Our farm is located in Southwest Wisconsin in the Driftless Coulee Region. We are stewards of 21 beautiful ridge top acres of land. Our mission as ‘care takers’ of this small piece of land is to preserve biodiversity, restore soil health, and strive towards implementing a sustainable farm ecosystem. As the number of small family farms in the nation are rapidly disappearing, we aim to nourish an endangered species, young farmers.
We grow healthy food and watch as the soil in which it’s grown in comes back to life after generations of depletion. We take a special interest in soil health and the elemental composition of the earth. Through soil testing and analysis we are learning what needs to be fed back to our fields. Many years before us, essential minerals and organic matter, necessary for healthy plant growth, were depleted from the soil. Once the soil reaches a mineral balance it can be maintained with yearly inputs and cover cropping. When the soil is alive with healthy micro-organisms, earthworms, oxygen and high carbon levels, the weed, insect and plant disease pressure will be significantly lower. When farmers farm with as much of a sincere interest in giving back to the soil as they have an interest in taking from it, the world will be a much healthier and harmonious place to live.
I am passionate about working outside with plants and animals. We grow over 70 varieties of vegetables using organic and biodynamic methods. We raise pastured chickens and pigs for meat. Some friends graze grass-fed beef cows on our small pasture. Having animals on our farm mimics a sustainable ecosystem. The animals provide fertility for the soil, food for the community and helps keep the insect population under control. In the near future we will be planting acres of asparagus, raspberries, strawberries and gradually add perennial fruit-bearing trees. We are still in the third year of our new farm and are putting in new plants and trees as time and weather allows.
We primarily market our vegetables thru the CSA program where the members receive a weekly box of veggies from our farm. From the first or second week of June (nature permitting) until the middle of October, over the peak growing season we provide ‘shareholders’ with as much food as we can stuff in their boxes. We also have a booth at the local Viroqua Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings to sell some of the field’s overflow produce. We have fresh pasture-raised chicken for sale from the summer until late Fall, and our pastured pork for sale by the half and quarter in the Fall. Orders for the pork must be placed by mid summer to ensure a share. We are only raising two heritage hogs now.
The three primary leaders on our farm that make it all happen are Jillian, Adam, and Momma Jane. We bought the farm in 2005, to get back to the simple life, and quickly discovered it isn’t all that simple. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to make this small, intensely farmed place go ‘round. And although it’s the three of us on the home front, without our CSA members and invested community support, we simply would not be where we are today. We are thankful to live in such a beautiful part of the world and to have the strong community support that we have. Our aim is to shorten the gap on consumer awareness of where their food comes from to where it’s purchased. We await the day when majority of the public can, in good conscious, consume a meal and say they know the farmers who raised it. Farmer’s and communities alike will be closer to achieving economic stability and independence.