Summer 2010 Volume 15, No. 3
Farm to Cafeteria Workshop
Producers, food service direc- by Cree Bradley. Area caterer Jim farm as a marketing tool, and how
tors, health professionals, and other Vnuk prepared a delicious meal of to create a farm to school (K-12)
interested parties came together locally produced foods, and while plan for the 2010-2011 school year.
for a Farm to Cafeteria Workshop participants were still savoring the Roughly 100 people attended,
on April 29. Held at the Cloquet late season bounty, each table was about 14 of whom were producers.
Forestry Center, the event was de- the scene of a “speed-dating” ses- Some of the points made were:
signed to bring interested produc- * Incentives include an improve-
ers and buyers together as well as ment in food safety, an improve-
provide general information about ment in nutrition, improved learn-
the potential for such relationships. ing by students, building healthy
Several other Farm to Cafeteria life-long eating habits, improved
Workshops have been held recently health of patients, raising aware-
around the state, all with the idea ness of food issues, and a boost to
of bringing more locally produced the local economy.
food into public school, college, * Most local farmers have all the
hospital, nursing home, and other market they can currently handle
institutional cafeterias. The event with the land, labor, capitol, equip-
was hosted by the U of M Exten- ment and time they have. The de-
sion, the Minnesota Institute for mand is currently far ahead of the
Sustainable Agriculture, Lake Su- supply. It will take time to ramp
perior SFA, and other groups. up production.
Joel Rosen gave the opening * About 70 MN schools are
welcome, followed by an overview participating. Farm to cafeteria is
of the opportunities generated by a growing fast.
successful farm to cafeteria pro- * Price paid for product is a cru-
gram as well as some of the major cial point. It must reflect the cost
obstacles to achieving that success. sion between growers and food ser- of production, a fair wage for the
Also included were a review of vice professionals, with the growers grower, and overhead costs such as
food safety regulations and licens- remaining at the same table while health insurance, retirement, and
ing requirements, and a discussion the others rotated around. Follow- the mortgage.
panel of growers, food service ing the meal were breakout sessions * Processing and warehous-
directors, food distributors, and on how to market to institutions and ing facilities in the Twin Ports
food safety regulators moderated develop a food safety plan for your “Cafeteria” cont. on page 6
Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association www.lssfa.org -1-
LS-SFA Farm and Market News Summer Newsletter 2010
Natural Resource Enterprise Workshop - August 7, 2010
Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association’s Natural resource enterprises include, but are not
Farm Beginnings program is partnering with the Uni- limited to, agricultural diversification, alternative use
versity of MN (UMN) Extension to plan a Natural Re- of traditional resources, agritourism, hunting leases,
source Enterprise Workshop at Green Pastures Dairy wildlife watching, and bed & breakfast operations.
in Carlton, MN on August 7, 2010. Morning sessions Local landowners, enterprise owners, and profession-
will cover owner experiences in holistic resource and als will share their experiences and discuss topics
enterprise management, landowner cost-share pro- crucial to natural resource enterprise business start-
grams, liability and legal considerations, and lease and up and sustainability, including enterprise planning,
fee hunting. Afternoon sessions will include a farm marketing, legal considerations, cost-share assis-
walk, landowner presentations, and discussions about tance, and resource management on private lands to
pasture management, small livestock production, fruit support a natural resource-based enterprise.
and orchard production, and natural resource based The Carlton, Minnesota workshop will begin at
tourism. 9:00 am at Green Pastures Dairy. On-site registra-
UMN Extension is working with local landowners tion will begin at 8:30 am. For registration and more
and enterprises as well as MSU’s Natural Resource En- information, please see the enclosed registration
terprises Program (NRE) to bring this workshop to NE brochure, call 218.726.6464, or check out the web-
MN. The workshop goal is to give private landowners, site http://z.umn.edu//nrenterprise (where a link to
resource agency professionals, and state and locally the MS State website will be found which provides
elected officials the skills necessary for sustainable more details on the Natural Resource Enterprises
natural resource enterprise development and associated Program). The fee for this workshop is $25, which
land conservation management. MSU’s NRE work- includes an informative and detailed binder, lunch,
shops and training events have been held throughout and activities.
the United States and overseas.
