Now entering its 23rd year, Featherstone Farm cultivates 137 acres in organic vegetables and plans to add an additional 45 acres next year. More than 900 households belong to their CSA program, and they sell wholesale to food co-ops in the Twin Cities and to Whole Foods.
Farmer Jack Hedin employs about 50 workers during the growing season — 24 of those are guest workers with H2A temporary agricultural visas. All employees are paid a living wage, and full-time year-round employees receive benefits like paid time off.
Jack discusses fair farm labor as a value just as important as buying “organic” and “local.” Consumers should know who grows their food and how those people are treated.
The 25th annual CSA Open House will be held from noon-4 p.m. Sunday, March 12 at Monona Terrace in Madison. This is a free, public event where you can chat with up to 30 local farmers delivering CSA shares to the greater Madison area and take free CSA workshops. See the Isthmus through March 8 for a pull-out CSA farm guide.
Check out 5 Minutes on the Farm on Facebook, especially our excellent listing of local food events. We’ll return to “farm visits” with our next episode.