Primrose Valley Farm is an 83 acre farm located in the “Driftless region” of South Central Wisconsin approximately twenty-five minutes from Madison and under three hours from Chicago. The property was originally operated as a beef cattle farm but had been fallow since 1982 before being acquired by the Baker Family in 2008. The farm features a valley of rich, fertile soil surrounded by rolling hills, surrounding fields, a twelve acre forest stand and a creek that is a tributary feeding Wisconsin’s Sugar River. The farm is Certified Organic by MOSA under the USDA’s National Organic Program.
The farm is operated entirely within the framework of sustainable farming best practices, which provide holistic guidelines for soil and field management, water and air cleanliness and managed woodlands. Finally, the farm maintains a significant commitment to an environmentally “green” operation. The farm also boasts a large, state-of-the-art commercial greenhouse in which thousands of vegetable plants are germinated and grown in flats in early spring, later transplanted to the fields when weather and plant maturity allow. This provides for stronger healthier crops as well as a jump on the growing season.
The farm has just completed construction of a state-of-the-art 14,000 square foot two story building used for post-harvest cleaning, washing, storage and packing of produce. This environmentally green building provides refrigerated storage that is earth insulated and uses refrigeration-extracted heat to provide the building with its hot water. The facility participates in ongoing experimentation involving gray water recycling and geothermal methods for safe, non-refrigerated vegetable storage.
The new building also houses our farm’s Community Center”, where farm festivals and other organized farm events such as school and camp programs are held. The Community Center offers full sound and video capabilities as well as a large scale Kosher commercial kitchen.
It’s quite simple. First, to grow and deliver fresh produce to families within our community throughout each year’s growing season. Second, to follow organic and sustainable farming practices that show respect for our planet’s resources and its role in the health and survival of our children. Third, to serve as a source of information, ideas and resources to the community about food and its role in our lives. Finally, to play a conscious role in helping to “repair the world” in whatever large or small ways our mission can address.
Jamie and David Baker, long time residents in the north Chicago suburbs, fulfilled their long time dream to establish Primrose Valley Farm. The Bakers have four children and two grandchildren. Their daughters Lauren and Aliya are respective graduates from Tulane University and (soon) Saint Louis University and are Solomon Schechter Day School alumni, where Jamie has also taught grades K-2 for many years after a successful career in accounting and technology project management.
After graduate studies and several years of public and private sector work, David founded and chaired an international management and technology consulting firm. He sold his firm to Thomson Reuters in 2007 in order to complete his and Jamie’s focus upon organic vegetable farming and the development of Primrose Valley Farm. David works with various universities and a variety of agricultural software companies as a consultant in helping to design database and web-based applications for the improved management and profitability of organic produce farms. He also consults to technology industry companies worldwide.
The Bakers share a passion for healthy, local food and its role in family and community. It’s their hope and desire that their efforts are rewarded with greater awareness on the part of families everywhere regarding the food we eat, its sources and a corresponding respect for our planet in the context of our faiths.