Sogn Farm Project

Labor Day Harvest and Cookout (#8)

By Bob | September 9, 2020 |

The skies were gray but the smiles were sunny and we had a terrific harvest from the third succession. Big thanks to the Calixto, de la Rosa, Jarquin, Martinez and Ramirez families who filled the back of the pickup then enjoyed a cookout and campfire. It was a great last-day-before-school for the students and the corn was delivered once again to the Pillsbury United Communities food bank in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis. Thank you, everyone, it was a joy to have you at our farm!

Extra bonus! Monday was also a terrific day for huitlacoche (aka corn smut!) – this is only part of the haul!

A Successful Glean (Harvest #7)

By Bob | September 4, 2020 |

A glorious morning of harvesting with (L-R) Mike Muehlbach,Angie Erdrich, Erinn Leibhard and Mirriam Kowarski and. The weather was perfect, the corn was ripe and we made a thorough job of the first two successions. Today’s harvest was delivered to Camden’s Promise Food Bank where, 6 days a week, northsiders line up at noon for groceries. I was told that this morning’s harvest would be gone by 1:00 and healthy organic sweet corn would be on dinner tables tonight. Now that’s fresh! Thanks again to everyone who is making this happen!

Harvest #6 – Fresh, organic goodness!

By Bob | September 1, 2020 |

Delayed by a day because of rain today’s harvest was excellent. My eyeball estimate is about 400-500 pounds delivered to the Pillsbury United Community Food Bank at Waite House in Minneapolis’ Phillips neighborhood. This was a singer’s harvest: thanks to (L-R) Chuck Lentz (of the famous shanty group The Eddies) and (safely socially distanced from Chuck) Robin and Eric Nelson.

Harvest #5 – August 24th

By Bob | August 25, 2020 |

Great harvest, great crew, great campout but a bit soggy picking – hey – that’s farming! Big thanks to Gonne Asser (2nd from L) who organized the teen picking crew of Clara, Elie, Julia, Nora and Talia plus the Fields family (on truck) Jordan, David and Trenne. We didn’t actually weigh the harvest but my guesstimate is that we delivered about 700-800 pounds of corn to the Pillsbury United Community Food Shelf in the the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis. Thank you, once again, to all the volunteer corn pickers. I wish you could have seen how welcome the harvest was when I delivered it.

Fourth Harvest

By Bob | August 24, 2020 |

A gorgeous campfire under the stars with juicy conversation followed by a lovely morning’s harvest. Thank you (L-R) Roger Cuthbertson, Luca Gunther, Andy and Caroline Vaaler. This harvest was the perfect quantity for the Joyce Uptown Food Shelf (which happens to be around the corner from our volunteer corn pickers’ neighborhood!). Thank you, one and all.

Volunteer Corn Pickers – August 21st, 2020

One distressed corn stalk

Reality Check

By Bob | August 20, 2020 |

What happens when corn gets hit by powerful winds? Just take a look. These photos were taken a week and a half after a violent thunderstorm passed through our farm.

Corn blow down

Corn stalks literally knocked sideways by the wind.

What will this mean for the harvest? Though the younger stalks in later plantings have curved themselves upright, the older stalks from the first succession, especially those with heavy, nearly developed ears can’t do that so we’re losing a lot. We’re still planning to pick tomorrow – we’ll get as much as we can from the first planting but it likely won’t be a lot. Going forward I hope the second and third plantings will recover. We shall see . . .

One distressed corn stalk

This corn stalk has been knocked nearly to the ground.

Second Harvest

By Bob | August 19, 2020 |

Volunteer Corn Pickers with corn

Three pods of volunteers picked corn for the Camden Promise food bank.


Thanks to (L-R) Ann Iijima, Oscar (holding Mona), Lauren and Evra Brooks, Smack, Addie Rosenwinkeland Julie who picked corn for the Camden Promise Food Bank in North Minneapolis. It ws a lovely morning for the harvest but the damage from Sunday night’s huge storm was evident and the harvest was much smaller than Monday’s. None the less, the corn was very welcome in North Minneapolis. Thank you, one and all!

First Harvest

By Bob | August 11, 2020 |

Monday morning this intrepid group picked the first corn of our season: nearly 1,000 pounds, which was delivered to Channel One Regional Food Bank in Rochester. Thanks to (L to R) Sarah Purdy, the Sloo family (Ayva, Myranda, Mindy and Mark), Smack, Julie and Sarah and Ida York. In a little over an hour this crew completed the first pass through the first planting.

Thank you all!

Straight line winds

By Bob | August 11, 2020 |

Sunday night we had an epic thunderstorm with some of the most violent winds I’ve ever seen. In the morning I found the corn had been knocked sideways – most of the stalks were standing at a 45 degree angle. I worried “What will this mean for the harvest?”

Update, Wednesday August 12th. Turns out corn wants to grow straight up and down. Look at how this cornstalk bent to stand upright. They all did. Mother nature is amazing!

This corn stalk has straightened itself to grow upright after being knocked down by straight line winds.

Bob’s Foodshelf Project

By Bob | July 31, 2020 |

As spring 2020 approached, the outbreak of Covid-19 was on everyone’s mind. Thinking ahead to this year’s farm season and the likelihood of the pandemic affecting food supplies, we decided to dedicate a portion of the farm’s acreage to growing food for distribution by foodhselves. Second Harvest Heartland in the Twin Cities and Channel One Regional Food Bank in Rochester agreed to help with distribution and Dana Jokela of Sogn Valley Farm agreed to help with machine work and planning. So I bought organic corn seed and squash plants, we worked up the field and planted in May and June. Now The Land Stewardship Project has agreed to act as fiscal agent for the project so anyone who’d like to donate funds to pay Sogn Valley Farm for their labor and use of their machinery can do so tax-deductibly (is that a word?).

If you’d like to join the effort by donating, you visit this GoFundMe page. Donations are tax-deductible.

Soon it will be time to gather volunteers to harvest corn – but more about that soon.