Our Farming Practices

Mission

Stone Bank Farm Market is dedicated to offering high-quality, locally-grown food while promoting sustainable, organic farming practices.

Our Story

Opened in May 2017, Stone Bank Farm Market is housed in a century old church nestled on 3 acres of vegetable gardens and surrounded by  75 acres of protected Wisconsin farmland. Here at Stone Bank Farm Market, we work with onsite and local suppliers in order to provide the highest quality organic and seasonal produce, dairy products, poultry, pork, and grass-fed/grass-finished beef.

The market aims to not only serve as a destination for conservation-minded, health-conscious consumers, but also as an educational platform to promote the long-term value that sustainable farm practices can provide. It is our hope that visitors will find a closer connection to the foods they eat, be inspired to live a healthier lifestyle, and gain greater insight into the delicate relationship between farmland preservation, soil health, and nutrient-dense food.

History

The land on which the Market sits is surround by 75 acres of the original homestead and now protected by the Faye Gehl Conservation Foundation. One of the most unique aspects of the property is the bubbling stream slicing through the northern and western border, which serves as the connector between two freshwater lakes. Scottish immigrant John Ferguson purchased 225 acres from the government in 1844. The Ferguson’s donated a parcel of their farmland to the Presbyterian Church, and three Scottish families raised enough money to build the church on the current site of the Stone Bank Farm Market. The church was dedicated in 1858.

In addition to the homestead, the farm also features a barn built in two stages and a gristmill on the river. This gristmill functioned to grind grain for the cattle on the farm until the 1950s. The original Ferguson farm became known as the Rogers farm when a Ferguson daughter married a Rogers son in the 1930s. This Rogers son continued the farming tradition until the 1950s, upon which he decided to give up on farming and instead took up employment in Oconomowoc. For roughly 50 years, until the Faye Gehl Conservation Foundation purchased the farm from the Rogers family, the land was left unused. While the land was fortunately not sold to developers, preserving a significant, scenic open space in Stone Bank, the quality of the soil itself was nutrient-depleted for further farm use. Since 2010, the farmland has been used for farming purposes and diligently nurtured to improve the quality of the soil and, thus, the nutritional content of the food being grown.