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To kick off the 2019 growing season, three small-scale farms in southeastern Wisconsin will join forces to bring attention to their unique products and “hyper-local” proximity to one another.

The group will host “The Stateline Farm Crawl” Memorial Day weekend on Saturday, May 25, 2019, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. All farms will be open to visitors, and there is no charge for attending.

The impetus for the crawl came last year when Sheri Doyle saw a larger, similar crawl in Illinois. She contacted her small farm neighbors to band together and organize their own event to promote the local area and each farm.

"I found it oddly wonderful that several of my 'neighbors' were running small farm operations that were sustainably minded, even certified organic," Doyle explained in an email. "It made me think of how connected our actual land is (and the water sources beneath the land), even though there are property lines and other farms/properties in between. Knowing that people nearby are tending to our natural resources makes me feel better about living here, and I thought that others might appreciate knowing about that too."

Also, Doyle's off-farm job involves working with small-scale, mostly direct market farmers on their business plans. 

"I know from personal experience ... how hard it is to make living at farming," said Doyle. "Thus, I thought if we banded together, we could promote our local area, as well as increase sales for each farm."

The event was more successful than they'd expected.

While each farm produces different products, the farmers share a determination to stimulate the local economy by providing good food to local residents. The three farms also prioritize the use of environmentally sound agriculture practices.

All clustered near Stateline Road, these three farms have experienced success in their own endeavors. However, they realize that there is something special about their close proximity to one another and their emphasis on direct marketing to local residents right from their farms. All three have on-farm stores.

Each farm will host visitors, offering goods for sale, and a chance to peek “behind the scenes.” Some farms will also have activities and self-guided tours for the public. 

The Stateline Farm Crawl gives people the opportunity to visit each farm, all on the same day, with the furthest distance between farms being only three miles.

Farm owners will be on-site to talk with visitors about their production practices, the products they offer, and the systems they have in place to bring healthy, organically grown food to the area.

Look for the yellow balloons marking the driveways of each participating farm.

Farm crawl details

During the Crawl, people can visit an organic beef and poultry farm, a dairy farm with farmstead cheese production in its own creamery, and a micro-nursery that grows plants for the home gardener.  Meat, cheese, and plants will be available for purchase at the relevant farms.

Alden Hills Organic Farms, N237 Alden Rd., Walworth, WI 53184.

Alden Hills Organic Farms is a local family farm with one mission: to provide you and your family with the healthiest, highest-quality, pastured meats. Meats are Certified Organic and guaranteed grass-fed, grass-finished, and always out on pasture. Alden Hills specializes in grass-fed beef, pastured poultry, eggs, garlic, and popcorn. delivering weekly to various locations as well as have the farm store that is open year-round. 

Farm tours will be offered during the crawl. For more information, visit www.aldenhillsorganicfarms.com

Highfield Farm Creamery, W4848 Stateline Road, Walworth, WI  53184

Southeast Wisconsin’s only farmstead artisan cheese makers, Highfield Farm Creamery opens for its fifth season on Memorial Day Saturday. Highfield Farm Creamery handcrafts small batches of cave-aged cheeses from the milk of its pasture-raised Jersey cows.

Visitors can see the cheese-make room through viewing windows and visit Wisconsin’s smallest cow milking parlor where cows are milked two at a time. Samples of cave-aged cheeses in the on-farm Cheese Shop will also be available. 

Open Saturdays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., through the end of December.Visit HighfieldFarm.com for more information. 

Tiny Tempest Farm, W4355 Mohawk Road, Lake Geneva, WI  53147

Tiny Tempest Farm specializes in organically grown vegetable, herb, and flower plants for the avid home gardener.  Open three weekends in May, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., the farm offers a wide selection of plant varieties including heirloom vegetables, unique herbs, reliable standards and edible flowers. 

During the Stateline Farm Crawl, visitors can walk the field path, peak in the barn, and talk “garden talk” with grower/owner Sheri Doyel.  

For more information visit www.tinytempestfarm.com.

Carol Spaeth-Bauer at 262-875-9490 or carol.spaeth-bauer@jrn.com. Follow her on Twitter at cspaethbauer or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/carol.spaethbauer.

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