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Pioneering organic farmer publishes memoir

By Heather Thorstensen

Diffley_Turn coverFARMINGTON, Minn. — Atina Diffley wrote her debut memoir about farming in Minnesota to help beginning farmers learn from her experience and to teach the public about organic farming.

"It really gives the reader a good understanding of the challenges a farmer works with," she said. "All farmers, whether they're organic or not, we all face the same challenges."

Atina and her husband, Martin, ran one of the first certified organic produce farms in the Midwest, Gardens of Eagan.

"Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works" is published by the University of Minnesota Press. It is now in stores.

The story spans the majority of Atina's life so far, from her childhood dreams of becoming a farmer to joining Martin on land that has been in his family for five generations. They had to give up that land to eminent domain for a school, only to move to another farm, which fell in a proposed path of a crude oil pipeline.