Portrait of author Atina Diffley

  • Article by: KIM PALMER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 17, 2012 - 2:43 PM

ATINA DIFFLEY

Roots: Diffley, 52, is a local pioneer in the modern organic farming movement, who with her husband, Martin, operated Gardens of Eagan, one of the first certified organic produce farms in the Midwest.

Today: Her memoir "Turn Here Sweet Corn" was just published by the University of Minnesota Press. The Diffleys now operate a consulting business, Organic Farming Works.

Home base: Diffley and her husband live in the brick rambler they bought for a dollar and moved to their farmstead in Eureka Township.

Family: Two grown children and three grandchildren.

Favorite thing: "Rain."

Childhood craving: "Wonder Bread. My mother made all our own bread."

Hobby: "Wildcrafting," harvesting food from wild plants, such as nettles, rose hips and purslane.

Farming motto: "To be successful in farming, you have to learn all the rules so that you know when to break them."

Knows it all: "Listening to her talk about organic farming is like putting your mouth up to a fire hose," jokes Diffley's writing mentor Beth Dooley. "It's a lot of information."

Words of wisdom: "Never touch a wet tomato. The pores are open, and you get more diseases."

 

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