Production and Growing

(jump to commercial kitchens)

Big River Farms Training ProgramThe Big River Farms Training Program provides primarily immigrant and minority farmers with instruction and certification for organic vegetable production, access to resources and markets for growing, distributing and selling those vegetables, and a forum in which they can develop and practice business skills.  Farmer Participants have access to demonstration/production plots for growing vegetables and receive valuable training in farm business goals and practices.

CFANS Soil TestingThe College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences offers soil testing and fertilizer recommendations for a small fee.

Deep Roots Farmer Development ProgramCourses include Farm Skills 101, an intensive semester of skills training, as well as various short courses throughout the year. A much-needed beginning-farmer curriculum that emphasizes all three tenets of sustainability, all Deep Roots courses provide extensive skills training. A unique aspect of Deep Roots is its commitment to community development and mentoring, a perfect fit with SFA’s Farmer-to-Farmer Network® organization. Instructors are all farmer-educators: Sue Wika, PhD; Tom Prieve, DVM; Kent Solberg, MS; and Ryan Pesch, MS. Each possesses both real-world experience and the educational background to provide comprehensive sustainable food production education. 

Fresh Connect Food HubFood hubs act as aggregators and distributors of regionally-grown produce from small and medium-sized growers.  Food hubs specialize in connecting growers with customers and assisting with the delivery and marketing of their products. Fresh Connect Food Hub will begin its pilot year serving primarily schools, and will expand in the future to include other institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, child care centers, correctional facilities, higher education, and senior meal sites.  Services provided by Fresh Connect include coordination of the institution’s produce needs, food safety training for producers, marketing, packaging, and delivery of produce to institutional customers. 

The Good Acre: The mission of The Good Acre is to enhance how food is grown and shared in the Twin Cities region, to improve marketplace opportunities for diverse, independent farmers, and to increase access for all consumers to healthy, locally-grown fresh produce. The Good Acre offers warehousing, kitchen rentals, classes and a CSA program to help farmers bring their product to market. 

Hmong Farmers AssociationIn the fall of 2011, the Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) was formed on the premise that family farming could be a way of the future for Hmong immigrant farmers, as well as a way of the past. Conceived of and governed by Hmong farmers themselves, HAFA is dedicated to advancing the prosperity of Hmong farmers through cooperative endeavors, capacity building and advocacy. 

Homegrown MinneapolisHomegrown Minneapolis is a citywide initiative expanding Minneapolis’ ability to grow, process, distribute, eat and compost more healthy, sustainable, locally grown foods. Homegrown Minneapolis brings together key partners from local government, area businesses, community organizations, nonprofits, and residents to build a healthy, local food system. Homegrown Minneapolis maintains an online resource center for food businesses highlighting Food Council and Policy resources, urban agriculture information, a directory of food preparation spaces and a comprehensive toolkit for individuals looking to start a food business. 

MCIA Certified OrganicMCIA is an Accredited Certifying Agent (ACA) authorized by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) to provide organic certification that allows you to display the NOP Certified Organic seal on qualified products. Although MCIA Organic is part of the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA), we provide organic certification to customers throughout the Midwest and beyond. 

Midwest PantryMidwest Pantry helps entrepreneurs that make & sell local food in America’s Heartland grow from startup to scale-up by providing education, experience and mentoring utilizing four unique events they created: Local Food and Gift Trade Show, Shop Small Holiday Market, Local Food Poster Show and the Entrepreneurs Education Series.

Regional Sustainable Development PartnershipsThe Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) connect greater Minnesota communities to the University of Minnesota in order to help solve problems and take advantage of new opportunities. As a part of University of Minnesota Extension, RSDP brings together local talent and resources with University of Minnesota knowledge and seed funding to drive sustainability in four areas: agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy. The Partnerships leverage University knowledge and seed funding with local talent and resources in four areas: agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy. 

Renewing the CountrysideRenewing the Countryside strengthens rural areas by championing and supporting rural communities, farmers, artists, entrepreneurs, educators, activists and other people who are renewing the countryside through sustainable and innovative initiatives, businesses, and projects. We do this by sharing stories of rural renewal, building awareness and support for sustainable endeavors, connecting people interested in sustainable rural development to each other, providing practical assistance and networking opportunities for those working to improve rural America, and fostering connections between urban and rural people.

The Land Stewardship ProjectThe Land Stewardship Project (LSP) is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1982 to foster an ethic of stewardship for farmland, to promote sustainable agriculture and to develop healthy communities. LSP is dedicated to creating transformational change in our food and farming system. LSP's work has a broad and deep impact, from new farmer training and local organizing, to federal policy and community based food systems development. At the core of all our work are the values of stewardship, justice and democracy. 

University of MN Flavor Research and Education CenterThe Flavor Research and Education provides its members with access to cutting-edge flavor, taste and aroma research. The offer Flavor Synthesis, Taste Compound Isolation and Analysis, Flavor and Food Processing, Methods of Flavor Delivery and other services.

U of M’s Joseph J. Warthesen Food Processing Pilot PlantThe Pilot Plant is a food product research and teaching facility. The facility is available to industry to provide process and product development support. Additionally, it can provide a vital resource for food companies that are just starting-up, or are evaluating new process and product lines. 

U of M’s Sensory CenterThe Sensory Center is a teaching, research, and service unit. They provide a full range of sensory evaluation and consumer testing methodologies including test design and data analysis. 

Understanding Your Transportation Costs (Land Stewardship Program)The real costs of moving good food from farm-to-market include more time and money than many farmers realize they are spending. This gets reflected in both obvious and hidden ways: farmers on the road are not on the farm or at home, vehicles wear out, fuel costs pile up, the hassle factor runs high, and the price of local food continues to be a concern for those trying to sell and/or buy it.

Commercial Kitchens

Clair Nelson CenterThe Clair Nelson Center is a community center located in Finland, Minnesota. The community center has commercial kitchen space available for rent. 

City Food Studio: City Food Studio is a shared-use commercial kitchen that enables Twin Cities culinary entrepreneurs to craft and sell their goods from a certified food-safe facility. City Food Studio offers space to start up or expand, low-key classes to learn the science and techniques behind your favorite foods, and a pop-up retail area where you can pick up some of the tasty goods produced just a few feet away!

George Street KitchenShared kitchen space located on the west side of St. Paul. The 1400 sq. ft. kitchen has two double stack convection ovens, six burner stovetop with oven, a vegetable prep sink/table, refrigeration and freezers, plenty of dry storage, a slicer, & 3 compartment dish washing sink. 

GIA KitchenGia Kitchen is 4,800 square foot commercial kitchen space. Their shared-use commercial kitchen features: separate gluten-free and gluten production areas each including multiple mixers, double rack ovens, stack convection ovens, six burner stoves, stock pot stoves, vegetable sinks, walk-in cooler, walk-in freezer, and a warehouse with pallet and rack storage.

Grace CenterGrace Center for Community Life a 501(c)(3) non-profit, a community center in the heart of northeast Minneapolis. They have a commercial kitchen available for rent. 

Harmony Co-op’s Community KitchenHarmony Co-op’s Community Kitchen is a fully equipped, state certified shared-use kitchen  available for lease by everyone in the Bemidji community. 

Kindred KitchenKindred Kitchen is a social enterprise providing affordable, high quality commercial kitchen space and business technical services to small, locally-based food businesses in a safe, clean and community environment.