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 February 2014 

Sustainable Farming Association Central Chapter Newsletter

Many thanks to all the members and supporters who attended the variety of events in our region, joined our chapter, or renewed their membership over the last month and a half. 
  • The Central Chapter has 72 current members  
  • 32 attended our annual meeting in Browerville
  • 83 people attended the forage council meeting at Central Lakes College
  • The Back-to-Basics event in Pine River and the SFA Annual Conference in St. Joseph provided many networking opportunities. 



The Central Chapter board of directors is in the process of drafting goals and strategies for our chapter in 2014 and beyond. We're looking for a better grasp on where we're going and how we're going to get there. Items to work on include chapter events like Festival of Farms on Saturday, July 12 and the Barter & Fermentation Celebration on September 20, as well as additional workshops, activities, and fundraising.  

If you have ideas you would like to share, or if you would like to be a part of these discussions, please contact Bryan Simon at bryandsimon@gmail.com. 


Please welcome Mike Stine and Elizabeth Makarewicz to the Central Chapter’s board of directors. 


An Interview with Central Chapter Coordinator, Lisa Baker
By Kathy Connell, SFA Central Chapter board member

Central Chapter welcomed a new coordinator in 2013. Lisa Baker lives near Avon, and owns and operates Bakers’ Acres with the help of her parents. Lisa worked in the city at a desk job for some years when she decided, as she explained to me, that yes, she was earning money, but something else was lacking. With that feeling behind her actions, she purchased fifteen acres near her parents’ home and started the adventure of learning to grow food. 

Pictured above: The wash and pack room at Bakers’ Acres on harvest day. 

Bakers Acres’ now markets CSA shares, poultry, eggs, and grass-fed beef. She now has a high tunnel to increase her vegetable production. Her website with some great photos can be viewed at www.bakersacresfarm.com. Lisa works for the Central Chapter and also assists the statewide Sustainable Farming Association with various projects. We look forward to sharing in Lisa’s energy, creativity, and expertise this exciting new year.
Interested in having your story shared? Contact a board member.


Reality Greenhouse Open House - Paradox Farm, Ashby - March 8

Explore the potential of deep winter greens and fodder production utilizing passive solar with underground heat storage. Cost: $10 SFA members, $12 non-members ($20/24 family). Register here


Organic Management Workshop for gardens, seasonal high tunnels and hoop houses – Verndale – March 21

Verndale Community Center 

Learn about pest management, soil nutrients, succession planting, hoop house variety options, and water needs and application. There will be booths and door prizes! Cost: $8 early-bird by March 15th ($6 for SFA members). $12 at the door ($10 SFA members). Download the registration brochure here

Local Foods College 2014

Local Foods College is a series of eight webinar sessions on Tuesdays through March 11 at 6 p.m. Host sites include the Farm Market Café in Onamia. This is the third year for this series, and the 2014 series will provide options for participants to interact with one another. Learn more and register at: http://localfoods.umn.edu/college. 

Festival of Farms 2014 – July 12 

Mark your calendars! More details coming soon.

Barter & Fermentation Celebration – Hewitt – September 20 

Mark your calendars! More details coming soon.


As a member, you get discounted registration at events statewide, this chapter newsletter as well as statewide communications, plus networked into the farmers and supporters in your region.

Is your membership current? Watch for our membership renewal campaign and re-join if your membership has lapsed. 

Or if you’re not a member, consider contributing to your Central Chapter. Membership funds are used for farmer-to-farmer networking and educational events in your area. 

Membership info can be found here. Be sure to select “Central Chapter” when you register so that you get all of the communications specific to your region.


Approximately once per month, the chapter’s board of directors meets at a location that supports sustainable agriculture. Members are welcome to participate and bring ideas and questions. 


If you have feedback for educational programs, demonstrations or activities that you would like to share or learn more about, contact the Central Chapter at (218) 296-6732 or sfaofcentralminnesota@gmail.com.
Sustain MN

SFA is Working to Sustain Minnesota

You can be a part of it. Join or renew your membership to add to the farmer-to-farmer network and stay up to date on how you can be involved.

When you choose to support the Central Chapter of SFA, 100% of your membership dues go to support local chapter activities.



The Sustainable Farming Association of Central Minnesota is a non-profit organization that supports the development and enhancement of sustainable farming systems through innovation, demonstration, education, and farmer-to-farmer networking. The mission of this group is to promote the use of environmentally and economically sound agricultural practices and to ensure a healthy future for family farms and all of the people of central Minnesota.

Sustainable Farming Association - Central Chapter
36861 Co. Rd. 9, Avon, MN 56310
(218) 296-6732 • sfaofcentralminnesota@gmail.com

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