Sweet Beet Farm is a certified-organic vegetable operation located five miles south of Waverly, MN, 40 miles west of Minneapolis. We produce vegetables, herbs, cut flowers, and fresh eggs. For the past seven years we have been growing food for our local community.
We currently grow our produce on four acres and market our vegetables, herbs, and flowers through a CSA program for families in Watertown, Buffalo, and the western metro.
Why we grow
We started farming for our interest in healthy food, joy of physical enduring labor and, most strongly, our passion for local community and love for a healthy environment.
We believe that the lifeblood of a healthy farm is healthy, thriving soil. Healthy soils = healthy food and healthy farmers. To build our soils, we rotate annual crops with green 'cover' crops, which allows pest and disease cycles to be interrupted, while encouraging plant roots, worms, and soil microbes to create a rich growing environment.
It is extremely important to balance our farming livelihood with efforts to preserve our land so that future generations will be able to find it even more valuable than how we found it - rich with organic matter and nutrients - and history.
The path to farming
In adventure of growing food, we have had large learning curves,experienced tremendous community support, and developed a focus on helping build our local food community. We started farming in 2009 by renting a quarter-acre field and providing produce to our local community through a small farm stand. That same year we worked on neighboring farms by day, gaining insight and experience that provided us with the skills and knowledge, and by night, returning home to work in the fields of our own. These years gave us a solid foundation to be able to start to create an efficient and sustainable farm business of our own. Nick spent two years working at Gale Woods Farm as a farm educator, while Amelia spent her first two years in the Watertown area working for local orchard and apiary Ames Farm. She then spent two summer seasons working at Riverbend Farm, learning under the guidance of Greg and Mary Reynolds. In the spring of 2010, Nick and Amelia found a farmhouse to rent, with additional acreage for growing, and continuing to work on other farms. They were farming an acre at the family farm and an acre at the rented farmhouse. This situation taught them a lot about the farm/life balance, as well as farm scale, efficiency, harvest techniques, soils, irrigation systems, and diverse plant species and varieties. They followed this routine until 2013, when Amelia was able to be on her own farm full-time.
In 2014, we purchased a ten-acre farm site and home. We went to work transitioning the farm to organic production and certified the farm as organic in 2017. We also built a greenhouse (for starting seeds) and a high tunnel (for extending the growing season).
Meanwhile, son Albin joined the farm in 2016.
We have benefited immensely from new-farmer programs, including the Land Stewardship Project's Farm Beginnings and Journeyperson programs; the MOSES mentor program; Farm Service Agency beginning-farmer financing; and more. If you are interested in learning more about farming, please reach out to us!