2017 yielded many exciting “firsts” for Main Street Project. Looking to the future, the Main Street Project team is eager to deepen its connections to the community and spread a message of hope.
A Foundation for Regeneration
In June, the organization purchased 100 acres of Northfield, Minn., farmland on which to build its demonstration farm, uniquely positioning the organization to expand its training program and invest in ongoing research and development. Wasting no time, Main Street Project quickly established pollinator habitats and planted various cover crops and thousands of hazelnuts. The organization also completed its first phase of earthwork and wetland restoration, which included constructing a farm road and reviving a community pond.
After hosting several successful “Sharing Our Roots” programs at the farm to introduce Main Street Project’s mission and system to the greater community and future agripreneurs, the organization’s community supported agriculture (CSA) concept was born. Further strengthening its poultry-centered regenerative system, Main Street Project rolled out its unique CSA program, offering shares of locally raised chickens to community members as a way to positively impact the well-being of local farmers and rebuild the local food economy. The roster of participants continues to grow as word of the program spreads.
A newly released from Main Street Project recaps the organization’s progress to date and forecasts its plans to continue leading the advancement of a sustainable and regenerative agriculture system that produces healthy, nourishing food.
Building a Healthy Future
As Main Street Project looks ahead at the continued development of its farm, the team is eager to deepen its connections to the community and spread a message of hope through the implementation of its carefully designed poultry-centered regenerative agriculture system.
Main Street Project’s Chief Operating Officer Julie Ristau says, “By sharing educational resources and making research and information accessible to the public, we hope to not only continue to lead the way in creating an informed community, but to help equip next-generation farmers to grow and succeed by seeing firsthand the impact they can have on food production.”
Last year, Main Street Project planted hazelnuts and elderberries as an integral component of the farm ecosystem. In the year ahead, the organization plans to incorporate more local native perennials and integrated crops as a way to diversify the farm’s symbiotically connected agricultural enterprises and build three coops for its chickens.
“The year ahead and beyond is full of opportunity to strengthen the foundation of regeneration we’ve built,” says Main Street Project’s Chief Executive Officer Niel Ritchie. “We look forward to continuing to grow a regenerative system. These things affect our entire region, and it’s important to us that we collaborate with both the community and our farmers to create a healthy future for everyone.”