Now that most of us CROPPies are settling back into “normal” routines after the HQ fire, we find ourselves (when we find ourselves) all over the place—a few tucked in here, several lined up over there, a bigger bunch huddled up yonder, a committee-full or two even working out of their homes.

Just like it used to be.

Not so long ago, before we decided it was time for our own place, when CROPP Cooperative (Organic Valley’s progenitor) had planted the buildings along La Farge’s Main Street with its ever-sprouting employee base, we thought of this little Midwest cow town (population seven hundred, give or take) as a campus—our campus.

 

My new (old) office is behind the middle window of the top floor of this building—Organic Valley's first headquarters building. The photo is from it's earlier life in the 1940s. It has changed significantly since those days.

My new (old) office is behind the middle window of the top floor of this building—Organic Valley’s first headquarters building. The photo is from it’s earlier life in the 1940s. It has changed significantly since those days.

 

We grew in the Katz building, in the apartment above George Wilbur’s law offices, in the old seed mill, where we had to walk the gang-plank from one side to the other; wherever someone was willing to rent us some space and put up with a little extra wiring and make-shift desks, one could find a CROPPie clicking away at the keyboard. Our ramshackle fleet of green bikes with yellow stickers zigged and zagged everywhere.

After we finally overgrew all available La Farge space, we brought in some not-so-gently-used office trailers (rescued from the Madison School District) and parked ‘em out back: a double-wide named “The Walrus” and a behemoth human vessel affectionately (I think) know as “La Barge.” Quadra-wide, at least.

Looks like those days are back, for a while anyway. Over the weekend a brand spanking new double-wide appeared in the parking lot in front of our beleaguered  HQ, and, as I understand it, two more quadras are on their way to the “soccer field” north of the building. I think I saw one of the maintenance crew oiling some bike sprockets, too. Or, was that a DeLorean part?

It’s going to be a great throwback summer! Winter, too.