Superior Business Center
The Superior Business Center provides us with access to a superb inspected kitchen and acetation space for our vinegar production at very reasonable rates. This has enabled us to build our business without the heavy upstart costs of building or leasing a dedicated facility. We share the kitchen facility with several other tenants. As a incubator space their goal is to help us get started and then launch us off to our own space withing a few years.
We Grow Biz – Superior Development Association
The Development Association facilitated our move into the Superior Business Center and has provided us with invaluable assistance related to business management to help us better manage work flow as our business has changed and grown, consulting with marketing experts and access to low cost working capital. We can true say we would not be where we are today with out their initial on ongoing support! To read a bit about how they helped us Artisanal Vinegars get a Superior Touch.
We are thrilled to be working with Brigid Pajunen, owner of Toivi Farms (Toivo means “hope” in Finnish) to collaborate on fruit and herb production for value-added products and help her establish a rotational grazing system for small ruminants (sheep and/or goats) in concert with her small horse operation. It is a lovely piece of the planet and we are glad to be a part of it!
Cook County Extension
Diane Booth is the Cook County extension educator in Grand Marias, MN. She is a busy and joyful person and all around promoter of good food, farming and community in northern Minnesota. We are thrilled to be working with her on our latest farm research project. Through a 3 year grant project (2014-2016) titled Developing Profitable Apple Production Along Lake Superior’s North Shore with focus on High-Density Orchards and Heritage Apple from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program, we are working with local farmers to establishing 4 new trial orchard planting each year (12 new 50 tree trial orchards in all). The goal is to build capacity for local fruit production in northeastern Minnesota through establishment of the trial orchards to test various rootstocks and varieties in the particular climate & landscape context along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Check out our On-Farm Research Page to read more about the project or the Workshop Page to see when events related to this project will be offered.
Duluth Community Garden Program
The Duluth Community Garden Program has been a leader in providing in plots and support for community gardens for over 30 years. Cindy collaborates with their school garden and orchard initiative to provide training and support for teachers to build and use school gardens & orchards in their curriculums across all disciplines.
University of Minnesota Duluth, Sustainable Agriculture Project
In 2009, as her final “big” project before departing UMD, she helped start the Sustainable Agriculture Program. SAP@UMD’s goals are to institute education, research, and regional engagement around community food and agriculture systems in the western Lake Superior bioregion. SAP is a place-based ‘land lab’ comprised of fifteen acres at UMD’s Research and Field Studies Center (formerly the Northeast Agricultural Experimental Station) including a five acre trial seedling apple orchard and a ten acre organic (transition) farm where students learn the skills necessary to be leaders in their communities to help build vibrant, local food systems.
Cindy’s efforts primarily revolved around restoring and building capacity for tree fruit production as an integral part of the farm. She worked with students and community groups to save the sole remaining seedling trial orchard at the “old farm” by clearing the pines that had overgrown the orchard and restorative prune the liberated trees. All trees were mapped and identified as “planted” or “volunteers” and then the arduous task of trying to reconcile the 1948 hand drawn map with the trees on the ground to attempt to identify varieties (see a List of Varieties in the Seedling Trial Orchard).
In Spring of 2012, the “Duluth Community Orchard” was planted at the SAP farm. The trees and event support were provide by The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, labor provide by the Duluth community. Duluth won this orchard through and an online voting campaign in the first round of voting! Up against large competitors like Chicago and the University of Davis in California, our small community rallied friends and family across the world to bring it home…proof that it’s not size that counts, community action will bring it home. The reward…all fruit produced from this orchard is dedicated to go to community organizations. Fruit production is expected to start in 2016. In addition, the varieties selected for planting are heritage types with a range of used (i.e. fresh eating, sauces, ciders, etc.) that were not already available in our area. The scions will also be made available to community organizations, farmers and individuals so they can be propagated (see a List of Varieties in the Duluth Community Orchard).