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Know your growers

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Margaret Plevak | June 15, 2014

Walworth and Rock county area CSAs:

Turtle Creek Gardens, N5105 Pinnow Road, Delavan, turtlecreekgardenscsa.com  (262) 441-0520

What's offered:  Fruits, vegetables and other products--including honey, oil, maple syrup and cheese-- available through CSA and direct farm sales. Organic, grass-fed beef, chicken and eggs are also available on a monthly basis.

Notable: Janet Gamble, owner of Turtle Creek Gardens LLC, a biodynamic, certified organic, sustainable farm, has over 30 years of experience in growing organic food.

Quotable:  “There's something about working on the land that you don't get working really hard in other industries. When you're working on the land, it gives back, there's nutrition to what you're growing to something on the sort of the soul level.” -- Janet Gamble

Living off the Fat of the Land, W7036 Quinney Road, Elkhorn, lotfotl.com, april@lotfotl.com; (262) 951-0794 (general farm);  (920) 318-3800 (customer service and farm store)

What's offered:  Organically grown vegetables, locally-sourced fruit from family farms, pastured pork, beef, chicken and eggs; honey.

Notable:  Earlier this year, Lotfotl was awarded “Beginning Farmer of the Year” by the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training. The farm annually donates to community organizations, such as food pantries, school fundraisers and Habitat for Humanity.

Quotable: “I didn't get into this because I'm from a farming background. I got into this from reading the wrong books in college on my way to getting a sociology degree with philosophy and ethics and an environmental studies minor. Growing food was how I was going to change the world. I don't know if it has, but it's made the lives of the people we sell food to a lot better.” –-Tim Huth, Lotfotl owner/operator

“In my lifetime I'm not going to be the person that starts a revolution that takes over the whole nation or whole world, but I am a part of a smaller revolution that is making a difference. In becoming a beekeeper, I learned that each honeybee will make about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in their lifetime. That to me was a great life lesson because I realized one person can do a very small amount, but when a lot of people are working toward the same goal, a lot can get accomplished. One person can be a part of something really big.” -–April Yuds, Lotfotl 

What subscribers say: “A CSA is a partnership. Both sides of the contract—producers and customers—have to understand that some things, like Mother Nature, are beyond any of our control. We can all get back to a more basic form of sustenance. One can't just fly off somewhere and get something that failed to grow locally or doesn't even grow locally.” –Susan Baumgartner, Lotfotl member for two years  

Scotch Hill Farm, 910 S. Scotch Hill Road, Brodhead, http://www.scotchhillfarm.com/, Tony@scotchhillfarm.com or Dela@scotchhillfarm.com,  (608) 897-4288

What's offered:  Organic vegetables, pickled and preserved vegetables, goats' milk cheese and goats' milk soaps

Notable: On August 10, Scotch Hill Farm will be part of the Soil Sisters Tour, a collection of small family farms  run by women who are committed to local agriculture and healthy ways of farming and eating.

Quotable:  “One of our subscribers, a woman from Rockford, told me, 'When I started as a member of this CSA, I thought I was doing you a favor. But when I came to your farm and saw it, experienced it, and read the newsletters about what you were doing, I realized that you were doing me a favor.'  There is a joy in working with the soil and plants and animals. It's like retelling the creation story every day.” -–Tony Ends, owner/operator of Scotch Hill Farm  

What subscribers say:  “I think the most important thing for CSA subscribers is the willingness to spend time on their food. It won't always be as quick as opening a jar of sauce and boiling some past, but the benefits are noticeable. I think skill can be developed over time with a little patience and experimentation.” —Megan Adams, subscriber of Scotch Hill Farm since 2012

"I had to advise my neighbors not to worry about all the people coming briefly to my home on Thursday evenings, and that I'm dealing veggies, not drugs!” —Rhonda Van Pembrook, a subscriber to Scotch Hill Farm, whose home is one of the pickup sites for subscribers in her Milwaukee neighborhood

Tipi Produce, 14706 W. Ahara Road, Evansville, tipiproduce.com , (608) 882-6196

What's offered:  Organically grown vegetables and fruits; pick-your-own strawberries and raspberries

Notable: CSA subscribers can receive free, weekly custom designed recipes and menus from the chef of a Madison restaurant; menus are designed to use up each week's share of vegetables.

Quotable:  “People have to recognize that vegetables grown for grocery stores are deliberately picked underripe so they will last as they're shipped across the country.  The vegetables will not taste as good as those picked locally. We wait until fruit and vegetables are fully ripe to harvest them at their peak flavor to taste better.” –Beth Kazmar, owner/operator Tipi Produce

What subscribers say: “We love knowing a day ahead of time what veggies we are getting, and reading the veggie notes and the newsletter about what happened in the fields that week. Beth is a great writer. The newsletter remind me of Barbara Kingsolver's 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.'” —Betsy Abramson, subscriber at Tipi Produce for four years


Roots Down Community Farm, 4146 E. County Highway N, Milton, www.rootsdowncommunityfarm.com, csa@rootsdowncommunityfarm.com, (608) 868-1611

What's offered:  Certified organic, sustainably grown vegetables and fruits

Notable:  Farm is in fourth season as a Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition, meaning eligible subscribers may qualify for a rebate through their HMO.  

Quotable: ”This really is a community effort. It's a big cycle. The reason this works so well is that these people are interested in the food, but they also put an investment down early. The people who have invested are getting the rewards from the farm. Subscribers have to have trust and faith in your ability to farm. “ –Kyle Thom, owner/operator of Roots Down Community Farm

 

Lovelight Flowers, East Troy, https://www.facebook.com/LovelightFlowers, flowerfarmerandrea@yahoo.com, (414) 510-5505

What's offered: Organically grown annual and perennial flowers  

Notable:  Lovelight Flowers offers three different subscriptions. The Honeybee share is a 10-week program that starts the first week in July and runs through the second week of September. The Grasshopper share is a five-week subscription, and is every other week from July through September. The Butterfly Share s a monthly arrangement delivered to a home or office.

Quotable: “Lovelight Flower bouquets bring a certain nostalgia to our customers, who rave about how long-lasting and fresh our flowers are. They also tell me memories of their grandmother's flower gardens when they see our special heirloom varieties. Many people are familiar with the local SLOW food movement and are just becoming aware of our SLOW Flower movement. There are a number of farmer florists across America that are pledging to use only locally grown, sustainable flowers." -–Andrea Clemens, owner/operator of LoveLight Flowers

 


Nature's Niche, 33347 Washington Ave., Burlington, (262) 492-1382

What's offered: vegetables, pork, chickens, turkey, eggs, honey and goats' milk soap

Notable:  Owner/operator Laura Pulda has a few subscribers who get home deliveries.

Quotable: “Once I range the doorbell on the home of a family I was delivering to, and I heard the mom yell, 'The CSA is here.' The kids were saying, 'Yay, we get eggs today.' They didn't know I could hear them telling each other the things they were looking forward to. Those were the best words I've ever heard. That makes it all worth it for all the digging in the mud, the sweat the cold. Those little kids were happy!” -–Laura Pulda, owner/operator of Nature's Niche



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