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Read the Mix, a bi-monthly publication produced by the co-ops.

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2013 Eat Local Farm Tour

Eleven Twin-Cities area food co-operatives are delighted to announce the third annual Eat Local Farm Tour on Saturday, July 20, 2013 as an opportunity to better connect the general public with sustainable agriculture and local farmers. Download a PDF guide to the tour stops, and get ready to have a great experience!

Melissa Knight from Minneapolis knows exactly how visiting local farms and having that personal experience can strongly influence one’s life. She and her family participated in the 2012 Eat Local Farm Tour, visiting East Henderson Farm, L&R Poultry and Produce, Simple Harvest Organics and Shepherd’s Way.

"It’s been a dream of mine to someday have my own small farm," says Knight. "After seeing a wide range of chicken coop set-ups on the tour, we are thrilled to have our own little flock of 5 hens this year. Eating well, eating local products, knowing where our food comes from and how it is grown is important to me and the Eat Local Farm Tour made it possible for myself and my family to learn more about our food sources. We learned an incredible amount of information in one day."

Seventeen sustainable Minnesota producers are on board for the 2013 tour, giving attendees the opportunity to experience a diverse mix of small- to large-scale farming operations, including everything from vegetable, poultry, beef, dairy and bee farming.  New additions to the 2013 tour include three urban farms: Growing Lots Urban Farm, Stone’s Throw Urban Farm, and The Beez Kneez Bicycle Delivered Honey.  10th Street Farm and Market,  and Riverbend Farm are also new farms to join the tour line-up this year. Returning farms include: Big River Farms, Cedar Summit, East Henderson Farm, Ferndale Market, Gardens of Eagan, Kohnert Organic Farm, L&R Poultry and Produce, Living Land Farm, Shepherd’s Way Farms, Simple Harvest Organics, Thousand Hills Cattle Company and the Women’s Environmental Institute.

Rae Rusnak, farmer and owner of L&R Poultry and Produce, in Kenyon, Minnesota is participating in the Eat Local Farm Tour for the second year in a row. Her family-owned and operated 72-acre woodland farm consists of chickens, turkeys, maple syrup and produce. She feels it is important to connect customers with farmers and to continue to build upon that relationship.

"When you actually see what we are doing, ideas such as free range, organic or sustainable farming suddenly make sense," says Rusnak. "You need that personal experience with something before you really put some ownership or connectivity to it and realize that it is something important that is worth nurturing and preserving. Then when the consumer goes into the store, they make that connection with what they saw growing on the farm. That is how our food system used to be and that is what the co-ops and the farm tour brings back for people."

The hours of operation will differ from farm to farm. Free detailed 2013 Eat Local Farm Tour guidebooks complete with maps, hours, and tour activities are available for pick-up at all the participating co-op locations starting June 1. The guidebook will outline suggested tour routes that would make fun, easy day trips within a certain geographic region. Follow updates on the Eat Local Farm Tour Facebook page.

About the Eat Local Farm Tour:

The 2013 Eat Local Farm Tour is sponsored by eleven of the area Twin Cities co-ops: Eastside, Harvest Moon Co-op, Just Food, Lakewinds, Linden Hills, Mississippi Market, River Market, Seward, St. Peter, Valley Natural Foods and The Wedge. The July 20, 2013 tour will highlight eighteen Minnesota farms, allowing the general public to meet directly with local producers to learn more about our local food system and its importance.  Visit our Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/EatLocalFarmTour.coop

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