LITTLE FALLS, Minn. – Sprout announces new À la cARTe initiative to promote regional artists and provide innovative ways for them to engage community members though the use of mobile art studios. Sprout invites regional artists to learn more at the À la cARTe design party, hosted at Sprout on March 5th at 6 p.m. At this event, the parameters of the À la cARTe project and the application process will be shared with interested artists. Applications are being accepted for individual artists or artist collaboratives. Examples of these mobile studios, called “art carts,” may include supplies for a pop-up painting class like easels, paints, and brushes or a folding stage and microphone set could allow for short play productions or musical performances. Whatever the medium, the art carts will aim to foster community fun, new skills and interests. This project is made possible by a $150,000 grant from the McKnight Foundation, which includes funds to compensate artists to develop their carts and the materials for the cart itself.
The À la cARTe initiative allows artists to develop their art cart as an outlet for their art production, as a resource for engaging the community and as a differentiating factor and economic driver for their art business. Once chosen, the art cart will be owned by the selected artists, allowing them to bring their art to events and communities independently. This new project will also work in tandem with Sprout’s Mobile Market stops, providing additional community engagement activities and bringing a blend of local food and art opportunities to area residents. The Mobile Market program is set to begin this summer and will travel to rural areas in Central Minnesota. The À la cARTe initiative will allow for creativity by the selected artists to use their art cart in innovative ways and give them a mobile platform to share their art and creative talents.
Five Wings Arts Council and Region Five Development Commission will help facilitate the application process for artists to assist them in generating their ideas to paper. Sprout encourages interested artists to attend the À la cARTe design party which both seeks to inform artists about the project and gather their feedback on the application process. A key goal of the project is to elevate the skills and insights of area artists, which are more uniquely equipped to infuse creativity into community engagement strategies. This program is open to all artists and art mediums and works to cultivate business skills to support artist’s work by providing connections to resources. “We want to ensure that all artists have the support they need to apply for this exciting program and to assist in any way we can for them to be successful with their business,” states Grants & Program Coordinator Vicki Chepulis of Five Wings Arts Council. Registration for the À la cARTe Design Party is free and found at Eventbrite.com:
In addition to the funding from the McKnight Foundation, this project is supported in part by the Otto Bremer Trust, and Lakewood Health Systems and is led by partnerships with Sprout, Five Wings Arts Council, Region Five Development Commission and other community partners.
ABOUT SPROUT MN
Sprout MN is a 501(c)(3) organization that was founded in 2012 by growers, eaters, creatives and economic developers. Their mission is to connect and strengthen the local food system as a regional asset, and to grow and contribute to a collective story of a vibrant and resilient Central Minnesota.
By Brainerd Dispatch on Feb 14, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.
LITTLE FALLS—The monthly Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace is scheduled 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 23. Each of the markets highlight various cultural food, music and dance.
This free monthly community event will showcase Latin American cuisine and music with new restaurant Sanchez Burrito in the kitchen, and bands Los Plebes De La Sierra and jazz group the Jones Street Trio on the stage.
Advert Sanchez is owner of Sanchez Burrito, which opened in Little Falls in October 2018, along with his two brothers, Yunior and Olvin. The three brothers, originally from Honduras, gained cooking experience at a number of Mexican restaurants like the El Loro Restaurant Group, El Tequila Mexican Restaurant in Brainerd, and Little Fiesta in Little Falls. While Sanchez Burrito mainly serves Mexican-style food, Advert Sanchez stated in a news release they hope to add more Honduran flavor in the future.
"The food in Honduras is not as spicy as it is in Mexico," Sanchez stated. "The steak I make in the restaurant is similar to how my mom would make it in Honduras with achiote."
Achiote is a seasoning giving an earthy, peppery flavor to food as well as the yellow color often found in rice dishes. At noon, Sanchez will demonstrate the steak recipe learned from his mother as well as his favorite salsa recipe with a Honduran twist. The community is invited to watch the demonstration in the kitchen, enjoy samples and purchase lunch from Sanchez Burrito at the Sprout market. The cooking demonstration is a regular feature at the monthly Sprout markets to create a fun atmosphere while customers shop the local vendors selling handmade, homegrown food, art and other products.
