Announcing the Inaugural Local Hero Award Winners
By Wendy Allen | Illustration By Bambi Edlund 1
A hearty congratulations is in order for our five 2012 Edible Madison Local Hero Award winners. As a “people’s choice” award, the winners were nominated and voted on by you, our readers, which makes this award all the more meaningful to the recipients. Thanks to you for recognizing the hard work these organizations and businesses have put into championing farm fresh, locally-produced food. Each of them fosters a sense of community in what they do. Join us in celebrating these very special local heroes.
Argyle & Darlington
Starting out with over 60 varieties of produce ten years ago, Carrie and Eric Johnson quickly realized how much work it takes to grow good produce. So they pared down to just a few varieties of potatoes and turned their sights to pasture-raised meats.
“We soon realized that we enjoyed the animals much more and saw how the whole system worked together by rotating the animals and investing in the pastures,” said Carrie. The beef, lamb and veal are 100 percent grass-fed. “No grain… Only grasses, legumes and alfalfa in the seasons when available, and hay and fermented silages in the winter."
They raise chicken, turkey, lamb, beef and pork, plus sell prepared frozen meat entrees, stocks, soups and stews at Madison-area farmers markets, and to restaurants and grocers. Three years ago, the busy couple took on a partner, Matthew Walter, to manage the beef and hog part of the operation. Since Matthew remains behind the scenes, Carrie says most folks don’t realize he’s part of the farm, but he has become a vital part of what makes Jordandal Farms tick.
And that tick isn’t slowing, by any means. One of their proudest accomplishments of 2011 was a 15 percent increase in production and sales even during a recession, and 2012 looks to bring more growth to their recently introduced and already successful meat CSA. Watch their website for information about farm dinners throughout this year as well.
The trio’s good works extend beyond the market, too. In their “spare” time, they work with school programs, raise money for battered women and children programs, and donate to Second Harvest Food Bank.
Jordandal Farms, with only six hands, seems to be making the difference of 50 to our local food system and food economy— from farm to plate to community-at-large.