Your Green Life: "The Food Farm"

By KBJR News 1

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 3:16 PM CDT

Agriculture has changed dramatically through history, but some farmers still revert back to more sustainable practices.

One Wrenshall farm is leaving little impact on the environment but a big impact in the community as meteorologist Shannon Murphy explains in "Your Green Life."

35 years ago, John Fisher– Merritt starting farming in Wrenshall.
While looking for ways to share his harvest with the community, he was introduced to "Community Supported Agriculture," where the people actually buy their summer's vegetables before the plants have even sprouted.

"When we heard about Community Supported Agriculture, we though ya know, well people aren't going to do that, pay in advance, not knowing what they are going to get."

The idea caught on, and their first season in the CSA was also the first year that the Fisher–Merritts were able to pay themselves for their own labor.

As a member of the Fisher–Merritt Food Farm, you take the same weather and pest risks as the farmer, but one member knows that the benefits are worth the gamble.

"Better on a number of counts. More flavorful, looks better, and the invisible part you can't tell, is that it is pesticide and chemical free."

Each Food Farm member receives fresh, local, and organic produce.
Amounts depend on the harvest, but it's estimated you'll receive about 5 pounds of vegetables each week for 18 weeks.

But even a cold damp start to this season didn't damper the crops.

"It's been kind of a tough year this year, but we have lots of little greenhouses so our members are getting normal, pretty much normal amount of food."

Twice a week, the produce is loaded up in a van being driven by a Food Farm volunteer and dropped off at locations throughout Cloquet, Duluth, and Superior.

Members also volunteer their time on the farm doing tasks such as weeding or even human pest control.

"The potato bug job, that ones a little more unsavory, and that's actually squashing the larvae between your finger, or grabbing the beetles and popping their little beetle heads off."

Although tasks are onerous, it's sometimes comes with the price of organic.

In Wrenshall, meteorologist Shannon Murphy, the Northland's NewsCenter.

Future plans for the food farm include eventually provided beef or pork shares, and investing in draft horses to do the work in replace of fossil fuels.

For more information regarding pricing and other share options, you can log onto our website at Northlands– NewsCenter– dot– com.

Besides the summer share which is an assortment of organic vegetables, other share options include:
Preserving Share: Choose from 50lb tomatoes, 25 lb green beans, 3 lb basil, or 25 lb dark greens.
Standard Winter Share: One delivery per month from Nov. to March.
Half Winter Share: Just as it sounds...
Picky Eater Winter Share: You may choose amongst whats available for a total of 275 lbs.
Poultry Share: Only available with those who purchase a summer or winter share. 5 Chickens and 1 Turkey.
Egg Share: Only available with those who purchase a summer or winter share. 1 Dozen eggs per week for a year.

For speicific pricing or more details on the share, you can call the farm year-round at 348-3356