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What's Fresh? Liz Strohmayer of Sol Fed Farm

What's Fresh?

Each week on the KAXE/KBXE Morning Show, we’re connecting you to the bounty of the northland by bringing you stories of local farmers, spotlighting the region’s farmer’s markets, and sharing how you can get involved with local food in your area. The growing season here in Minnesota is short and fickle, so we’re answering that all-important question this time of year…. What’s Fresh? This week, Katie Carter spoke with Liz Strohmayer, owner/operator at Sol Fed Farm.

Sol Fed Farm is a woman-owned micro-farm near Duluth that uses regenerative and bio-intensive practices. Sol Fed also recently became the first farm in Minnesota recognized as a “Certified Naturally Grown” producer.

It's early in the season, so there's not too much to report on What's Fresh at Sol Fed Farm. "We've had some interesting weather," Strohmayer said, "and we're 4-5 miles from Lake Superior, so we've got our own little micro-climate. That, along with the late spring we've had, means there's not too much that's fresh at this point."

But there's lots to look forward to as the season ramps up. "We have a lot of things started inside; upwards of 40 flats of seedling starts inside. Peppers, tomatoes, celery, we're starting asparagus from seed. Things like that are still inside. They can't tolerate the weather we've been having."

Strohmayer has also been busy getting veg in the ground for later in the season. "Things that we have out in the garden are alliums like onions, leeks, shallots, and fennel. We've transplanted strawberry plants, we've got raspberries out there, rhubarb out there, lovage is coming up, and we have a lot of things that we've seeded. Peas, beets, carrots, potatoes, the typical favorites. Lettuce, arugula chard. All that is in the ground and I'm trying to get it to germinate. We have a planting schedule that gets thrown out the window each day based on the weather."

Aside from the early-season growing excitement, Sol Fed Farm was also recently granted a "Certified Naturally Grown" designation, the first farm in Minnesota to gain that recognition. "It means we're holding ourselves accountable publicly," Strohmayer said. "We hold ourselves to the same standards as USDA Certified Organic, but the CNG organization puts more emphasis on things that we find important with farming, like soil health. We get inspected by other farmers, so it's more fitting for us."

If you're interested in learning more about Sol Fed Farm and supporting this local micro-farm, they'll have a stand at the Hillside Market in Duluth. You can also swing by the farm and see what they have out at the veggie stand at the end of their driveway. The best way to experience all that Sol Fed Farm produces is by signing up for their CSA. A full-share will get you a box of produce every week, and a half-share gets you a box every-other week.

To learn more about what drew Liz to farming in the first place and why it's important that they are a women-owned farm, click the player at the top of the page to listen to the full interview. Thanks to Liz Strohmayer for letting us know What's Fresh down at Sol Fed Farm.

Sol Fed Farm Logo

Katie Carter started at Northern Community Radio in 2008 as Managing Editor of the station's grant-funded, online news experiment Northern Community Internet. Since 2016, she's produced Area Voices showcasing the arts, culture, and history stories of northern Minnesota. She's our local host of NPR's All Things Considered and CBC's As It Happens every weekday from 4-7pm.
Max Philbrook (he/him) is a Producer at KAXE focused on telling the stories of the people, events, and organizations that make up the fabric of northern Minnesota. Based out of Grand Rapids, Max spends his time reading fiction at the library, seeing sports and live music, and supporting the arts and cultural events in the area. Get in touch with Max if you have a story to tell, an event to publicize, or just want to chat about life in the northland.