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PURCHASE YOUR 2014 CSA SHARES NOW!

Become a CSA Shareholder: receive fresh, organically certified  produce delivered weekly to a drop site close to you:  18 weeks starting in June through October. Help support WEI's mission and bring nutritional health to your family and friends. What we grow.  What you get.   

ORDER YOUR CSA ON LINE TODAY

Learn about CSAs

Find out where you can pick-up your CSA  

Review 2013 CSA NEWSLETTERS (sent weekly with each CSA box)

A Gathering of Minnesota Women Farmers

Start Date: 
Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 1:00pm
End Date: 
Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 4:00pm

Women's Environmental Institute - Bringing Minnesota Women Farmers Together

As the Minnesota Host for the Women, Food, and Agriculture Network (WFAN), Women’s Environmental Institute (WEI) is excited to bring together the women farmers of Minnesota for an afternoon of sharing, networking, and food. Please bring a potluck item to share. Location: Women's Environmental Institute, 15715 River Road, North Branch, MN 55056. Cost: Free
For more information, contact us at wei@w-e-i.org
or call us at 651.583.0705 651.206.7651

RSVP for our facebook event here
Become a part of our Minnesota Women Farmers Group here

THE FARM

CLICK:   CSA 2014         NEW COLLABORATIONS        OUR PRODUCE        INTERNSHIPS         HISTORY OF the FARM                                                                                                       URBAN FARMING PROJECTS         2103 FARM REPORT      WORK EXCHANGE OPPORTUNITIES     WEI FLOWER GARDENS

24TH STREET COALITION’S COMMUNITY URBAN FARM MASHKIIKII GITIGAN (MEDICINE GARDEN) - 2013 SEASON SUMMARY

Mashkiikii Gitigan (Ojibwe for Medicine Garden) was created by the 24th Street Urban Farm Coalition – a group of neighborhood residents and community organizations – as a way to address the food justice needs of people living in the Phillips area of South Minneapolis, who face many challenges in accessing fresh, healthy foods. Women’s Environmental Institute has been an important part of the coalition, working to secure funding for a farmer position and serving on the steering committee.

2013 became our first full-fledged growing season when we hired Christina Elias as the full time farmer and community outreach coordinator for the farm. We grew over 50 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers.  We grew heritage and Native American medicinal plants including Oneida Corn, Hopi Turtle Beans, Sage, Sweet Grass, Ancient Tobacco, and Cedar.

Fresh, healthy food from the garden was served at community events and given to volunteers, neighbors, and organizations. A direct relationship was established with the Chef at the Waite House Community Café. The Mashkiikii Gitigan was rated the second largest contributor of six local urban farms, providing food included in over 11,895 free meals.

Mashkiikii Gitigan was introduced to the community as an educational resource this year through garden tours for groups and individuals, class field trips, gardening classes and activities with volunteers and local organizations, group harvests, and supporting neighboring community gardens. Additionally, Mashkiikii Gitigan was established as a safe place for over 40 community events including National Night Out, Flows and Flowers a spoken word and music event, and the final Harvest Party. 

In 2013 Mashkiikii Gitigan was successful above and beyond the goals that were set by the Coalition.  The garden provided food for thousands of community meals as well as reaching neighbors and individual volunteers on a personal level, helping to establish healthier eating habits in the home.  Additionally, the garden provided a source of physical activity for the community both in the form of garden work and Yoga classes.  The Mashkiikii Gitigan was also viewed and embraced by the community as a safe place to relax, eat lunch and visit for reflection and spiritual connection.  It was a place to make Tobacco offerings for those that have Native Spiritual practices, or for many to unwind from the stress of the day.  The garden helped to create a positive community gathering space for educational opportunities. In summary, the Mashkiikii Gitigan was able to achieve health initiatives that reached the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of healthy living - a holistic approach to health in the community.

 

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This Year (2013) at the WEI Farm

By Jacquelyn Zita, Farm Manager & Director of Operations

WEI’s Amador Farm and Orchard is one of WEI’s primary revenue streams as well as a central location for our food justice education and farmer training work in Chisago County.  It is also the location for numerous community building events – free and open to the public.   

    Part of the work on the farm includes a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) component, where individuals pay up front for a full year’s subscription to 18 weeks of a near bushel of organically certified, fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs from our farm. This year the farm produced over 2000 bushels of organically certified produce, distributed to our CSA shareholders, sold at farmer’s markets and coops, and shared with  food shelves. Our big disappointment this year was with a much smaller than usual apple crop because of lost pollination time in the cold blustery spring.  We expect the trees  have rested this year, storing up growth and energy for large scale  apple production next year.

