Get to know North Wind Organic Farm
North Wind Organic Farm is nestled in a mostly forested and hilly region of far northern Wisconsin, about 3 miles from Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The farm emphasizes solar and wind energy, ecological decision making, self-reliance and beyond organic production of fruits and vegetables. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and an assortment of tree fruits provide the foundation for harvest from the summer solstice through freeze up. All crops are marketed locally through co-ops, farmers markets, a CSA, restaurants, and to farm visitors.
CLIMATE CHANGE: A MAJOR PRIORITY
Anyone who catches the news even once a month or goes outside on occasion probably realizes the dire situation global climate is in. Drought, floods, record heat, and massive unheard of storms are only the start. We encourage everyone to adjust their lives to continually lessen climate impact and to demand that corporate entities and government officials to take action.
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY USED HERE
North Wind is not connected to the national electric grid and the attendant coal, nuclear, oil, and gas units. Our electricity has been generated on site from solar and wind for decades. Our wide variety of solar collectors, some manufactured decades ago, are integrated in the system. Space heating needs are met by wood and passive solar. Hot water is produced by burning wood. Wood stoves are used for both meal preparation and for jam making in our certified kitchen.
AFFORDABLE ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Electric vehicles are used on the farm where practical and affordable. A small truck style NEV (neighborhood electric vehicle) transports crops and materials on the farm. Some of the mowing is done with an ELECTRAX riding mower sold by General Electric in the 1970s. Part of the cultivation is accomplished with an Allis G tractor converted to electric. Two electric bikes are sometimes used for trips to town. All are charged by alternative energy.
LOCAL IS NOT ENOUGH
Lots of poisonous chemicals, artificial fertilizers, and plastics are used in most every growing region of the country. Those substances do not support local health, water, and air quality, a living soil, or an uncontaminated food web. Any energy gained from local transportation of those ill-raised crops are offset, at least in part, by the energy demands of the pesticide and fertilizer inputs. Ask for organic, get local if you can.
ORGANIC METHODS AND ACTIONS
North Wind operates in accordance with and beyond national organic standards with our Green Grown products. The farm has been certified in the past, but is not currently, mostly due to the paper work and record keeping associated with our crop mix and level of diversity.
ENVIRONMENTAL CHOICES ARE IMPORTANT
Many procedures followed at North Wind are done with the earth in mind first, even though they often mean more work, less payback, and a longer time frame. We know that the life support systems of the planet are stressed, species are threatened or out of balance, toxins foul our water, air and health, and so forth. In the midst of government and corporate complicity and in the spirit of meaningful change some of our commitments are as follows:
- Low cost and environmentally compatible building strategies.
- Use of salvaged, discarded, used, on farm and local materials.
- Using and reusing natural packaging options as much as possible.
- Striving to minimize use of the automobile and having cost effective but gas conserving vehicles.
- Solar, wind, wood and other alternatives are employed.
- Artificial chemical sprays and fertilizers are never used and purchased organic inputs and controls are at a minimum.
- Selecting, saving, and sharing plant varieties accustomed to this area and tolerant of the changing climate.