Another feature of the market is the live musical entertainment. Los Plebes De La Sierra, led by Richmond resident Margarito Santos, is a five-member ensemble made up of drums, keyboard, electric tuba, bass and singing. The band plays a mix of Mexican music genres from Norteño, which has influences of polka and Tejano but blends more American rock and country music. Los Plebes De La Sierra will play 10 a.m. to noon. The Jones Street Trio jazz group will play a selection of Latin jazz tunes 1-3 p.m. The trio of piano, bass and drums will play Latin jazz styles like Afro-Cuban jazz, bossa nova, and jazz samba to showcase varied rhythms and improvisation techniques.
Due to a partnership with Hunger Solutions Minnesota, families and individuals eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program may double their dollar at the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace. Market Bucks can then be used at vendor booths during the market for any SNAP-eligible items, such as breads, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, dairy products and more. SNAP is a federal food assistance program. To learn about qualifications for SNAP, call the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 888-711-1151 or visit www.mnfoodhelpline.org.
The activities at the market are funded through a grant awarded to the Region Five Development Commission by ArtPlace America's National Creative Placemaking Fund.
By Brainerd Dispatch on Feb 7, 2019 at 7:30 a.m.
LITTLE FALLS—Sprout announced it received $50,000 from the Otto Bremer Foundation to implement a mobile market to engage rural communities through food and art."We're inspired by the breadth and diversity of programs in which the Otto Bremer Trust is making investments," stated Daniel C. Reardon, Otto Bremer Foundation co-chief executive officer and and trustee, in a news release. "From access to housing, food, health and wellness services, to helping with job skills development, vocational opportunities, and literacy programs, we're proud to be supporting dozens of organizations that are having a positive impact in communities across the Upper Midwest. We look forward to the impact this grant to Sprout will have on the community."
Sprout Mobile Market will put fresh local food on wheels and en route to communities in central Minnesota. By creating new retail food access points, the Mobile Market can fill the gap in areas with limited infrastructure and maintain fresh and staple food supplies for its residents. The local food focus will additionally support area growers who can add a new market channel for selling their produce, meat, eggs and other products. The Otto Bremer Trust awarded $25,000 initially to Sprout with another $25,000 in funding contingent on an equal match.
Sprout will additionally enhance the shopping experience community members seek through interactive engagement opportunities at mobile market stops, the release stated. A cohort of artists will be equipped to design mobile art studios to accompany the mobile market and other community happenings.
Examples of these mobile studios, called "art carts," may include supplies for a pop-up painting class like easels, paints and brushes or a folding stage and microphone set could allow for short play productions or musical performances. Whatever the medium, the art carts will aim to foster community fun, new skills and interests, the release said.
"Our goal is to increase access to fresh local foods and provide a venue for local artists to demonstrate and share their creations with the public," stated Natalie Keane, Sprout's facility utilization director, in the release. "Our work at Sprout uses food, art, and culture as the core of initiatives that increase healthy food access, encourage entrepreneurship, and cultivate creativity. The mobile market is our way to address food access gaps in our rural region while still incorporating the elements that make shopping, eating, and learning fun. "
A social crowdfunding campaign in June launched the funding support for the mobile market. The online platform through www.mnstarter.com allowed community members to donate to the cause and select rewards, like a cooking class or private dinner for friends at Sprout. More than 180 community members demonstrated their support of the mobile market initiative during the social crowdfunding campaign, which helped indicate to funders like Otto Bremer Trust the cause has community buy-in, the release stated.
For more information on Sprout's Mobile Market, visit www.sproutmn.com/mobilemarket.
By Brainerd Dispatch on Jan 17, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.
LITTLE FALLS—Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace announces its 2019 season, which includes six market days, one Saturday per month, with the next one 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 26 at Sprout, 609 13th Ave. NE, Little Falls.
Kate Ritger, owner of the Just Food Collective, a food business in central Minnesota, will demonstrate her rhubarb barbecue with shredded chicken and goat cheese pizza at noon. Ritger grows fruits and vegetables and makes wood-fired pizza with seasonal, organic ingredients. With a wood-fired pizza oven on wheels, Ritger moves her pizza-making around to places like the St. Joseph Farmers Market, Milk & Honey Ciders and more, calling the operation a "moving pizza farm." While the winter weather poses challenges for growing and utilizing some standard pizza toppings, it also creates an opportunity to develop creative pizza recipes, a news release stated. Whether it is thinly slicing potatoes or reducing rhubarb to create a tangy barbecue sauce, the pizzas will still feature local ingredients.
