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North Harvest CSA was founded in 2013 by Jake and Ashley TenHarmsel, two passionate individuals who shared a common vision: to create a farm that not only produced high-quality, sustainably grown produce but also fostered a deep connection with the local community. What began as a modest agricultural endeavor has grown into a flourishing example of sustainable farming and community-driven agriculture. This year marks 10 years since the couple undertook their first Calumet farmer’s market, with nothing but a table and some produce from their backyard garden. Today, the established farm on Tikkanen Road in Calumet spans 2 acres of land and 5 hoop houses.
From the outset, North Harvest CSA was committed to environmentally responsible and sustainable farming practices, having first gained meaningful experience working as farmhands in Colorado. North Harvest Farm produces a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs that are free from chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. A mix of pelletized chicken compost, local composted cow manure, and worm castings are amendments used to fertilize the soil, as well as low-till methods and crop rotation. Jake and Ashley harvest our produce by hand with loving care so you can be sure that what makes it to your dinner table is as fresh as possible.
Their favorite veggie to harvest? Peppers!
“There are so many pepper varieties to try out! They never get boring, and they are fun to pick,” said Ashley.
At the Co-op, North Harvest is our handy late-season heavy hitter for peppers: green and purple bells, poblanos, anaheims, jalapeños, and Italian frying peppers. North Harvest is also our regular local supplier of rich, peppery arugula, picked at the young stage for maximum flavor. You can catch other staple greens from North Harvest on the produce shelves, like Napa cabbage, bok choy, lacinato kale, green kale, mustard mix, lettuce, and more.
As North Harvest CSA grows, so grows its impact on the local community. The farmers offer resources on cooking and preserving fresh food, are involved in local farm-to-school efforts, host farm tours on their property, and had a hand in developing the Calumet Community Free Fridge. The folks at North Harvest are a crowd favorite not only for their fresh produce but their down-to-earth personalities, as they continue to lift up fellow business farmers and be a source of fresh food and knowledge for the entire community.
“They’re just a lot of fun,” said Andy Whitman, our Produce Coordinator. “They’re really good people. Some of my favorite to interact with, in whatever capacity.”
Photos & Article by Lily Venable