The CSA brings back a sense of that nostalgia for me but with a new experience too

Now is the time to sign up for a HAFA CSA share! If you still have lingering questions about it, here are some answers from Oskar, a 2016 CSA member.            Tell readers a little bit about yourself. I am a Hmong-French American artist/organizer and I live in St Paul. Why […]

The Power of Collaboration: As Seen Through the Eyes of John Flory

“Collaboration, especially in these times, is so powerful,” says John Flory, Special Projects Director for the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC). For the past 13 years, LEDC has been working to support Latino entrepreneurs throughout Minnesota. Like LEDC, the Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) too works to uplift Hmong entrepreneurs. In fact, it was through […]

Stories of Success: Working towards a more sustainable and fairer food economy for all

As we move into the final weeks of 2016 at HAFA, we are fondly looking back on our accomplishments, and diligently planning for next year. These past successes are particularly important to HAFA because they signify that we are growing as an organization, but also they show how our farmers are seizing previously inaccessible opportunities […]

It’s More Than a Dish: A Conversation with Chef Yia Vang

Why do we love food so much? Obviously, it is necessary to our survival, and no one enjoys feeling hunger pains. But mere sustenance alone does not warrant hours of labor in a hot kitchen, or toiling in a field on a humid day, or treating generational family recipes like sacred treasures. Surely, our fascination […]

How farm to school programs help foster community

Farm to cafeteria programs are skyrocketing. In 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that 42% or 42,587 schools in the United States had a program where they were buying locally grown produce. These programs, combined with farm to school activities such as farm tours, were especially effective with pre-K students. But less […]

What Does Community Wealth Mean To You?

What Does Community Wealth Mean to You? Community wealth is created by people coming together and sharing their strengths in order to advance and lift up the entire community. It is something that has happened over and over in this country in both rural and urban settings, at Black churches and inside Jewish synagogues. At the […]

“Hmong farmers constantly inspire me”: A Conversation With Mary Ellen Frame

“Hmong farmers constantly inspire me,” says Mary Ellen Frame, “their adaptability is impressive, they brought knowledge from a place where the climate, soil, pests, weeds, let alone the economy are all so different, yet they still are such skilled farmers here in Minnesota.” Mary Ellen was acquainted with HAFA when she attended Pakou’s convocation at Carleton […]

Hmong farmers help pass urban farming-friendly law

Last fall, a HAFA farmer came outside from their home in Saint Paul to find a hefty fine on their truck that they used to transport fresh, local produce to the farmers market. After almost six months of working with Council Member Russ Stark’s office, HAFA finally got a parking exemption for urban farmers and […]

HAFA farmers get their first taste of beekeeping

This past month, we trained 9 HAFA members in beekeeping. They went through two trainings, painted their hives and then I worked with all the members to start their hives. Their dedication and devotion to learning how to keep bees on the farm has been an exciting surprise! Last year I went through extensive training with the […]

Hmong Tab Laj Farm: Two (and more) are better than one

In the mid-2000s, two school-aged children, a newborn baby, a fulltime job, lack of rest and farming on land an hour away from home pushed HAFA member, Song Moua, to the verge of ending her family farm business. Song struggled to find a sense of balance with her family responsibilities and the farm business until […]