Marc Millitzer began his career at our farmers’ markets as a glass artist, but for the past seven years he has been serving our community as a market gardener and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) owner/operator. The downturn in the economy may have lowered the demand for his glass art, but our community is clearly hungry for his local, fresh produce.
Tree of Life Gardens is a certified organic CSA. Members of a CSA buy a share of the grower’s produce in the spring, and they receive weekly harvest boxes throughout the season. This year they offered winter shares that included root crops, mushrooms and produce from their high tunnels where crops can grow year-round. All the winter shares sold out, however, so be sure to get your order in early next year!
Marc’s business has steadily expanded, both in volume and variety. He has used grant money to add a high tunnel to his gardens. The tunnel has significantly extended his growing season and allows him to produce greens almost year-round. Marc has also used grant money to build a mushroom cave, which is a steel shipping container with dirt mounded over the top. He is growing and selling oyster mushrooms (featured in this week’s recipe) and just harvested a bumper crop. The cave allows him to grow mushrooms year-round, but the growth is a bit slower in the winter. The cave needs to be heated which has been tough given our cold winter, but having those fresh home-grown mushrooms each week is certainly worth it!
In the summer months Marc and his family operate a retail store on their farm near Cuba City. The store stocks Tree of Life produce plus other locally-sourced products from their neighbors. Be sure to plan a visit there when the season starts again in the spring!
When you visit the Tree of Life stand at market, you will find most every vegetable available and a variety of dried vegetables, homemade sprouted breads and fresh greens. Marc will be there too, smiling and willing to guide you to the perfect celery, or teach you the health benefits of sprouted bread and his many other products.