May 15, 2020 – by Wade Barry
When we bought Piney Hill Farm in 2013, we didn’t realize that we were buying into a legacy. On a final visit before we closed on the property, we found ourselves in the midst of a goodbye party. The community gathered to bid farewell to the farm’s owners, children of some of the original back-to-the-landers who migrated out from the city in the 1970s and helped establish the vibrant personality of the area. As people feasted on home-canned and homemade dishes, we were introduced to the legends of the local food and market farming scene and it was clear that the roots of this community were strong and deep. We knew immediately that we were tasked with carrying on our version of what had begun before us, to steward this land with honor and share its goodness.
Over the years we’ve tried many different approaches toward fulfilling this mission, from CSA to wholesale to restaurant sales, all with varying degrees of success. When we first heard about Farm Table, we knew our mission was in alignment with theirs: good, sustainable food directly sourced from small farms like ours, accompanied by a strong educational pursuit.
When we first moved to Piney Hill Farm (pictured below), we brought with us an appreciation for well-crafted, unprocessed food. Farm Table has fulfilled that need for us. Since the beginning we have enjoyed partnering with the restaurant in any way we can. We take pride in being a small part of the magic that ends up on the table there.
We are continually impressed with the level of food advocacy that Farm Table provides for the region. Our hope is that the seeds laid down by this industrious and passionate organization will grow and ripple throughout Western Wisconsin and beyond and open the door for more awareness and support of small, sustainable farms and the markets that provide a living for them, as well as a customer base that loves every bit of it.
More about Piney Hill Farm: Heidi Coe, Karl Sloth, and Wade Barry have owned Piney Hill Farm since 2013. Though all three continue to work in their careers of choice, they bring a set of passions to the farm: the shared belief that growing good food is not just a necessity, it’s a pleasure, and living a life close to the land is its own reward.