It is nearly time for the First Annual Farm Crawl and Fundraiser hosted by Driftless Wisconsin Grown this Sunday, June 22 from 1 to 5 p.m.
The Crawl features six locations to visit and tour at your own pace. This is a great opportunity to meet local producers and see how and where our food is grown in the Driftless Region of southwest Wisconsin.
The Farm Crawl is a free event open to everyone wishing to participate. You can choose where to go and how long to spend at each stop.
Gatherings on the Ridge Event Barn (25941 State Highway 27, Eastman) will host a Farmers Market during the Farm Crawl where you can visit with Coulee View Family Farm, Mystery Bridge Farm and Driftless Edibles. Taste their fares and purchase their products, while you enjoy this amazing event meeting place.
You may also tour West Ridge Orchard (52132 Highway 171, Gays Mills). The orchard contains 20 varieties of apples as well as pick your own strawberries. Later in the season they offer winter squash, pumpkins, sweet corn, and apple crisp donuts.
Star Valley Flowers (51468 County Road C, Soldiers Grove) is a cut flower operation that specializes in growing cut flowers, woody ornamentals and perennials. The farm has 165 acres in production, and products are shipped as far as Honolulu and Boston. The largest field-grown cut flower producer in the Midwest, Star Valley Flowers markets to wholesale florists, brokers and high-end retailers.
Tour Driftless Organics (52450 McManus Road, Soldiers Grove) to see food being produced sustainably. Growing up on an organic dairy farm, Josh and Noah Engel have farming in their blood. Early in their lives, they began with potatoes in their parents’ backyard. As they grew, so did their ambition and the number of crops. The farm has expanded to over one hundred acres of vegetables, fruits, small grains and sunflowers, all grown organically. In 2006, Mike Lind joined them and added grass-fed cattle to the operation.
Austin's Rush Creek Farm is putting finishing touches on their new commercial kitchen (E5162 Rush Creek Road, Ferryville, two miles from Rising Sun and just a mile off County B). Brian and Carolyn Austin are sixth generation farmers using natural growing methods without the use of chemical herbicides and pesticides. They grow produce in open fields, low tunnels, and in a high tunnel (hoop house). They offer fresh produce and preserved foods.
Stop in at the Driftless Brewing Company (102 West Sunbeam Boulevard, Soldiers Grove) for their handcrafted premium ales and lagers. The brewery is currently under expansion in their new site in Soldiers Grove, serving seven local outlets and moving to a 15-barrel system later in 2014-15 for regional distribution to LaCrosse and Madison.
There is plenty to see and do for the whole family! Spend the afternoon meeting the great people who grow our food and learn more about what our area has to offer. The drive through our beautiful Driftless region will be lovely!
This event is also a fundraiser for Driftless Wisconsin Grown to help them continue their work, supporting our community with such projects as Farm to School, Farm to Table, Harvest of the Month and our local Farmer's Markets.
For just $10, you will receive a sheet of VIP coupons with a $50 value while also helping to support DWG to continue efforts to bring more fresh local food to your tables. The coupons offer great deals such as $5 off your ticket to the October 11 Harvest Dinner, $5 off any purchase at West Ridge Orchard, $5 off any purchase $25 or larger at Driftless Edibles, 5 percent off all purchases at Driftless Organics and 20 percent off all purchases at Austin's Rush Creek Farm the day of the crawl and much more from Driftless Brewery, Gatherings on the Ridge U-pick strawberries, Coulee View Farms, Mystery Bridge Farms and Star Valley Flowers.
VIP Coupons are available at Driftless Edibles Market, 126 W Blackhawk Ave, Prairie du Chien, at the Prairie Street Farmers Market this Saturday 7:30 a.m. until noon in the Sports World Parking lot, at any of the Farm Crawl sites on the day of the event or go online to www.driftlesswisconsingrown.org.
For more information or a crawl map, visit the website at http://driftlesswisconsingrown.org/main/first-annual-farm-crawl/.