Farm2Cafeteria Network


Development of a Martin County Farm to Cafeteria Network Rural Advantage has expanded their programming to include the development and support for a Martin County Farm to Cafeteria Network. There are two goals of this effort. The first is to increase market opportunity for local vegetable, fruit and meat growers. The second goal is to work with local growers to provide an adequate supply of suitable produce to support interested Martin County cafeterias. We envision this program to evolve over the next five years to develop a vibrant local foods network that supports local growers, a variety of scales of cafeterias and the sustainability of local people, businesses and the environment in the Martin County area.  

If you have interest in being involved in the Martin County Farm to Cafeteria Network, I would encourage you to contact our office either at 507-238-5449 or email so you can be kept informed as this program evolves. I would like you to be aware of the following points: 

ü  We are interested in identifying more growers, including new growers.

ü  We will be starting small – we are working with four or five cafeterias and see interest from ten + more, with interest growing.

ü  We will add more cafeterias and growers as supply capacity allows.

ü  Cafeteria is a broad term with a variety of scales such as daycare, restaurant or school.

ü  We are developing a Food Policy Council for Martin, Jackson, Cottonwood, Watonwan and Faribault counties. Contact our office for more information.

ü  As the program evolves, we would like you to be engaged so we can all better understand and resolve any challenges in order to meet your needs. 

Thank you for your interest. 


Fairmont Community Gardens 

In 2011, Rural Advantage began coordinating the Fairmont Community Gardens. The Community Gardens are available free to residents of Fairmont. Anyone desiring a free plot must contact the Rural Advantage office for a site. The garden plot site is donated by Heritage Acres and the City of Fairmont.   

Each garden plot is 20 feet by 20 feet. Once the plot is assigned in the spring, the gardening family can plant and care for their garden throughout the summer and harvest any produce they raise for their own use. The total plot area has 145 gardens with a wide range of gardeners from very experienced to new families getting into gardening for the first time. 

Rural Advantage can be reached at 507-238-5449.