Lauren and Kyle Rudersdorf are in their fifth season of farming (they married in season two!) at Raleigh’s Hillside Farm between Evansville and Broadhead, Wisc. They lease 4 acres on the farm where Lauren grew up.
The two graduated from UW Madison during the recession. The scarcity of jobs and the attractiveness of farming inspired them to leap into starting their own CSA farm with just 8 CSA members in 2013. Lauren had zero farming experience and Kyle had completed one season as a farmhand at Tipi Produce when they set out on their farming adventure. Their farm has grown every year, and at the end of their fifth successful season, they are planning to gear up and invest in infrastructure next season.
Kyle works for a greenhouse business in Oregon, Wisc., January through May, and non-stop on the farm the rest of the year. Lauren works three days a week for a Madison nonprofit, oversees marketing, social media, and the CSA for their farm, freelances for Madison Magazine and writes for the Farmer Voices section of Edible Madison. She also blogs at The Leek and the Carrot (see her current featured recipe, Orange Ginger Spare Ribs with Asian Slaw.
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 restaurants featuring local food, farm listings, and farmers’ market info across Wisconsin, or Local Harvest for listings nationwide.
5 Minutes on the Farm won a 2016 Excellence in Journalism award from the Milwaukee Press Club.
Photographs by Julie Garrett. Banjo by Cathryn Herlihey. Logo by Katie Hess.