Welcome to Our Farm
Learn More About Fair Winds
Our Farming Principles
Our mission is to share the beauty and bounty the Driftless Area offers by using sustainable and ethical agricultural practices that produce high quality food and flowers.
Since the purchase of our small farm in 2020, our goal has been to gradually introduce various regenerative and sustainable agricultural systems that support both homesteading and business needs. Our gardens are maintained using organic no-till methods to produce food for our family and flowers for our customers. We provide locally milled organic, non-GMO feed to our animals and continue to develop rotational systems to ensure our animals and land remain happy and healthy. We want to someday be a model of what can be achieved on small acreage using strategic and sustainable agricultural systems. Sadly, Wisconsin has lost 40,000 dairy farms over the last four decades. This farm is among them. Though these farms and the way of life that had come with them have been lost, we believe that the land and the infrastructure that once supported Wisconsin’s small family farms continue to offer value to those who preserve them and to the communities that help support them.
History of Fair Winds Farm
Fair Winds Farm is a 2.6-acre micro farm that was once part of a much larger century farm with origins dating back to the late 19th century. The farm is located three miles south of Viroqua on top of Vernon county’s second highest ridge at 1325 ft above sea level. Tobacco was once the primary cash crop and the farm eventually transitioned into producing dairy, soy, and corn. Though the 100-year-old tobacco barn was torn down in 2020 due to its condition, the space it once stood in is used for growing perennial and annual flowers. The farm’s original corn crib, chicken coop and dairy barn still stand and continue to provide valuable and essential infrastructure. The old dairy barn now houses a small herd of alpacas with hay storage in the old hay mow and the old chicken coop with its six south facing windows is enjoyed by our 30 to 40 laying hens during cold winter days. Currently, we produce pork, poultry, eggs, and winter storage vegetables to meet our family’s nutritional needs and a wide variety of perennial and annual flowers for our customers to enjoy. We continue to learn and expand with each growing season and have much more planned for this small acreage farm. We look forward to sharing the journey with our customers and the community.
Farmer Billy here! I made the leap into full time small farming and homesteading in 2021. I grew up in the Driftless Area, but eventually left Wisconsin to join the United States Coast Guard in 2000. It wasn’t until I returned to the Driftless Area fourteen years later that I fully appreciated and valued what the area offers. Having the opportunity to work with animals and be in the gardens every day has been truly rewarding. And to be able to do it in such a beautiful area and in a wonderful community has been a gift. I am also fortunate that my extrovert wife happily takes care of all the front of the house responsibilities for the farm, while I often stay behind the scenes where I enjoy researching farming methods and systems, building, and repairing infrastructure and spend time with the animals. However, I do enjoy engaging with visitors and sharing all the knowledge that I have gained since beginning this adventure. It is amazing what you can learn in just a few short growing seasons! In fact, I hope to have educational opportunities on the farm in the future. It may be worth mentioning, my vision was to grow fresh produce and vegetables to sell to restaurants. Growing flowers came completely by accident. One important thing I have learned over the last several years is that sometimes the farm makes decisions for you, and it may be for the best. I have greatly enjoyed the process of learning how to grow flowers and experiencing the outcomes. Growing both vegetables and flowers has made me a better grower. The truth is, I don’t care what I grow, I just enjoy being on the farm and consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to grow in such a great community.
Meet the Farmers
Hi! I'm Melissa- your local "flower friend." It's seriously my favorite title of all that I have ever held (except mom and wife). Full time, off the farm, my career is helping people find their dream homes aka-realtor. "City girl" was my entire life until the pandemic came along. I've always had a passion for sharing beauty and bounty from our little city gardens ( farmer Bill's perennial gardens were never safe from my snips). When the opportunity arose that a dreamy and sleepy little property was for sale in our favorite driftless town, it was time to bloom!! Spreading beauty and smiles through flowers, hearing how a certain flower sparks a memory of your loved one. That is my why! Words cannot express the joy that fills my heart when you all come and share your excitement and support for our tiny, beautiful farm. You can find me walking the gardens, snipping buds, talking to the chickens and feeding my silly little alpaca friends on any given day at Fair Winds Farm. Cheers to beauty, friendship and joy.