There are 79,400 family farms in Minnesota, but that number is just the beginning of the story. The figure, from 2012, comes courtesy of the state's Department of Agriculture. Government has its idea of what constitutes a farm — and a farmer — and we have ours.

To us, the definition grows blurrier by the day. Is it the kitchen staff tending to a restaurant's rooftop garden? Or the mushroom enthusiast, cultivating spores on a few acres outside St. Paul? Or a group of entrepreneurial urbanites coaxing heirloom vegetables out of inner-city lots?

It's all of these and more. Find out why in the Taste 50.

Photos by Courtney Perry, special to the Star Tribune (except as noted)