Tamara and Chris Johnson
Have you always been farmers?
We have not always been farmers and our parents are not farmers. Before making the move into farming we were students, wait staff, dish washers, raft guides, educators, tutors, factory workers, and more. Chris was in the middle of a PhD program studying land use and climate change when he decided to pursue farming. With ten years in academia it took a lot of courage for him to leave. I (Tamara) had been working as an educator in low income communities through various programs including Farm to School, Wisconsin Green Schools Network, and Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program. Our desire to live a self-sufficient, sustainable lifestyle drew us to farming. We decided to make a career out of the hobbies we love. It is incredibly rewarding to be your own boss, work hard, and see the restoration of degraded farmland through the use of grazing animals.
What’s your favorite or least favorite vegetable?
My absolute favorite vegetable is beets. A classic dark red variety cooked up and made into a salad with our bacon crumbled on top. Yum.
What’s your favorite thing to get from other vendors at the market?
Ideas and advice! There is such a wealth of knowledge behind those stalls.
Do you have a favorite market memory?
Our first winter farmers market started 6 weeks after our son was born. I was coordinating the market and we were selling meat and microgreens. Our little guy would sleep on my chest in a wrap during the market, so still and content.
What’s the best advice you’ve gotten about farming?
Don’t be afraid to fail because you will somewhere along the way.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and why?
The power to control time. I need about 10 more hours in each day.
What do you do when you’re not doing work for your farm?
Family, cook, bake, hike, beach, garden, yoga, forage, fish, hunt.