Art museum visits and great pizza in Minneapolis today. Sometimes I am struck by how different my childhood was than my kids and every museum visit filled with genuine awe proves it.
Cattail Organics is a small organic farm located in North Central WI. We specialize in salad greens, restaurant sales, CSA (2018), and seedlings.
Cattail Organics Offers a wide range of highest quality organic vegetables via CSA, Farmers Markets, Small Grocery Stores and via many local resturants. [email protected].
Art museum visits and great pizza in Minneapolis today. Sometimes I am struck by how different my childhood was than my kids and every museum visit filled with genuine awe proves it.
Harvesting farm to schools spinach to kick off week one of our great 2023 LFS grant. The last week has felt like an organizational blur and I expect a few more like it as we put the pieces in place to trial new products, to build some new flexibility’s into our planting schedule, and to get data on long term sustainability so we can make the most of every grant dollar. I have been making and checking my lists twice… or three times to keep the cogs moving. Feels like the stars have aligned a bit since normally it is too cold for spinach harvest and we are root vegetable rich from a bumper production year. We are so thankful.
Riley is 15 today! He is intense, outdoorsy, and incredibly good at all athletic things and proving fish/meat for our family. He eats a volume of fruit no one can really comprehend, and is focused, trust worthy and dependable in ways that annoy but support his siblings. In parenting Riley I’ve met my match in terms of early morning wake ups, never stop moving momentum and negotiation skills. Watching your child grow up but also hold the essence of who they have always been is magical. I love you immensely .becker (who is on instagram to monitor what I put on my farm’s social media).
It’s meeting season. I love the collaborations, inspiration, mutual support in our community… and the seasonal latte specials at the Whitewater Music Hall.
Say spinach… and scallions. Over wintered crops are loving this warm January. This might be our first year to harvest greens for 12 months of the year.
It might be a “mild” winter but it is still winter. It looks dreary but it also is filled with excitement. This week we were awarded a grant from Wisconsin DPI to provide schools with food for 2023 at no cost to the schools which is all types of wonderful. We have worked with schools for almost 10 years and worked on farm to school efforts for much longer. Many local schools also received funds to expand and trial new farm to schools purchased and processes for 2023!!
This grant is the kind of thing we have dreamed about. It brings better food into schools where food is provided to all kids regardless of income and to many for whom the meals are their most important. It also pays us fairly for our produce meaning we can plan what schools need and want the most. But most importantly this grant allows us to work on building new relationships, strengthening the ones we have and to trialing new farm to schools products and processes. Our food system is broken in many ways and over the next 10 months we will dedicate a lot of energy to use this opportunity to build a more localized and resilient food chain with lessons we can take beyond schools. Can you tell we are over the moon excited!
We grow lots of beautiful veggies for CSA but spring shares are some of our favorites because it offers a bounty when you can’t find the same diversity of veggies at market or in your own garden! This year we have expanded our spring share membership and our season - with 6 weeks of spring veggies starting May 3rd!!! We have 20 spring share spots open for 2023 and 5-10 spots open for the rest of our share types. It’s a great time to sign up for CSA to ensure your fresh, local and amazing veggies all season long. See our link in bio or visit Cattailorganics.com
Enjoying another warm escape and some incredible learning, sharing, exploring of farming systems with this wonderful group of folks from all over the US. Learning about and from a lot of southern growers (with a few northerners to) who have many different challenges than us but also so much of the same work in farm team and community building. I’m so darn impressed by the fact that they have to manage things like black widow spiders in their Napa cabbage and excited for farm tours and some city exploring tomorrow! Our incredible winter farm team Hannah and Dale have really allowed me the space and time to more of this learning to bring home ideas and new systems to our farm so we can grow the farm in new ways in 2023 and beyond!!
Winter meetings with friends and partners in this local food system building life. Farming is fun but working in big changes and big ideas for a more sustainable future for our region is my favorite!! As always a pleasure to work with Taylor and to work on cool new projects with Trevor farmshed. Plus we got to grab an unbelievable good lunch and cookie . I’m already planning my next visit which will involve wine and more delicious food in this stunning space (by the fireplace).
While we still have a bounty of roots in the cooler and some spinach growing (slowly) we are doing a while lot of planning, plotting and organizing these days. Today we finished our hoophouse plan for 2023 which is over half an acre of production space and 1.3 acres of total production since we use beds at least twice (and usually three times) in a single season. Vegetable fun facts in this wintery time of the year!
Seeds! While our main orders for 2023 have been complete for sometime we have a couple of new cool plans and trials still in the works. In no particular order 2023 involves English cucumbers for our chef partners and cucumber lovers; the challenge of adding one more month to baby salad greens production; consistent season long micro greens and edible flowers and a greater diversity in peppers including more colors, more sizes and more shish*tos. We are also taking requests and ideas for new amazing varieties (or crop types) for our annual seedling sale. If you have ideas for varieties for our big projects (farmer friends) or our seedling sale (seedling enthusiasts) let us know.
