Connell Family Farm
The Connells have lived on their family farm for twenty years, working hard to manage the sandy soil. Seven years ago Kathy and Steven began working toward creating a produce growing operation. After Kathy retired from Organic Farm Inspection, the Connell family began their small business. They had always grown produce, but had never grown it for commercial reasons. Currently the Connells produce fruits and vegetables on about two acres while operating three tunnels. They do not use chemicals or pesticides; instead, they use natural farming techniques such as composting, green manure crops, mulches, and ground covers. They are currently growing produce for 25 CSA members. They also attend and sell at the Wadena Farmer’s Market and New York Mills Famer’s Market, as well to Wadena-Deer Creek School, Sebeka School, and a Clean Plate in Menagha. Kathy and Steven have six children; Cherie, Melissa, Merry, Tom, Ed, and Seth.
In the community, Kathy has taught classes in surrounding towns on the methods of raising transplants, growing in high tunnels, making and using raised beds, growing small fruits and berries, and seed saving. She has also served on the board of Sustainable Farming Association of Central MN. In addition, Kathy mentored Junior Master Gardeners of Sebeka and has been involved in the Farm to School Program in Wadena.