Congratulations to Mill City Farmers Market Charitable Fund’s (MCFM-CF) 2021 Next Stage Grant awardees! The Next Stage Grant program provides funding to local, regenerative farmers and other food producers who are improving sustainable farming and business practices or growing toward the “next stage” of their businesses.
In 2020 MCFM-CF awarded 8 grants to support local farmers and other vendors at farmers markets throughout the region!
2020 NEXT STAGE GRANT AWARDEES:
Mhonpaj’s Garden is a certified organic vegetable CSA and market farm with 5 acres in Stillwater and 4 acres in Marine on St. Croix. With the grant, Mhonpaj’s Garden will build a cold storage system to keep produce fresh after harvest and allow for better work flow with harvest time.
Nistler Farms is a market vegetable farm specializing in sweet corn, tomatoes, melon, squash and sweet breads made from produce grown at the farm. With the grant, Nistler Farms will upgrade kitchen equipment to commercial grade for high quality and more efficient baking, resulting in year-round and more diverse farm income.
North Circle Seeds
Based in Detroit Lakes, MN North Circle Seeds is a partnership of Midwestern growers who produce regionally adapted seed for our cold climate. With the grant, North Circle Seeds obtained organic certification for the farm’s seed production operation as well as designing and building seed display racks for retail seed sales at farmer’s markets, co-ops and other grocery stores. Read more!
Northwood Mushrooms is a certified organic mushroom farm in Clayton, Wisconsin. With the grant, Northwoods Mushrooms is increasing dried mushroom capacity and quality with commercial grade dehydrators. Read more!
Racing Heart Farm
Racing Heart Farm is a vegetable CSA and market farm in Colfax, Wisconsin. With the grant, Racing Heart Farm built a deer fence to mitigate crop loss and begin their vision of making a regenerative orchard for wildlife. Learn more in the video above.
Salt and Light Heritage Farm
Salt and Light Heritage Farm raises prok, beef, chicken and turkey in Two Harbors, Minnesota. With the grant, the farm purchased equipment to facilitate a compost pick up from the local co-op for animal feed. This project not only reduced expenses but also food waste in the community.
Solar Fresh Produce
Solar Fresh Produce is a vegetable CSA and market farm in Buffalo, Minnesota. With the grant, Solar Fresh Produce worked on soil health improvement and research in caterpillar tunnels. Read more about the results in their articles through SFA.
Twin Cities Berry Company
Twin Cities Berry Company is a certified organic fruit farm in Northfield, Minnesota. With the grant, they built and installed a custom insect netting structure to prevent fruit from pests like spotted wing drosophila. Learn more in the video above.
Next Stage Grant applications are open January to early March and are awarded in April each year. The grant program is sustained through the generosity of the market community. We are honored to be stewards of this program.