WatersMeet Eco* Farm
Jane Krogstad of Mukwonago, WI received a 2000 SARE grant to convert a small portion of their farm to sustainable agriculture methods. The purpose of this grant was for three independent growers to work together to produce a large quantity of fresh, nutritious vegetables and fruits that would be available to purchase at several local farmers markets. By collaborating their knowledge and skills they have been able to form a cooperative entitled WatersMeet Eco Farm.
This project was intended to convert several acres to organic gardening, but due to limited equipment, they chose to renovate only 5 acres for their production. Three acres were planted to various vegetables by CSA operators Sandy Raduenz and Dave Kozlowski. Throughout the growing season, the surplus of vegetables were donated to three local food pantries; totaling more than 500 lbs of vegetables during a 14 week period.
The remaining two acres were planted to flowers, herbs and fruit trees. These were hit hard by the drought and without an adequate irrigation system were unable to reach full production. Through this process, Jane learned the importance of a permanent irrigation system and all the work that is required to maintain these crops. In the future she plans to plant more wildflower species and expand her herb production so that it would require less water and be more tolerable to drought conditions.
Throughout this project they were able to work the Big Bend Municipal Court, which allowed offending juveniles to perform community service on their farm and learn some valuable organic gardening skills. The group also had the privilege of speaking at several colleges, public meetings and conservation clubs regarding family farm issues. “The financial support from the grant has allowed me to have a voice and a presence in my community and state,” explained Krogstad.
For more information concerning the WatersMeet Eco Farm visit their website