I’m writing this near the end of our upper Midwest harvest season. The farmer’s markets are lush with fruits and vegetables and the shelves of our produce department are full. Local apples are rolling in, and while not the bumper crop of last year, the harvest is still robust and we’re hoping it will carry us past the first snowflakes of winter. But there are no guarantees. Farming is like that.
Just a few months ago, our state was awash in rain, and record-breaking floods severely impacted some of our best growing regions. Fields were under water, heck, entire towns were flooded, and the fruits and vegetables that survived were changed by the water, their taste and texture altered by the whims of weather and the impact of a changing climate. This year you won’t find as much local broccoli and those sweet, local green peppers won’t be as plentiful. Us “city folk” sometimes believe that because we see grocery produce departments piled with fresh fruits and vegetables all year that the we should have access to anything we want, anytime we want. Our local farmers would beg to differ.
Living in a state where the majority of our land is devoted, in some way, to feeding us should make us keenly aware of how important farming is to life itself. Wisconsin is home to 68,500 farms which translates to more than 14 million acres devoted, in some way, to producing food. We produce 1/3 of the cheese in the United States, are number one in butter production, and grow more cranberries than any other state – and that’s just a slice of how we help feed our nation.
Anytime is a great time to thank our farmers but fall seems especially fitting, since most of the harvest is done and we’re ready to sit down at our Thanksgiving tables to celebrate the fruits of their labor. Here at Outpost, we try to thank them every day by offering up one of the largest selections of local and regional foods in our area and by sharing their stories, even when the crops are lean or the apples wear scars from a spring hail storm.
Director of brand & store development
In this issue:
A taste of Malaysia in Milwaukee
Take a trip to a pasture-raised pig farm
Throw an unforgettable cocktail party
and more ...