Our Story

Contributing to the cosmic choir. What does that mean? While spending time outdoors you may notice the collaboration of songs and sounds that come together as one chorus. Everyday the plants and animals in the natural world are changing and shifting; some species are ending while others are beginning. Our goal as farmers is to do what we can to sustain nature’s song. By learning about sustainable agriculture, and taking time to transition into our own methods that match nature’s system, we grow our understanding. Both of us spent some time on farms previously before meeting at Blackbrook Farm. We both fell in love with all that comes with farming; spending time outdoors rain or shine, embracing the bites of critters,and especially enjoying the time to cook with the best food for our bodies. A passion we share is being able to provide the same joy in delicious food to you, and your family and friends.

Nellie Yonker

Nellie Yonker
Bunching Carrots
More about Nellie:
Nellie was born in Wisconsin, and raised in Minnesota, but has returned to her birthplace to dig in the dirt! In high school, she developed an interest in food ethics, and has since pursued participation in different ways. Spring of 2013 she spent four months WWOOFing on a permaculture farm in Chehalis, WA. Following, she worked for a local honey business, Bare Honey. While selling honey at the Linden Hills Farmer’s Market, she met James and Ayla Dodge from Blackbrook Farm with hopes to work with them in the future. The following year she began interning with Blackbrook, and now has worked with them two seasons. Simultaneously , Nellie is studying Business Management with an Environmental emphasis at Bethel University. She is also a teacher’s assistant for the Ceramics studio, and enjoys throwing pots whenever possible. Clearly she can not stay away from the dirt! Recently, she spent four months studying God and Nature in stunning New Zealand, where she gained a greater appreciation for the wild and all it provides. This next season farming an acre with Stephen while working part time for Blackbrook farm brings her joy and excitement for what the future holds!

Stephen Kaus

Stephen Kaus
Ready to Harvest!
More about Stephen: Stephen grew up in the small town of Shell Rock, Iowa after moving with his family from Rice Lake, Wisconsin. He has always been interested in food, animals, and helping in his parents vegetable and flower gardens. What would be a better way to incorporate all those things then to be a farmer?! It was while he attended college that Stephen took several horticulture classes and the idea of farming as a possibility for a career started. In the summer of 2013, he got his first taste of organic vegetable farming working at Bloomin’ Wooley Acres in Nashua, IA. From then on he knew he wanted to be an organic farmer of some kind. The following two seasons, he worked at Blackbrook Farmstead in Amery, WI. Stephen is really excited to be working for James and Ayla Dodge of Blackbrook Farmstead for a third season while farming his own acre (Whistling Thistle Farmstead) of veggies with Nellie.

Contributing to the Cosmic Choir