Mark Voss of Voss Organics raises more than 10,000 organic vegetable and herb seedlings on less than an acre of land in north Madison, along with supplying kale and tomatoes to area restaurants.
By day, Voss teaches French at Kromrey Middle School in Middleton, Wisc., where he also advises students working in the school garden. Afternoons and weekends, he farms and answers people’s questions about gardening at the Dane County and Northside Farmers’ Markets (Saturday and Sunday, respectively). Willy Street Co-op carries Voss’s veggie seedlings, herbs and edible flowers all season at all three co-op locations.
Voss sees his agricultural work as part farming and part service, because of all the educating he does to inspire people to garden. That was apparent last Saturday at the Dane County Farmers’ Market where he was clearly treated as a gardening expert by his customers.
Voss says it’s time to plant everything: “We’re in the full glory of the planting season now.”
For excerpts from his interview that didn’t make it into the podcast, please see the captions in this Facebook photo album.
Learn more about Voss’s farming style at Small Plot Intensive Farming at www.spinfarming.com.
Read more about Voss Organics on page 18 of the current Willy Street Reader (PDF).
Shredded Salad of Many Greens
by Deborah Madison, from “Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets”
2 cups finely slivered napa cabbage
2 cups finely sliced romaine, red lettuce, or butter lettuce
1 cup slivered almonds
2 cups finely slivered spinach, amaranth or quelites
1 Belgian endive
½ cup slivered parsley or half as much lovage
a few sorrel leaves, stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
1 shallot, finely diced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice plus 1 teaspoon grated zest
4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Wash and dry all the greens, then toss them together in a bowl.
2. Mix the shallot and lemon juice and zest with ¼ teaspoon salt, then whisk in oil to taste.
3. Toss the greens with a few pinches of salt, then with the dressing. Mound on plates and serve.
Your family food dollars are little green soldiers for good. Spend them directly with your local farmers via CSA or at the Madison farmers’ markets. Check out the Wisconsin Farm Fresh Atlas for farm and farmers’ market listings across Wisconsin, or Local Harvest for listings nationwide.
5 Minutes on the Farm was recently awarded a silver 2016 Excellence in Journalism award from the Milwaukee Press Club for Best Long Form Feature Story in the Audio category.
Photographs by Julie Garrett. Banjo by Cathryn Herlihey. Logo by Katie Hess.