Know Your Farmer: Nordic Creamery
We've started a Know Your Farmer series twice a month to get you more connected with our farmers. We're highlighting Al Bekkum from Nordic Creamery (Westby, WI) for the fourth installation of our series. They'll be at every indoor market through April.
1. Why should people care about supporting local and sustainable producers?
By supporting any locally owned business, that money is invested back into the local economy. It also helps a small family-run business (like ours) to grow and develop better and more diverse products.
2. How/why did you become involved in farming?
Sarah was born and raised on her great-grandfather's farm, which is where we live today. I moved to a farm when I was 11 and since then, I have been farming and making cheese and butter. We are very proud to be raising our six children (5 boys and the youngest is a girl) as the fifth generation on our 120-acre farm.
3. How did you get involved with Green City Market?
We were told by a friend at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture of a great farmers market in Chicago that we needed to join. We applied for the market in Summer 2008 and have continued to come since then.
4. What is your most popular product?
Our summer butter is very popular. It is made only in the summer when the cows are out on pasture. A fresh, grass-based butter... need I say more?
5. Do you have any special products in the next two months that you'd like to highlight?
Our summer butter will be back when the outdoor market starts (May 12th). We will also have a goat milk butter.
6. What is your favorite Green City Market experience?
We knew a fresh butter would sell well but never thought that people would go as crazy for it as they have.
7. What's the most important thing Green City Market customers don't know about you?
We want people to know that we have a strong passion for the cheese and butter that we make. Having strong family values, we will only put out a product that would be good enough for our family as well as yours!
8. What are your future plans for your farm?
We are in the process of becoming certified organic. We're proud to continue creating a place for the next generation to survive on like the past generations have done for us.
9. What do you want your last meal on Earth to be?
Anything made by my wife Sarah and grown on the farm. And maybe a slice of cheese made by Joe Burns (Brunkow).
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