FRESH Food Connection is a group of farms in southern Wisconsin sustainably producing vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, cheeses, canned goods, wool, and other farm commodities.
Our farms operate based on the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, inviting customers to purchase a yearly or seasonal share of our production. Vegetable and egg/dairy shares are typically provided weekly or bi-weekly, and other types on a more occasional basis.
As farmers seeking to produce in harmony with nature and with the least environmental impact, we sign onto a sustainability pledge that enumerates the principles we follow. Farms that also have organic certification are noted in the member farm list.
As a group, we are organized democratically, following a collective decision-making process and chartered as a cooperative in the state of Wisconsin, with membership tiers allowing both farmers and the wider public to join. We also act as a growers guild, encouraging communication and information-sharing between farmers in order to hone our professional skills.
Latest FRESH Blog Post
Reflections on a Winter Well Spent
By - Kriss and Shannon Circle M Market Farm
The days are stretching out at last and the hens are laying again – thanks to the same increasing sunshine which gives their eggs such a vibrant orange color. While we are still under a full blanket of snow in our little Wisconsin valley, things are shifting here on the farm. Winter, though long and late, is fading fast and spring is rapidly approaching. It’s time to start seeds inside, though we’ve hesitated to begin in a year so cold, since those seeds, once sprouted and in need of light, will require an exorbitant amount of propane heat to survive in the greenhouse. And so in these final days of waiting for just the right moment to begin the growing season, I’m enjoying the luxury of reflecting on a winter well spent.
Most folks assume that because I’m a vegetable farmer, spring is undoubtedly my favorite season. “Bet your itching to get started in those fields!” is the most common greeting I hear when I meet my neighbors in town on a February errand afternoon. Not so, I counter. For me, the sweetest time of year is the coldest time. Those three months likely would not be so sweet if I didn’t have a job that kept me working hard outside in all the weather variations of the other 9 months. Winter is when I get slow down and truly appreciate what I do.
The modern business word for this sort of break is “sabbatical.” The ancients called it a “Sabbath” and the Bible actually commands followers of the Hebrew God to observe several sorts of rhythmic breaks in their daily toil: a one-day weekly rest from work and multiple yearly week-long festivals. Seven- and fifty-year breaks from growing on the land (as well as freedom for indentured servants and a return of property lost to debt) are prescribed as well. The Spanish priest Ignatius Loyola, who founded the Jesuit order in 1540, took the rhythmic rest concept even further for his followers, prescribing a daily or twice-daily “Examen” in which the brothers took a pause from work to prayerfully look back on ... Read More