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Let's Visit Walker: Erin Haefele & her Green Scene

As a kid, Erin Haefele spent every summer in Walker, MN.  She loved it.  And as she started a family of her own, she realized she wanted her own children, too,  to experience Walker and all it has to offer. So she did what many a mom with a mission does...she planned for and embarked on said mission.  

Walker offered all the nostalgia she remembered - small town living, an active outdoor life, amazing gardens and accessible, up-north beauty, but something was missing... Erin craved more fresh produce options for her family.  With the help of a friend who owned a restaurant, she made that dream come true.  Ultimately, she made the option possible for others in town to have fresh produce, too.  

…so you would go to my garage and it was like going into a produce store and a mini grocery store. We started to bring in other items- local eggs, organic groceries, a little bit of everything. …And then we also put together these produce …We ended up starting delivering them to different cities in the area. So we delivered to Nisswa and Bemidji and Park Rapids. And it was. It was a blast. But it was just a one day a week thing. - Erin Haefele

That one day a week experience has grown into a healthy option and resource for her community.  Since the days of operating out of her garage, Erin Haefele’s Green Scene Organic Market and Deli began operating out of its own “brick and mortar” facility in 2011 and is now open every day.  The parking lot and adjoining property is now home to the weekly Walker Farmers’ Market that has grown to a whopping 40 vendors and that's not all she's added to the community.  In addition to the farmers’ market, Erin has spent time educating children in the Walker School District about fresh produce, she hosts cooking classes and she’s part of the organizing team behind the yearly “Frost Fest” which offers music, ice golfing, local brews and kid friendly games. In this segment of Let’s Visit, she tells us all about life in Walker and her dreams for its future.

We’re learning about the people and town of Walker, MN in this segment of Let’s Visit.  Let’s Visit is made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of Minnesota.

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.