The cooking demonstration is a regular feature at the monthly Sprout markets to draw customers to local vendors selling handmade, homegrown food, art and other products.
Another feature of the market is the live musical entertainment 10 a.m. to noon. Uncle Wheat & Eddie, made up of Brad Wallace on cajón and Ed Koehler on guitar, play a mix of tunes from '60s rock to "Summertime" by Ella Fitzgerald.
The two have played together for 20 years, but only as a duo in recent years. Uncle Wheat & Eddie play often at breweries and other venues open primarily in the summer. Wallace, whose stage name is "Uncle Wheat," stated Uncle Wheat was a nickname given to him by his nieces and nephews. He stated, "My sister-in-law is from Chicago and she has a pretty strong accent. She says 'Brad' and my nieces and nephews tease her asking, 'What kind of bread is he?' And so, I became Uncle Wheat." The "Eddie" of the duo is Ed Koehler, a retired teacher from Brainerd, who plays on six- and 12-string guitars.
Due to a partnership with Hunger Solutions Minnesota, families and individuals eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can also double their dollar at the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace. Shoppers with SNAP can swipe their debit card at the market information booth to receive tokens, plus an additional dollar for every dollar spent up to $10 in "Market Bucks." Market Bucks can then be used at vendor booths during the market for any SNAP-eligible items—breads, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, dairy products and more. SNAP is a federal food assistance program. Benefits are placed on an electronic benefits transfer card similar to a debit card. To find out if a person qualifies for SNAP, call the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 1-888-711-1151 or visit www.mnfoodhelpline.org for more information.
By Morrison County Record on Nov 28, 2018
Asian street food meets Minnesota farmers market at the Sprout Growers and Makers Holiday Market. Culinary artist and promoter of a “plant-centric diet,” Chef Paul Ruszat of St. Cloud frequently uses mushrooms as a protein substitute in his dishes. Chef Paul Ruszat frequently uses mushrooms as a protein substitute in his dishes. He will be in the Sprout kitchen, Dec. 8, for a cooking demonstration.
As a nod of respect to Minnesota mushroom growers, Ruszat will not only feature locally grown shiitake mushrooms, he will also bring the producer himself into the kitchen at the upcoming cooking demonstration during the Sprout Holiday Market Saturday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Matt Ratliff of Ready-2-Fruit Mushrooms and Fruits Nuts and Vegetable Farms of Pine River, produces a wide array of mushrooms, including eight different types of shiitake, 14 different types of oyster mushrooms, lion’s mane mushrooms, maitake mushrooms and three different varieties of morels. Together, Ruszat and Ratliff will create a Shiitake Bao Bun with quick pickled vegetables, inspired by the Asian street food which uses a steamed bun and pork belly to make this popular sandwich.
The cooking demonstration begins at noon and is free to watch and taste the samples. The cooking demonstration is a regular feature at the monthly Sprout markets to draw customers to local vendors. Ratliff will also be selling his mushrooms varieties as one of over 35 vendors at the holiday market.
The market entertainment includes live music performance by Bruce Archer who plays Americana, roots and blues infused originals and covers from 10 a.m. - noon. The Pillager High School Chamber Singers, a 16-voice mixed ensemble, will perform from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Due to a partnership with Hunger Solutions Minnesota, families and individuals eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can also double their dollar at the Sprout Growers and Makers Marketplace.
Sprout Growers and Makers Marketplace is located at 609 13th Ave. NE, Door 8, Little Falls.
LITTLE FALLS, Minn. – November 5, 2018 –Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace (609 13th Ave NE, Door 8, Little Falls) will host Corey Medina & Brothers, a Blues-Rock band led by Corey Medina from the Navajo Nation on Saturday, November 17th. The trio of musicians who make the group bears a unique stage presence that sets out to “spread light to dark, and hope to the hopeless” with their raw, soulful, intimate music. The holiday market shopping opens at 10 a.m. with live music starting at 11:00 am, along with a pop-up Prairie Bay Grill lunch and cash bar. Over 40 vendors participate in the market, making handmade, homegrown food, art, and other products available for sale to the public.
