The Driftless region of Wisconsin is a place that reminds me of other places I've been but is like no place I've been before. The area is actually a Paleozoic Plateau noted mainly for its deeply carved river valleys and includes elevations ranging from 603 to 1,719 feet and covers an area of 16,203 square miles. The region's peculiar terrain is the result of its having escaped glaciation in the last glacial period. The place is covered with trout streams, small family farms and small rural towns inhabited by a wide variety of people. I've met descendants of families who homesteaded the land, old hippies who landed here in the late 60's and never moved on and young folks who have only recently moved here to be a part of the green energy and organic farming community that is growing here. The national food supplier Organic Valley, has its headquarters and distribution center in La Farge and Cashton. Just about every major grocery store chain I have been in over the last 5 years sells Organic Valley products and they all come from here. Their producers are independent growers, small family farms that include a lot of Amish families , and some COOP's. I have been in the area for a few weeks and I now pass people on the road that wave at me out of familiarity and friendliness and have formed friendships with folks from all walks of life. Many of the small towns here are facing the same issues that small towns everywhere I have been seem to be dealing with like stagnant wages, a lack of jobs and a young population that leaves and seldom returns. Even out here in a place that looks idyllic and wholesome the issues of meth and opioid addiction are here, just under the surface. There is an increasing number of people moving here to Vernon County to create a life in this beautiful landscape and the newcomers and the long-time residents all share in the knowledge that they live in a unique landscape and they all appreciate it and to varying degrees, guard it.
Come to the Driftless and see for yourself,
Visit Matt and Geri at the Driftless Angler and buy some flies and go catch brook Trout in one of the hundreds of miles of trout streams in Vernon County, Tell them I said Hi.
Come see Tiffany and Matt at Deep Rooted organic farm and learn about how they grow some 30,000 pounds of tomatoes in 9,000 square feet every year. Every small town I went through or wondered around in has interesting shops, antique stores and places to buy local cheese and products.
Just come here and see it.