Seward Co-op’s annual Know Our Grower program hosts local farmers who supply our stores and kitchen with produce grown using sustainable practices, soil restoration, organic pest control methods, and more. In addition to those farms growing during temperate months, we also work with growers that push the limits of our northern growing season by using hydroponic systems and greenhouses. Visit our Classes and Events calendar often this summer to read about our featured Know Our Grower producers. We’ll have lots of opportunities to meet farmers in the stores, sample unique and delicious recipes using their produce, and get great sale prices on selected items.
The first farm we’re featuring is Keewaydin Farms out of Viola, Wisconsin. Rufus Haucke from Keewaydin will be sampling on Thursday, May 17 at the Franklin store from noon-2 p.m. and at the Friendship store from 3-5 p.m. Check out the Eating Wild class Rufus is hosting that evening from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Friendship classroom.
At the end of Haucke Lane in southwestern Wisconsin, you’ll find Keewaydin Farms, home to 15 acres of organically certified market garden produce, maple sugaring operations, a 40-cow dairy, grass-fed chickens, and a herd of swine. Founded in 1976 by Richard and Mary Haucke, Keewaydin Farms is second-generation owned and operated by Richard and Mary's children, Jacob, Rufus and Jessica Haucke. In 2008, Keewaydin Farms began reaching out to neighboring certified organic farms. Jason and Jennelle Thimmesch grow Swiss chard, parsley, and cilantro on Thimmesch Farm. EZ Farming is a collaboration between Brian Wickert and his sons Zach and Ethen, who grow summer squash, beets, shallots, cabbage and winter squash. Tilth Farm grows around 20 acres of certified organic asparagus. Keewaydin Farms is honored to work with neighbors to provide fresh organic produce to stores like Seward Co-op. They believe farming is about community, that cooperation and sharing of markets makes us all stronger in the long run.