of a Community
By Jared Raney, Reporter Star Journal
August 8, 2015
Brendan and Jenny Tuckey, owners and operators of
EverGood Farm, one of the only professional organic
farms in the Rhinelander area.
Small farms are a rarity in Northern Wisconsin, but a
small group of dedicated advocates for organic and
small-scale farming are making a push, and a successful
push at that.
“We’re increasing productivity each year,” said Brendan
Tuckey, who runs EverGood Farms with his wife Jenny near
Sugar Camp. EverGood is a Community Supported
Agriculture farm, or CSA, and is 100 percent organic.
Spanning a simple but efficient five-acre plot, Jenny
and Brendan provide fresh, pure vegetables to Northwoods
farmers’ markets in addition to CSA customers.
“We chose to be organic for a lot of different reasons,”
Jenny said. “For us, because we don’t want the
pesticides and everything coming into our bodies, but we
realized that a lot of people also feel the same way
that we do.”
The CSA business model functions as a membership
service—customers pay annual fees to receive a box of
fresh produce every week.
“They’re like our core. If we didn’t have the CSA we
wouldn’t be able to farm like we do,” Jenny said. “We
really rely on the support of our CSA customers and
appreciate how they come back year after year. We know
their families, and they’re people we’ve gotten close to
from it, so it’s a really cool relationship that we can
have with our customers that I think is totally unique
to a CSA.”
For years there was a vacuum in fresh organic produce in
the Northwoods, what’s called a ‘food desert.’ The
Tuckeys saw a need for small agriculture and are aiming
to help fill that gap.
“Definitely it’s challenging, but people so appreciate
that they can get something fresh and local up here in
such a food desert that we have,” Jenny said.
The first professional organic farm in the area, after
five years EverGood is selling at four markets, in Eagle
River, Minocqua, Rhinelander. As of last week, EverGood
started a brand new farmers market, also in Rhinelander,
Thursdays at the YMCA.
Rhinelander – Pioneer Park Sat. 8 a.m – Noon
Rhinelander – YMCA Thurs. 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Eagle River – Wednesday 8:30 - 1pm
Minocqua – Park Complex Fri. 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
“It used to be people just like our stuff mainly for its
freshness,” Brendan said. “And now it’s more people are
concerned about how you’re growing.”
And they aren’t the only farm joining this movement.
Kind Roots Organic, also in the Sugar Camp area, is run
by Cody Bates and Veronica Pickar. They specialize in
mushrooms, but are also a committed organic farm, a
member of Certified Naturally Grown. CNG is a non-profit
certification organization for small-scale organic
“Since we moved up last year and started doing farmers
markets we definitely see a big push for the organic
scene in Rhinelander,” Bates said. “You can see the
expansion with stores such as Golden Harvest… Some of
the local restaurants, Joe’s Pasty shop and stuff,
utilizing all local organic foods, so I think the
organic scene is on the ground level but it’s really
building in the Rhinelander area.”
Kind Roots also sells their ingredients to local
businesses in addition to selling at farmers’ markets.
who is originally from New Zealand,
where he also learned many of his farming practices,
explains their strategies for organic farming.
better tasting product.” Brendan
said as his final word on organics. “If you see
great-looking organic food, it’s going to taste better,
because we nurture the soil. And this is what a lot of
conventional farmers don’t have to do… this is one of
the major reasons we wanted to grow organic, is because
you end up with a better product.”
The markets are open until anywhere from late September
to middle of October, Rhinelander’s market ending