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
Field of Vision
By - Rob Hilltop Farm
The United Nations has declared 2015 the International Year of Soil, and none too soon. The stuff keeps sloughing off the continent into the rivers and oceans, mostly under the constant wheel of industrial agriculture which treats this substrate of terrestrial life as if it were a widget machine, ever happy to oblige the beck and call of the commodities markets. Though soil is the alpha and omega of agriculture, a good number of farmers still don't seem to reckon as much by their behavior. To most people meanwhile, dirt is just something to keep out of the carpet.
As an ecological farmer of course, the soil and its constant health and improvement must be front and center on my radar. So it was with appropriate sheepishness that I admitted to our farm members in the April Hilltop newsletter that I know nothing about soil.
This is not entirely true.
Like anyone who works closely with the land I've invariably come to have some sense of when the soil is tired or burgeoning, healthy or depleted, to know how it should feel, how it should absorb water, what the presence of certain weeds might indicate, what the health or failure of certain crops might mean; and I averred as much in the next sentence of my post. But I also swore that I would – in honor of the Year of Soil – up my game and learn a few things about the biological processes that transpire underground, which I would then share in a later newsletter article.
I sat down on a subsequent evening with one of Erin's soil textbooks (she has a degree in the subject, thankfully) and discovered a number of interesting things. But since we'd been planting all day, the tome was soon functioning as my pillow at the kitchen table. Then, suddenly, it was September. Farming – planting, weeding, pest management, bookkeeping, harvesting, washing, packing, processing – had intervened to prevent me apprehending anything additional about that which is the basis of the farm itself. I'm still dumb as a hoe abou ... Read More