Tower named BCFS Friend of the Farm

Featured photo, from left: BCFS Executive Director Mary Mitchell; Award Recipient Chris Tower; BCFS Farm Manager Dorothy Barnes.

The 2020 harvest is in at The Farm at the Food Shelf and it was an outstanding year, according to a release.

Despite challenges involving the loss of volunteer groups and organizations due to COVID-19, nearly 15,000 pounds of produce was harvested for area families, a new record for the farm. 

“It was devastating to realize that we were not going to get any of our usual volunteer groups,” said Farm Manager Dorothy Barnes. “AmeriCorps and YouthWorks were especially helpful because there were so many young people and they worked hard and accomplished a lot.”

BCFS Staff let the community know of its need for Farm volunteers through social media and other means, and many members of the community contributed. 

“These folks were there from planting through harvest, so they truly saw ‘the fruits of their labor,’” said Mitchell.

“This gave them a special sense of pride and ownership that other groups may not have experienced.”

This year’s crops included rhubarb, tomatoes, squash, onions, greens, cabbage, potatoes, green beans and peppers. Asparagus, apple trees, and grapevines were planted this year for future harvests.

Each year, BCFS presents the Friend of the Farm Award to an individual who has made major contributions to the success of the Farm.

This year’s recipient is Chris Tower, a member of the Farm Vision Committee, who this year constructed raised beds and designed and created a large pollinator rain garden.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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