Where do you want to see our Fruit & Vegetable efforts go?

In the past, SFA’s work on fruit and vegetables has largely centered around garlic and asparagus (for good reason). Both garlic and asparagus have significant demand from local food shoppers and also help us, as farmers, follow the six principles of soil health. However, this is just a small piece of the collection of specialty crops that are grown by our members.

SFA would like to broaden our work to include more specialty crop growers and I am leading the charge on this front. We are interested in offering what isn’t already offered by others. We are also interested in partnering with fellow organizations to help specialty crop growers be more sustainable with respect to both soil health and economics.

As a refresher for this audience, I am the owner, along with my wife, of Cedar Crate Farm where we produce vegetables on about three acres of land and have a flock of laying hens on two acres of pasture southeast of Mankato. We started our farm in 2015 and since then we have grown from an 8- to a 90-member CSA and have seen our farmers market sales increase eightfold while also picking up profitable wholesale accounts along the way. We don’t have everything figured out, but we have the experience and the results to help others.

What are your ideas for areas where more work needs to be done? Some ideas could include guidance on integrating cover crops, marketing, financial planning, weed management, pest management, irrigation, supply sourcing, crop planning, crop rotations, enterprise analysis, a mentorship program and so much more.

I would love to hear from you either via email, Zoom or phone call. Reach out to me at dan@sfa-mn.org to share your ideas or to schedule a call!