Rising Phoenix landing: Heather-Marie Bloom traded leasing spaces across the Northland and living in a tiny house to settling on 40 acres in Barnum. And Year One has been fruitful.
Heather-Marie Bloom stood surrounded by drying garlic stalks. About 300 pounds covered table after table, soon to be headed to Bloom’s CSA members, the Whole Foods Co-op or back in the ground for next year’s harvest.
It was the first thing planted in Bloom’s newly acquired farmland this fall, and she didn’t know how the soil would respond. This plentiful bounty feels appropriate for a former landless operation called Rising Phoenix Community Farm.
Today, she and her partner, John Hatcher, live on 40 acres outside of Barnum, and since May, they’ve erected a greenhouse, a walk-in cooler, a fence and a rain garden for pollinators.
In addition to farming and feeding 73 people through their CSA, they’ve also hosted “kimchi kamp,” a member-led fermenting workshop and a movie night/bonfire.
They bought a walk-behind tractor and a van for their deliveries with help from a Farm Services Agency loan. “We did our deliveries in a Prius before, which was hilarious. Sort of like a clown car, all these vegetables would come pouring out,” Bloom said.
It’s been a busy year, and much has changed since the previous owners sold the farm.