Happy New Year to all the local eaters who support our farm. A special shout out to our CSA members who have always been the core of our farm and remain our most special connection directly to your meals, plates and families. CSA was the backbone that built all the rest of the farm from our bountiful market stands to our products on the shelves and plates of stores, restaurants schools and food banks in the region. Local food is nothing without a strong engaged local community. We are so thankful to be able to share the bounty with you!
We did all Everglades area things and spent our last day Florida keyesing it with all the cheesiness, paddle boards, beaches, frozen drinks and seafood. If I haven’t made it clear yet I am so thankful for this time away and the folks who make it happen by working on our farm with us and caring for things when we are away. One of best parts of being here (and also saddest) is that this vacation has been peppered with so much of my what my Dad loved. Fishing, exploring, cafe con leche, seafood, beaches. He would have had so much fun with us.
It seems brought the Wisconsin weather to Florida but the high 50’s don’t scare us 😜Aside from exploring th Everglades, I also make up for a 20+ absence of Cuban and Puerto Rican food in my life with all the cafe con leches and all the platanos! We hiked 15 miles, saw lots of animals including a surprise group of manatees, tiny deer, so many birds, and a cold couple of alligators. The flora in incredible and the areas farms give us a nice insight into big veggie production here in the far south. A huge thank you to my very grown up .becker and Dale for doing chores, taking care of pets and farm sitting through the deep freeze! We will be answering emails Thursday and Friday.
No one allowed me to document the dance off but we celebrated the arrival of the deep winter cold and Hanukkah night 6 with venison tenderloin (Moe and Mike clearly knew Ted would reward them) with beets and fennel and now onto our “escape rom” which is a fitting theme 😂
It’s -35 so might as well crawl into your parents bed and nap after breakfast.
Snow day has been declared a “meat feast” cook off by the kids who will be cooking venison and seasonal veggies 4 ways. Ted appears to be consulting some resources on salt types 😃
The Festival of Lights on the darkest night.
We plan to celebrate this shortest day with a brightly lit family Hanukah dinner tonight. But one of my other favorite ways to mark this day is to ceremonially look back on the past summer solstice when there was so much light and life and growth I could barely contain myself. This past summer solstice brought with it the first carrot harvest, deep green pepper plants (and the first couple of peppers) and our first seeding of fall carrots which happened at 8:30pm in broad daylight. We have lots of planning, planting and resting to do before 2023 kicks into gear and plenty of sweet carrots to get us to spring but the reminder of June and the seasonal extremes brightens dark winter days.
Today was a combination of early (or extremely late) spring packshed cleaning and organization and a shoveling Winter Olympics event where we take down caterpillar tunnels until spring. Sufficed to say I might be in decent running shape but I wasn’t mentally prepared for hard physical farm work… because it’s December!
Despite our awkward photos we had a wonderful Meyer/Brock/Becker/Schultz-Becker Christmas. High on my list of the many things to be thankful for is having a Mother-in-law who is so genuinely all in on loving and welcoming our crazy crew as her own (and a shout out to Tim too for introducing us to holiday dice, making grass hoppers and letting Riley talk basketball and fishing for hours on end). Here is to another surprisingly low stress Christmas!
One of the greatest privileges of a farming career up here in the far north, especially in light of the snow day filled week, is having time to let schedules fall by the wayside for days on end.
Last lettuce harvest of 2022? Next week will probably be our last delivery of lettuce after 9 straight months of lettuce harvest and a whopping 10.5 month when we include spinach!!! Yay
Snow day after the ice day. Time for paperwork, plowing, snow play, many rounds of waffles and even a thrilling slow drive into town for Riley’s dentist appointment. Mike that cat is taking a different approach to the day…
Seed sorting round one. Not much to do on this icy storming intermittent internet type of a day. We do have a lot of extra old seed we will donating of most types of veggies from pile beans to zucchini and tomatoes. If you have a school, community organization, gardening group that wants seed for production or science projects just reach out! We would like to re-home seed this month to make space in our storage area!!
Headed home from our birthday urban eating extravaganza that Logan organized. Minneapolis has such incredible food (and beer) and also a huge population of crows that I would like more information on :)
December is for “light farm work” and lots of kids events, concerts and cookies! A huge thank you to Sharon for being the best cookie making Grandma in town. Our buddies from came over to participate since both of our household are strong on the farming skills and not so good in the cookie department 😂
Here is to 43 and thanks to my friends from so many life’s moments for lavishing me with virtual love, phone calls and texts. Celebrations to come tomorrow and next week but today was just a nice calm regular day with time for slow morning coffee (after the school bus) and a nice “warm” run followed by impending hours of kids basketball games 😂
I am so incredibly fortunate and this year has been one of the best years not because of a lack of hard things but more because of my growing ability to accept and embrace those too. I love the life I have here and communities natural and human that I am part of. Here is to another great year filled with bountiful food, time with family and friends and lots and lots of adventures.
Farm dogs get holiday gifts before everyone else. We covered the new bed with Moe’s favorite blanket and situated it next to “the petting chair” and he is sold.