Welcome New Board Member- Alex Mohrbacher
Alex currently works at the Whole Foods Co-op in the produce de-
partment. He originally came to the Duluth area for college where he
majored in International Studies and Political Science at UMD. It was
at the university that Alex did non-profit work for the group MPIRG.
During an MPIRG event on campus he met Karola Dalen from North-
ern Harvest and learned about the local food movement. The following
summer Alex interned with Rick and Karola Dalen and was hooked on
the idea of growing food for a living. Since then, he has spent a couple
summers helping to organize a cooperative farm named Grassroots Farm
in Twig, MN and is currently learning the craft of farming with draft
horses with Don Kinnunen in Esko, MN where he recently moved with
his fiance Kate.
“As a new farmer, I still have much to learn, and I am excited about
participating with a group like the LSSFA. For those of us weighing
the possibility of becoming local food producers, enhancing opportuni-
ties for future producers is one of the keys to building a successful local
Alex Mohrbacher and fiancée Kate
Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association www.lssfa.org -2-
LS-SFA Farm and Market News Summer Newsletter 2010
Lake Superior Farm Beginnings
Now Accepting Applications for Events
2010-2011 Natural Resource Enterprise Workshop
Saturday, August 7, 2010 - 9AM - Afternoon
Lake Superior Farm Beginning (LSFB) is now ac- An on-farm workshop covering owner experiences in
cepting applications for the 2010-2011 program to holistic resource and enterprise management, landowner
be held in Ashland, WI at the Agriculture and Energy cost-share programs, liability and legal considerations, lease
Resource Center (AERC). The program begins Satur- and fee hunting, farm walk, anddiscussions about pasture
day, October 30, 2010. Applications are due Septem- management, small livestock production, fruit and orchard
ber 15, 2010. production, and natural resource based tourism.
Green Pastures Dairy - 2351 Bromfield Road, Carlton
With the successful completion of two years based
Contact: David Wilsey, 218.726.6464 or http://z.umn.edu//
in the Twin Ports area, LSFB is moving to make the
program more accessible to interested students in
northwest Wisconsin. The move is in no way meant Farm Frolic
to discourage interested Minnesota residents, many of Saturday, August 7, 2010 - 2 PM-6 PM
whom live closer to Ashland than the distance several Farm Frolic is a Lake Superior Farm Beginnings fundraiser
and graduation celebration, as well as a community event
students have traveled to Cloquet.
celebrating local food and farming. The event will include a
LSFB is a comprehensive, farmer-taught train- potluck-style local foods feast with Lake Superior fish fry,
ing and support program designed to help aspiring kids and adult activities, farmers market, live music with the
and beginning farmers evaluate and plan their farm Kettle River Band, and more!
enterprises. The program is also well-suited for Chelsea Morning Farm - 2955 Highway 3, Two Harbors
experienced farmers looking for a new beginning Fee: Donations towards Lake Superior Farm Beginnings
using alternative marketing options and financial and will be accepted
business planning assistance. Participants attend Contact: Cree Bradley, 218.834.0846/ cree@lakesuperior-
practical, high quality on and off-farm sessions with farming.org/ www.lssfa.org
skill-sets taught by successful, innovative farmers. Slow Food Lake Superior Presents:
Participants also engage in mentorship opportunities Insalada Verde at Northern Harvest Farm
and networking, and receive resource materials that Saturday, August 14, 2010 – 11 A.M.
broaden the foundation of support participants need Tour the field with the farmer. Savor the season’s finest sal-
as they begin and/or continue their farming ventures. ads, made with vegetables picked on site. Also enjoy bread,
LSFB provides 39 hours of in-class training (a total cheese, and dessert. Learn how supporting local producers
of 9 sessions held in Ashland) and multiple hands-on nurtures our environment, economy, well-being, and taste.