A cooking demonstration will take place at 1:30 pm, led by Pillager High School students from the ProStart® program, a two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the culinary and management skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Students of ProStart® may also participate in paid internships where industry managers mentor them. Sprout, along with other community partners like the Purple Carrot Market, a startup food co-op in Little Falls, see the benefit of the ProStart program for both local food culture and economic development. “We cannot wait to see these young chefs strut their skills in the Sprout kitchen” says Natalie Keane, a Purple Carrot Market Board Member. “Because the Purple Carrot Market co-op will thrive alongside new local food entrepreneurs and their products, programs like ProStart® are needed to introduce these young, burgeoning culinary artists to the industry,” says Keane. Community members are invited to watch the cooking demonstration and enjoy free samples of the food at the Market.
Corey Medina, a Native American Blues Artist from Shiprock, New Mexico, moved to Northern Minnesota in 2012 and collaborated with Incepticons Entertainment. Corey released his debut album "Old Dog Crying" in May of 2015, which was nominated for the Native American Music Awards Best Rock Album in 2016. Corey now plays, writes and produces with the Incepticons team full time and travels with his band known as "The Brothers." Corey refers to “The Brothers” as a representation of the relationship he likes to keep with his fellow bandmates, both from Bemidji, Minnesota, Eric Sundeen on drums and Gary Broste on upright bass. All are welcome to enjoy the free musical performance from 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. inside the Sprout facility located at 609 13th Ave NE, Little Falls, Minnesota.
Due to a partnership with Hunger Solutions Minnesota, families and individuals eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can now double their dollar at the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace. Shoppers with SNAP can swipe their EBT card at the market information booth to receive tokens, plus an additional dollar for every dollar spent up to $10 in “Market Bucks.” Market Bucks can then be used at vendor booths during the market for any SNAP eligible items - breads, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, dairy products, and more. SNAP is a federal food assistance program. Benefits are placed on an electronic benefits transfer card (EBT) similar to a debit card. To find out if you qualify for SNAP, call the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 1-888-711-1151 or visit mnfoodhelpline.org for more information.
The community is invited to shop the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace vendors selling local food and art on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on November 17th and December 8th during 2018, and January 26, February 23, March 23 in 2019. During these markets, through visual and performing art, culinary demonstrations, educational events and more, Sprout showcases community's assets and talents found amongst the variety of cultures across the region, in which the public can participate or attend. In the months of April through September, the Marketplace will host cultural exchange cooking classes, the MINCED cooking competition, educational opportunities for growers and artists, and dinner events to utilize food to tell stories and connect to one another.
The activities are funded through a grant awarded to the Region Five Development Commission by ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund.
Interested shoppers, growers, artists, chefs, and educators who want to learn more, visit www.SproutMN.com and follow the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace on Facebook.
Winter Market Season Returns with Local Food, Dance Performance, and Matching Dollars for EBT-SNAP Shoppers
LITTLE FALLS, Minn. – October 16, 2018 – Local food, art, and dance intersects at the start of a new 6-market season for the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace (609 13th Ave NE, Door 8, Little Falls) on Saturday, October 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The market will gather over 40 vendors in the revamped industrial warehouse to make their handmade, homegrown food, art, and other products available for sale to the public. This free monthly event offers more than local shopping as the community gathers to enjoy live entertainment by the Vespertine Tribal Dancers as well as a bison stir-fry cooking demonstration in Sprout’s commercial kitchen. The Sprout market also coincides with the Small But Noteworthy Art Crawl across Little Falls, filling the weekend of October 26 & 27 with even more artists and performers than usual.
Sprout’s winter indoor market has been a sales venue for local producers when the regular summer farmers markets close. Local products include artisan baked goods, sauces and canned goods, locally raised chicken, pork, and beef. Artists and makers showcase their skills in painting, woodwork, metal forging, fiber artistry and more. Curtis Weinrich of Dancing the Land Farm (Clearwater, MN) has participated in several Sprout markets, offering a variety of produce, flowers, and mohair fiber from their Angora goats. “The Sprout market has been really great as a winter market outlet, and we’ve gotten to connect with other farmers and customers in a new area for us,” said Curtis.
