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Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014

Heroes of the Week: Wellspring Volunteers

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Wellspring, a nonprofit educational retreat center and organic farm, was founded in Milwaukee in the early ’80s and not long after moved to its current location in Newberg (4382 Hickory Road, West Bend). Wellspring’s 36 acres within the Milwaukee River valley boasts gardens, nature trails and prairies, as well as an apple orchard, a small flock of hens, a solar-heated greenhouse, a bed and breakfast and conference center, and much more. The organization is one of the oldest CSA (community supported agriculture) farms in the state and Wellspring Education Director Francie Szostak says becoming a CSA shareholder “is a fun way for people to support and get to know their local farmers and in turn get fresh seasonal produce all season.”

Wellspring is working toward raising the next generation of farmers by offering numerous educational programs and opportunities for any and all ages. A notable program is their Farm to School initiative, which connects youth with the source of their food by bringing fresh produce to cafeterias, teaching classes about growing organic produce and taking students on field trips. Szostak said that some kids had never seen a chicken or didn’t know that a carrot was grown underground. “Coming to Wellspring is a good way for kids to experience what life is like on an organic farm and get their hands dirty, try veggies and learn through fun games,” she says.

Volunteers are vital to the farm and Szostak states that Wellspring “couldn’t get what we do done without the wonderful, wonderful staff and volunteers.” Currently the nonprofit is seeking volunteers to help with educational field trips and summer camps, gardeners for the large flowerbeds, and those interested in fundraising. Most importantly, Wellspring is looking for a donation of a new or used farm truck—a very important piece of equipment for everything they do. For more information about volunteering or donating, visit wellspringinc.org.

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