Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Sustainable agriculture field day announced for June 26

Berry growing, tea composting, and nontoxic plant control featured topics


ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture encourages new and experienced farmers to attend a free “Getting Started in Organic Berry Production” workshop and field day at Little Hill Berry Farm near Northfield on June 26 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Instructors Aaron and Molly McGovern Wills say the event will focus on getting started in organic berry production, with an emphasis on blueberries. Topics will include site selection, soil preparation, weed control, aisle maintenance, irrigation, variety selection, budgeting, and transitioning to farming from off-farm jobs.

“Molly and I started Little Hill Berry Farm in 2011,” said Aaron. “We grow four acres of certified organic blueberries, which we mostly sell through pick-your-own operation.” The Willses also grow elderberries, black and red currants, aronia, saskatoons, honeyberries, and dwarf sour cherries.

In addition to learning about berry growing, visitors will also learn about two sustainable agriculture projects at Little Hill Berry Farm. The innovative projects weave natural materials into agricultural practices. The first evaluates soil fertility and crop quality after applying compost tea solutions to various crops; the second explores the potential use of vinegar to control Canada thistle. Both projects received funding from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program.

Aaron and Molly encourage participants to pre-register for the event by calling 612-578-4497 or emailing and to leave dogs at home.

Directions to the field day: From Northfield, take Hwy 3 north about 2 miles. Turn Left on 320th Street West. Drive 0.4 miles. Little Hill Berry Farm is on the north (right) side of road. The address is 4339 320th Street West.


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