October 8th was the final market day for the regular market season. As everyone knows, 2020 has been a trying year for all, and made for an unusual market year filled with face masks, one-way customer flows and lots of hand-washing.
Despite the challenges faced by all, the Finland Farmers Market had a stellar year. We have been tracking customer weekly attendance since 2016, and 2020 came in with more than half of it’s weekly market attendance tracking 15-45% above the running average. That is, in a word, amazing! Only two market days in 2020 fell below the 5 year average.
On top of our committed and long-term vendors, we also added new vendors selling jams, chips & salsa, frozen pizzas & additional bread products! We are always looking for new vendors to add to our mix, especially those offering meats & cheeses. So if any of our readers have a suggestion for new vendors for the 2021 Farmers Market Season, please reach out to us.
In 2021, if things return to “normal”, we look forward to offering cooking demonstrations, informational community tables, and hopefully even having onsite food trucks serving hot food. Stay tuned.
But WAIT… the 2020 season may not yet be over! Earlier this season, a group of vendors got together to discuss & create an online sales platform for the Finland Farmers Market. Round River Farm, the Switchback Farm and Wolf Ridge Farm all participated and trialed out this new online platform this season with great success. As we go into the Winter Holiday Season, the Finland Farmers Market is looking at holding two online markets per month in both November and December. This would allow you have access to some amazing local products for food or possibly holiday gifts. Watch for a special newsletter coming out in late October for more information.
A sincere and heart-felt thank-you to all the vendors and customers who made the 2020 Farmers Market Season a great success.
Finland Farmers Market Manager
Despite the work it took to comply with all of the COVID-19 safety guidelines, Camp Finland did happen! It was in July instead of June, there were definitely fewer kids than usual, and staff wore themselves out somewhat with all the planning, but we did it! All in all, it was really fun!
It felt really good to have kids on the site and in the Center again. COVID forced us to think differently about activities with distancing and safety in mind (think: squirtgun painting, nerf gun tag, that kind of thing), and to have activities outside where the kids could spread out as much as possible. Teen Camp spent nearly all of their time outside. Sadly, we could not incorporate as much community involvement due to COVID concerns. We really missed our kite-flying volunteers and craft mentors! Fortunately, staff were very flexible and creative and worked hard to ensure that it was a quality experience for everyone.
What an outstanding group of staffpeople! Andrew Norcross, Jenna Pollard, Margaret Sager, and Robyn Char pulled off a beautiful week of Teen Camp with amazing activities and mentorship for the teens. Kenny Albrecht, Julia Littlewolf, Oliver Smith, Kyler Knaffla and Amber Lattin (4 of them are alumni of our Youth Program!) were our amazing Kids Camp staff, coming up with so many creative ways for kids to have fun together and remain distanced.
Our kitchen staff was also incredible: Nancy Anselment-Olson, Sandy Gunnink, and Heather Brown worked hard all week (and beforehand) to work out tasty and healthy meals and snacks and individually package everything for COVID-19 compliance and safety.
Big thank yous to all the folks who donated to support Camp: specifically Michele Stocke, Andrea Leabch, Wade Stromgren and Sue Rian, but there are many others who have donated over the course of the year in support of Camp and Youth Programming in general. Thank you all!
More big thank yous to all the folks who helped out with setting up and tearing down the giant tent: Ron Van Bergen, Dustin and Kelsie Williams, Gary Olson, Jeffrey Mitchell Jr, Blake Hawbaker, Jac Knife, Bob Nelson, Jared Conboy, Katee Ristuccia, Kenny Albrecht, Oliver Smith, and Kyler Knaffla. We could not have done it this year without that giant tent!
Teen Camp Slideshow
Kids Camp Slideshow
Everyone stay safe and healthy and we hope to see you at Camp Finland next year!
It’s been a long weird couple of months since this COVID-19 thing started and we had to make the hard decision to suspend community activities at the Clair Nelson Center. Now things are opening up again, kind of, and we are in the position of having to figure out what is allowed and what is not and also, what is safe and what is not. A complicating factor is that we are usually a “multi-use facility.” Many different activities can happen here at the same time. Normally that is a strength. We have often bragged about how much use this place was getting some days. Tuesdays used to be amazing, with the Craft Ladies in the meeting room, Toddler Playtime in the gym or outside, people coming and going all day, and meetings and basketball in the evenings. We really miss all of that. We’re confident that those times will be back, but right now, that kind of overlapping use is a danger to members of our community.
