free. See you there!

 


 

 

Please Note:  The contents of your CSA box may vary slightly from what is pictured.  

Reminder!  Please make sure to flatten your boxes and leave them neatly stacked up in your pickup spot.  If you are taking your boxes home with you, please remember to bring them back next week.  They are expensive and we reuse them.  Thanks!  


Click on each crop listed below for some tasty recipe ideas, and click on the farm names to learn more about the amazing people who grow your food!

Posted 7/20/2015 10:59am by Minnesota Food Association.

Do you want to start a
farming business?
Are you a farmer that wants to learn to
grow organically?

Come learn about the Big River Farms Training Program for Immigrant and Minority Farmers! 

Join us for our upcoming information session:

Wednesday, July 29th
6:00-7:30pm

Minnesota Food Association/Big River Farms
14220-B Ostlund Trail North, Marine on St Croix, MN 55047

Talk with training program staff and current farmers in the program!  Applications for the 2016 season will be available. 

Please RSVP to Laura at laura@mnfoodassociation.org 651-433-3676
For more information, visit our website:  www.mnfoodassociation.org

Posted 7/16/2015 10:06am by Minnesota Food Association.

Eat Local Farm Tour!

Minnesota Food Association and Big River Farms are excited to be part of the Eat Local Farm Tour again this year.  Mark your calendars and come out to the farm on July 18, 2015 (this Saturday!) from 12:00 - 4:00 PM.  

The Eat Local Farm Tour invites everyone to experience your food in a new way: directly from the source. It's a unique opportunity to explore the diverse farming operations in your area, to meet the
families that bring fresh food to your dinner plates, and to inspire future generations to support local, sustainable agriculture. 
The tour is produced annually by Twin Cities area food cooperatives and is free for anyone to attend. 

 


 

 

Please Note:  The contents of your CSA box may vary slightly from what is pictured.  

 


Click on each crop listed below for some tasty recipe ideas, and click on the farm names to learn more about the amazing people who grow your food!

Posted 7/14/2015 10:57am by Minnesota Food Association.

Eat Local Farm Tour!

Minnesota Food Association and Big River Farms are excited to be part of the Eat Local Farm Tour again this year.  Mark your calendars and come out to the farm on July 18, 2015 (this Saturday!) from 12:00 - 4:00 PM.  

The Eat Local Farm Tour invites everyone to experience your food in a new way: directly from the source. It's a unique opportunity to explore the diverse farming operations in your area, to meet the
families that bring fresh food to your dinner plates, and to inspire future generations to support local, sustainable agriculture. 
The tour is produced annually by Twin Cities area food cooperatives and is free for anyone to attend. 

 


 

 

Please Note:  The contents of your CSA box may vary slightly from what is pictured.  

 


Click on each crop listed below for some tasty recipe ideas, and click on the farm names to learn more about the amazing people who grow your food!

In this week's box, you'll find:
Brought to you by: 



 
 


 

Karen Family Farm

 

 

 

Mhonpaj's Garden

   
   
Posted 7/7/2015 12:11pm by Minnesota Food Association.

 

Reaching The Goal

It’s a very rewarding process to see a farmer start the Big River Farm Training Program and after three years of farming at MFA, to graduate and buy a farm of their own.  This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting one of those graduates, Mohamed Gaabane of Chicken Head Farm, who bought a 40 acre farm in Silver Lake last year.  Mohamed came to the U.S. in 2006, a 70 year-old refugee from Somalia, speaking no English, but ready to learn and create a new life in the U.S.  When he started the program in 2011, he told me his goal was to buy a farm.  While many participants start the program with that goal, the reality of the hard work of farming and the little economic gain discourage many.  But Mohamed never took his eyes of his goal.  He eagerly applied himself to all the program has to offer; attending all the trainings, driving out to the farm from Minneapolis and working in his plot often six days a week (in addition to another full time job) and asking for all the help he could get from staff in order to learn as much as he possible. 

Now, in the second season on his own farm, Mohamed has 90 laying chickens, 15 goats, five acres of sweet corn and another two acres of mixed vegetables.  He leases land to a neighboring farmer who, in exchange, provides mentorship where Mohamed is still learning.  Mohamad is approached by many in the Somali community who now want to learn to farm and do what he is doing.  Mohamed’s new goal is to start a training program at his farm for Somali’s to learn to farm in the U.S. and to benefit the way he has from the farming lifestyle.    - Katie Kubovcik, Training Program Manager  

 


 

 

 

Please Note:  The contents of your CSA box may vary slightly from what is pictured.  

 


Click on each crop listed below for some tasty recipe ideas, and click on the farm names to learn more about the amazing people who grow your food!

Posted 6/30/2015 11:24am by Minnesota Food Association.

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to the farm for our Open House this month. We had a fun contest to name the five geese that are living on the farm this year. There were many suggestions made, and here are the five that won.

 

White goose on top:  Turnip

White goose on right:  Twilight

White goose on left:  Sailor Moon

Brown goose in center:  Joey Ramone

Brown goose on left:  Gary

 

Thanks again to everyone who participated in giving these geese some great names!

Posted 6/23/2015 11:34am by Minnesota Food Association.

Minnesota Food Association (MFA) is thrilled to have been selected as the recipient of all donations raised at River Market Community Co-op for the months of June-July! 

River Market Community Co-op customers will have a chance to give by rounding up at the register when they shop at the Stillwater store. All donations raised will support MFA’s mission to build a sustainable food system based on social, economic and environmental justice through training, education and partnerships.

We will use the donations collected at River Market Community Co-op to help fund the expansion and improvement of our important programs. Thank you for donating to help us accomplish our mission!

For more information on River Market Community Co-op, visit www.rivermarket.coop

 

 

Please Note:  The contents of your CSA box may vary slightly from what is pictured.  

 


Click on each crop listed below for some tasty recipe ideas, and click on the farm names to learn more about the amazing people who grow your food!

Posted 6/22/2015 12:49pm by Minnesota Food Association.

Minnesota Food Association (MFA) is thrilled to have been selected as the recipient of all donations raised at River Market Community Co-op for the months of June-July! River Market Community Co-op customers will have a chance to give by rounding up at the register when they shop at the Stillwater store. All donations raised will support MFA’s mission to build a sustainable food system based on social, economic and environmental justice through training, education and partnerships.

We will use the donations collected at River Market Community Co-op to help fund the expansion and improvement of our programs. Thank you for donating to help us accomplish our mission!

For more information on River Market Community Co-op, visit http://rivermarket.coop/

Thank you!