Northern Harvest Farm - 2572 Co Rd 102 - Wrenshall
learning opportunities throughout spring, summer and
Fee: $12 adults / $10 members / $5 children 12 and under
“Farm Beginnings” cont. on page 6 For more information visit: slowfoodlakesuperior.org. To
reserve your place in the field: brownpapertickets.com (lim-
ited number of tickets)
LS-SFA would like to thank Phill Arnold and Jan Contact: Jamie Zak, 728-2687
O’Donnell for a second round of book donations for
the Lake Superior Farm Beginnings library. The still Grazing Workshop & Forage Field Day
somewhat portable LSFB library consists of farm Tuesday, August 24, 2010 – 9:30 AM TO 2:30 PM
business, land management, husbandry, enterprise- Swath grazing to extend grazing and reduce costs, bale
specific and other food and farm related publications grazing, field tour of paddocks, equipment show, fence &
grazing vendors, door prizes.
and books. The LSFB library travels to classroom
Rick Johnson Farm - From Aitkin go 8 mi N on Hwy 169,
sessions where LSFB students can check materials
then E 1.5 miles on Hwy 169/210 to milepost 162
out to further their agricultural education. The LSFB
Fee: $10, lunch included.
library has become a valuable resource, thanks in part
Contact: U of M Extension, 218-384-3511
to Phill and Jan.
Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association www.lssfa.org -3-
LS-SFA Farm and Market News Summer Newsletter 2010
Stephen Dahl’s Knife Island: Circling a Year in a Herring Skiff
With more than 25 years in commercial fishing, Dahl shares the soli-
tude, heaving seas, quiet calm, and an intimate awareness of the lake’s
moods. He describes frost smoke, ice-coated clothing, nets too empty
and nets too full. He watches and waits for gales to subside, ice to break
up, and fish to return. He stoically endures pilfering gulls in his nets.
He notes which winds and currents bring the cold clear water that lead
the fish to his nets, or make lifting the nets easy or difficult. He lets us
experience the harsh elements and shows us the rhythm of season, wind,
current, and fish. He takes a few turns through the lives of old-time
fishermen of the past.
Cold, vast, and deep, Lake Superior is a virtual inland ocean, and it
can be a bit foreboding. But just north of Duluth a harvest is going on
virtually year-round. It takes a special kind of character to brave Supe-
rior alone, in an open boat, to chase down these native fish. "There isn’t
that much sea or wind, so we’re kind of blessed this morning." Some-
where behind the lead-gray clouds, the October sun’s just rising on Lake
Superior. Steve is pulling his living from its bitterly cold water. "It’s only
gonna be about 60, 70 pounds," he says. "But that’s OK. That’s the way it
is too. You can’t do anything about it.”
Lake herring is a whitefish native to Superior’s icy depths. It’s a favor-
ite of the many descendants of Scandinavian settlers in these parts. The
fish is now in the midst of a comeback from pollution and parasites that
nearly drove it extinct thirty years ago. "I can go a couple of months
without fish, or very little," admits Steve. "You just have to hope
they move in and when they do, it’s a lot of fish. You never know."
Dahl’s herring nets are set semi-permanently a few miles outside
the Knife River Harbor on the shore of this huge and temperamental
lake. He works alone, and he plays the waiting game: his nets catch
herring only at night, only when they’re feeding, only when they
happen by this part of the lake. "There is just no other way to fish
here," Steve says. "That’s only 300 feet and I have a hard time mak-
ing sure it stays there."
"The bulk of the year it’s local markets: restaurants, supermar-
kets, smoke houses." An hour out of the water, Dahl’s catch is in
the hands of Gordon Olson at Kendall’s Smokehouse. “We sell his
herring filleted, or scaled and headless, or smoked,” says Gordon Olson, master fish smoker. “ It’s an ancient process of
smoking that we do here. It’s nothing new, nothing very sophisticated about it. The fish are brined overnight in a salt solu-
tion, they’re placed in the ovens, and they’re smoked over open fires. And we use exclusively Maplewood. The electric
ovens don’t add the natural flavor that the wood does on the old-time ovens here.”
