What's Growin' On at the Farm

Posted 8/20/2015 10:28am by Minnesota Food Association.

 

Have you ever gone months without eating fresh produce?  Not even an apple, banana, or fresh salad?  This is the reality for so many individuals and families that struggle to put food on the table.  Access to local, high quality produce is so important yet its not always an option for those on limited budgets.  For many families struggling with hunger, fresh produce is often a luxury that they cannot afford.  The need is great, with one in five children in our country experiencing hunger.  

Minnesota food Association partners with The Food Group (formerly Emergency Foodshelf Network) through their Harvest for the Hungry program.  This initiative purchases produce from Minnesota and Western Wisconsin farmers, donating fruit and vegetables to a network of food shelves, free of charge.  Since this initiative began in 2007, nearly 500,000 lbs. of local, fresh produce has been distributed from 38 local farms to families and individuals in need, in communities just like yours.

Through your support, Minnesota Food Association can provide fresh produce to those in need.  Excess produce that can be harvested, rescued, and given to someone who has not had fresh produce in months.  Your support is vital to our success.  Please consider investing in this worthy cause by making a contribution today.  There will be envelopes with information and donation slips at each dropsite.  Feel free to grab one.  Thank you.

 


Save The Date! 

Fall Harvest Party - October 18th

MFA and Big River Farms will be having it's annual Fall Harvest Party on October 18th from 3:00 - 7:00 PM! There will be hayrides, pumpkin picking and painting, a raffle, goat roast, and potluck dinner. It's a celebration of the end of the season and the harvest. All are invited! 


 

Fall Shares are still available!

Love the veggies you're getting through the regular season CSA?  Sign up for our extended season - the Fall Share!  It's only $110 for three or four  boxes of storage veggies that goes from the end of the regular season through November.  You won't have to worry about your Thanksgiving side dishes!  Click here to sign up today!


 

 

Please Note:  The contents of your CSA box may vary slightly from what is pictured.  Also, be careful when physically picking up the boxes!  The watermelons make them very heavy and they may open on the bottom if you use the handles.  Please pick them up from the bottom this week.  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!

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


  • Zucchini
  • Karen Heirloom Beans (These specialty beans are cooked by splitting them open, taking the white beans out and boiling them. You don't eat the shell.)  
 
 


 

Karen Family Farm



 

1st Karen Farm

 

Mhonpaj's Garden



 

Sebra Farm

 

 

Posted 8/18/2015 11:35am by Minnesota Food Association.

 

Have you ever gone months without eating fresh produce?  Not even an apple, banana, or fresh salad?  This is the reality for so many individuals and families that struggle to put food on the table.  Access to local, high quality produce is so important yet its not always an option for those on limited budgets.  For many families struggling with hunger, fresh produce is often a luxury that they cannot afford.  The need is great, with one in five children in our country experiencing hunger.  

Minnesota food Association partners with The Food Group (formerly Emergency Foodshelf Network) through their Harvest for the Hungry program.  This initiative purchases produce from Minnesota and Western Wisconsin farmers, donating fruit and vegetables to a network of food shelves, free of charge.  Since this initiative began in 2007, nearly 500,000 lbs. of local, fresh produce has been distributed from 38 local farms to families and individuals in need, in communities just like yours.

Through your support, Minnesota Food Association can provide fresh produce to those in need.  Excess produce that can be harvested, rescued, and given to someone who has not had fresh produce in months.  Your support is vital to our success.  Please consider investing in this worthy cause by making a contribution today.  There will be envelopes with information and donation slips at each dropsite.  Feel free to grab one.  Thank you.

 


Save The Date! 

Fall Harvest Party - October 18th

MFA and Big River Farms will be having it's annual Fall Harvest Party on October 18th from 3:00 - 7:00 PM! There will be hayrides, pumpkin picking and painting, a raffle, goat roast, and potluck dinner. It's a celebration of the end of the season and the harvest. All are invited! 


 

Fall Shares are still available!

Love the veggies you're getting through the regular season CSA?  Sign up for our extended season - the Fall Share!  It's only $110 for three or four  boxes of storage veggies that goes from the end of the regular season through November.  You won't have to worry about your Thanksgiving side dishes!  Click here to sign up today!


 

 

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 8/11/2015 12:18pm by Minnesota Food Association.