Farm Crew birthday week continues! Happy Birthday to Dale who washes, packs, drives, hauls and unloads all the vegetables out into the community! He is also an amazing neighbor (it’s a theme), the master of cover crop seeding, and builds/repairs things better than any of the rest of us! If you see him today on the route give him a big Happy Birthday. 🎉🎁🎈
Happiest birthday to Hannah who has been a part of my farm team since 2015 when I was at my old farm and who has been a huge part of our ongoing farm success. Hannah was here from day 0 and has stuck with us through some completely ridiculous projects, emotional lows and played Pokémon with Ted over her lunch hour for a full year. She is the best neighbor we could ever ask for and is brilliant, soft spoken, kind, understanding and damn strong. Watching her set up her own farm, get married, and do life has been a pleasure. Follow her amazing farm and buy all their great food!
Met my ice fishing guys at in Medford for a few beers and tap root beers. I left with so many inspired ideas for expanded local food pick ups from and more! You should all check it out. Great beer, a nice space and bring your own food or order in. Yay!!!
It’s feelings very wintery… not just because of the freezing temperatures but I am attending (virtually) the annual meeting, our first deliveries of seeds for 2023 are arriving, and I’m coming off of two other days of Madison meetings.
Cattail Organics is hiring for the 2023 farm season! We have a range of full time and part time options and are looking for 1-2 new team members to join our current and returning employees and ourselves in producing beautiful, clean, delicious organic vegetables across the region to CSA members, farmers market, stores, restaurants, schools and aggregators!
We are also a host farm for the Wisconsin Organic Vegetable Manager Apprenticeship Program which offers a 2 year paid training and technical college based program on our farm! To learn more visit https://cattailorganics.com/jobs-apprenticeships/
It’s farm meeting season (with three days of meetings later this week) and it’s also guest speaker season! It was great to get out to the farm campus to talk sociology of agriculture today. I forgot how overexcited I get in a classroom setting.
There are some really exciting things happening at NTC including a meat processing/butchering training program and a new farm to market certificate program which is a way to explore market farming as a first or second career.
Snows on the horizon but we are rocking our early winter greens 🥬 production and are proud and excited to have certified organic and certified lettuce, spinach and kale grown in rich soils in winter. We don’t use supplemental lighting or heat in our tunnels so our greens production halts to a stop for most of January and February and resumes when the light returns in march.
Soil is the basis for so many solutions to our agricultural and climate issues and soil is where everything starts and ends on our farm. Soil also makes things more delicious and nutritious.
It’s long shadow season and we still have about three weeks of shortening days. November is traditionally my least favorite month as far as my mood, soul and general happiness goes. I am very proud to say this has been a solidly good November mostly because as Logan put it “you have to have a reason to love every month”. For him bow hunting fills that cup for November for me it’s turns out it is 1) exercising intentionally to heal the impacts of the farm season and to get out all the energy that comes from shorter days and all the unpacking of ideas and thoughts 2) doing a lot of fun family activities away from home and at home 3) not delving into the next farm season as a distraction (aka working for works sake). I’m still crankier, sadder, more inwardly oriented and so darn sleepy in November but looking at the calendar there are only 3 weeks to the solstice. I like winter a lot but only after December 21st.
I’m not much of a shopper but Maple and I finished our date day which involved hiking and delicious food by shopping main street Athens. I’m not just saying this because I love our town but seriously you can get an in incredible diversity of gifts and essentials from locally made earrings and lace, to flannel shirts, tools and water filters! As a small farmer I am deeply aware of the huge impacts local purchasing has. Consider shopping local and teaching your kids to shop local too!
We are getting pretty good and relaxed family days and enjoying some non market time Whitewater Music Hall. A reminder we are not at farmers market today or regularly for the rest of the winter. We are resting, planning, and family bonding but have no fear… we still harvesting, washing and packing veggies during the work week for businesses around the community.
Our beautiful roots and greens can be found at both Downtown Grocery and Stevens Point Area Co-op and if you have a hunkering for our greens and veggies prepared for you find them at both Red Eye Brewing Company Wausau and Van Acre and at some other spots in Wausau and Point.
We tried our best to take a “normal picture” on this day of rest, food and family.
More than anything an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness has been the thread that connected this farming season and our family life. We are thankful for our supportive family, friends who are like family, employees who embrace our vision as their own, customers who not only eat but also celebrate the food we grow and the privilege to grow literally and figuratively.
Our successes and ability to care for our land and family are a product of the community that surrounds us and lifts us up. Thank you to everyone who is part of it.
247011 Baldwin Creek Road
Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Cattail Organics posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Send a message to Cattail Organics:
Cattail Organics brings the best of local and organic food to our region drawing on Kat Becker’s 15 years of organic farming experience and 13 years of ownership of Stoney Acres Farm in Athens. She provides a 3 season CSA (4 weeks Spring; 20 weeks Summer; and 8 week Fall/Winter Share) to 60 families in Wausau, Athens and Medford WI. She also offers a professional and organized wholesale delivery service to local restaurants and grocery stores.