Last week I had the opportunity to go to an event held by CommonGround at the Farm at the Arb, located in the beautiful Minnesota Arboretum. If you are looking for something fun to do as a family, I was reminded of what a beautiful location this is! Fall colors, flowers, fruits and vegetables, and geese running across the road would have been so much fun to explore as a family! Back to the event…it was held at the most beautiful spot on the Farm, and every detail was just perfection. From the hors d’oeuvres and wine samples from Minnesota to the live music and beautiful dinner provided to us. The night was just so lovely and was even more lovely coming from a mom who doesn’t get out much! On top of being a beautiful evening and getting the chance to meet some other amazing moms, I was able to learn so much from CommonGround and get an opportunity to hear from some local women farmers who are working so hard to educate those around them about how farmers play such a huge role in getting your food to your table.
CommonGround is a group of Minnesota women in agriculture who volunteer their time to have conversations around food and farming. These women are from around Minnesota and share their experiences about farming and agriculture and how it relates to the food we eat and prepare for our families.
One of my biggest takeaways was the fact that women have always been involved in farming. This isn’t a new concept. Women have always held significant roles as a part of the farming and agriculture community. It was so fun to hear these women talk about what it takes to run a farm and all of the different jobs everyone in the family has to help everything run smoothly. I think of all of the things we do on a day-to-day basis-school, groceries, running kids to activities, cleaning- and then on top of that, running a farming business from your home is so much work. It was just so interesting to hear about all of the things women in agriculture are doing on top of all the things moms are doing already! Women really run the world, right?!
During our dinner, I sat with a group of women from CommonGround. I learned about some of the different aspects of technology and how it is used in farming. I think about how far different careers have come in the past 10-15 years with technology. Even in my 2nd-grade classroom, technology use has evolved in just the past two years! It was fascinating to hear what advances have been made in all aspects of farming and agriculture and how important it is to have someone on the farm keeping up with these advances. One of the most interesting things I learned was how they use technology to test all parts of their soil to have the best quality land to grow different crops. Think of all that goes into getting the food on our table!
And while I’m sure I am missing lots of goodness that we talked about (I missed a little while I was stuffing my face with DELICIOUS cornbread!), another thing that stuck out to me was a quick conversation about food waste in our society today. I will definitely acknowledge that I throw away a good amount of food that goes bad before we have a chance to eat it. My lovely husband is so good about remembering to throw it in our compost bin or give it to our backyard chickens. Still, it got me thinking and trying to be mindful going forward about only buying what we really need. So often we are in a hurry and want to shop for the whole week, but sometimes I waste less and spend less if I stop in for only things we really need once or twice a week. This was one area where I think we can make a small change and make a big impact in wasting less food as a family.
CommonGround is such a wonderful organization and I am so honored I got the chance to sit and listen and learn from these incredible women. They were so lovely and let us all know that their farms love visitors if you ever want to swing by! I am hoping they’ll let me be an honorary farmer since we have backyard chickens but I still have a lot to learn! If you want to learn more about Common Ground and their mission, head over to their website at : https://commongroundminnesota.com/