The Elm Tree Farm was founded in 2001 by Patricia and Chris Bliska with the goal of establishing an orchard to produce high quality organic apples, pears and plums.
At the time, Patricia was in a Masters of Agriculture program at the University of Minnesota and the development and management of the orchard was the basis of her thesis.
The orchard is protected by high hills on three sides from harsh winds and the grade slopes gently to the East. This unique location provides progressive, protected blooming much to the delight of our resident honey bees which were introduced to enhance pollination. The fruit trees are fertilized with composted manure from resident horses which are fed hay harvested from the certified organic pasture adjacent to the orchard.
In 2011, we welcomed Lisa Myslajek to fill the orchard manager roll and draw up our Organic System Plan in preparation for organic certification. Lisa holds her bachelor’s degree in Horticulture and Organic Methodologies. In August of 2011 we received organic certification from the Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA), a third party organic certifier. They are accredited by the USDA National Organic Program and ensure, through inspections and detailed reporting, that we meet the USDA Organic Standards. To learn more about MOSA, visit their website at www.mosaorganic.org.
Since 2014, we've continued our certified organic stewardship of the land and added new crops like squashes, gourds, flowers and garlic under the management of Caitlin Cook-Isaacson and Matthew Allen.