FRESH

Farmers Raising Ecologically Sustainable Healthy
Food for Southern Wisconsin


Welcome

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

Transitions

By - Roger Trail Ridge Acres
2014-07-02 20:31:37

Change is an important part of life and it impacts us every day. This has been a year of transition at Trail Ridge Acres. Managing a CSA and the land surrounding it is a full time job from January to January. After retiring from a desk job, it may be obvious why a transition might be in order.

Over 10 years ago my wife and I stepped back from our day jobs and moved to the country to manage our newly purchased acreage in Iowa County. There was forest land, old pasture which looked like an ideal oak savannah, and ground to plant to a garden. What better way to spend time outside and get plenty of exercise and enjoy the life of retirement?

The forest needs to be managed for wildlife habitat and future tree harvest. Wildlife can not survive in an environment that is covered with multi-floral rose, garlic mustard, honeysuckle and several other invasive species. If not dealt with on a regular basis (weekly), the forest becomes impenetrable and of little value. The trees that are there will survive but there will be little regeneration. Besides weed management one must also manage the trees that are present. Sugar maple, oak, and walnut are desirable, but other trees inhibit their growth. This means a timber stand improvement project must be in place to maintain a healthy wood lot. So every winter finds us removing less desirable trees and thinning to provide an optimum environment.

Like the woodlands, an oak savannah must be managed. Again it is those invasive species that threaten our efforts at restoring an old pasture into a mix of forbes, native grasses and bur oak. Just an annual burn doesn’t get the job done. One must work at removing those invasive weeds like sweet clover, crown vetch, and poison parsnips. No one wants a prairie that looks like the road ditches.

Managing the CSA deals with the smallest portion of the land but it is also time consuming. Planning starts as soon as you clean up the previous years activity. Seeds are ord ... Read More



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