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Earth Day on the Farm: Celebrating the Soil!

April 20 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

What better time to come out to the farm and get your hands dirty than Earth Day? This year, we’re celebrating early by devoting a whole day of learning to arguably the most important part of any vegetable farm: the soil!

We’ll start with a morning workshop on the what, why, and how of composting, including vermiculture (worm composting!) led by WEI co-founder and farm director Jacquelyn Zita. Afterwards, we’ll gather for lunch with the opportunity to share knowledge and stories.

After lunch, Arielle Sonnenschein and Charlie Zieke of Magic Acre Farm in Minneapolis will lead an exploration of Soil Health and Stewardship. From the instructors: “What is soil? What is land stewardship? What is permaculture? What does it mean to have a relationship to a place? Healthy soil, teeming with microbial life, is the building block of all life around us and contributes to balance at all levels of our ecosystem. Come learn more about this fundamental resource and how you can build healthy soil in your own yard. This course serves as an introduction to the development and sustaining of healthy soil and land stewardship. Participants will learn soil health and permaculture basics and engage in guided inquiry and reflection on building their own relationships with land.”

Depending on the farming schedule and crop readiness, we hope to have a farmstand with organic spring greens for sale. Stay tuned!

What to Bring: Please wear comfortable walking shoes for hands-on composting and land walk. Bring your own lunch, snacks, and water bottle.

Instructor Bios:

Jacquelyn Zita is a retired Professor emerita from University of Minnesota enjoying a mid-life career change from professing to becoming full-time farmer and farm program director for the Women’s Environmental Institute (WEI), which she co-founded in 2003. She has nearly two decades of organic farming experience which includes starting from zero to now managing an array of successful farm programs and is committed to farming as a strategy for environmental justice and climate activism.

Arielle Sonnenschein and Charlie Zieke are the proud purveyors of Magic Acre Farm based at their South Minneapolis land trust home. Magic Acre Farm is a permaculture CSA, producing more-than-organic veggies, flowers, and chicken eggs on 1/16th of an acre. Magic Acre is also a collaborative creative project – Charlie is a mulching enthusiast who feels most alive growing heirloom cucurbits, while Relle is a master event planner and chef who experiences joy through connecting to ancestral food. When not producing crops on 1/16th of an acre, they can be found making experimental theater or fermenting.

If you would be interested in staying overnight at WEI before and/or after this class, please reserve accommodations through our FarmStay.

WEI has an annual scholarship fund to support cost-accessible programming. Please see scholarship application instructions in the class registration form.



April 20
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
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15715 River Rd, North Branch, MN, United States, Minnesota 55056
15715 River Rd, North Branch, MN, United States, Minnesota 55056 + Google Map


Women’s Environmental Institute

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