Peter Seeley and his wife, Bernadette, began farming at Springdale Farm in 1988, at the dawn of the CSA movement in the Upper Midwest. Over 25 years, the farm has expanded to twenty acres and 800 CSA shares, plus thirteen greenhouses and five children, not far from Lake Michigan in Plymouth, Wisconsin.
Peter tells the story of Springdale Farm’s founding and growth, and how he and Bernadette navigated the challenges of the new CSA market, including the reasoning behind their decisions about core groups and distribution models that were different from most CSAs operating in 1988. We learn how Peter has met the challenges of farming in extremely rocky soils head on, including the strategies he’s developed for machinery and fertility to succeed in a challenging environment. And, Peter shares the farm’s strategies for managing four season production and storage, including the very low-tech way they got started.
Springdale Farm has worked hard from the start to provide an alternative to fossil fuels for powering the farm, and Peter shares what they’ve learned about outdoor wood boilers and electric tractors and carts.
Along the way, Peter consistently shares the passion he brings to his farm and his life. And he even brings Marx, Hegel, and Plato into the conversation.
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.