2022 Summer Farmers Market Wrap-Up

November 3, 2022

It was another incredible summer season for the Finland Farmers Market.  This summer it became very apparent that the market is growing and reaching more and more people in the area!  We had record attendance this year. After crunching some numbers, it’s been determined that over 1600 people came and enjoyed music and food here at the Clair Nelson Center over the summer.

Many of those people took advantage of the “triple your money up to $10” SNAP benefits that were available to spend with local producers thanks to the GUSNIP grant that made those funds possible throughout the whole state of Minnesota.  This year over $1,625.00 was spent in EBT at the market, and with some of that being tripled with produce and market bucks, that means over $2,200 extra was given out to SNAP customers to spend with local farmers! What an awesome program!

A record number of people also took advantage of the Age to Age sponsored Power of Locals program, which gives kids ages 3-15 and seniors 65+ $4.00 in market money every week.  This summer 67 individuals both young and old participated in the program.  The Market was able to distribute over $1,000 to these community members to spend on whatever they choose.  It is such a great program! The kids get a big kick out of “free money,” and being able to make purchases and decisions for themselves about what they would like to buy.  This program, as well as the SNAP benefits will continue through the winter and summer markets to come.  Come on down, bring your parents, the kids, bring the dog!

This season we were lucky enough to have many talented musicians come and share their gift of music with the community, including 2 different one-man bands.  One with a banjo, one with an accordion.  There were country tunes, originals, popular covers, old time music and even a pickup truck opera!

Farmers Market attendees enjoyed a variety of amazing local food samples from the educational demos hosted by a handful of guests.  There was a wild mushroom demo, rhubarb salsa that was shared and sampled, wild rice, pickle recipes, and Fuzzy even brought out the cider press and pressed both apple and pear ciders on site!

A big thank you to all our vendors and supporters that came out to supply and purchase delicious locally sourced food and sustain our local farms this season!  The Finland Farmers Market will also be happening throughout this winter.

Come on down to the Clair Nelson Center the third Sunday in the months of November, December and January from 11:30am-1pm. Mark your calendars for November 20th, December 18th, and January 15th to get your fresh local ingredients to share with friends and family for the upcoming holidays.  You will find fresh baked sourdough, pickled

canned food, eggs, rice, winter produce and more! These markets will be indoors, and will also be open to local makers/crafters to sell their wares. (No multi-level-sales, or re-sale products, please.  We want to feature products that are locally made, and if possible, locally sourced; i.e. handmade soap, knit/crocheted washcloths, hand-made art, homespun yarn).  It will be a good place to also find gifts for loved ones this holiday season.  Stay tuned for more winter/spring market dates to come!  Thanks for caring about this oh-so-special community’s health and wellness and supporting the vision of local food projects and a more sustainable future.

Also I would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for inviting me in and letting me be a part of the incredible Finland Food Chain’s team of people and the opportunity to work with and get to know all of you that come out to the market.  I will be stepping back in my role of Farmers Market Coordinator and passing the torch to our new Coordinator Kyle Flack.  But don’t worry! I’m not going anywhere! I will still be part of the Food Chain and the community of Finland’s dreams for the future! I love this place and all of you.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.  It sure was a lot of fun.

– Katee Ristuccia

Thank You to All Who Helped Put on Camp Finland 2022!

August 26, 2022

campers at overlook

Teen Campers at Tettegouche State Park. Photo by Jenna Pollard.

Camp Finland 2022 would not have been possible without the generous support of: The Duluth Superior Community Area Foundation – Silver Bay Charitable Fund, Northland Foundation, North Shore Collaborative, Cliffs Foundation, Tracy Family Foundation, Beaver Bay and Crystal Bay townships, Trestle Inn, and many other individual donors.

Many thanks our amazing staff: Lucy Carlson, Amber Klinker, Kenny Albrecht, Kyler Knaffla, Kelly Ulrich, Ryan Dietz, McKain Lakey, Andrew Norcross, Jenna Pollard, Layla Popp, Honor Schauland, Robin Sunquiet, Heather Brown, LJ Merkel, Abby Zak. All these folks get paid, it’s true, but they also go above and beyond to give the kids and teens an amazing Camp experience. 

Kids Camp would like to thank Nancy Olson, Julie Meyers, Deb Birkeland, Sue and Daryl Jolson, Jennifer Yandrasits, Elise Bouvy Coldwater, Kaare Melby, and Jeff Dickson.

campers under the pavilion

Kid Campers waiting for the bus.

