Bluebird Gardens shutting down after nearly 40 years
FERGUS FALLS, Minn.--Bluebird Gardens, a community supported agriculture company here, will close after nearly 40 years of harvesting fresh produce for area residents.
FERGUS FALLS, Minn.-Bluebird Gardens, a community supported agriculture company here, will close after nearly 40 years of harvesting fresh produce for area residents.
Owner Mark Boen recently posted on the company's website that the 2016 growing season would be the farm's last and the company was shutting down for "multiple reasons."
As of 2016, Bluebird Gardens employed 10 people during its growing season and raised food on 404 acres to serve about 2,400 families in Minnesota and parts of eastern North Dakota. As a CSA, members buy a "share" of a garden and receive regular shipments of produce from it.
In 2015, the farm reported losing money for the first time in its then 38-year history.
Boen, an elementary teacher who was named the 2001 Wal-Mart National Teacher of the Year, retired from the profession in 2009. Boen said on Bluebird's website that he plans to return to teaching. He has secured an education job in Arizona that will begin in mid-July but said he is still open to returning to teaching in this area.
The company began in 1978 when Boen and his wife, Diane, purchased 10 acres on what had been the dairy farm operated by Mark Boen's parents. As a boy, he built and placed bluebird houses on the farm.
The Boens plan to auction off the farm's land and machinery on April 6 and 7. The Boens plan to sell their house separately.
"We will miss the beautiful connections to amazing people that have been cultivated over the decades," Mark Boen wrote on the farm website. "We will love you all forever."