Marketing the Native Understory

Thursday, June 27, 2013  9:30-4pm

Viroqua & Viola, WI

Hosted by: Rooted Spoon Culinary, Viroqua, WI and New Forest Farm, Viola, WI in collaboration with the Hazelnut Development Initiative, the Midwest Aronia Growers Association, and the UW Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.

Two panel discussions will address the marketing of hazelnuts, aronia and mushrooms. Chefs will speak to their experience working with forest products from local growers. Hazelnut and aronia growers, and a mushroom forager, will share their experience marketing to local restaurants.

After a lunch at Rooted Spoon Culinary highlighting some of these forest products, the venue will shift to New Forest Farm in Viola, WI (about a half-hour drive). Here, attendees will tour the largest hazelnut planting in Wisconsin situated within this perennial permaculture farm. Please, no sandals on the farm tour.

Marketing the Native Understory agenda

9:00-9:30         Sign-in, registration, coffee

9:30-9:45         Welcome and introductions - Norm Erickson, hazelnut grower and Master of Ceremonies. Also, Dani Lind, chef; Brady Williams & Michelle Miller, UW-CIAS

9:45-10:45      Grower Panel: Norm Erickson, Rochester, MN , hazelnuts; Michael Mathiasen, St. Charles, IA, aronia; Joe Skulan, Lodi, WI, foraged mushrooms.

10:45-11:00     Break

11:00-12:15     Chef Panel: Chef Ryan Boughton, One Eleven Main, Galena, IL; Monique Hooker, chef and author of Cooking with the Seasons: A Year in My Kitchen; Brad Niemcek, Kickapoo Culinary Center

12:15-1:00       Lunch and informal networking

1:00-1:20         Lessons from value-added nut enterprises in the Midwest: 5 case studiesBrady Williams Click  hazelnut businesses for the power point presentation

1:20-1:40         Upper Midwest Hazelnut Development Initiative, Jeff Jensen, President Minnesota Hazelnut Foundation (invited) and Jason Fischbach, UW Extension – Bayfield County (invited)  and Midwest Aronia Association, Phil Mueller.

1:40-2:00        Unstructured networking

 2:00                Leave for Mark Shepard’s New Forest Farm in Viola to tour hazelnut and aronia plantings and learn about permaculture systems.

The registration fee for this event is $10. Space is limited to the first 80 people to register. Register on-line

Some of the businesses sending representatives include:

  • Weaver Gardens, Altura, MN
  • Proudspirit Farm, Viola, WI
  • Ecker’s Apple Farm, Trempealeau, WI
  • The Root Note, LaCrosse, WI
  • Walnut Bluffs Farm, Canton, MN
  • Star Valley Flowers, Soldiers Grove
  • Bellbrook Berry Farm, Brooklyn, WI
  • Strause Farms, Rio, WI

Representatives from the following towns and cities have registered:

  • Waunakee, WI
  • Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Spring Green, WI
  • Necedah, WI
  • Prairie du Chien, WI
  • Johnson Creek, WI
  • Luana, IA
  • Decorah, IA
  • St. Charles, IA
  • Rochester, MN
  • Stoddard, WI
  • West Bend, WI
  • Black River Falls, WI
  • Highland, WI
  • Rib Lake, WI