We’re Emmalyn Kayser and Cody Fitzpatrick, the new owners of Foxtail Farm. We’re really excited to continue to offer fresh, local, organic produce to the communities of the St. Croix River Valley and Twin Cities Metro. Whether you’ve been one of our CSA members in the past, have seen us at farmer’s markets, or are a newcomer to Foxtail, thanks for checking us out!
Foxtail Farm was founded by Paul and Chris Burkhouse in the late 90’s, and the farm has been at its current location in Osceola, WI since 2004. Since the beginning, Chris and Paul have been committed to growing pesticide and chemical free organic produce. While their business model has shifted over the years from a large Summer CSA to smaller scale Spring and Winter CSAs, their commitment to land stewardship has never wavered.
When Emmalyn and I started working on Foxtail Farm in the fall of 2018, we were immediately struck by the number and variety of birds, bees, frogs and other animals that were around the farm. We knew right away that we had found a special place. When Chris and Paul told us that they were thinking about selling, we set to work to see if we could buy Foxtail, and as it so happens, we could!
Emmalyn’s passion for growing began at the University of Iowa, where she pursued a degree in geology, focusing on soil science. Healthy soil makes healthy plants, which in turn makes healthy people! After stints volunteering at a vegetable farm in Iowa City, working on a duck farm in Texas, and growing lettuce in Hawaii, Emmalyn headed to Alaska where her organic farming career began in earnest.
Our travels have taken us to other countries, islands and deep into the woods of Alaska, but through all of those experiences we’ve concluded that Midwest truly is best
For three summers, she worked at Denali Organic Growers. D.O.G is a unique, 100% off-grid farm serving people in the Denali National Park area. The short growing season and cold temperatures in the Interior demand creativity and ingenuity to keep plants growing. Greenhouses, multiple layers of row cover fabric, and meticulous, intensive crop planning are a few of the skills that Emmalyn employed during her time at Denali Organic Growers.
In 2013, Emmalyn was able to take those skills and transition from a farmer’s assistant to a full-on farm manager. Operating at Camp Denali, a remote lodge in Denali National Park, was a breathtaking experience both in the beauty of the landscape as well as the harsh growing conditions. Being a farmer at the base of the largest mountain in North America proved to be a challenge that she was able to overcome, providing fresh greens, herbs, vegetables and even tomatoes to guests.
While Emmalyn was running rogue in the wilds of Alaska, Cody was pursuing his first passion: music. Cody has been performing in the Minneapolis area for over 10 years, and continues to write music under the moniker Fletcher Magellan. Adventure (and true love) brought Cody to Alaska in 2013. After observing the do-it-yourself frontier mentality, he has spent the past six years working on what he calls his “blue-collar professional development”. Cody’s drive to attain new skills in carpentry, maintenance and general tinkering makes him an invaluable part of the farm. While Emmalyn is organically minded, Cody has a more mechanical mind, which makes for a well balanced set of skills on our farming team!
While we may be relative newcomers to the St. Croix River Valley, we are both Midwesterners at heart. Our travels have taken us to other countries, islands and deep into the woods of Alaska, but through all of those experiences we’ve concluded that Midwest truly is best and we couldn’t be more excited to make our permanent home here. Thanks for supporting our farming journey!