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Celebrate the bounty at Duluth's Harvest Festival

The annual event is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 10 at Bayfront Festival Park.

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Observation Hill Honey offers a mix of syrups, honeys and care products during Harvest Fest 2021.
Contributed / Charlie Danielson
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DULUTH — If you’re in the market for foods, farms and farmers markets, Lake Superior Harvest Festival has got you covered.

The family-friendly event is on, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 10 at Bayfront Festival Park.

Expect live music by Woodblind and Jen West, among others; artisanal goodies from Duluth's Best Bread, Two Harbors Baker and Superior's Elevated Spores; maypole dancing, arts and crafts, educational exhibits and much more.

A man stands near tables of broccoli, watermelon, potatoes, radishes and more at Harvest Fest 2019.
Hermit Creek Farm offers a mix of broccoli, watermelon, potatoes, radishes and more at Harvest Fest 2019.
Contributed / Julie Allen

Admission is free, and parking is $10.

Harvest Fest is hosted by the Lake Superior chapter of the Sustainable Farming Association. The organization promotes environmental stewardship and economic resilience through programs and demonstrations such as seed saving, garlic production, building a root cellar and growing hazelnuts — all for farmers, homesteaders and gardeners.

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About 100 active households across Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin make up the local chapter. Among them: Agate Acres in Two Harbors, Growing Together in Duluth and Elsewhere Farm in Herbster.

Julie Allen headshot.jpg
Julie Allen.
Contributed / Julie Allen

And, the paramount mission is connection and peer-driven education.

“It can sound really romantic, but farming can be a lonely job,” said Julie Allen, the organization's coordinator. Farmer-to-farmer education is successful across the globe because it’s most effective, she added.

The Sustainable Farming Association hosts field days for members to tour other farms and share resources, as well as “farmers take the stage” variety shows and community cooking events.

Men talk over a table of tomatoes.
Dave Paulson, of Hermantown, buys a squash from Rick Dalen, of Wrenshall, with the Northern Harvest Farm during the Lake Superior Harvest Festival in 2012.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

The chapter also promotes education around decreasing food miles and supporting proper labor practices — values mirrored in the history of Harvest Festival.

In the early 1990s, local farmers Daniel Webster and Ken Peterson brainstormed ways to bring sustainable agriculture to the forefront in the Northland. Harvest Fest grew along with interest in locally grown food and building relationships with producers and growers.

In 2000, Harvest Fest featured an energy tent; in 2018, a renewable energy fair.

This year, it’s a zero-waste event, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., folks are invited to recycle their in-working-order dehumidifiers or air conditioning units on-site.

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A man in a green flannel shirt is surrounded by tables covered in coffee cups, plates and bowls.
Smiling Son Pottery offers an array of wares during Harvest Festival 2019.
Contributed / Julie Allen

If you go

Musical lineup

  • 10 a.m.: Colleen Myhre
  • 11 a.m.: Woodblind 
  • 11:45 p.m.: Terrance Smith’s Maypole
  • 12:15 p.m.: Skarlet Woods
  • 1 p.m.: Ann Kathryn
  • 1:45 p.m.: Terrance Smith’s Maypole
  • 2:15 p.m.: Jen West
  • 3 p.m.: Shane Nelson
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Melinda Lavine is an award-winning, multidisciplinary journalist with 16 years professional experience. She joined the Duluth News Tribune in 2014, and today, she writes about the heartbeat of our community: the people.

Melinda grew up in central North Dakota, a first-generation American and the daughter of a military dad.

She earned bachelors degrees in English and Communications from the University of North Dakota in 2006, and started her career at the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald that summer. She helped launch the Herald's features section, as the editor, before moving north to do the same at the DNT.

Contact her: 218-723-5346, mlavine@duluthnews.com.
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