Farming

Lisa Johnson

 (This episode was originally aired April 27, 2020)

In this episode, we meet Cindy Hale of Clover Valley Farms, accidental farmer, educator, and now producer, educator, and infrastructure coordinator for the Finland Food Chain.

It's hard not to think, in the midst of our pandemic-challenged lives, that this whole "how am I gonna get food" thing would be a lot simpler if we could just go back in time about 80 years.

Patra Wise

David Wise created a small business on land his family has been farming for generations, out near Sawyer, and he’s all about health.

A favorite saying of his grandmother provided their mission statement (Mino Mashkiki
in Ojibwe means "good medicine").

Farming techniques are designed to keep the soil,  water and the rest of the ecosystem healthy, and growing healthy foods in healthy ways are paramount.

“My grandmother taught me that good food is good medicine,” says David.

Fisher-Merritt Family

When Janaki Fisher-Merrit was a kid growing up on the farm, his idea of teenage rebellion was telling his parents how they should be doing things.  Now the co-owner of the Food Farm in Wrenshall is telling a whole new generation of farmers.

Dani Pieratos

Farming at the bottom of a mine, working with your family, "Bear Clan negotiations" and more ...

Harvest Nation is poised to become an indoor, aeroponic farm ready to serve (in its pilot program incarnation) about a hundred families on the Iron Range.

But eventually, the plan is to serve about six times that number.

Two young men in a radio studio talking to each other into microphones and wearing headphones
courtesy of The Bark at UMD

This week we talk with Adam Kemp of Uff-da Organics, a farm near Wrenshall that specializes in pick-your-own strawberries plus wholesale vegetables and herbs.

  

The Simple Plate: Cole Grotting of UMD's Land Lab

Nov 27, 2019
Young man in overalls standing next to a truck bed full of winter squash.
Photo by Cole Grotting

This week we're joined at the table by Cole Grotting of the UMD Land Lab where we discuss the importance of agricultural education and food miles.

The Simple Plate is supported by The Whole Foods Co-op of Duluth.

Aimee Foster from Community Action Duluth talks about their efforts to collect extra and unwanted apples for making Fruit Bits, a transitional employment program that turns otherwise unused apples into healthful and affordable fruit leathers sold at local stores.

  Sustainability can be found many places in Duluth, including UMD's campus. Since its start in 2009, UMD's Sustainable Agriculture Project has made a lot of positive changes on campus, especially in the dining hall.

Squirrel Nation [via Flickr]

  We have a conversation with Colleen Landkamer, the USDA Rural Development State Director in Minnesota, about the Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant (SDGG) program.  Since 2009, the US Department of Agriculture has provided grant funding to local cooperatives and other organizations that provide technical assistance to socially disadvantaged groups in rural areas strongly affected by poverty. Examples of technical assistance may include leadership training, feasibility studies, and developing business and strategic plans. 

Lucie Amundsen's account of the little-egg-farm-that-could is just like her:  funny, vivacious and witty.  You can picture her at a dinner table,  laughingly recounting these stories while her audience laughs along in the presence of a master storyteller.

  We talk with UMD Professor Randy Hanson about UMD's Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP), a fifteen-acre "land lab" that utilizes sustainable farming practices.  SAP was formed in 2009 to "institute education, research, and regional engagement around community food and agriculture systems in the western Lake Superior bioregion." 

Hopes to put a factory farm (also called Concentrated Animal Feed Operations or CAFOs) in Bayfield County are being met with - among other protests - events like a recent "Stink-in" in Ashland.  What's the problem with 20-25 thousand hogs all in one place?  We talk with activist Frank Koehn about the environmental impact on the region, including the Lake Superior watershed.