From Farm to Food Shelf, Communities Working Together – Guest Blog

November 15, 2011 7:29 pm

By, Arlene Jones – The Farm on St. Mathias Owning a farm has many benefits. Lots of fresh air, hard work, watching your hard work come to fruition, supplying Seriously Local Food™ to many consumers and business in the area and more. As owners of The Farm on St. Mathias in Brainerd, Minnesota, an 80 […]

By, Arlene Jones – The Farm on St. Mathias

Owning a farm has many benefits. Lots of fresh air, hard work, watching your hard work come to fruition, supplying Seriously Local Food™ to many consumers and business in the area and more. As owners of The Farm on St. Mathias in Brainerd, Minnesota, an 80 acre destination farm, we’ve come to realize the true benefit of owning this farm. Community and its partners. Prairie Bay Grill and Catering is one of our strongest community partners and friends.

We partnered with Emergency Foodshelf Network for the first time in 2011. I received an email from Alex, asking if a representative from FINNEGANS could stop by and chat when they’d be in our area meeting with the local distributor. I met Jacquie for the first time standing on the dirt behind our on-farm store. We briefly toured the farm,visually, and struck up a chat about working as community partners and raising funds for the cause. That’s Jacquie, right?

Knowing I’d run into this infamous star of local causes at the Irish Fair, I told Jacquie that I’d chat with family and figure something out.

Our farm is place where people gather. We provide tours related to demonstrations on sustainable farming, perennial gardening, composting, science and education camps to local youth and most anything we’re asked to. We hold events with Prairie Bay Grill and Catering including an annual Celtic Festival, and an annual farm dinner, boasting upwards of 140 people last year for an eight-course on-the-farm meal. And we finish our season with a 6+ acre corn maze complete with slides, tunnels, scavenger hunt, wagon rides, games, animals and more. This is our farm. A destination. A place our customers come to. This was the fundraiser! Come play in the corn, bring your families, and raise money for the local foodshelf!

Working with our great community partners (Prairie Bay Grill and Catering, CashWiseHarvest for the Hungry Event Photo Liquor, Bernick’s Distributing, Viking Coca-Cola, Insty-Prints, Farmer’s Union and the Initiative Foundation), we set the event for Sunday, October 9, 2011. On a beautiful fall Sunday, complete with blue sky and fluffy clouds, we held our first annual Harvest for the Hungry Fundraiser, listening to the Irish music of The Hounds of Finn, eating the culinary delights of Prairie Bay Grill and Catering, enjoying soda and Irish Amber with the help of CashWise and Bernick’s, munching on mocha bars and drinking coffee from the Farmer’s Union and benefiting from the generosity of Insty-Prints and The Initiative Foundation. With the help of our community partners, we raised over $2,200.00 for the local foodshelf through Emergency Foodshelf Network.

This is our tradition. Communities working together. This truly is the benefit of owning this farm. This is where people gather, come back to, spend time with families and friends, and carve out time to create traditions. This is communities gathering.

Download a recipe right from the Farm on St. Mathias and Prairie Bay Grill here.

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