Three months ago I started my role as an intern with Big River Farms with the hopes for some good ol’ physical labor, and an interaction with the food system that was closer than my suburban roots allowed. There continues to be a fair share of lifting, weeding, planting, harvesting, packing, delivering, and marketing, but within all these daily duties I am able to observe a beautiful system unfold; a system that is complex within both an organizational and natural environment. I am still in the process of conceptualizing all there is to know but here is a list of three things I've learned from farm life so far…

1. Farmers are doers and makers. I remember one of the first days on the job, Joel, the farm manager, gave me some chicken wire and stakes and asked me to build a fence for the birds… eight hours later a fence was up! It was my first time actually making a practical structure and it made me feel so good. Farmers really do practice what they preach and make things happen.

2. Patience is a necessary virtue. Instant gratification permeates through Western culture, but with farming, all good things take time. From planting the first seed to the first moment the seedling pushes up from the earth; waiting patiently is half the game. Then when the time for harvest comes, nothing tastes better than a tomato right off the plant. 

3. Plants are resilient. Human activities can and do affect ecosystems, but plants have more elasticity than I ever knew. Our fall rutabaga crop was swamped with weeds last week and I really thought there was no coming back. But we continued to weed while the sun and rain did their things, and the rutabagas now look healthy again! I am looking forward to the fall season to digest even more information on everything agriculture, and of course delicious produce!   -Hana Tanberg, Farm Intern  


Come say hi to some of our farmers this weekend!

Big River Farms and MFA will have a booth at the Mill City Farmer's Market in Minneapolis this Saturday, August 15th.  They're having a special Immigrant Farmer Day from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM.  

Click this link for more information!

 


 

Don't miss out on the Big River Farms Youth & Family Education Program coming up this Saturday, August 15th!

Join us at the farm for a fun-filled morning of hands-on learning with chickens, plants, and farmers. There are still spots available for elementary and middle-school aged kids and their families. 10am - 12pm, rain or shine!

Call Laura at 651-433-3676 or visit our website to register today! 


 

 

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 8/6/2015 11:43am by Minnesota Food Association.

Check out what our CSA members are saying!

Grandma always mixed a spoon of sugar and a good dab of butter into her bowl of yellow wax beans.  I have good memories of family gardens.   Now, I enjoy getting the CSA boxes with both old favorites and vegetables that are new to me (fennel bulb!).  After our trip out to visit and actually see the vast fields of Big River Farms,  I have even more respect for the work of these farmers.   And I am grateful to my grandparents and father for teaching me that good work goes into the land, and the food.  They toiled and nurtured their large gardens because they had to, and I am blessed to be able to get vegetables again from the farmers of Big River Farms.  If you have not done so yet, do make the beautiful drive out into the county to visit the farm.  Like me, you may remember dad, grandma and grandpa.    - Jane Mobeck Wilson, Big River Farms CSA Member


Don't miss out on the Big River Farms Youth & Family Education Program coming up next Saturday, August 15th!

Join us at the farm for a fun-filled morning of hands-on learning with chickens, plants, and farmers. There are still spots available for elementary and middle-school aged kids and their families. 10am-12pm, rain or shine!

Call Laura at 651-433-3676 or visit our website to register today! 

 


 

 

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 8/4/2015 10:05am by Minnesota Food Association.

Check out what our CSA members are saying!

Grandma always mixed a spoon of sugar and a good dab of butter into her bowl of yellow wax beans.  I have good memories of family gardens.   Now, I enjoy getting the CSA boxes with both old favorites and vegetables that are new to me (fennel bulb!).  After our trip out to visit and actually see the vast fields of Big River Farms,  I have even more respect for the work of these farmers.   And I am grateful to my grandparents and father for teaching me that good work goes into the land, and the food.  They toiled and nurtured their large gardens because they had to, and I am blessed to be able to get vegetables again from the farmers of Big River Farms.  If you have not done so yet, do make the beautiful drive out into the county to visit the farm.  Like me, you may remember dad, grandma and grandpa.    - Jane Mobeck Wilson, Big River Farms CSA Member


Don't miss out on the Big River Farms Youth & Family Education Program coming up next Saturday, August 15th!

Join us at the farm for a fun-filled morning of hands-on learning with chickens, plants, and farmers. There are still spots available for elementary and middle-school aged kids and their families. 10am-12pm, rain or shine!

Call Laura at 651-433-3676 or visit our website to register today! 


 

 

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 8/3/2015 4:11pm by Minnesota Food Association.

Hello Kitchen on the Bluff folks!  

 

This note is to inform you that this week, and from now on, you'll finally be picking your CSA boxes us at the actual Kitchen on the Bluff location! The address is:

Kitchen on the Bluff

705 East 3rd Street

St. Paul, MN 55106 

 

Thanks and I hope you're all enjoying your CSA produce this year so far!  

 

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