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Thank you to our local producers

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Whitewater Gardens Farm

La Crosse:
Our growing season started out wet and cool. This was good for some of our local crops and not so good for others. For example, the weather was great for our asparagus growers. Tim and Julie Smith, Barb Clark and friends, and Pat Slattery kept us supplied with a delicious, abundant crop.

Unfortunately for our outdoor seasonal growers, this weather pattern made it very difficult to get into the fields. Transplating from greenhouse-grown plants was delayed day after day. Also, direct seeding was hindered by the soggy field conditions. As we head into late summer, our main growers of greens, cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, onions are finding their stride. Driftless Organics has supplied us with kale, cauliflower, parsley, chard, collards, red cabbage and lots of zukes and cukes. They started carrot sales in mid-August.

Ridgeland Harvest is coming on with later crops of cukes and zukes, basil, variety cherry tomatoes, plenty of greens and Walla Walla sweet onions. Carrot sales also started in mid-August.

Our early potatoes, bunched radishes and green cabbage came from the Dave Miles Farm. We will also be getting some fall salad greens from Dave’s farm as we did this spring. We’re also hoping to see some late spinach from Dave.

Two of our growers have had good luck growing in protected environments. Tim and Julie Smith’s large green peppers have been here since late July. They are grown in a “high tunnel,” a structure that looks like a greenhouse but does not have the automatic controlled atmosphere that a greenhouse has. The high tunnel provides protection from extreme weather and also provides a heat advantage that pushes the crop ahead. Hopefully we will have some fall broccoli from Tim and Julie.

Our newest organic supplier is Tiffany Cade from rural Westby. Her farm, Deep Rooted, has three greenhouses growing delicious tomatoes. Slicers, heirlooms, and small Sun Gold cherry tomatoes. We have been well served by Tiffany and her partner Jimmy since late June. They also have provided us with beautiful basil. Their tomatoes allowed us to stay local with a very tough crop to grow. There is a lot of expense keeping the greenhouse temperature above 60° to keep the plants healthy and thriving.

The blueberry crop was slowed by the cool conditions. Fortunately Field of Dreams had a good supply for us from late July through most of August. As autumn approaches we look forward to local apples from Fruit Acres as well as organic apples from Countryside, Two Brothers Orchard, and Ed and Lori Martin’s orchard.
—Roger Bertsch

People’s Food Co-op–Rochester is very busy moving into the new digs this fall. We look forward to a greatly expanded space for our local producers. It was a cool, wet spring and a challenging season. We wish to thank Daniel and Hannah Miller of Easy Yoke Farm for their excellent kale, salad mixes, and tomatoes this year; the Timms family of Fairview Farms for all the good work they do; Lonny and Sandy Dietz of Whitewater Gardens for sweet potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes; Featherstone Farms; Harvey Lambright and the folks at Stateline Farms for all of the good harvest this year.