Hello everyone, Matthew Sosa here with a recap of our Action Day at Matt Hunter’s food forest in St. Cloud. The main goals for this action day were to set up a shaded area to keep small plants and start seeds, finish a final coating on some bat boxes, help plant some fruit trees, and of course learn and have fun which is mostly what we did.

Before we got to work, we all decided to have lunch first. Everyone was told to bring over baked goods to share with everyone at a small pot luck. You will learn that in a community like ours, we aim to be loving and compassionate so we like to share, which is truly a blessing. We had a great variety of food, including a large fresh salad prepared entirely from Matt’s garden, a homemade cheesecake, a mexican salad, scones, vegetarian chili, vegan meatballs, homemade kombucha and much more. Having lunch before hand provided us with a chance for everyone to unwind and get more acquainted with each other before the real work began.

After lunch, the 20-25 people took a guided tour with Matt around his property. He explained what each of his garden beds was designed to accomplish. Two of them were large food forests with many layers, functions, and a diverse variety of edible plants. His newer garden bed uses an agroforestry technique, that involves layering mexican sunflower with annual garden beds. The mexican sunflower is fast growing and stores a lot of nutrients in its leaves, and for this reason it was chosen as a chop and drop crop for the annual garden beds. As you can see in the pictures Matt has some beautiful kale, cabbage, and other annuals resulting from this combo of energy cycling.

As we got down to business energy flowed through us like water in a river. Quickly people were broken up into groups of people with certain traits, abilities, or preferences, however everyone was free to go around and explore different roles. To be honest, I lent a hand in all of the tasks we had set out to do and I suspect many others did the same. This action day was so successful some people hardly need to do much work at all as there were so many hands. The shade frame was quickly assembled by our taller members, bat boxes were painted by the artsy members, and everyone else took to the trees. It ended up being around 2 hours of work, but much of it did not feel like work at all. We took some great video during this event, our video editor, Dave Kimbel, created a nice montage of the day voiced by an interview with Matt Hunter. Check it out on our Action Day Page