Brought to you by CROPP Cooperative.
Organic and farmer-owned since 1988.
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Earth Dinner Ramblings

Among the sound of forks on plates, spontaneous laughter and stories of food, the following thoughts were shared at Organic Valley’s Earth Dinner. “There is a long growing raindrop down the tin roof of contemporary ag and time tick tocks to the mortuary while we sow seeds meant to undo so many wrongs by the state of a nation …

June 5th, 2014  |  Published in Earth Dinner

Fork it!

This week we talked about various ways to enhance or build healthy soil. We covered basic composting, vermiculture, adding nutrients to your soil and how to improve the actual soil structure. Now let’s talk about how to preserve all the work you have done by not over-working your soil and by creating raised bed gardens vs. row …

May 24th, 2014  |  Published in Organic Gardening, Sustainable Living  |  1 Comment

Healthy Soil Structure

As I mentioned yesterday, soil structure is incredibly important in maintaining healthy soil. Soil with a healthy structure will allow for proper water movement, heat transfer, and aeration. It has will absorb moisture that would otherwise run off, causing erosion and a loss of nutrients. Without proper drainage or aeration, too much water is retained causing root …

May 23rd, 2014  |  Published in Organic Gardening, Sustainable Living

Fertile Soil

Soil is one of the most important components in a successful garden. When we talk about having good soil we are referring to the fertility and the texture of the soil. Fertile soil contains a balance of the essential nutrients needed to support microbial and plant life. The 3 primary nutrients used by plants are nitrogen, phosphorus …

May 22nd, 2014  |  Published in Organic Gardening, Sustainable Living

Vermiculture: Let the Worms do the sorting!

Vermicuture is a great way to involve your children in building healthy soil. Besides helping Rhett and I make organic fertilizer (worm castings) , our kids get to geek out with hands-on-science, not to mention develop problem solving skills learned while watching worms recycle paper and turn their table scraps into soil. To maximize space, we use a store-bought “continuous …

May 20th, 2014  |  Published in Organic Gardening, Sustainable Living  |  1 Comment

Building Healthy Soil with Compost

Building and maintaining healthy soil is the fundamental basis of organic gardening and farming. Healthy soil is created by practicing soil building techniques that add organic matter to the soil and help maintain a healthy environment for earth worms and microorganisms to flourish. Healthy soil protects a plant’s structure, its fertility, and increases the nutritional …

May 19th, 2014  |  Published in Organic Gardening, Sustainable Living

Respectfully Sweet!

It was no surprise when I opened one of the bee hives I tend here at Organic Valley and found worker bees turning the queen cups into queen cells, long chambers used to raise new queens. Through the process of hive consensus decision-making, the bees have decided to replace their existing queen. I have been …

August 6th, 2013  |  Published in Featured Post, Organic Gardening, Outdoors

Save our Bees

It’s no secret that here at Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative, we realize the importance of healthy soils, good clean water and diverse, vibrant ecosystems. Bees, of all kinds, are an essential part of a healthy ecosystem. Monoculture crops, pesticides and GMO’s have placed our pollinators and our food at risk. A Modern Farmer article published on May …

May 9th, 2013  |  Published in Outdoors, Sustainability

Where Does Your Garden Grow?

Growing up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, I had the luxury of spending many spring days in the woods gathering a variety of wild foods; morel mushrooms, dandelion flowers, watercress and even stinging nettles.  As a child, the chore of gathering nettles was full of challenges.  As an adult, I realize how fortunate I …

May 8th, 2013  |  Published in Organic Gardening, Outdoors

Kickapoo Flow

  Early spring in the Kickapoo Valley is all about flow. We watch the melting snow from Wild Cat Mountain, waiting to see if the banks of the Kickapoo River will embrace the volume of water she collects.  We feel our own energy grow, budding from the corners of our smiles. Spring plays with us, …

April 17th, 2013  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  2 Comments


Kristen grew up on a dairy, poultry and vegetable farm in Southwestern, WI. By her early teens she was regularly cooking for large neighborhood work parties that were still a part of rural culture, organized family's organic garden and the canning/preserving of their wild harvest. After college, Kristen managed a 60 cow miking herd and worked on a variety of organic fruit and vegetable farms. Kristen currently manages Organic Valley's all-organic Cafe, serving thousands of organic meals every year. Kristen lives near the Kickapoo River with the love of her life and their children. They garden, hunt, gather wild food, and live a beautiful life without sacrificing fun!