We fall under multiple categories in the State of MN’s phased plan for reopening. As of June 10th, we are in Phase 3 of Stay Safe MN. All large public gatherings are not allowed. Farmers Markets are considered essential services, so the Finland Farmers Market opened on June 11th with protocols in place for hygiene and distancing. Youth Programming will resume in July with almost entirely outdoor activities and a few distanced art and craft activities. Staff are working on the hygiene and distancing protocols now, as well as the timeframe and logistics. More information on youth programming will be announced soon.
We have decided not to allow other activities indoors at the Center at this time. Under the current guidelines, distanced gatherings of fewer than 10 people are allowed, however, we do not have the staff to enforce the number limits or to keep everything cleaned and sanitized in between groups. Similarly, distanced gym activities would be allowed under the guidelines, but again, we don’t have the staff to enforce the numbers or to clean and sanitize between groups.
We are happy to train people on the use of Zoom for online meetings. It’s free and easy to use. We can help you set up your own account, or use the Friends of Finland account (with some training and/or help from staff).
As before, public internet is still available. The entryway library and outdoor bathroom are still open.
Our outdoor facilities are available for groups of 25 or less practicing distancing, and folks following the MDH’s guidelines for Drive-in gatherings or the DNR’s Outdoor Recreation Guidelines. The RV Dump is open for the season. Use of all of our facilities is at your own risk! We clean and sanitize as much as possible, but we have a limited staff dealing with a large outdoor area and a lot of surfaces.
We will revisit this decision whenever Phase 4 is announced or new public health guidelines concerning COVID-19 are put forth by the MDH.
Thanks for your patience! We love our community! Let’s stay safe!
From the Youth Night Staff @ the Finland Community Center
UUUUGH!! Is this still happening?
Alright kids, here’s what’s up. We’ve been cooped up and isolated for a few months now and we know it’s getting old, but it ain’t gonna last forever. Here at the World Headquarters for Northwoods Youth Funness (AKA The Clair Nelson Finland Community Center) we are actively working on getting you back together in all new ways that will include keeping you safe from this coronavirus thing. You’ll be hearing more about that very soon, but for now we figured we’d just send you some cool stuff that’ll get you out of the house and having fun right away.
So, as well as sending you fun things to play with, we’re also announcing the beginning of our
1st-ever Youth Program Graphic Art Contest for all YP kids ages 9-16.
The prizes will include:
- 1st place: A set of 60 ARTEZA Everblend Alcohol Art Markers!
- 2nd place: A set of 40 ARTIFY Alcohol Art Markers with Dual Tips!
- 3rd-5th place: An ARTEZA 5.5X8.5” Spiral Bound Sketch Book!
If you draw or sketch, you know these alcohol-based markers are the best, so start creating something special and send it in to our panel of famous artist judges by the end of the day, Thursday May 28th (UPDATE – DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JUNE 4TH)! Only one entry per person, so make it your finest work. Any type of graphic art will be accepted (calligraphy, photography, painting, block prints, computer graphics, and regular old drawing). You can submit your art by:
- Dropping it off at the Community Center anytime before the deadline (look for the “Art Contest Dropbox” just inside the entryway)
- Mailing it to PO Box 582 Finland, MN 55603
- Or emailing it to us using the form below
AND If you’re not an artist and wanna get in on the fun, we’re also holding a Free Drawing with some really great prizes including:
- 1st place: A cherry red VIRO Rides VR 230 Attitude Stunt Scooter!
- 2nd-4th place: A brand new fishing pole with reel and fishing line!
To win, all you have to do is enter before the end of the day on Thursday May 28th (UPDATE – DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JUNE 4TH), so do it now!!!.
- Call us at (218) 353-0300 and leave a message
- Mail us at PO Box 582 Finland, MN 55603
- Or emailing it to us using the form below
Make sure to include your name and address when calling!
Winners will be announced on our Facebook page. If you don’t do Facebook, we’ll be mailing you your prize and a letter of praise and admiration, so keep an eye on the mailbox!
Lots of love,
Amber, Nancy, Betsey, Andrew, Sheryl, Kinzee, Honor & Abram