The cooking demonstration at the market will be led by Sharon Nordrum, an artist inspired by her Ojibwe heritage, language and stories, and the beauty of the natural world around her. Sharon has recently completed an art installation piece that will reside at Sprout named “Gaagiige gaaminiyaang” meaning “she forever provides for us”. The community is invited to view the painting which represents connectedness through a floral board which represents the Ojibwe people and The Four Sisters (Sunflowers, Corn, Squash and Beans) as the food that has sustained the Ojibwe people for centuries. At the October 27th market, Sharon will demonstrate a bison-stir fry dish from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. with ingredients such as plums, sumac, peppers, onions and squash. Community members are invited to watch the cooking demonstration and sample the dish. Lunch and beverage options will also be available for purchase from 11:00 a.m.
The Vespertine Tribal Dancers (pictured), a belly dance troupe based out of Spirit Movement Dance Studio in the Franklin Arts Center (Brainerd, MN) will entertain at Sprout’s October market. Performances will be every 30-minutes: 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. Performing at 2:00 p.m. is Sestri (Bulgarian for "Sisters"), a Slavic choir from Little Falls, MN, devoted to the study and performance of women’s Slavic folk music.
Shoppers utilizing their SNAP benefits can now double their dollar at the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace due to support from Hunger Solutions Minnesota. Shoppers with SNAP can swipe their EBT card at the market information booth to receive tokens, plus an additional dollar for every dollar spent up to $10 in “Market Bucks.” Market Bucks can then be used at vendor booths during the market for any SNAP eligible items - breads, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, dairy products, and more. SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal food assistance program. Benefits are placed on an electronic benefits transfer card (EBT) similar to a debit card. To find out if you qualify for SNAP, call the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 1-888-711-1151 or visit mnfoodhelpline.org for more information.
The next market on November 17 will feature Corey Medina & Brothers, a Blues-Rock band led by Corey Medina from the Navajo Nation. The Brothers band consist of Eric Sundeen of Bemidji, MN on drums and Gary Broste also from Bemidji, on upright bass. They set out to spread light to dark, and hope to the hopeless with their raw, soulful, intimate music and stage presence.
By Brainerd Dispatch on Jul 20, 2018 at 12:30 p.m.
LITTLE FALLS—With the local food harvest season in full swing, Sprout is providing learning opportunities in partnership with University of Minnesota Extension for those who want to extend their local bounty beyond the growing season.
Two upcoming food preservation workshops are offered at the Sprout facility, 609 13th Ave. NE, Door 8, Little Falls. The first class serves up lessons on canning salsa and the second teaches lacto-fermentation of vegetables.
In the spirit of the upcoming Minnesota Salsa Fest on Sept. 22 at the Long Prairie Fairgrounds, Sprout is hosting "Learn to Salsa," which teaches class attendees how to safely produce and can salsa and tomato-based foods.
The class is 1-5 p.m. Aug. 4, at Sprout in Little Falls and will welcome both seasoned canners and new learners who want to make sure their canned products are both delicious and safe to eat. The class is perfect for those interested in canning their produce from their own garden or for those preparing salsa for the 2018 Minnesota Salsa Fest Competition, organizers stated. More information on the Minnesota Salsa Fest can be found at www.sfa-mn.org/salsafest.
The second food preservation workshop will focus on lacto-fermented foods, turning cabbage into sauerkraut while retaining the probiotic benefits. The class will focus on the method of fermentation with measures that ensure safety like testing the pH and temperature of the product and monitoring it during its five-week fermentation period.
Attendees of this class will work with locally grown cabbage to prepare and ferment a batch of sauerkraut. While Sprout will monitor the batch over the fermentation period, participants will get to sample lacto-fermented products like sauerkraut, kimchi and beets. Each class participant will get to take home a jar of pre-made sauerkraut, along with recipes and resources to continue to ferment safely at home. The "Learn to Ferment" workshop is planned 1-4 p.m. Sept. 29.
The classes will be instructed by University of Minnesota Extension food safety educator Suzanne Driessen, who has been teaching food preservation and food safety for 21 years at the university. Driessen develops and teaches food safety classes for both the food industry and consumers, but her experience with food preservation started when she was 8 years old, growing up in a large family of 13 with a huge garden to match.