Dahl’s catch is in the hands of Gordon Olson at Kendall’s Smokehouse. "We sell his herring filleted, or scaled and
headless, or smoked," says Gordon Olson, master fish smoker. " It’s an ancient process of smoking that we do here. It’s
nothing new, nothing very sophisticated about it. The fish are brined overnight in a salt solution, they’re placed in the
ovens, and they’re smoked over open fires. And we use exclusively maple wood. The electric ovens don’t add the natural
flavor that the wood does on the old-time ovens here."
A local delicacy will keep its place in local kitchens and restaurants, thanks to a few fishermen like Steve Dahl. Be-
cause regardless of the odds, they like challenging the vastness of Lake Superior. They like putting food on people’s
tables. Read Knife Island over some smoked herring this weekend.
Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association www.lssfa.org -4-
LS-SFA Farm and Market News Summer Newsletter 2010
Join Slow Food For Insalada Verde- Saturday, August 14
Slow Food Lake Superior’s next event, Insalada with Karola will be the perfect opportunity to ask our
Verde, will take place at Northern Harvest Farm questions and to see the answers.
on Saturday, August 14. After a tour led by farmer Green salads are about more than lettuce. They can
Karola Dalen, participants will enjoy a lunch of sal- include beans, broccoli, asparagus, kale, chard, collards,
ads prepared with farm-fresh vegetables. Rounding beet greens, cabbages, peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, dill,
out the menu are locally baked breads, local cheese, tarragon, oregano, marjoram, and parsley. Good salads
and homemade desserts. combine veggies of all colors, such as the red of beets,
This event is what Slow Food is all about! Taste, tomatoes, and radishes, the orange of carrots and nas-
education, and knowledge of where food comes from turtiums, and the yellow of tomatoes, beets, and beans.
are at the heart of Slow Food. Insalada Verde salads will combine the best, freshest
Not so long ago, I was asked, “Do radishes grow ingredients in multi-colored splendor, giving us op-
underground?” Perhaps you know just about all portunities to taste veggies in ways we haven’t tasted
there is to know about growing vegetables. Maybe them before. Even those of us who’ve been at this for a
you don’t. A lot of us are curious. We are shop- while may find surprising new combinations of textures,
ping at farmers’ markets, joining CSAs, looking for flavors, and colors.
local foods in our grocery stores. We may know the Everyone is invited to join us in the field and at the
basics, but can’t imagine what it takes to get from table. Celebrate the beauty and savor the flavor.
broccoli seeds to quantities of broccoli needed in
restaurants, stores, and markets. Walking the fields
Urban Ag Program
Launched in Duluth –
Seeds of Success
Community Action Duluth has launched its new
urban farming program, Seeds of Success. Created in
partnership with Green Duluth, the Zeppa Foundation
and the City of Duluth, Seeds of Success provides em-
ployment opportunities to low-income youth through
urban agriculture. The program currently has eight
sites throughout the city of Duluth, ranging from an
old tennis court in Chester Bowl to a formerly blighted
lot in Lincoln Park. In addition to creating green jobs
and neighborhood green spaces, the program seeks to Seeds of Success is staffed by two project coordi-
include low-income community members in the local nators: Michael Latsch and Emily Kniskern. Latsch,
food system. Income-eligible volunteers earn shares of the program's agricultural coordinator, has worked
the harvest, as well as the knowledge and tools to grow at farms throughout the region, including Shubat's
their own vegetables and herbs at home. Portions of the Fruits in Knife River, Northern Harvest in Wrenshall
harvest are also marketed to local restaurants including and the Abazs family farm in Finland, MN. Kniskern
Zeitgeist Arts Cafe and Chester Creek Cafe. Along with is in charge of coordinating volunteers and marketing
stories in the Duluth News Tribune, WDIO and North- the surplus vegetables. For more information about
land News center, the project was recently spotlighted the program and how to participate, please contact
by Stephanie Hemphill on Minnesota Public Radio's Emily Kniskern at 906-250-3370 or by email at seed-
Morning Edition. email@example.com.
Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association www.lssfa.org -5-
LS-SFA Farm and Market News Summer Newsletter 2010
“Cafeteria” cont. from page 1 Welcome LS-SFA Interns
are limited. A stable customer such as an institution Kate Harrison and Tristan Hafner
might enable financing to build them. Changes in
Kate Harrison graduated from
food safety regulations must be made to make local
Forest Lake, MN in 2007 and
appropriate-sized food processing facilities feasible.
is currently an Environmental
* Many institutions are happy to take small
Studies major at UMD; ap-
amounts for short periods, using them for snacks or
proaching her senior year. Be-
at a salad bar. It’s best to start small and build from
side her internship with Har-
vest Festival she works at the
* There is extra time needed to order and prepare
Edge Water as a life guard, and
locally grown foods. Cafeteria budgets, staff time,
at the YMCA as a Kids Club
and prep and storage capacities are often quite limited. attendant. Kate’s down time is spent long-boarding,
Brokerages and warehouses that could order, bunch, snowboarding, playing pick-up games, beaching, ex-
prepare, and deliver food would be very helpful. ercising, and organizing events with UMD’s Students
Many helpful resources were provided, includ- for Sustainability Coalition. Kate’s friend’s grand-
ing the Minnesota Toolkit for Food Service – www. parents, Shirley and Ervin Peterson, were part of the
mn-farmtoschool.umn.edu <http:// www.mn-farm- original local farmers who started Harvest Festival.
toschool.umn.edu/> , the Superior Grown listing of Kate will be coordinating volunteer activities for the
local producers, www.lssfa.org <http://www.lssfa. Harvest Festival. Please contact Kate at harri939@d.
org/> , Appendix A: Fact Sheets for Sales of Produce, umn.edu if you would like to volunteer at this year’s
Meat, Poultry, and Eggs, and Operational Guidelines Harvest Festival on September 11, 2010.
for Vendors at the Farmer’s Market, available from
the MN Department of Agriculture. Originally from South Min-
neapolis, Tristan Hafner has
“Farm Beginnings” cont. from page 3 long been aquainted with the
fall of 2011 on farms throughout NE MN and NW local and organic foods busi-
WI. Participants learn about value clarification, goal ness. Spending much of his
setting, Whole Farm Planning, business plan develop- childhood in the co-op where is
ment, financial management, enterprise budgeting, mother worked, Tristan learned
marketing, Holistic Management, on-farm observa- the importance of ethical and
tion, and sustainable farming methods. The Lake sustainable agriculture at a very young age. As soon as
Superior Farm Beginnings program draws a diverse he was old enough, Tristan got a job stocking grocer-
audience from a large geographic area: enterprises in ies at the Linden Hills Co-op where he worked for
beef, dairy, vegetables, poultry, maple syrup, honey, two years before leaving for college. Upon coming
hogs, organic grains, and cut flowers. to Duluth, Tristan initially studied graphic design at
For more information or to register for LSFB, UMD and worked part time at Whole Foods Co-op.
contact Cree Bradley, facilitator, at 218.834.0846 Although he still embraces creativity, Tristan now ma-
or email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive jors in Environmental Studies with a strong interest in
an application packet. The cost of the program is sustainable agriculture and local food systems. In his
$1000. Needs-based partial scholarships are available spare time, Tristan enjoys hiking, camping, cooking,
through the Ken Peterson / Dan Webster Memorial and creating electro, house and dubstep music. Tristan
Scholarship Fund. Space is limited, so register early. will be helping with a number of LS-SFA’s organiza-
tional activities and functions.
Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association www.lssfa.org -6-
LS-SFA Farm and Market News Summer Newsletter 2010
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Become OR Renew Your Membership Today
Loren Nelson, President
Mahtowa MN • 218.389.6163
and Consider a Tax-deductible Donation!
Karola Dalen, Vice President By becoming a member of the Lake Superior Sustainable Farming
Wrenshall MN • 218.384.9779 Association (LSSFA) you will be supporting the work of the Association to
create a more sustainable food and farming system for our region. You will
Barb Adams, Treasurer
Barnum MN • 218.389.6938 receive the Farm & Market News—a quarterly newsletter of LSSFA to
email@example.com “keep you posted” about sustainable agriculture events and happenings in
Kelly Smith, Secretary our region. You will also receive the State of MN Sustainable Farming
Esko MN • 218.879.3829
firstname.lastname@example.org Association Newsletter, The CornerPost.
