Bet you didn’t know this. One of Wisconsin’s Healthy Grown potato growers — Justin Isherwood — is an accomplished author. And because of those talents, he has been interviewed on National Public Radio’s quiz show — Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know?
He is a man with a talent for words. So when you ask Justin about the importance of Healthy Grown and a farmer’s responsibility to the land and people, he is quite eloquent. “There has always been an ethic to the land, a righteousness to seek that balance of the economics of the field and woods, that sacred honor of keeping land well and productive,” he notes.
It’s a responsibility shared by his entire family. His family has been farming in Wisconsin since 1832, and living on the current Isherwood Farm since 1852. He shares responsibility for the farm with his two brothers, his son, their wives and children — and they’ve all been part of Healthy Grown since its inception. For Justin, “farming is
a family tradition; the farm connects the family to each other and to the land.”
The Isherwoods are committed to the ecosystem conservation aspect of Healthy Grown. According to Justin, “It is, or ought to be, in the bones of every farmer, the will to defend the land’s identity, its power and its mysteries.”
When Justin isn’t writing or tending to taters, he’s out tapping maple trees on his family farm in Plover, Wisconsin, near the Buena Vista Marsh.