"In the summer, it felt like we worked in a small on-farm food processing factory. We canned everything," Driessen said in a news release. Now, Driessen has a garden and continues to can her harvest. Her favorites are tomato juice, a local Minnesota tomato mix, pickled beans and pickled jalapeño peppers.
Tickets for each of the classes cost $30 and include tastings along the way, ingredients to prepare their batch, and a product to take home. Space for each class is limited and reservations can be made by calling 320-412-3081 or emailing email@example.com.
The food preservation classes are provided by the University of Minnesota Extension and sponsored by a grant awarded to the Region Five Development Commission by ArtPlace America's National Creative Placemaking Fund. The ArtPlace funds are providing Sprout and partners the support needed to host an expansion of economic opportunities, social and cultural experiences, and learning for local growers, artists, makers, producers, chefs and the public.
By Voice of Alexandria on Jul 12, 2018
LITTLE FALLS, Minn. – The second annual Summer Harvest Dinner will celebrate the tastes of the season with local farmers, where the community is invited to dine alongside their food producer in a unique meal setting. The five-course meal on Friday, July 27 will be held at Sprout (609 13th Ave NE, Door 8, Little Falls, MN 55345). Each course is prepared by a different chef to showcase the culinary skills of the region and the creativity of utilizing local ingredients in the dish. The ingredients are sourced through Sprout’s Food Hub operation which works with a network of local growers to supply fresh local produce to schools, hospitals, co-ops, and restaurants. Local growers who supply their product for the Summer Harvest Dinner are invited to the dinner to enjoy the fruits of their labor and share their stories and work with their neighbors.
The opportunity to dine alongside one’s local food producer, celebrating their hard work during the height of this growing season, is one way that Sprout seeks to lift up the rich agricultural region of Central Minnesota. Sprout aims to honor the work of growers and producers in our community by inviting them to take the night off to relax and enjoy a gourmet meal, eating their own carefully raised seasonal ingredients and getting to know customers who enjoy their food, as it is prepared and served by expert chefs. The dinner begins at 5:00 p.m. with cocktails and live music by Erik Espe featuring his talents on piano, guitar, and vocals inspired by musical legends such as Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Cat Stevens, as well as Broadway musicals, and other favorites.
Five chefs who advocate for buying local food will prepare the five-course gourmet meal using the freshest offerings of Central Minnesota and serve it with wine pairings by sommelier Scott Lindman of Paustis Wine Company. The farmers providing those fresh ingredients will be seated at each table, wining and dining alongside guests and ready to talk about how and why they produce their meat, produce, grains, and other products. Little Falls chef Tomas Zimmerman (A.T. The Black & White) participated in the first annual Summer Harvest Dinner and is looking forward to this year’s event. Chef and owner of Zoomski's Midtown Cafe in Little Falls, Minn., Ron Lyschik, is a new addition to the chef lineup and will be preparing one of the two entrees of the five course meal. Kate Stumvoll of Wildflower Chocolate in Nisswa, Minn. will be preparing the dessert course, exploring herb infused chocolate ganache confections and enrobed caramels using local butter and cream. Prairie Bay Grill in Baxter, Minn. is one of the sponsors of the event, along with Region Five Development Commission and ArtPlace America. Prairie Bay Grill chefs participated in the first annual Summer Harvest Dinner, but are excited to bring new chefs from their team to try their hand at making a dish to impress. Last year, chef and co-owner of Prairie Bay Grill, Matt Annand, prepared a “Wok-ing Chicken Salad” featuring kohlrabi from Bakers’ Acres Farm (Avon, Minn.) and chicken from Island Lake Farm (Deerwood, Minn.). “It was a very special experience to look around the room as our kohlrabi was served to all of the guests” said Lisa Baker of Bakers’ Acres, pictured with her partner Sam Gilk as they taste their featured course, served creatively in Chinese take-out containers. “It is really encouraging as a grower to see how your hard work can create such positive food experiences.” The community is invited to attend the meal by reserving tickets which are $60 per person and available online through Eventbrite.com. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/summer-harvest-dinner-tickets-44517461927
The Summer Harvest Dinner is supported by a grant awarded to Region Five Development Commission by ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund. The ArtPlace funds are providing Sprout and partners the support needed to host an expansion of economic opportunities, social and cultural experiences, and learning for local growers, artists, makers, producers, chefs, and the public. Sprout and partners will also build out the Marketplace's physical space over the next three years using commissioned functional art from local artists, with priority granted to Latino, East African, Native American, Amish, grower, and youth communities.
