‘The Wisconsin way’ – Isthmus

I used to be born in Jamaica. When I used to be in third grade my household and I immigrated to Wisconsin. That was actually the beginning of every thing for me.

We moved to New Glarus first, then to Belleville earlier than settling in Blanchardville, the place I graduated from highschool. I had most of my childhood experiences in that little city and have lots of fond recollections. I additionally had some difficult occasions being the one African American household in that city. It was an expertise. My spouse and sons and I’ve lived in Mount Horeb for the previous few years.

Growing up in Jamaica we needed to domesticate our personal gardens and lift our personal greens for the aim of survival, as a result of we didn’t have the means to buy these issues. So that’s the place my curiosity in rising meals began. Our chickens laid the eggs we used, after which they grew to become the chickens we ate in a while in life. When we moved to America, my mother continued to have a backyard. She grew no matter vegetation she may develop at this latitude — peppers, inexperienced onions, thyme, and pumpkins and squashes that she would use for soups. Moving to America additionally allowed me so as to add animal husbandry to my checklist of meals experiences. In Jamaica, we had goats and chickens, however in America, we had been in a position so as to add pork and beef and I grew to become conversant in small-scale animal farming. I grew up residing in communities that had been actually all farming communities, whether or not they had been Swiss or German or Norwegian. They had been all based mostly in agriculture.

I obtained my bachelor’s diploma at UW-Madison and grasp’s diploma at Edgewood College. I met my spouse, Melissa, 11 years in the past by mutual pals. Our first date was a recreation of horse (basketball) and dinner at David’s Jamaican restaurant. My spouse received after outlawing dunking after I received the primary letter. We have two sons.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I labored at UnityPoint Health. As I used to be not an important worker I began working from house. I started listening to how COVID was affecting those who I do know. It grew to become evident in my circle of pals, the those who I grew up with in Blanchardville, that the pandemic was beginning to have a extreme monetary affect. At that time, the farmers’ markets had been closed, which was a major area for them to promote their merchandise. My pals had been discussing if they need to simply get out of farming, promote every thing off or pivot to one thing else?

I had an concept. I knew UnityPoint had supported community-supported agriculture previously for his or her workers. They had been captivated with wholesome consuming. I approached some docs on the hospital. My plan was to deliver contemporary meat merchandise from my farmer pals to the docs and nurses on employees. They would pull up of their automobiles and drop off meals that the UnityPoint workers pre-ordered from a web-based kind I created.

After some time, I noticed that I wished to take a position on this social experiment as a enterprise. My household and I had been having lots of enjoyable — we had been in a position to spend time collectively as we ready meals orders, visited farms, and found new merchandise. My spouse was working from house, and we not solely had our children house for the summer season, however we had six different children whose households we had been serving to out. Some of those children are being raised by single mothers that had been working onerous within the nursing discipline, attempting to maintain everybody else secure and brought care of throughout the pandemic. We determined to step up and help by watching a few of these little ones, so their mother and father may proceed to work. The children would include us to the farms the place they may eat outside, go to with the animals, and see a distinct lifestyle. It grew to become a household factor, and the blossoming meat enterprise grew to become similar to one other little one. My youngest son’s title is Apollo and in Greek mythology he has a twin, Artemis. That is how Artemis Provisions was born.

Community is really what we’ve discovered right here. My spouse grew up in Verona, simply 10 miles away. Living in Mount Horeb is a really acquainted area for us as a result of we all know lots of people who nonetheless reside right here. That has helped open doorways for us.

At first it was simply our pals and colleagues who had been buying these farm merchandise from Artemis. Our purpose was to develop this meals supply system because the provide chain had actually been disrupted by the pandemic. While we had been doing this course of, we realized a lot about ourselves and the communities and the way we are able to have a bigger position. I’ve at all times had a ardour for meals and cooking. It is that this ardour that related me to my highschool farmer pals who increase these animals and my faculty pals that are actually cooks. It is a love of meals that stored our friendships collectively for over 20 years.

At Artemis we work with the farmer, we buy the animals and do all of the meat processing. We work with a processing plant in Darlington. We promote every thing that we produce — from beef, pork or hen merchandise in addition to goat and lamb. Our greatest vendor has been cheese. We accomplice with Brunkow Cheese and so they’re out of Fayette. I used to teach their son in soccer.

These people are household farmers. They personal one, possibly two, farms so their manufacturing shouldn’t be on a scale of business farming the place you see a whole bunch or hundreds of cows within the discipline or large feedlots. When you come to certainly one of our farms, you’re going to see lots of inexperienced. You’re going to see rolling inexperienced hills, you’ll see animals freely transferring about. It is good really seeing the care that goes into the meals that you’ll sometime eat.

With Artemis, we’re in a position to deliver individuals again to the roots of cooking. We use movies and share recipes, each from my Jamaican West Indian background, curry and jerk recipes, and I embrace my pals to share their meals traditions. My oldest son at all times has concepts on issues that we ought to be doing and providing to the neighborhood, in order that’s how sharing the recipes began. This has been a household affair because the very starting, and it has given me a chance to share a few of my passions with my children. I wish to imagine my children are actually meat connoisseurs and have a familiarity with the right way to prepare dinner meat correctly.

We hope to open a brick-and-mortar enterprise in Mount Horeb. What’s distinctive is we’re going to attempt to make it as native and as Wisconsin as doable. We wish to encourage producers from our neighborhood, from throughout Wisconsin, together with Indigenous populations, from Black and brown communities which might be on the lookout for a spot to place their merchandise, to contact us. We wish to be an outlet for them. When individuals come and go to Mount Horeb, they will stroll into Artemis and see the easiest of Wisconsin and all of its number of regionally produced meals is offered right here. We are in a position to do that as a result of our neighborhood supported us as we supported native meals producers by connecting them to native eaters. I wish to suppose that’s the Wisconsin manner. 

This is an edited model of Kingsley Gobourne’s story, which was produced by Hedi LaMarr Rudd for Wisconsin Humanities’ storytelling challenge, Love Wisconsin. You can discover the complete story at

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