In its 10th year, the Harvest Dinner will celebrate “100 Harvests” at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Sunup Ranch, 12316 County Road 18 Southwest, Brainerd.
The annual Harvest Dinner extends an invitation to the community to join in a celebration of the region’s water-rich environments, the quality of waters and this year, in particular, local agricultural heritage.
In 1919, Minnesota Farm Bureau set its first roots as an organization in the state and in Cass County. As one of the founding organizations behind the Harvest Dinner, Sunup Ranch will take a peek at the year 1919 in Cass County.
There will be a vendor’s market, live demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides and live music with Hans Blix and the Weapons Inspectors. There will be activities for all ages.
The dinner is a rich variety of local food. Local producers include Grandpa G’s, Cass County 4-H raised pork, and beef from the Minnesota Beef Council. The meal is served chuck-wagon style and prepared by local chefs. Taste local brews from Round House Brewery, and try a variety of wines with a tasting sponsored by Cash Wise Liquors.
Harvest Dinner celebrates the water and land connections of the region’s farmers, ranchers and lake dwellers. Several years ago lakeshore property owner associations began to have concerns about preserving water quality in the face of water testing revealing impairment. They endeavored on a search, and contacted the ranching and farming community to join them to study the watershed.
Together, they funded research to see if they could identify what was compromising the watershed. The study did identify some sources, one being rotting pine needles. Through the organizing efforts of the Crow Wing River Basin Forage Council and Cass County Farm Bureau, producers, landowners, lakeshore owners and ranchers organized efforts to continue to educate themselves on what was going on in the watershed. Together they walked cattle pastures to learn and discuss best practices for forage and water; they boated along lakeshores to see and talk about buffer plantings and methods to mitigate runoff, and they went to watershed creeks to evaluate stream bank integrity.
From this mutual effort to learn more about each other, the idea of the Harvest Dinner came about, viewed as a way to solidify and celebrate a shared interest in the stewardship of our resources.
Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for children 15 and under; and free for children under 5. Limited tickets will be available at the door.
For information or to order tickets, contact Greg Booth at 218-838-1266; Ron Meyer, Pine River Watershed, at 218-831-0509; or Cass County Farm Bureau at 218-587-4604. Go to the Facebook page “Harvest Dinner” for the latest news or for tickets.
This event is sponsored by Cass County Farm Bureau, Whitefish Area Property Owners Association, Pine River Watershed Alliance, Central Chapter of the Sustainable Farming Association, Happy Dancing Turtle, Crow Wing River Basin Forage Council, Minnesota Beef Council, Y4 Ranch, Rocking K Ranch and Sunup Ranch.