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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Festival aims to educate people about local food, artists

From an article by Heidi Clausen in the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram:

TURTLE LAKE - Mike Brenna wants to bring people back to farms.

That's the main reason he has agreed to host Soupstock III on Saturday, Sept. 19, at his 50-acre Little Footprint Farm.

Brenna hopes at least 500 people will turn out to learn more about sustainable agriculture and ways they can support local growers and artisans.

"We want to get the public coming to farms and getting connected to farmers and making us part of the community again," he said.

Brenna's Polk County farm has been a hub of activity in recent weeks. In-between weeding and harvesting, he and his crew rush to finish a new building that will be the heart of the farm's outreach activities.

Soupstock III will be the first event there, said Brenna, a founding member of the Northwest Wisconsin Food Network.

The first two Soupstocks, hosted by Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary and Nature Center near Sarona, each drew 250 to 300 people.

"We really wanted to get it back on a farm," Brenna said.

Soupstock is a collaboration of the Northwest Wisconsin Regional Food Network, the Farm to Community Alliance and Hunt Hill.

The fall festival's purpose is to educate people about local food, art and music and foster an interest in sustainability.

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