Saturday, January 15, 2011

Interview with a Minnesota Sustainable Farmer

Lake City, Minnesota

Please note that Saturday's at big picture agriculture are devoted to subjects related to sustainability. Today I'm providing you with three films produced by SARE and Cooking Up a Story. They interview Steven Schwen who has been a sustainable farmer living in southeast Minnesota since the 70's who shares his philosophy as well as his growing methods with us. Hopefully you'll agree with me that watching these three segments is well-worth your time. Enjoy.

Part I: This six-minute film interviews Steven Schwen of Earthen Path Organic Farm. Steven Schwen’s farming roots were established during the ‘back to the land’ movement in the 1970s. Earthen Path Organic Farm grew out of his commitment to the principles of that movement, and his vision of a sustainable world based on local economies. This video tells Schwen’s story, his background, and the way he lives out his philosophy in the context of his farm, family and community.

Part II: This second video is a 14 minute segment on Schwen's thermal banking greenhouse. (There is very minimal overlap between this video and Part I.) Schwen’s innovative greenhouse design (partially funded by SARE) allows him to extend his growing season and achieve a higher return on his produce.

Part III: Thermal Banking for Cold Storage in summer. In this two minute video, Steve discusses his plans for an ice house for summer cold storage and refrigeration of produce, like his Amish neighbors still use to further extend his energy conservation practices on his farm in Minnesota. He says, "There is a lot of stored energy in ice."

Thanks so much to our talented and dedicated friends over at Cooking Up a Story for producing this. Project also funded by SARE.