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Farm-to-Table Movement Taking Hold in Wisconsin

As people increasingly pay attention to where their food is coming from and how it's grown, organic farming operations such as Three Brothers Farm near Oconomowoc are holding and supporting farm-to-table events to give people the experience of eating fresh organic produce. Credit: Three Brothers Farm
As people increasingly pay attention to where their food is coming from and how it's grown, organic farming operations such as Three Brothers Farm near Oconomowoc are holding and supporting farm-to-table events to give people the experience of eating fresh organic produce. Credit: Three Brothers Farm
August 12, 2015

OCONOMOWOC, Wis. - The farm-to-table approach is gaining momentum in Wisconsin, with the advent of Community Supported Agriculture and a growing concern among consumers about where their food is coming from.

An ever-increasing number of people are beginning to care a great deal about where their food is from, said Michael Gutschenritter, who runs an organic growing operation near Oconomowoc called Three Brothers Farm, which concentrates on organic produce and high-quality eggs.

"The reason now is that people are kind of scared of the conventional food system," he said. "Conventionally, we're spraying all of our food for the most part, and eating it out of cardboard boxes, so people kind of fear that, and it's a warranted fear."

A number of organizations such as the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute now regularly sponsor farm-to-table events, bringing together a community of consumers through food grown and raised by local farmers and thoughtfully prepared by a local chef.

According to Gutschenritter, people who are used to eating nothing but the processed produce sold at most grocery stores really have an awakening when they first taste organically grown produce.

"When somebody tastes a farm-fresh carrot for the first time, there's absolutely no comparison to a carrot that you would buy in a grocery store," he said. "Once people realize how high-quality farm-fresh organic vegetables are, they just become absolutely addicted."

Gutschenritter said farm-to-table events at his organization, Three Brothers Organic Farm, and similar events held by the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute and similar organizations now regularly sell out, with large crowds of appreciative eaters.

"The number-one important thing about a dining experience is knowing where it comes from, eating local food and supporting your neighbors by supporting their business," he said. "That's the most important thing, that can build a community right now, and farm-to-table dinners are a great way of doing it."

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI