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Burr Oak Gardens, LLC is a family-owned and operated Certified Organic farm in Rio, WI that focuses on growing fresh, yummy vegetables and a few fruits, such as melons, watermelons and strawberries. Our farm dates back to roughly the turn of the last century and we still maintain most of the original buildings. The crown jewel of our farm, without a doubt, is the massive 300+ year-old burr oak tree in the yard.
Tyler’s parents bought the property in the early 1980s. For many years Tyler’s father raised pigs on the farm and when we began vegetable farming in 2010 we were able to repurpose a lot of the equipment. For seven years we rented the land and the buildings from Tyler’s parents until the spring of 2017, when we purchased the farm under land contract.
All of the produce available to our members is grown right here on our farm. We have two greenhouses where we start many of our crops, and a high tunnel, which we use to harden our transplants off before they are planted outside. We also have a retail greenhouse space with over 2,500 square feet of space where we grow annual bedding plants and Certified Organic vegetable plants and herbs for sale to the general public starting late-April through mid-June each year.
Between the land that we own and a few acres rented from a neighbor, we have 18 acres of land that is under our management. With so much land we are able to leave different fields fallow and under cover crop each year to build up organic matter in the soil and we are able to have an extensive crop rotation to help alleviate disease and insect pressure. In 2014 we began installing swales to help with erosion issues on the Southern edges of our fields. In 2018 we added a permanent grass waterway across five of our fields to help mitigate erosion, while at the same time draining our fields quickly after heavy/extended rain events. For 2019 we are planning on continuing our efforts to restore three acres of prairie to encourage native beneficial insects and increase biodiversity on our farm.