Local Food

Sue Estee, Executive Director of Second Harvest North Central Food Bank in Grand Rapids joins Heidi and John on the Thursday Morning Show to talk about food insecurity during the pandemic.  The struggle to put food on the table has increased with people not knowing where their next paycheck is coming from, kids losing meals that they would have eaten in school and our struggling seniors.  While the supply of food available is abundant, getting it out is the challenge.  With social distancing, the number of volunteers are restricted and people can no longer pick up food at a food shelf or a

Table for 7 is a new farm-to-table restaurant and market that opened about a month ago in downtown Bemidji. Amber Lynne is the owner of Table for 7. She is also owner of the Red Barn Family Farm. She joined Dan Houg and Maggie Montgomery on KAXE/KBXE’s Morning Show to talk about what it’s been like opening a new restaurant in the midst of a pandemic, and how she is adjusting her operations and menu.

When harvest time comes to Vibrant Farm in Guthrie MN, DaNae Johnson’s crops stand about 2 1/2” tall. She grabs the leaves with one hand and cuts the stems with a sharp knife. “When most people are thinning out their gardens, that’s about the stage of when I harvest,” DaNae explains. “They’re tiny little plants and they’re just power packed with nutrients.”

Grand Rapids Farmers' Market

Among other things, Jesse Davis is a farmer, a member of the Grand Rapids Farmers’ Market, and Director of Member Services for the MN Farmers’ Market Assn. He spoke with KAXE/KBXE’s Maggie Montgomery and Katie Carter about the season opening of the Grand Rapids Farmers’ Market on May 6 2020.

Jane Grimsbo Jewett

Jane Grimsbo Jewett and her husband Joe own Willow Sedge Farm in Palisade. They raise chickens, beef cattle and pigs, and sell the meat at the local farmers’ market in Grand Rapids. They also sell online or at monthly “meat ups” during the winter months when the market isn’t operating.

Team photo from MN Cup Competition at Carlson School of Management
Dani Pieratos

Harvest Nation has developed an indoor, aeroponic CSA farm that will serve the Iron Range and Bois Forte Reservation communities. The family-owned/women-owned/Native-owned company recently completed a feasibility study. Next they’re moving into a pilot project for which they are seeking customers.

Clayhill Farm and Forest

Harry and Judy Worm are the owners of Clayhill Farm and Forest near Brainerd. Right now Harry is busy hauling sap and making maple syrup, while Judy is taking care of calves and getting ready to try out new ways of teaching agriculture classes - remotely - at Brainerd High School. Harry and Judy covered a lot of ground when they talked with Dan Houg and Katie Carter on the Wednesday Morning Show. Clayhill Farm has been in Judy’s family since the ‘50s.

Bars and restaurants have taken a real hit with social distancing and sheltering at home.  Laying off employees and drastic changes are hard realities.  Fastfood joints continue their drive thru services, but sitdown restaurants are reshaping their realities.  Many provide take out meals and are doing special things like free food for kids or delivering food to emergency rooms.   We connected with Sarah Shaw from Sage on Laurel in Brainerd to find out how things are going for her restaurant and the people she employs.  

Farmers in Minnesota and around the country are struggling. Especially for small farmers, issues like severe weather, globalization, low commodity prices, and trade wars have made it hard to make a living. One bright spot may come from new methods of sustainable farming that strengthen soil health. These new methods allow multiple uses for the same acreage, strengthen resiliency against severe weather, and lower the number of “inputs” (such as fertilizer) needed to grow a robust crop.

Growers and farmers from around northern Minnesota are invited to a free meeting at Central Lakes College in Brainerd on February 25th to find out about the potential of growing a new crop: hazelnuts. These are not the hazelnuts that lots of us find growing wild in our forests and fields. These are brand new hybrids that can be grown as a cash crop.