Yesterday I went to see how Mirek Petrovic is doing on his building on Main Street where he and his wife Julia will have their new business “Farmtastic Heritage Foods”. This will be the first food hub in North Dakota. It is a pilot project that USDA is promoting.
Mirek, and Troy Burrington, have been working on it steady for the last 2 months. At present they are cleaning out the basement where they will package produce. They have gutted the upstairs and main floor, have the framework up, but next have to put up insulation, dry wall and flooring on the main floor. They showed me the flooring that looks like wood, but is actually tile.
The west end of the building will hold a 500 square foot certified kitchen that member producers can use. A large dehydrator will be installed to make value added products out of unsold merchandise. An electrical boiler will provide radiant floor heat.
The front section will be a store selling many of the food items produced. People can sit up front and have coffee, tea, and pastries. The sitting area can also be used for educational outreach.
Mirek is planning to have an office upstairs and one apartment. In the future he would like to get a “young energetic person to manage the food hub. “Lots of young people specialize in local food production” in college.
To join the Farmtastic Heritage Food Coop there is a onetime fee of $350. Mirek and Julia met in May with producers in the area to introduce the food hub aggregation idea. The Petrovic’s are affiliated with the Bisman Coop Organizational supermarket in Bismarck where they plan to deliver their products.
On the Slavic Heritage Farm northeast of Anamoose, Julia and Mirek have a large garden farm where they grow vegetables, herbs, and berries-mainly raspberries, currents and honeyberries. Mirek is “especially looking forward to the honeyberries as they are a natural replacer for blueberries in our area which need acidic soil”. They also sell breads and pastries.
Mirek and Troy are doing most of the work on the building. Mirek has been a carpenter since 1996 when he and Julia came to the US from Czech Republic and Russia. Troy has been doing framing and roofing for 6 years.
After the certification process from the First District Health Unit they plan to have the food hub open this year. For information on the food hub, or to join, contact Mirek or Julia at 701-542-2537 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com