My first garden sat on abandoned railroad property between a rail siding and a smelly potato warehouse in East Grand Forks. Tending tomatoes and peppers with my parents, aunt, and grandpa, we were able to feed ourselves from this little and neglected strip of land.
Fast forward ten years. Maree and I discovered organic farming as a college students. We would trek down the hill from Gusatvus Adolphus College to the St. Peter Food Co-op where we fell in love with good food and the whole food scene. The place was quaint and countercultural with the typical smell of curry powder and coffee. My food dollar—of which I had few at the time—went to nearby growers and operations that were dedicated to healing the earth by building a business, not lobbying congress. Good food with a high mission – what’s not to love?
Upon graduation, this inspiration took me to Foxtail Farm near Osceola, WI to learn the craft of organic vegetable production for two years. As an apprentice, I learned the ropes of farming. How to battle weeds, swing a harvest knife without losing a finger, and generally push through a slew of bad weather and setbacks to produce a crop.
After a stint as market gardeners on rented land near the Twin Cities, we moved to Otter Tail county and our current location in 2004 and began to dig ground. Three kids and countless hours later, we continue to grow and serve good food through our CSA program and three farm stands.