Minnesota Organic Farmer Grows on Other People's Property

Woman Tending Plants

“Most people would assume the first thing a farmer needs is land. But a visit to Rising Phoenix Community Farm near Saginaw and a conversation with its founder, Heather-Marie Bloom, quickly turns that notion on its head.

Although she owns not even one clod of dirt, Bloom didn’t let that small complication stand in the way of her dream to launch an organic farm.

Since 2011, Bloom has been growing produce for her community-supported agriculture (CSA) operation entirely on other people’s properties.

She lives in a portable, 13½-foot-tall microhouse with an 8-by-28-foot footprint. After enlisting her father and others to help, Bloom built her home from scratch atop a two-axle trailer using many reclaimed materials.

Bloom has dubbed her diminutive abode the Blue Caddisfly in honor of one of her favorite insects. The caddisfly begins its life as an aquatic larva and fashions pebbles, sand, twigs and whatever else it can find into a protective shell.

‘They make their homes sort of like sleeping bags and then move around wearing those homes,’ she said.

Bloom, too, moves with her self-made home in tow, when circumstances have required her to pick up stakes.

She began farming in Esko in 2011, moved to Wrenshall the following year and has been operating in Saginaw now for two seasons.

‘I call myself a gypsy farmer,’ Bloom said.…”

From Peter Kohlsaat


Heather-Marie Bloom's Home on Wheels

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