September 2005

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Customer Comments

General Manager's Report

Board Report

Election Information: Board Candidate Statements and Proposed Budget Details

2005 Annual Membership Meeting Recap

Produce News: The Effects of Chemicals on Our Foods

Specials Information

Eating Well, Being Well and Having Fun While You're At It!: The Food for Thought Festival

Book & Housewares News

Health & Wellness News: Teas

Recipes & Drink Recommendations

Organics: In Our Beds, On Our Bodies and On Our Minds

Producer Profile: Rishi Tea

Putting Your Organic Garden to Bed

Member Services News: Our Annual Farm Tour


Community Calendar

Farm Tour 2005

by Lynn Olson, Member Services Manager

This year’s Willy Street Co-op Annual Farm Tour will take us to southeastern Wisconsin and to three separate farms on Sunday, October 9th from 9:00am –5:00pm. Willy Street Co-op provides farm tours to educate our members on issues of sustainability and farming in our area, and those who’ve taken the tour in the past have commented that they’ve learned a great deal about organics and agriculture that they wouldn’t have otherwise. The early October timing of the tour provides the farmers a rare opportunity to visit with us when they’re not exhausted from the growing season, and the tour conveniently provides a relaxing autumn ride through Wisconsin’s richest farmland.

As always, lunch is provided on the tour and will be served while we’re at the Michael Fields Agriculture Institute. The following is a short synopsis on each of the farms we’ll be visiting. For specific details and more information about the tour, please stop by the Customer Service desk and ask for the detail sheet which will provide valuable information on how to register and prepare yourself for this tour. Cost for members is $10.00 and the non-member rate is $12.00.

Trautman Family Farm —Stoughton, WI
Located in beautiful Stoughton, WI the Trautman family began the conversion of their beef operation to certified organic only three years ago when they bought this property. Scott is a staunch supporter of pasture fed animals and maintains 35 grazing acres of pastureland for their cattle. He also has a penchant for restoring old barns. Newly-certified, this farm will give tourists a good look at how organic farming involves using available resources and the challenges of working any farm.

Michael Fields Agriculture Institute/Stella Gardens —East Troy, WI
Michael Fields is a public non-profit education and research organization promoting resource conserving, ecologically sustainable and economically viable food and farming systems. Their mission is to cultivate the ecological, social, economic, and spiritual vitality of food and farming systems through education, research, policy and market development.

Since 1984, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute has been devoted to developing an agriculture that can sustain the land and its resources. As a public, non-profit learning center, it seeks to revitalize farming with research, education, technical assistance and public policy.

Stella Gardens and Farm is a certified organic, hands-on training farm that instructs students in vegetable production. The farm encompasses 200 acres that include: three acres of hand-worked raised beds; 29 acres of diversified vegetables and soil building rotations; 150 acres of integrated cropping systems that include forage crops and small grain rotations; 20 acres of wooded buffer strips; organic field crop systems research trials; and greenhouses which supplement the gardens and extend the growing season. The vegetable production facility markets to a 200-member subscription CSA program, restaurants, health food stores and farmers’ markets.

Krusen Grass Farms—Elkhorn, WI
Susan Krusenbaum grew up a Wisconsin farm girl, but her husband, Altfrid, started as a German city boy. He learned to farm in the 1970s, through university, where he earned a graduate degree in Animal Sciences, and through several internships. As an environmentalist, his goal was to pursue a healthy alternative to chemical-intensive, large-scale agriculture. “Agriculture as a business desperately needs a change,” he says. “I aimed to create a viable alternative that others could follow.”

And that’s exactly what the Krusenbaums have done on their farm. They have 110 cows on 320 acres. All but 100 acres, which are planted with various crops, are utilized for a system of pasturing called “intensive or rotational grazing.” The Krusenbaums have also diversified their “herd” to include chickens and beef cows. Every year the Krusenbaums host interns, so that young people can share in this new vision of the family farm. The Krusenbaum’s three children: Antony (13), Julia (12) and Justin (9) as well as interns Harold and Maria Malterer, will join Altfrid and Sue in hosting you at Krusen Grass Farms.