Stoney Brook Farms, a family farm in Foley in central Minnesota, just became the 600th water quality certified farm. Owners Brad and Mark Chmielewski have taken an innovative approach to managing their farm to protect water quality and soil health, including no-till planting, residue management, cover crops, and crop diversity.
The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program is a statewide voluntary certification program that helps farmers and landowners protect Minnesota streams and lakes.
Through the program, farmers work with local soil and water conservation district personnel to identify and mitigate risks to water quality on a field-by-field basis. Certification is no small task. Farmers need to meet minimum standards in five water quality concern areas to become certified.
Stoney Brook grows a variety of vegetables for area grocery stores and wholesale warehouses on its 860 acres. In season, you can find their produce at Coborns and Cub Foods.
The Chmielewskis grow sweet corn, pumpkins, squash, peas, green beans, potatoes, pumpkins, and fall decorative items such as indian corn and gourds. In the fall, they host Harvest Fun Days with a pumpkin patch and a corn maze that the public can come out and enjoy.