On a blissfully cloudy day in July after a week of record-setting temperatures, nearly 50 Co-op Owners rode along for our first of two Farm Tours for the year. Starting an hour earlier to accommodate an extra stop at our new Willy West store to pick up more participants, we cruised off to Cedar Grove Cheese Company in Plain, Wisconsin for a tour led by owner Bob Wills.

From there, we headed east to Sauk City to the Wollersheim Winery estate; our farm tour participants learned the history of the winery, which began with a Hungarian Count in the 1840s; toured the 27 acres of planted vineyards; and sampled Wollersheim’s award-winning wines.

After enjoying lunch in the wine garden catered by Willy Street Co-op, we loaded up the bus and headed to Vermont Valley Community Farm in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. Farmers Barb and Dave Perkins shared their history that led them to farming as the farm tour participants took in the picturesque farm fields and buildings.

If you missed our first farm tour of the year, don’t worry, we’re preparing for our second farm tour of 2011 to take place on Sunday, September 25th. We’ll be traveling to area farms and hearing directly from the farmers about their production practices. The tour is a great way to see for yourself how your food is produced! To register, call Customer Service at 251-6776 (Willy East) or 284-7800 (Willy West). Limited spots are available, so call soon!