The community is invited to shop the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace vendors selling local food and art on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 27, November 17, and December 8. In the months of July, August, and September, the Marketplace will host cooking classes, fundraising events, and educational opportunities for growers, makers, and artists. Interested growers, artists, chefs, community members, and educators who want to learn more, visit www.SproutMN.com and follow the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace on Facebook.
By Brainerd Dispatch on Jun 5, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
LITTLE FALLS—A social crowdfunding campaign for the Sprout Mobile Market launched Friday, June 1, through a Minnesota-based online platform, MNstarter.com.
The Mobile Market vision is to bring food out of the grocery aisles and on the road to areas lacking access to nutritious foods.
Since 2012, Sprout Food Hub has been growing relationships with food producers in the central Minnesota region with a focus on creating equitable food distribution models, a news release stated. The goal of the Mobile Market is to be an avenue to put those fresh, local foods en route to rural community members with barriers to access.
Partnerships with health care facilities is helping Sprout close the missing meal gap with the Prescription Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, program, Sprout reported. The Mobile Market will continue to extend food access impact to senior living facilities, low- and middle-income housing, by setting up regularly scheduled "pop-ups" where fresh, nutritious food will be made available for purchase.
"The Mobile Market model is not new. Cities around the country are using this infrastructure to connect fresh foods to low access areas," stated Arlene Jones, Sprout director, in the release. "While Mobile Markets are seen more often in urban areas, the model shows great potential in our rural region to fill a high need for fresh foods, without the large investment of a brick-and-mortar storefront."
While the Sprout Mobile Market will be stocked with fresh local produce, the trailer will include refrigeration and freezer to stock other local products like meat, dairy products, frozen berries and more. The refrigeration will also keep the produce cool during trips. Sprout anticipates the Mobile Market will make multiple routes combined with a "backhauling" effort, which will procure local foods on the way back to the Sprout facility. "Backhauling will increase the efficiency of each trip in addition to increasing the variety, quantity and sources of local food for all of Sprout's local food buyers—restaurants, co-ops, schools, hospitals and CSA customers," the release stated.
The social crowdfunding campaign goal is $25,000, which would help Sprout purchase and outfit a trailer with a refrigerator and freezer, shelving, handwashing sinks and other necessary equipment for the safe handling of food. Models of the trailer design can be seen at www.sproutmn.com/mobilemarket and were produced by Ashley Martel of Widseth Smith Nolting in Baxter.
Similar to a Kickstarter campaign, Sprout is offering rewards for contributors donating to the Mobile Market campaign. Rewards include items like a limited edition drawing of the Mobile Market by local artist Rachael Koppendrayer or tickets to a cooking class at Sprout. All rewards can be viewed at https://app.mnstarter.com/campaign/1.
Sprout is a federally recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, so all contributions are tax deductible, less the cost of the reward. Supporters of this work may also contact the Sprout team at 320-412-3081 to learn about becoming a matching donor.
While Sprout local food is central to the Mobile Market objective, Sprout reported it intends the Mobile Market to also connect community through art and culture. As envisioned in Martel's designs, the Mobile Market will be a lively spot for community members to gather for their groceries, as well as activities cultivating creativity like cooking demonstrations, nutrition education and community art experiences.
"In its essence, the Mobile Market will be an extension of the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace," Jones stated in the release. "The excitement of sharing in a community built out of agricultural tradition and family heritage is something we're trying to bring to the forefront, and the Mobile Market will take those community connections on the road."
The Mobile Market is one of three local social crowdfunding campaigns through MNstarter with a deadline of June 30 to hit a financial goal. The other two campaigns are for Kids Against Hunger Brainerd Lakes Area, https://app.mnstarter.com/campaign/6, and Brainerd Restoration, https://app.mnstarter.com/campaign/10.