Volunteer Voice: John & Julie Priem
March 17, 2023
WE ARE HIRING!JOIN OUR TEAM
The Wolf Ridge Organic Farm is an immersive classroom where thousands of students each year get hands-on class experience learning about crucial issues like water quality, pollinator health, and soil fertility. The food grown, harvested, and processed on our farm feeds the Wolf Ridge dining hall and surrounding communities in the Arrowhead Region. The farm also mentors beginning farmers in small-scale vegetable production and farm entrepreneurship.
It’s taken nearly eight years of perseverance to create the farm that exists today. Wolf Ridge Organic Farm was molded with great intentionality, vision, and drive, with plenty of detours along the way. From the logging to the grubbing to the Blood, Sweat, and Tears, it’s the combined effort of many hands that have created a space for growing and gathering there.
Wolf Ridge knows well the importance of self-care and community care and is putting them into practice as the organization maintains its momentum at the farm through this uncharted pandemic territory. Through its seven-year harvest history, Wolf Ridge Organic Farm has continued to model a resilient and just food system that strives to supply healthy, organic, and affordable food for meals in the dining hall.
During COVID-19’s campus closure through today, we have offered our resources to food shelves, farmer’s markets, CSAs, and schools within the Arrowhead Region.
We will be accepting WWOOF applicants starting April 1 for the 2022 season with a target start date of June 1, 2022. Seasonal WWOOFers are preferable. To apply submit a visit request through WWOOF and fill out a Wolf Ridge Organic Farm Internship application.
Wolf Ridge Farm has been working closely with Friends of Finland and regional grant-makers to develop a paid farm apprenticeship program. The goal of this project is to mentor emerging farmers through hands-on and technical training of sustainable farming practices. As of March 2023, we have secured our first grant through the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture and Research and Education Program to take the first steps in designing an apprenticeship program that fits Northeast Minnesota. We’re looking forward to hosting our first two apprentices during the 2024 season. If you’d like to contribute to the training of these future farmers, and to the health of our food system, please consider donating to this crucial program.
Sarah Mayer is the manager of Wolf Ridge Farm and has been educating others in nature and in food production for nearly 20 years, primarily in the midwest. A native of the Great Lakes region in rural southeast Wisconsin, Sarah values access to clean fresh water and fertile soils and managing those resources with great care.
This sense of land stewardship was instilled in this farmer as a child and continued to grow with her tenure at The Nature Conservancy, tending native and naturalized perennials in the precious tallgrass prairies, wetlands, and oak openings. Sarah’s dedication to preserving our great places pairs nicely with nourishing others with nutrient-dense food, while sharing her passion to share the how’s and why’s of local food production.
Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center is a playground for those who wish to learn about food production systems and the natural world that support them, which makes it a good fit for a farm educator. Sarah finds networking with other farmers and farm educators to be the key to effective outreach and education.
She leans on and contributes to the following networks and organizations to achieve a balance of producing food and teaching about food: Wisconsin Local Food Network, Farm-Based Education Network, Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota, Minnesota Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association, Four Season Farming Community, Market Gardening Success Group, Lean Farmers, Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service.
Sarah Mayer with students in the hoop house at the Wolf Ridge organic farm.