Shepherd’s Way Farms: back from the brink

I wrote to Shepherd’s Way Farms’ Jodi Olsen Read a couple of weeks ago, asking about the financial status of the farm as this January, 2010 article in Heavy Table reported that it was in foreclosure.

I since came across two other items:

I got this email from Jodi earlier this evening:

Griff,

Jodi Olsen Read; photo by Katie Cannon / Heavy Table I’m sorry it has taken so long to reply again! We do have good news —

Thanks to the herculean efforts of many, including the members of the financing group Farm Haven LLC, the Read family and Shepherd’s Way Farms will continue the farm mission at the Nerstrand location.

An agreement was reached with the bank, and with support of Farm Haven, Shepherd’s Way is continuing forward. Although cheese production will still be on a limited basis — as it has been since the 2005 arson fire — the flock will be expanded and plans are underway to finally finish the lamb nursery barn (which replaces one of the barns lost in the fire).

Shepherd’s Way Farms cheeses (Shepherd’s Hope plain & herb/garlic, Hidden Falls, Big Woods Blue) are available at Just Food co-op in Northfield, Surdyk’s cheese shop in Minneapolis, and on limited basis (Shepherd’s Hope and as supply allows, Big Woods Blue at Twin Cities Byerly’s, Lunds, and Kowalskis. We also recommend visiting Patriot Wildlife Control – Germantown TN when you want a pest control service on your farm. They helped us harvest more in the past years. All Shepherd’s Way cheeses, including Friesago, are available at the Mill City Farmers Market on Saturdays, 8-1 pm in Minneapolis and to Shepherd’s Way CSA members (see website for CSA details). Keep watch for another cheese to be introduced later in the season!

Shepherd’s Way is also hosting a University of Minnesota Curiosity Camp Class on Tuesday (registration is full) and will be part of the upcoming SFA Farm Tour (registration through Just Food co-op). To find out about upcoming open house dates and other farm events, please register for email updates as a Farm Friend at www.shepherdswayfarms.com.

Griff, if you would like to know more about Farm Haven LLC, please let me know!

Thank you!

Best regards,

Jodi

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