Mezclada, at the time you are reading this, is still just an idea. We’re cooking up a robust engagement plan to ground the vision and aspirations in the wildest dreams of the community of Pelican Rapids, with a particular focus on providing a life-giving, sustainable career pathway where it may not have been previously available to refugees, immigrants, and other marginalized communities. While much of the following is likely to change, below you’ll find an initial outline of the various components of Mezclada.
Mezclada is a place. It’s an experience. It’s the feeling you get when you’ve been on a long, arduous journey and when you’ve arrived you can’t help but cry. It’s a space where you can show up as your true self, where your imperfections and messes become your narrative for connecting with others. It’s a place where you come expecting to be transformed as you meet our team, explore our farm, and build something great together. It’s a place where you have full permission to let go of any assumptions you may have had about yourself or others.
This feeling of home is what we hope to inspire with our farm products – a unique marriage of our region’s ancient foods and modern cuisine, celebrating culinary traditions of tribal nations and New Americans. In line with our values and Theory of Change, our farm exercises permaculture and agroecology principles, meets organic standards, and supports living-wage jobs. We work with emerging farmers from the community and existing farmers to share resources, tools, growing knowledge. We recognize that the next generation of farmers requires a new set of business models to work from. We support their aspirations by helping them design the most innovative, financially sustainable, and ecologically regenerative farming models, which align with their highest energetic expression.
Our commitment to education is paramount for purchasing locally made farm products to become the norm, not the exception. As described in our Theory of Change, we believe in the power of combining storytelling, agricultural systems, and personal transformation. This applies to our educational offerings, which help people understand the link between their personal identity and food production, and to see how they can use food as a tool for social change and healing. We seek to connect our community with international, regenerative agriculture networks to see how their contribution is part of a global movement. Furthermore, our teaching space and mentorship programs provide a platform for elders to share their wisdom with others.
People’s cultures are becoming lost and fragmented. They are becoming erased through processing and other technologies that create a disconnection between ourselves and our ancestors, our center, and our sense of belonging. We strive to cultivate the next generation of culinary activists and culinary preservationists through our on-farm cafe or culinary academy. We celebrate the cuisine of those that came before us, demonstrating that everyday people can participate in this form of activism – through teaching their neighbors, sharing meals with their community, or dining at locally-owned establishments. Our menu marries native foods with modern cooking techniques and styles, serving as the foundation for our culinary tourism strategy. We source our ingredients locally and use every dining experience as an opportunity for education, similar to the Ciya Foundation Education Center in Turkey. By employing older residents and youth, we aim to build strong social connections and a skilled workforce in leadership, entrepreneurship, and hospitality.
We help people cultivate a practice that will help them care for themselves – and in turn, take better care of the people around them.
Mezclada’s programming and educational offerings are designed to serve as a vehicle for building individual and community wealth. This is accomplished by teaching and sharing best practices for how to build a food or agricultural business that aligns with an individual’s energetic expression, stay inspired and supported as an entrepreneur, and integrate practices of well-being into daily routines. Essentially, we want you to do what you’re best at and leave the rest for others who can balance out your weaknesses when it comes to running a business. This includes everything from choosing your market channels to building a team of support around you.
We are committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive community of creatives, farmers, and food entrepreneurs. Part of which means dedicating a portion of profits to support fellow artists, storytellers, farmers, and foodies and strengthen our local economy.
One of the highest priorities of Mezclada is to support regional food systems by funneling products into local market channels before scaling into larger export markets. The market demand for local foods far outweighs the supply being produced in West Central Minnesota. Therefore, we will strive to sell within the region first. Some of these market channels could include, but are not limited to: Mezclada’s own cafe, institutional buyers, restaurants and ethnic markets, and grocery stores.
One of the best facets of artisan and craft industries is the ability to partner with others who share similar values. We are excited to collaborate with other creative entrepreneurs, startups, and established local businesses to create unique programming, develop teaching curriculum, and create new value-added products.
Conducting research and applying lessons learned in real time is one of the best ways to leverage capital for agricultural purposes, but also prove a proof of concept and provide empirical data for practices that may not be recognized within traditional knowledge systems. Part of the need that exists within the field of agriculture is that of capturing the knowledge and ancient practices of those who are leaving this earth. The other part is leveraging innovations in data management, supply chain logistics, and communications platforms. All of these and more are an integral part of Mezclada’s work.
We’re so glad you’re interested in joining us for this journey!
We’re rolling out a robust engagement plan to ensure that Mezclada is built in partnership with the people who really need and will benefit from our services. This process will include several months of visioning to narrow down the farm, cafe, and education details, as well as identify resources and investors who can help us bring this vision to life. Please note: The timeline is subject to change.
Business Plan & Financials
Fundraising & Capital Campaign
Breaking Ground & Construction
First Annual Community Harvest Celebration
Your purchases support our larger cause and mission. You can find our projects (currently fresh cut flower bouquets and herbs) at the Pelican Rapids Farmers Market on Fridays from 3-6 p.m. To be sure you don’t miss us, follow us on Facebook, where we’ll post updates.
As we get settled into the community and learn about cool happenings, we want to share our love for people and the planet through educational offerings. Have an idea? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, we are accepting funds to support the dream of purchasing a permanent farm property, signing a lease for commercial space, and probably a lot more. We can’t do it without your support. For details on how to make a contribution, please download our investor portfolio here, or make a direct contribution through our paypal account here.
We will be hosting at least one community visioning session this fall