Know Our Grower: Gardens of Eagan Farm

Gardens of Eagan's farm team, 2013

Questions and Answers with Gardens of Eagan Farm

Overnight, in 2008, Wedge Community Co-op's 10,000 members became farmers by proxy when the founding farmers at Gardens of Eagan sold their business and fleet of tractors to the Wedge.

Since that date, there have been many changes at Gardens of Eagan, including purchasing and transitioning to organic 127 acres just outside of Northfield. At the new location GOE has many greenhouse bays for growing garden starter plants and custom growing transplants for farmers. Some things haven’t changed though; kale, broccoli, tomatoes, corn, cucumbers and cauliflower are still the signature crops. Minneapolis food co-ops are still the primary customers of GOE produce and many of the original farm team that took over in 2008 are still in the tractor seat, so to speak.

(above: Gardens of Eagan's farm team, 2013)

1. When did you begin farming and what inspired you to pursue farming as a profession?

Since Gardens of Eagan has a farm team, not a single farm owner, it is hard to say when we all started and why. What we do all have in common is that we imagined we be something else, like a teacher, or a contractor or a nurse. Farming was our second passion, we sacrificed security, benefits and prestige to follow our hearts. No regrets!

2. How does GOE as an organization differ from other farms?

We farm in partnership with Wedge Food Co-op so we are dedicated to more than just growing and selling produce. We operate a farm incubator which provides a leg up to new farmers just starting out, and we conduct workshops and tours to educate others about organic food and farming.

3. What distinguishes your products from other local produce?

We are drawing on years and years of experience, and it shows. We grow lots of produce that other farms won't attempt -- like sweet corn and summer broccoli.

4. What is your favorite way to enjoy your own produce?

In the field and with knife in hand. Nothing better.

Come to Seward Co-op on Saturday, August 16th from 12 noon to 3 p.m and meet members of the Gardens of Eagan farm team.