     In spite of a late start we ended with a splendidly productive yield  – with shareholder response overwhelmingly positive and renewals already higher this year than last for next year’s CSA.  For next year, we are already making seed selection and planning rotations.  We are still developing our  farm’s aquaponic capacity  to expand to fish-and-greens production, enlarge our herb, microgreen and value-added production,  and to make ready five hoop houses to kick start the spring with a new Spring Greens Basket that can be picked up at Mill City farmer’s market in early May.

      For the 2013 season, we need to thank our tireless interns who worked at the farm – Kristin Thompson,  Aaryn Wilson, Alyson Castleman, Elizabeth Makaraewicz, and  Michelle Johnson—and workshare volunteers Tad Gates, Kelly Neider, Kelly Odergaard, Paula and Adrea Kampf , Felicia Wesaw, Beth Hatch;  and our  persistent Mill City volunteer Farmer’s Marketeers, Karen Clark, LuAnn Foty, and Sue Foty.   Also hats off to our farm crew, Jacqeulyn Zita, Ted Wind, Andrew Robins, Gina Sapp, and Hilary Sandall, the Hmong women farmers from the Association for the Advancement of Hmong Women,  Catharine Reid, and the many volunteers to came to help; and finally to the WEI staff Jerry Krier, Annelie Lindberg-Livingston, and Anika Waltz for their meticulous work in farm administration and newsletter production. If you’ve called the WEI farm or city offices lately you may have noticed  that Annelie and Jerry have become the heartbeat of the organization—for which WEI is grateful!

Check out our website for 2014 CSA share, work share and volunteer opportunities, intern applications, and our upcoming Organic Farming 101 class to be offered in January 2014 in the Twin Cities.  

WEI FARM INTERNSHIP PROGRAM FOR 2014 SEASON

Farm Interns are needed for the following terms:

Early Summer (June 4 - July 12) (3 Interns)

Late Summer (July 16 - August 23) (3 Interns)

Autumn (Sept 1 - Oct 15th) (3 Interns)

Paid farm work hours per week: 24 hours approximately $100 per week.  WEI will provide modest living accommodations Monday evening through Friday afternoon for the interns,  including access to its kitchen and laundry room facilities and extra produce when available.  WEI also provides wireless e-mail for all residents who must provide their own computers for personal use. 

WEI farm student interns will have a curriculum and a special research project.

Enrollment in WEI Farm Internships is limited to one term. Upon completion of that term, an intern can continue to work on the farm as a volunteer or apply (when available) for a farmer employee position. The education program is still open for steady farm volunteers and for farmer employees but is not covered by farm employee hours or wages.

Early Summer Internship: June 1-July 15 Internship: focus on early summer crop production greenhouse management, transplanting, seeding, weed and pest control, soil enhancement strategies, orchard management/care of new seedlings, harvesting, packing, preserving and storaging, succession and companion planting, crop rotation, cover cropping, composting, principles of farm management, record-keeping, safety training and food handling, CSA newsletter production, experience working at farmer’s markets/harvest festivals; every effort will be made to introduce farm interns to all aspects of sustainable organic farm production during their internships.

Late Summer Intership: July 15-August 31 Internship: focus late summer crop production and season extension strategies, final season seeding, succession planting and transplanting, weed and pest control, soil enhancement strategies, orchard management/care of new seedlings, harvesting, packing, preserving and storaging, cover cropping, seed collection, tool and machine maintenance, principles of farm management, record-keeping, safety training and food handling, CSA newsletter production, early winterization of fields and orchard care, preparation for fall apple harvest, experience working at farmer’s markets/harvest festivals; every effort will be made to introduce farm interns to all aspects of farm production during their internship. 

Autumn Internship: September 1-October 31: focus on fall crop and apple harvesting and season extension strategies; assistance at harvest festivals, weed and pest control, soil enhancement strategies, fall orchard management/ winterization of new seedlings, garlic planting, harvesting and packing skills, cover cropping, winterization of fields and orchard, seed collecting, inventory and preservation of seeds, principles of farm management, record-keeping, safety training, and food handling, CSA newsletter production, experience working at farmer’s markets/harvest festivals; every effort will be made to introduce farm interns to all aspects of farm production during their internship.

For more information contact us at wei@w-e-i.org.  To apply, please submit the application form below along with a copy of your resume including 3 references. Positions open until filled.

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