From an article by Rick Olivo in the La Crosse Tribune:
BARKSDALE, Wis. – One of the fundamental tenants of Christianity is the duty of Christians to care for those less well off than themselves.
Indeed, the New Testament plainly states that when one gives food to those who hunger, drink to those who thirst, they do more than aid a fellow human being.
“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me,” reads Chapter 25 of the Book of Matthew.
It is an injunction that a number of bay area residents have taken to heart through the Northern Garden of Life, an effort to provide high quality fruits and vegetables, locally and sustainably grown, available at moderate cost to the general public, with profits and a substantial selection of the crop going to the BRICK ministries. The funds go to assist the BRICK’s programs for the needy and the vegetables and fruit are made available for distribution to families and individuals in need of food.
The Northern Garden of Life is located on a five-acre tract of land on Cherryville Road in the Town of Barksdale. Surrounded by woods, the farm is in its second year of operation and would be the envy of any home gardener. Surrounded by a deer and bear-proof fence, the field is exquisitely maintained by a corps of volunteers who give of their time to grow crops that include tomatoes, potatoes, corn, onions, garlic, squash, watermelons, beans, cucumbers, grapes, carrots, cantaloupes, herbs, cabbage, cauliflower, and a host of other garden delights. Water is supplied to the garden through slow-drip irrigation tubes placed next to the plants and fed from a 5,000-gallon plastic water tank that is, in turn, filled from a well dug on the property specifically to serve the facility. There is also a 2,500-gallon tank stocked with a fertilizer solution available.
The garden is located on land owned by Town of Barksdale resident George Vernon. He says the effort is a natural outgrowth of the beliefs held by the volunteers who keep the Northern Garden of Life going.