Two Harbors MN • 218.834.0846 One Year Membership - $30
Already a member and want to further help build LSSFA’s capacity
Foxboro WI • 715.399.0505 —consider giving a tax-deductible contribution of $250, $100, $50,
$25 to help LSSFA fulfill its mission.
Kettle River MN • 218.273.6217 Gifts of any size are welcome and appreciated.
John Fisher-Merritt, Vice-Pres. NAME: _______________________________________________________
Wrenshall MN • 218.384.3356
FARM BUSINESS/ORGANIZATION (if applicable):
EMERITUS BOARD MEMBERS
Carlton MN • 218.389.3306 ADDRESS:_____________________________________________________
STATE SFA REPRESENTATIVE
Wrenshall MN • 218.384.9779 PHONE:_______________________________________________________
LSSFA COORDINATOR AND
Nicole Wilde, Coordinator Annual Membership ($30) $ 30
PO Box 307, 310 Chestnut Ave
Carlton, MN 55718
Duluth MN • 218.393.3276 Tax Deductible Donation $ _____________
Farm Beginnings Donation $ _____________
The Lake Superior Sustainable Total Support $ _____________
Farming Association is a 501(c)3 non
profit that supports the development
and enhancement of sustainable Please send a check payable to
farming systems through innovation, Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association
demonstration, education, and
farmer-to-farmer networking. 310 Chestnut Ave—PO Box 307 - Carlton, MN 55718
Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association www.lssfa.org -7-
LS-SFA Farm and Market News
LS-SFA Newsletter Summer Newsletter 2
Spring 2010 Volume 15, No. 2010
17th Annual Lake Superior
Harvest Festival and Energy Fair
Farm to Cafeteria Networking collaborative work for Farm to Cafeteria in our
region. Registration deadline is April 26 - call Jane
and Planning Workshop
Grimsbo Jewett 218-845-2832.
April 29 - 2PM-7PM - Cloquet Forestry Center,
175 University Rd. Cloquet. Join us in presenting the celebrated
Urban Ag Program in Duluth
Harvest Festival and EnergyAction Duluth is starting a Summer
Come and join others like yourself—farmers, food
parents, school board members, administrators, 11, 2010. Registration isto work with low-income people
service directors, schools, institutions, distributors,
now open and
teachers, wellness committees, rural and economic forms are available to people and communities learn
to grow food, to help
development specialists, Extension educators, online at www.theharvest-
about and start to practice sustainable agriculture
Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) This year thegardening, and to increase access to
affordable and healthy food. A plan will be
Market will be open to the public from on urban vacant lots, teach
coordinators, non-governmental organizations, and
developed to grow food
grown foods to the Cafeterias of8AM-10AM, after which there will be a marketing plan for the food,
other community experts. Learn how to bring locally
gardening skills, create
universities and hospitals. This a $4 entrance fee for adults and neighborhood resident’s involvement.
and increase free for
program aims to
inspire, inform, build support, & increase under 18. Early registration please contact Angie Miller at
For more information
is due August 8, 2010. Email info@
theharvestfestival.org for Registration
17th Annual Harvest Festival & Energy Fairmore details Coming Soon.
or to have 11, 2010 - via regular mail.
Saturday, September a form sent Bayfront Park Grounds
We hope you will to us!
www.theharvestfestival.org for upjoindate information.
Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association ! Nonprofit Organization
PO Box 307—310 Chestnut Avenue US POSTAGE
Carlton, MN 55718-0307 PAID
ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED DULUTH, MN
PERMIT NO. 705
JOIN OR RENEW YOUR
The date on your mailing label
indicates the expiration date of
your membership. If there is no
date, you have received a
complementary copy and we ask
you to consider joining our
membership to help fulfill our
See page 7 for
See Insert for a
You can now renew your
membership & make a
donation ONLINE @
Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association www.lssfa.org -8-