I have been waiting for Julia Petrovic to send me some information on the FARMtastic Heritage Food Hub. But she has been “very busy” since opening their new business on March 1st. So I am going to take some excerpts from an article in the Bismarck Tribune by Jesa Holdman.
Borscht made from homegrown beets, local potato pierogies and pasta sauce made with heirloom tomatoes grace the lunch counter at FARMtastic Heritage Food Hub on Main Street in Anamoose.
‘The food is just incredible because the ingredients are incredible’, said founder Mirek Petrovic.
The food hub has been open for about a month, and Petrovic said it’s been well received, serving daily lunch specials and baked goods.
‘This is the first in North Dakota that I know of,’ Mindy Grant de Herrera, director of educational programs for statewide local growers organization FARRMS, said of the food hub. ‘ It will be interesting to see how it works out.’
A food hub is a center of production, distribution and marketing services where local food growers can pool resources to sell their products. Grant de Herrera said food hubs have been popping up across the United States lately and play a large role in the local food movement.
‘I think it’s a fantastic resource,’ she said.
FARMtastic works with about seven area growers who sell through and to the food hub, Petrovic said.
In addition to processing packaging fresh produce for sale to grocery stores and other outlets, FARMtastic operates a cafe in Anamoose. Petrovic said this has allowed the food hub to expand how much produce it can take from local growers, increasing buying power by about 40%.
What Petrovic and his wife don’t sell fresh, they can and use for cooking in their cafe and bakery, which is open noon to 6pm Monday through Friday and for special events on weekends.
The Petrovics are freezing berries and using them on items such as cheesecake. They tap local milk producer, Bessie’s Best, for the dairy ingredients.
‘Now you have a local dessert,’ Petrovic said. ‘There are a lot of things we can freeze or dehydrate.’
Petrovic said the idea arose from the wasted produce that accumulated in their own farming operation.
Grant de Herrera said having that FARMtastic outlet is a good way to sustain local produce growers throughout winter months. Local growers often start their seedlings in March, which leaves them bringing an income from June through October.
Julia and Mirek are planning for a series of events 2 times a month on Saturday and Sunday by appointment only. They had a very successful Mother’s Day.
Daily menus are posted on Facebook.
Julia says they have been so busy they have hiring a dishwasher. Their girls help out 2 times a week with baking. I know that one of the girls loves to bake pies as she baked one for me in the past.