MEET YOUR FARMER
My name is Bethanee (Nitz) Wright and I have been in love with growing food for as long as I can remember. My first experience with garden-fresh food was when my mother handed me a slice of tomato grown fresh from our garden when I was five years old. It was literally the best thing I had ever tasted.
Fast forward through my childhood gardens and cooking experiments with my ‘adopted’ grandmom, I landed an internship on a whim at a two acre farmette at a retirement home for Franciscan sisters near La Crosse. I decided to stay in the Driftless region of WI after my first year of college to farm with a radical Franciscan sister with a degree in plant pathology. I learned so much: mostly how to weed effectively but also how to care for young fruit trees, dig carrots, braid garlic, discard blighted tomato plants and conduct various soil quality testing techniques. Simply, I was in love with it all. But at that point, I never thought about making a living farming, we were just growing food for the retired sisters to offset grocery costs.
Then, that winter I read ‘The Dirty Life: On Food, Farming and Love’ by Kristin Kimball and it changed the whole perception of my future career. Kristin and her husband run a whole-diet CSA year round in upstate New York by draft horse power! At that point, I still planned on going to graduate school to become a psychotherapist for my real career. But after reading that book, I saw a way to make a modest living farming for the first time.
So I finished my 2nd year at Viterbo University with my major in “playing softball” and transferred to UW-Madison to get a degree in the closest thing to sustainable agriculture I could find: Community and Environmental Sociology with an Environmental Studies Certificate. There I worked my way into a long and amazing internship with FairShare CSA Coalition where I fell even more in love with direct market farming and learned it is a viable way to make a living. My new plan was to work for minimum wage on a farm to learn more about the art of vegetable farming and I enjoyed every challenging and rewarding second of it. I did that for three years before starting my own CSA farm in 2014. And now I am proud to say I am a FairShare endorsed farm and on the Board of Directors.
During my time at UW, I met Travis, a man who loves eating delicious food almost as much as I love growing it. We fell in love and climbed Mt. Rainier (twice, almost summited), where he proposed to me on our second attempt. We got married on September 12th, 2014 in the rain with our closest friends and family and celebrated under the trees with great homegrown food and a killer string band. We make a great team and love the simple, deliberate life. On any given Sunday night, you can find me canning chicken stock and tomatoes while he is carving his next spoon or playing his banjo, all the while listening to Simply Folk on NPR. In my spare time, I read many books, weightlift and do gymnastics, knit, cook and carve wood.
My plans for the farm are, of course, simple. Build a base of wonderful farm members who enjoy delicious, local and organic veggies, fruits, flowers and herbs. While allowing folks the access to develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food, the land that fills their dinner plates and the food that brings their family and friends together.
Travis and I have goals of building our farm homestead in the coming years. We built our home in 2017 and I gave birth to our beautiful daughter, Tillee Mae in 2018. We plan on continuing to raise veggies, care for our young orchard and encourage our wild woods. I hope that you will join us on this wonderful path of life and that our farm products will nourish and sustain you and your family for years to come.