2020 Finland Food Chain Conference Schedule

1st Annual Finland Food Chain Conference 

Register Here

Date: Saturday, March 21st
Time: 9am – 4pm
Location: Clair Nelson Finland Community Center
6866 Cramer Rd, Finland, MN 55603

Lunch will be available for purchase from Na-Cho Business of Silver Bay 

Is cost an issue? Volunteer and/or scholarship options available.


9am-Noon: Bench Grafting with Deb Shubat

Deb has a Master’s degree in Fruit horticulture and spent 33 years at UMD teaching botany and horticulture. She now farms full-time at Shubat Fruits, a 400-tree 25-year-old orchard, grows many other crops, and does value-added products such as nutcrackers and Kim-Chi. 

She is a regional expert on all things fruits and we are lucky to have her for the entire morning to help us learn the tricks of the trade! The session will start with a 45 min PowerPoint lecture and demo followed by practice at cutting scions and rootstock, then actual grafting of trees. Please bring a straight-bladed sharp knife (fixed blade or folding but not box cutters!). More about the type of knife you need here. Also, bring any scions you would like to graft. Each participant will be able to go home with one grafted tree. Additional rootstock will be available for purchase from the instructor for $6/apple stock and $8/pear stock.

Available rootstocks include…

  • M7 = semi-dwarf Apple rootstock grows a 15-foot tree
  • Antonovka = standard Apple rootstock, very hardy Russian, grows a 25-foot tree 
  • Old Home X Farmingdale 333 =  semi-dwarf hardy pear, grows a 12-16 foot tree

There will be LOTS of apple & pear scions for you to choose from. If you have some to share, please bring them. Here is some info about how to properly collect scions from fruit trees. Scions will also be available during the free Seed Swap over the lunch break.

Noon-1:30: Lunch Break, Mini-Market, Seed & Scion Swap, and Informational Stations

  • Lunch available for purchase from Na-Cho Business
  • Farmers Market – if you are interested in being a vendor, please contact Federica Ranelli at 218-341-1764 or by email: federica@friendsoffinland.org
  • FREE Seed & Scions Swap – bring some, get some or both! 
  • FREE Informational Booths…
    • Rammed Earth Root-Cellaring
    • Raising Sheep for Fiber
    • Apple Growing on the North Shore using high-density growing and organic pest & disease management
    • Interactive displays for you to help us gather information and set priorities for the Finland Food Chain Project efforts.
  • FREE music by Finland’s own “Grandad’s Favorite” – Heather & Andrew 

1:30-2:30 Concurrent Sessions

Session 1 – Wild Harvesting and Local Sourcing 

Presenters: Kaare Melby of Finnskogen Farm & Honor Schauland of Barefeet Enterprises

Locally grown, gathered, harvested or hunted food defines the flavor of this place, and are part of what makes our local area unique and special. Food is all around us. It grows and lives in the forests and lakes that surround us, in the gardens and farms of our neighbors, and even in our backyards. It changes from season to season. And it brings us together. In this session, we will explore what local foods are available in different seasons, and how to bring them home to your family. From gathering wild food to finding local farmers, this session is all about stocking up on local food.

Session 2 – Bee Keeping

Presenters: Lise Abazs of Round River Farm

Get a short overview and an opportunity for some hands-on interact with tools of the beekeeping trade. Join the discussion about different kinds of honey & hive products and their potential for adding or increasing retail vs. wholesale sales for your farm. Find out what it costs to get started and some basic management to plan for as you add bees to your operation. 

3:00-4:00  Concurrent Sessions

Session 3 – Introduction to Cottage Food and Value-Added for growers 

Presentor: Cindy Hale of Clover Valley Farms

The new Cottage Food Law of MN allows each registered individual (e.g. family member) to make up to $18,000, direct-to-consumer sales of non-hazardous value-added products each year, made in your own home kitchen! Get the skinny on what the current Cottage Food Laws allow you to do, how to register and complete the online or face-to-face training requirement. We will demystify the rules of what can & cannot be sold under the Cottage Food Law and what you need to do to get legal and build your value-added income. The Cottage Food options provide great opportunities to explore value-added products as a part of your farm business.

Session 4 – Mushroom Cultivation (Outdoor/Indoor)

Stefan Meyer, Director/Farm Manager of the North Shore AgroEcology Center

Mushrooms are a fun and nutritious crop to grow, either for personal consumption or to sell!  This short session will focus on a few easily approachable types of mushrooms to grow at home (both outdoor and indoor), while also talking about the different production methods.  The focus will be on Shitake, Oyster, King Stropharia (AKA: Wine Cap), along with a brief discussion of some lesser-known types (Almond Agaricus & Black Poplar (Pioppino)). Resources for finding mushroom spawn, tools, and more information will be provided.

Register Here