by Cori Hilsgen
The fifth annual Sustainable Farming Association’s Festival of Farms will take place from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturday, July 12.
The event celebrates connections between farmers’ markets, co-ops, local restaurants and farmers. It shows consumers where and how area food is grown on farms.
The Stearns County Farm Crawl will include tours at five area farms and market gardens, which produce vegetables, fruits, eggs, beef, sheep and more. Area farms include the Common Ground Garden at St. Benedict Monastery, the Central Minnesota Sustainability Project Market and Dancing Bears Organic Farm in St. Joseph, Bakers’ Acres in Avon, and Emmerich’s Produce in Albany.
The farms are located within three miles of the Lake Wobegon Trail. Between 50-100 people attend the event each year.
“The Common Ground Garden is excited to participate in the festival and welcomes people of all ages to see an example of local, sustainable agriculture,” production manager Kate Ritger said. “Gardens are inspiring places of beauty, hope, community and nourishment. It would do our souls good to spend more time in gardens.”
These farms sell their products to consumers, chefs and various retail locations in central Minnesota and in the Twin Cities area.
Visitors will be able to see where food comes from while enjoying live music. The event includes children’s activities, Bossy bingo and a lunch prepared by chef Daniel Dean from Nick’s Third Floor restaurant. Door prizes will be awarded.
The registration fee includes lunch. For more information, call 320-309-0746 or visit the website www.sfa-mn.org/central.
The Common Ground Garden at St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph is one of the farms included on the Stearns County Festival of Farms tour.
Some of the produce previously grown in the Common Garden includes onions, kale, collards, beets, zucchini and cucumbers.
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people's stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.