She introduced us to Bjorn Bergman, outreach coordinator for the Viroqua Food Cooperative, who described VFC's P6 membership as an ongoing conversation with its customers about ways they can support businesses that represent an alternative to the industrial and corporate food system. Along the way Bjorn talked about how he came to live in the Driftless region of Wisconsin, which he calls "an amazing enigma of a place." He also described how the topography of the Driftless has nurtured a remarkable, cooperative economy. We knew there was a regenerative story to be found there!
During the course of our research we found the website for Second Cloud on the Left Farm, a recipient of a Viroqua Food Cooperative micro-loan. Toril Fisher, co-owner of the farm, turned out to be a remarkable artist and painter. We asked her if we could use the photo below to illustrate our story and she kindly obliged us.
"...evocative enough to enchant and warm and soft enough to cling to like sun dried sheets and a faded quilt fresh off a windblown line..."
And so our original story evolved into a tapestry of stories of a unique community of farmers, musicians, artists, and writers who have found both refuge, inspiration, and renewal in this unusually rugged midwestern landscape that mysteriously escaped the glacial drift of the last Ice Age.
We invite you to immerse yourself in the music, art, and language of the Driftless, and perhaps add it to your summer vacation itinerary.—Susan Arterian Chang