2022 Top Ten - Year in Review

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ok, ok, ok...Top 10 lists are so last decade...

Or... the 80's called they want their top 10 list back. (actually, I hear the 80's are hip with the kids now :)

But we can't help ourselves - we just have to share how we have been working to foster a more just, sustainable, and vibrant countryside. Here are just a few highlights of that work.

And just a note - we come to you with an end of year ask for donations. If you read below something that inspires you - please make a donation to help us continue to do this work.

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December 2022 News

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November/December 2022


In this season of giving thanks, RTC is especially grateful for:

❤️ local farmers and entrepreneurs

❤️ our partners

❤️ our donors

❤️ our staff

❤️ our readers.

You make our work possible. Read on for updates on our recent efforts. Thank you for your support!

—the team at Renewing the Countryside

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Virginia Food Hub established to aggregate local foods in Minnesota's arrowhead region

by Kathleen Rykhus, Americorps VISTA

 

Located in the Arrowhead region of Northeastern Minnesota, St. Louis County is the largest county east of the Mississippi River. Known for its spectacular natural beauty, lakes, and trout streams, the area has a history of logging and mining of iron ore. The region also has a rich tradition of farming and local food systems.

Kristine Jonas (pictured here) grew up in Tower, MN, where her father farmed. Today she is a vendor at the Tower and Virginia Farmers Markets, as well as the Food Hub Manager for the Virgina Market Square Farmers Market. She knows that the challenges being faced by people who are trying to grow the food system here are many but she also describes a spirit of community and cooperation that is helping those who are passionate about local food increase access to locally grown produce, meats, and homemade products through a variety of creative approaches.

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October 2022 News

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October 2022


 

Here's hoping you've had a chance to enjoy the fall colors and plenty of outdoor events! We're transitioning out of field days—with a couple last ones coming up this week (see below). For many of us, the growing season has mostly wrapped up.

Maybe you had a chance to put up a few jars of pickles, tomatoes, fruit preserves or maybe time ran out?

Luckily for all of us we have the FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace to make up the difference. Come to Rochester on November 5th from 10-4 to pick up some of those pantry items for the long winter months or maybe as holiday gifts. More details below!

—the team at Renewing the Countryside

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August 2022 News

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August 2022


 

Will you come celebrate local food and farm to early care with us at the Minnesota State Fair? Going on now through Labor Day, Sept. 5! Are you a local food advocate that would like to volunteer? There are a few more spots—sign up HERE.

Keep reading for field days and gatherings that serve to inform and connect, and we hope your summer is wrapping up with bountiful fresh, local food and plenty of down time to spend with community!

—the team at Renewing the Countryside
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July 2022 News

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July 2022


Summer busy-ness abounds! Whether it’s attending little league games, potlucks or farmers markets, or taking much-needed vacations, we hope you’re taking it all in.

Below are some updates on our programs and activities, including changes on our board and staff, happy news on the Lor Family Farm, great connections in Farm to School, fun happenings with Soil Sisters, and the developing plans for the Minnesota State Fair.

Reminder that if you live near the Twin Cities, you can support our programs when you shop at Lakewinds Food Co-op, thanks to their Community Giving Round Up. Lakewinds is a true leader in making a difference in our food system, and by shopping there you not only support their good work, but also support many local farmers and foodmakers - and organizations like ours. It’s these kinds of programs that are helping us get this work done—thank you!

—the team at Renewing the Countryside
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May/June 2022 News

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May/June 2022



Happy Solstice! And at the same time, is it really summer already? We're celebrating it along with Juneteenth, now a federal holiday, commemorating the 1865 announcement of emancipation of enslaved people in Texas. It was just last year that President Biden signed into law the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act. It took 156 years.

Indeed another summer is here: those first tender crops of spinach, radishes, rhubarb and raspberries are showing up on tables at restaurants and in farmers markets all around us, and planning is underway for the Minnesota State Fair and those 20,000 daily visitors. To join us at the Eco Experience building, click here.

We’re so grateful for ways to engage around improving our food system through our various programs, and for those of you who participate. If you live near the Twin Cities, we encourage you to shop at Lakewinds Food Co-op, which has been such a great supporter of local food and farm businesses (and happy retirement to outgoing GM Dale Woodbeck!). They selected Renewing the Countryside’s Land Access Program as the beneficiary of the July Community Round Up. (More about Lakewinds Community Giving Round Up here). Your support is so important for helping us get this work done—thank you!

—the team at Renewing the Countryside
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April 2022 News

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April 2022


Spring is slowly waking the earth and encouraging us outside, so keep your chin up and dig out your calendar, because this newsletter is chock full of wonderful events and ways to connect!

Above all, we're in our final push to bridge the gap for the Lor family’s farmland access dream. Thanks for reading and supporting this important work!

—the team at Renewing the Countryside

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March 2022 Newsletter

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March 2022


Have you spotted your first robin? Planted any seeds? Opened a window? It’s officially spring, a.k.a. “mud season,” as far as farmers are concerned! Roads and farm fields are mushy and muddy from melting snow and incoming rain, boots are muddy, kids are jumping in puddles and puppies are tracking paw prints all over the house. But spring also brings rebirth, renewal and awakening from the long winter, and with that, hope.

We’re hopeful that we can keep the momentum going to bridge the gap for the Lor family’s farmland access dream. Keep reading for an update on that.

—the team at Renewing the Countryside

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January/February Newsletter

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January/February 2022



Meadow Blanket

With the freezing temps, it’s a great time to snuggle under a nice warm blanket with a good book. Here are a few suggestions from our staff: Home Made by Liz Hauck; Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan; and Jayden's Impossible Garden by Melina Mangal.

Plus, cold isn’t all bad, it kills the invasive insects for us and our farmers! Read on to hear what other good things are going on while we're all hunkered down...

And a big warm thank you to Lakewinds Food Co-op customers for donating $16,228.90 during December's Round Up!

—the team at Renewing the Countryside

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