If you’ve driven Pulpit Rock Road recently, it’s likely that a cheerful garden mural caught your eye. This beautiful spot marks the home of the Twin Springs Farm produce stand, a new farm business operated by beginning farmers Steffen Mirsky and Emily Pulsfus at Off the Driftless canoe livery.
Steffen, who works as a Horticultural Technician at Seed Savers Exchange, decided to start a farm with a goal of providing more produce to the community. When he started planning last fall, he knew he needed a farm partner, so he posted on Decorah Now and found Emily Pulsfus. Emily moved to Decorah last February as a birth worker. “I love seeing communities flourish,” Emily said, “and access to healthy food is a big part of that.”
Since both are continuing their full-time jobs, they needed to be creative about growing and marketing their produce. They knew they wouldn’t have time to sell at the farmer’s market or to start a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share program. But they realized that campers and recreational visitors could use a convenient source of produce for snacking, grilling, and summer cook-outs, and they decided to create a self-serve farmstand.
“We decided to grow fruit and vegetables that we think campers, boaters, and others will like to eat,” Steffen said. “Off the Driftless is a great place for our farmstand business. It is perfectly situated for nearby Pulpit Rock campers, giving them easy access to eat healthy, locally grown produce.”
In fact, on Pulpit Rock Road you can’t get much more local. The one-acre Twin Springs Farm is located only half a mile away on Twin Springs Road on property owned by Larry Grimstad. The vegetables are all grown using organic and sustainable farming practices such as minimum tillage, cover cropping, and planting pollinator habitats.
The farm stand is now open for business at Off the Driftless from Thursday through Sunday from dawn to dusk with fresh produce stocked each morning. The stand is self-serve with a cash box to deposit money and clearly displayed prices on the stand. Parking is limited at Off the Driftless so visitors will find it preferable to park across the street at Will Baker Park.
Snack-and-grill-friendly produce currently available includes cherry and slicing tomatoes, carrots, summer squash, cucumbers, green beans, and potatoes. Coming soon are sweet peppers, garlic, onions, melons, watermelons, and ground cherries. The farm stand will be open through the fall.
“Starting this business and seeing friends and community members lend a helping hand has been such a pleasure. Friends helped build the farm stand and our goal is for the community to enjoy it. It’s definitely a labor of love,” says Emily.
Steffen and Emily will be hosting a grand opening ceremony on Thursday, August 10th at 6pm at Off the Driftless. There will be a farm tour preceding the ceremony that will depart from Off the Driftless at 5pm. All are welcome to attend.