Who are Grower Partners?
Grower Partners play an important role in helping to fulfill Irene Silverwood’s vision and the Silverwood Park mission.
Silverwood’s land has been tilled for decades, but its recent conversion to a public park makes it a unique site for farming. The Park’s dedication to sustainable agricultural education makes it a hub for learning, innovation, and production.
Grower partners sign a long-term lease of uncertified but functionally organic land for produce production.
Collaboration is a central element of the Grower Program at Silverwood. It provides participants an opportunity to share not only equipment and storage at the Park, but also technical and business expertise, and, possibly, labor.
Grower Partners help to fulfill our mission of sustainable agriculture education by assisting the Friends of Silverwood Park with public education. Grower Partners are asked to be available for up to 24 hours of public education, collaboration, and coordination each year. Growers currently commit to participate in 8 hours of on-site events conducted by FOSP each year.
Apply to be a Grower Partner
The application to use agricultural lands is a three step process as follows:
- Take a park tour and see the facilities
- Fill out the Grower Partner application
- Discuss the Grower Program and your potential needs and expectations with other Silverwood Growers and an FOSP Board member
If the application is approved, a lease between the applicant and FOSP is negotiated and signed. Growing Partners enter into a sub-lease with FOSP for use of land and pay an annual lease fee. Once approved, an applicant pays a security deposit, returnable at the end of the lease if all conditions are met. After the security deposit and lease payment are made, a Grower Partner may begin growing at Silverwood Park.
Click links for program documents:
Resources for Growers
Some entities who may provide help for Grower Partners are:
• Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) regional staff
• Other collaborators: Savanna Institute, Midwest Intertribal Agriculture Council, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services (MOSES) Dan Bussey, Orchard Manager and Apple Historian, Seed Savers Exchange
2021 Season: Grower Partners
At Doudlah Farms Organics, we believe in wholesome, nutrient-dense, rich, safe foods, farmed right. Doudlah Farms are advocates for organic, regenerative and biodynamic farming practices (fancy names for growing nutrient-rich foods that’s good for you, our planet and the future of human health). By farming this way, we keep our soil healthy and it does the same for us – and will for generations to come! So, enjoy Doudlah Farms Organics like our world depends on it. ‘Cause, it kinda does.
Doudlah Farms website
Dan Cornelius, Intertribal Agriculture Council
Dan Cornelius, Technical Assistance Specialist to Intertribal Agriculture Council. Land-based agricultural resources are vital to the economic and social welfare of many Native American and Alaskan Tribes. The harmonies of man, soil, water, air, vegetation and wildlife that collectively make-up the American Indian agriculture community, influence our emotional and spiritual well being. Prior to 1987, American Indian agriculture was basically unheard of outside reservation boundaries.
Chef Yusuf Bin-Rella
Yusuf Bin-Rella is a chef at University of Wisconsin, Madison’s Dejope Residence Hall and at TradeRoots Culinary Collective, a group of Afro-culinary genealogists exploring lineage through food that Bin-Rella co-founded with Devon Hamilton and Candy Flowers. After cooking at Standing Rock during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and meeting Brian Yazzie, Yusuf was struck by the importance of food sovereignty and began to partner extensively with Dan Cornelius (Intertribal Agriculture Council and Native Food Network) and formed a collaboration between TradeRoots and Wild Bearies, an Indigenous culinary initiative led by chef Elena Terry. The resulting “Wild Roots” works with different tribes in the food sovereignty movement, teaching members of tribal communities not only how to grow and cook Indigenous ingredients, but also how to incorporate self-grown and harvested foods into their diets.
Complete list of 2021 Silverwood Grower Partners:
- Barb Gausman and Margaret Cotter
- Big Punch Farms Liv Von Blomberg and Wendi Kent
- Molly Stentz and John Peck
- Nick and Miranda Majorowicz
- Sandy and Xavier Biviano
- Dan Cornelius
- Mark and Lucy Doudlah
- Kimberly LaPaglia and Jaime Guttierrez
- Michael Scott and Erik Johnson
- James Bair
- Joey Kincaid
- Kelsey Berg