Teen Camp would like to thank Margaret Sager and Zoe Smith for help on set-up days and for being guest counselors the first day of Camp, Baptism River BBQ for an amazing dinner, Way-to-Go Outfitters for their support with our Boundary Waters Day Trip, Kurt Mead for showing up, North House Folk School and Captain Bill Hansen for taking us out sailing on the Hjordis, and Brian Hartman from Arrowhead Transit for being so flexible and helpful with transporting us all over creation for 5 days. 

Everyone would like to thank Sue Rian at the Trestle Inn for food and the use of her cabin for camp orientation day. 

If we’ve forgotten anyone, thank you!

Most of all, thanks to the 34 kids and teens who came to camp this year and the families who got them there and picked them up!   We have a fabulous  community of kids in our area who will become our future!  It was a pleasure to share Camp Finland 2022 with you! 

Registration Info for Spanish Camp 2022

July 5, 2022

Spanish Camp 2022 is back at the Clair Nelson Center in Finland from July 18-20! Children 5 – 13 years of age are welcome to join us for 3 fun-filled days of learning basic Spanish words and phrases, fun language activities,  cultural arts and crafts, and outdoor adventures. The cost is $30 per child (waivers available). Spanish Camp is made possible by a grant from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation – Global Awareness Fund. Register for Spanish Camp 2022 below!

Bouncing into Summer with Thursday Youth Night

June 7, 2022

The sun is peeking out from the clouds, and like the yellow dandelion blossoms that line the front lawn of the Finland Community Center,kids playing the kids at Youth Night are eager to play outside.

Laughter and screeching tennis shoes rule the air on Thursdays. Colorful plastic cups covered in stickers and scribbled names can be found all over. Though they are often empty, they are relics of a full night. With an updated fleet of colorful LED lite tricycles, the gym area has been lit up with words like, “Wow! It glows!” and… “Wook at the kowas!” (“kowas” is a 5 year old’s interpretation of the word, “colors”.)

Like Times Square on the fourth of July, Heather delivered an epic grand finale snack display before passing the, “snack person” baton back to Sheryl for the season. Our teenage staff employees Ryan and Layla seem evenly matched when put on opposing sides of the dodge ball line. When the yellow, red, blue and purple balls start flying, there is no telling who will win.

Ryan continues to do an excellent job leading our group games at the end of Youth Night. His gentle yet stern leadership when choosing games seems tactful and consistently encourages group unity among the kids.

In addition, Layla has displayed incredible skills at the outdoor playground game, “mouse trap.” Her responsible, detail-oriented attitude has proven to be an invaluable addition to our team. After we recently added 3 new large yellow bouncing balls with pizza sized smiley faces on them, many of our adult staff echoed, “We had those when I was a kid!” Surprisingly, these large plastic spheres have stayed relevant through the ages and continue to spark interest and joy for generation after generation. Like the ancient proverb illuminates, “Bounce once and you will bounce for a lifetime, to bounce is to know.”

Thank you for your continued support. We appreciate all those who help make this program a reality and elevate a strong community of healthy kids. May the bounce be with you.


Youth Night Staff

Support Camp Finland 2022!

May 6, 2022

Dear Finland Community,

Camp Finland is back June 20th-24th for another week of local arts, exploration and adventure for kids 5-17! Kids Camp serves the 5-11 year-olds as a day camp with one overnight. The theme for Kids Camp this year is Northern Explorations” as we will be heading north to explore the Grand Portage and Grand Marais area. We will start in Grand Marais by visiting Joy & Co, and Yellow Bird Gallery. In Grand Portage we will visit the heritage site and explore around the beautiful Canadian Border.

Teen Camp serves the 12-17 year-olds as a week long overnight camp out of our own Teen Base Camp. This year we’re heading up north to sail on the great ship Hjordis out of the bay of Grand Marais, a day trip into the Boundary Waters near Ely, and tons of art, youth empowerment, swimming and nature based activities from our base camp in Finland. One big change this year is that we’ll be spending more time with our fellow Kids Campers during Camp week again!

We are so excited to welcome you back! All of these fun activities are community and grant supported, so we greatly appreciate any support that you are able to give to Camp Finland. If you are able, consider supporting the work of Camp Finland this year. You can donate online at GiveMN.org or by mailing a check to Friends of Finland, PO Box 582, Finland, MN 55603. Be sure to make a note that it is for “Camp Finland.” Donations for Camp and Youth Programming are always appreciated.

Thanks and we’ll see you soon!!

-Kenny, Kelly, Honor, Andrew and Lucy