Saturday, July 30, 2011

Eat Local Farm Tour!

My friend Dora emailed me late last night, asking if I wanted to join her in today's first-ever Eat Local Farm Tour, a project by Twin Cities co-ops to connect organic farmers with their clients. Was I interested? HECK YEAH!!

Our first stop of the morning was Cedar Summit Farm, an organic dairy/creamery specializing in milk from pastured cows fed 100% grass during the winter months, and sustainably-raised and grass-fed pigs, chickens, and their eggs!

I snapped a couple of pretty shots while waiting for the guided tour to start:

Dave Minar, owner of Cedar Summit and third-generation farmer of the land, toured a gigantic group of curious co-op shoppers around his farm:

We learned that they grow all of their feed for their animals on their farmland, baling it and essentially "vacuum-sealing" it to better preserve the grass's nutrients through MN's long, cold winter:

(As we walked past these wrapped bales, you could actually smell that sweet, "hay-smell." Lovely!)

Dave continued, noting where the calves were kept with their mothers for two months, providing the calf with health benefits traditional dairy cows do not receive, and shared other bits about the farm's operation and history.

We also had a chance to check out the chicken coop:

As the people headed into the coop, the chickens headed out! I found this hilarious.

We also met a few pigs:

Before heading across the street to meet the dairy cows:

After selecting some cheeses to purchase from their creamery, we re-applied sunscreen and continued our tour. (Cedar Summit doesn't make their own cheese, but they do provide milk to Pastureland and Alemar Cheese Company, who makes my new favorite local Camembert-style stinky cheese to slather all over fresh baguette every chance I get!)

Next stop, Gardens of Eagan!

We followed their self-guided tour, which rambled through many of their crops, including . . .


bell peppers:




and cabbages:

Aren't the alternating rows of green and purple cabbages just gorgeous?

Last stop? Pick your own corn boil!

Apparently, even dogs like corn:

A fitting end to a gorgeous, inspirational, educational, and FUN day!


Anonymous said...

Is that a new profile pic? It looks nice!


Anonymous said...

What a fun day! I love the chickens fleeing the coop.

Catherine Weber said...

Courtney, yes -- I needed something nice for that other online thing of late. :)

Michelle, the chickens were definitely a highlight! I think chickens are funny and cute in general, and when they all run in a bunch, they are hilarious!

Ali said...

OMG it doesn't even look like those cows or chickens are fenced in! That's great for them (I'm happy they get to roam free) but it would FREAK ME OUT! I'm terrified of animals!!! You are a brave one to venture that close :)

Crystal said...

Wow, looks like a lot of fun!