Barnum farm honored for conservation efforts

Heather-Marie Bloom and John Hatcher are the 2023 recipients of the Carlton Soil and Water Conservation Outstanding Conservationist Award for their stewardship of the land on Rising Phoenix Community Farm.

Since 2011 the Rising Phoenix has been leasing and farming five different pieces of land across Carlton and St. Louis Counties. But in 2020, it found a permanent home in Barnum, Minn..

Across 40 acres, Bloom and Hatcher grow a variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers sustainably.

Hatcher tells WDIO, “We’ve worked with the staff here on things like cover crops, protecting the soil, irrigating systems, creating habitat for wild life/pollinators…”

“…a rain garden, and tree planting,” Bloom adds. “We want to include everybody in all aspects of our farm. So whether it’s planting squash or tomatoes, then to weeding them and harvesting them and eating them… We try to include everybody as much as we can in that process.”

Each year Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District recognizes members of the community who are dedicated to leading conservation efforts over a number of years, cooperate extensively with the SWCD, and who ultimately show an ethic of conservation throughout their lives.