Foraging Season Begins in May

Beginning in May, North Country Food Alliance will hold monthly foraging workshops in the Twin Cities. To stay updated on events, please visit our event page or sign up to our email list. Here is the information for our upcoming workshop:

Spring is finally arriving! Birds are returning, flowers are popping up, and leaves are unfurling. Many of these awakening plants are disdained as weeds, but a good portion of these “weeds” are delicious and healthful wild edibles. Join the North Country Food Alliance, Growing West Side, and WSCO Sustainable Living Committee as we explore the West Side of St. Paul and learn what delectable weeds spring has to offer. We will discuss the identification, harvest, and preparation of a variety of wild foods, including dandelion, lamb’s quarters, burdock, and stinging nettle.

Meet at the Stryker Community Garden on the corner of Stryker Ave S. and Elizabeth St. W. on Thursday, May 28th at 5:30pm. I will have a sign.

Suggested donation of $5. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

**Class size is limited. To register, please email foraging@northcountryfoodalliance.org with the names of the participants. Thank you.

Community Garden Update

Our gardens are still going strong through the fall, producing cold-hardy vegetables such as beets, kale, collards, and swiss chard! These veggies will keep producing through light frosts, and kale and collards will continue even through heavy frost. Hopefully the weather will give us ample time to harvest as many greens as possible!

Meanwhile, garlic has been planted at the Midway location. We can expect garlic scapes in the spring and bulbs in the summer. Finally, we have been making an effort to save some seeds from our crop, including okra (pictured here) and beans.

Expanding Foodshare

North Country Food Alliance is now picking up overstock produce from a Cub Foods in Minnetonka! We are excited that our foodshare operation continues to expand so we are able to serve more low-income areas. If you have connections to a store, farm, or wholesaler with overstock produce, please email foodshare@northcountryfoodalliance.org to let us know. Thank you!

New Foodshare Sources!

We are excited to announce that we have acquired a new foodshare source from J & J distributing! This is a St. Paul wholesaler that provides fresh fruits and vegetables to grocery stores. Due to their support we are now able to drop off food to an additional site in North Minneapolis. Additionally, North Country Food Alliance has been picking up leftover CSA shares from Oxendale Market in South Minneapolis and from Harmony Valley Farm CSA. CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) are farms from which customers sign up for a seasonal share and pick up boxes of fresh produce at local retailers. However, every week there are several boxes leftover because people can't always pick up their shares. So now those boxes are coming to us and being distributed to soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Deepest gratitude to all our suppliers!

Replanting the Garden

The community gardens are overflowing with kale, collards, greens, chard, squash, cucumbers, and more! We have been regularly harvesting these vegetables to share for free in low-income communities. Our Midway Garden has been practically picked clean, so we transplanted some basil into the bare soil (as pictured below.) We also planted some seeds for a fall harvest: kale, collards, spinach, and cabbage. These cold-hardy veggies will keep producing late into fall (provided of course that the weather cooperates!)

Transplanting basil

Transplanting basil

Spring-time Foraging Recipes

Spring is an amazing time to head to the woods and forage greens, flowers, and mushrooms! For an interesting article and great recipes, check out the Grand Traverse Scene magazine, produced in northwest Michigan. This issue includes NCFA Foraging Coordinator Maria Wesserle! To read the article in pdf format, click here.

New Board Members!

Tonight we held a dinner at the NCFA office to put a new Board of Directors in power. The original founding board resigned and new members stepped in to fill their places. Welcome to NCFA!

Sam Adams, Board Chair

Jim McGuire, Secretary

Linda Leighton, Treasurer

Kieran Frazier Knutson

Erik Davis