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St. Croix Valley CSA is a cooperative of small family farms located within a quiet community near Baldwin, Wisconsin; an area of rolling pastures, organic fields, and small lakes. Our CSA also includes a “sister” community of farms in SW Wisconsin who provide extended season and wild-crafted produce offerings to members.
These lifelong farmers have longstanding and diverse produce growing experience, and years of CSA farming experience as well. They will be farmers for generations to come. St. Croix Valley Produce is one of the largest suppliers of local organic produce to Twin Cities’ co-ops, grocers, and restaurants.
Their heritage practices are pure, simple, low-waste, low-tech, and low-energy. Hydro, wind, and solar power are used. Year round “refrigeration” comes from ice that is cut from farm ponds in winter, and stored in insulated ice houses. Seeds have been saved and passed down for many generations, offering CSA members access to many heirloom varieties, some of which are now available only from within the community.
Majestic horses plow the fields, and neighborliness is a priority. No GMO’s, chemicals, pesticides, or hormones, no pollution- rarely even the sound of a motor. All crops are organically raised; most all are certified organic.
Making a living on the land, farming in harmony with nature, and working together daily as a family are all values that are cherished by the community. They consider it a privilege to work collectively for the good of each other, and as stewards of the land that they intend to pass along to their children.
Animals are pasture-raised and humanely treated, surrounding woodlands and wetlands are protected. It is farming done the old-fashioned way, with steadfast conviction and affection.
The St. Croix Valley CSA experience offers a calming step back in time, a glimpse of a gentle, rural lifestyle, and the purest local food possible. Members of the CSA can expect a connection with a mindful community who will bring you beautiful, real food from the harvest of their field’s bounty; the best their hands and hearts can offer.
About the CSA partnership with farms in SW Wisconsin
The St. Croix Valley farmers have the benefit of being close to the Twin Cities. But they do also maintain a working relationship with a community in the “Driftless Area” of SW Wisconsin.
This gives CSA members the unique opportunity to have access to wild crafted produce that is native and abundant in that area. The SW Wisconsin farms’ pristine woodlands offer such treasures as wild greens, ramps, morel mushrooms, and fruit. Because they are nearly a full climate zone warmer than us, members also have access to a much broader spectrum of seasonal produce variety, particularly in early May and late November.
More about the Driftless Area of Wisconsin:
The “Driftless” name describes the historical geology of the region. Glaciers drifted around this area during the glacial period, giving rivers time to cut down into ancient bedrock and create distinctive landforms.
Dense woodlands covering steep hillsides are a unique feature of the stunningly beautiful Driftless landscape. These forests provide countless critical habitat opportunities for wildlife and birds. The pure, cold-water streams and rivers are recognized nationally for their economic, environmental, and recreational importance; they are also world renowned for fly and trout fishing.
The area has a unique diversity, with countless interconnecting ecosystems. The soil is regarded as among the richest and most fertile in the nation. But the topography and environmental complexity makes the region particularly fragile, which brings challenges. Conservation and stewardship will be critical to the future health of this region.
This is why the farming model of our CSA sister community of small family farms is a working success story and example of the thoughtful care required to fulfill this goal.
Here, our CSA farmers’ fields are nestled on forest outskirts, on hillsides, and in valley pockets that are reminiscent of early settler’s farms. Rather than clearing land for easy plowing, the fields fit into the spaces that nature has created. There is idyllic, widely diverse sun and weather exposures that offer incredibly bountiful harvest cycles; and all fields are fed by natural springs. This natural spring water is so pure that it is also the community’s drinking water.
While not the easiest way, these farmers believe it is the most natural, gentle, and enjoyable way to farm. It would be nearly impossible to do with modern farm equipment. This pastoral type of farming provides the highest level of control to insure sustained organic farm fields. Just like the landscape, the farms are highly diverse. Faithful care helps prevent soil erosion, and protects the surrounding woodlands, wetlands, water sources, and wildlife. The hills offer benefits to the farmers as well, such as acting as a buffer to potentially invasive GMO’s. It is with great determination that the community protects their unspoiled environment for future generations.