An asparagus farm in Wisconsin? Isn't Wisconsin corn, potatoes, soybeans and dairy farms? Let me explain why we chose asparagus.
Steve and I were born and raised in Wisconsin and started our family here. Then, in 1978, we moved to Florida to start our own home building business because in the Florida climate you could build year round. The hardest part of leaving Wisconsin, other than missing family and friends, was not being there in November for Thanksgiving (or as many fellow hunters know — the ten day deer hunting season). So in 1982 we purchased 160 wooded acres so we had a place to return each November to deer hunt. Then in 1986 we built a cabin on the land so we could also have Thanksgiving in Wisconsin.
After seventeen years in Florida, we moved a little further north to North Carolina where it was a little cooler but the climate was still good for building year round. We lived and worked in North Carolina for another seventeen years and then we started to think about retirement. Most people would think that North Carolina or Florida would be a great place for retirement, but we had already lived in the south for more than thirty years. Plus we had 160 wooded acres and a cabin in Wisconsin that we enjoyed briefly all those years. Steve thought why not clear some of the land for farming. I thought that sounded like hard work 365 days a year, not like retirement! So — the compromise — Asparagus. Once you plant the crowns you don't have to plant again for 15-20 years. Harvest time is approximately six weeks long in late May to early July. And I love asparagus.
In 2010, more than three decades after leaving Wisconsin, we have returned home. Steve has remodeled the cabin so we can live in it year round. We cleared 30 acres of woods to use for farm land. We planted 25 acres of asparagus crowns with the help of wonderful friends and family. We are completing our processing building where our first picked crop of asparagus will be washed, cut, banded and sold in the spring of 2014.