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Help her dream come home to ‘roost’

Catharine Noel, with one of her 38 chickens, stands by the garden of The Roost, a “farm to table cultural learning center.” The Roost is almost complete, but an Indiegogo campaign has been started to raise the remaining funds so it can be opened by June 1.

While growing up in the Bronx, NY, town of River Falls resident Catharine Noel knew she wanted to be someplace where she could be free.

“I grew up where you would get a fine if you walked on the grass,” she said. “I wanted to be in an environment where I was free to walk.”

Noel said she’s accomplished that dream with a place she calls “heaven” in the town of River Falls. She moved there in 1996.

With that dream accomplished, Noel has set her sights on opening The Roost, N8480 850th Street, “a place where the community can gather together and experience the beauties and values of living on a farm.”

She said she wants “kids and adults who have never experienced life on the farm to understand where the eggs they eat at home come from or how the milk they drink gets to the dinner table.”

With the help of the community, friends and family, Noel is planning to open “The Roost” around June 1.

According to Noel, “The Roost is a farm-to-table cultural learning center. Helping young citizens and their families become educated in sustainable farming practices through gardening, animal husbandry, developing entrepreneurial experiences and culinary education.”

Noel said that the progress made to get The Roost up and running has been made possible with help from the community, friends and family.

While she is close to having The Roost complete, she is still trying to get additional funds to finish up.

She has been working with Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) on a crowd funding campaign.

To help raise money to finish The Roost, a Friends of the Roost event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at N8480 850th Street. There will be a petting zoo, artisan pizza, and baked goods available with free will donation.

Noel said that CVTC’s marketing class also developed, implemented and launched an Indiegogo campaign. She said she has 40 days to raise $5,000.

She said that money will be used to finish the commercial kitchen, get garden equipment, get more animals -- she has 38 chickens -- and set up classes.

Noel, pastry chef at Lucia’s Restaurant in Minneapolis for 13 years, said The Roost will feature a commercial kitchen that will be available for rent.

Noel says that there will be a hoop house built near her garden that raises produce for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). She said that, once added, the hoop house will hold a small group of people for invitation only dinners.

Noel said that she will continue to host “Pizza Sundays” from noon to 4 p.m. where customers can order pizza to take home or, once the grass is in, eat on the lawn.

At this time pizzas are sold for donations only, because The Roost is not officially open.

Eventually Noel would like to have classes -- cooking, gardening, and sustainable gardening. She would also like to invite groups from the inner city to come out.

She said by bringing at-risk youth out to her hobby farm, she hopes to “give them hope that all things are possible.”

To see a video about The Roost or donate visit

For more information about The Roost, visit

See the entire article in the May 1 edition of the Journal.

Jillian Dexheimer
Jillian Dexheimer has been a copy editor and reporter for the River Falls Journal since 2011. She previously worked for the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. Dexheimer holds a sociology degree from UW-River Falls.
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