Food Farm Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary

By KBJR News 1

August 24, 2013 Updated Aug 24, 2013 at 6:27 PM CDT

Wrenshall, MN (NNCNOW.com) ---- Owners of Food Farm in Wrenshall are celebrating 20 years of providing fresh produce to families and businesses in the Northland.

Twenty years ago, John and Jane Fisher–Merritt started CSA, or community supported agriculture, which wasn't well known.

"When we first talked to them about CSA they were really enthusiastic, we didn't think they would go for it because you are paying in advance, but they said, 'wow, you mean we don't have to make orders, it just comes every week, and they said wow, let's do it," said John Fisher-Merritt, former owner of Food Farm.

Now, their son Janaki and his wife Annie, took over the farm in 2010, providing fresh produce to families and businesses around Duluth.

However, some unpredictable events have presented challenges to the family's farm.

"Things are really, really dry, we have an irrigation system but that is kind of being pushed to the limit and with it being so warm and windy, its taking a lot of moisture out of the plants," said Janaki Fisher-Merritt, owner of the farm.

Besides having to harvest broccoli a little bit earlier the possibility of a pipeline running through the farm is also on the family's mind.

"Enbridge wants to build a new pipeline through our property and part of it goes through woodlands and part of it goes through field we are developing to meet new demand. There is a lot of demand for fresh local produce, the pipeline is really putting a lot of plans on hold not only for ourselves but for our neighbors as well," said Janaki.

A public meeting was held about the proposed pipeline and Janaki hopes another plan will be considered.

"We do have an alternate route that they have sort of looked at, along a right of way for an old rail line that goes just two miles south of here that's all publicly owned land and wouldn't affect farmers or woodland as much as the route they are proposing," said Janaki.

A right of way that can determine the future of farms in the Northland.

The 20 year anniversary celebration is going on Saturday with hay rides, tractor pulls, and a talent show.

The public is also invited to the "Free Range Film Barn" for a look back at the history of the farm and a movie.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.