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MNIBA Featured Business: Harvest Nation

What?

Harvest Nation is a vertical aeroponic farm whose revolutionary design makes healthy living a viable option in communities challenged by location, climate, and economic constraint. Our one of a kind design ensures abundant yields of heirloom vegetables and fruits on multilevel production platforms which in turn ensure cost-effective delivery. We’ll supply your day-to-day needs like tomatoes and celery, as well as bring you specialty items like black chickpeas and blue potatoes for the foodies out there.

Where?

Our first growing facility will be located on the Lake Vermilion Reservation, about one mile from Fortune Bay Resort & Casino. We will serve Minnesota’s northland towns of Tower, Cook, Ely, Orr, Virginia, Eveleth, and in the Bois Forte tribal communities on the Nett Lake and Vermilion Reservations. This Spring 2019, we are gathering input from local residents, chefs, restaurant owners, food partners, and health professionals to help us design our pilot farm to best meet the community’s wants and needs.

When?

The concept for Harvest Nation has been in the works for the past 9 years. We are so eager to jump into production! Harvest Nation is raising money to finance the establishment of our first grow facility. We are planning a Crowdfunding Campaign to assist with this, as well as grant writing to continue our Research & Development (R&D). We hope to raise enough funds to purchase equipment and renovate a small facility for our pilot farm operation to start vegetable and fruit production in late Fall 2019.

Why?

For The Economy
About a billion dollars worth of food consumed in the Western Lake Superior region is trucked in annually. Meanwhile, only about a million dollars is actually produced in our area. We can keep our hard-earned dollars right here to spur the local economy on the Iron Range. Marlise Riffle, a member of the Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability (IRPS), is reported by the Hibbing Daily Tribute that Iron Rangers need only purchase “20 percent of your annual food locally” since it “would generate 248-694 jobs and keep $51 million within the service area.” (Leah Ryan, Hibbing Daily Tribune, Press Release dated 30 September 2018).

For The Quality
The food that we currently receive has been modified to withstand bruising in transport, whereby it loses flavor and quality since it’s “made” to be tough, and not harvested for taste. Our produce choices are grown from heirloom seeds, meaning they are beyond organic: they’re the direct offspring of unaltered plants. This equals the ultimate source of nutrients for you and your family. We’re here to honor your health, making it easier for you to get the nutrition you need and deserve.

For The Social Good
Food has a lot of social implications. In tangent with food’s direct impact on the prevention of nutrient-related diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, we deserve local control of our food system. For us, this is the means of bringing power to our community to promote the health and well being for friends and family.

For The Environment
In having our food locally sourced, we are taking responsibility over the current situation where truck after truck pollutes the air while transporting food to our area. It’s a waste of gasoline when we can totally do it ourselves, no matter the time of year, with indoor growing.