When Noah and Josh Engel were children, aged nine and 11 respectively, they started a small business selling potatoes. Their original farm was a quarter-acre plot on the Engel family organic dairy farm. As the brothers grew up, their interest in farming never waned. Josh attended college and Noah took several jobs at other farms in order to expand their collective farming skill sets, all the while continuing to grow and sell potatoes part-time. Six years ago, with the skills and knowledge needed for success, the Engel brothers decided to strike out on their own and begin farming full time.
Driftless Organics has been vending at the Willy Street Co-op, L'Etoile, Harvest, and Mermaid Cafe also serve its produce. Products from Driftless Organics can even be found at other vendors at the market on the Square, specifically Cress Springs Bakery, which uses Driftless sunflower oil to make some of its baked goods. Along with to markets, restaurants, and co-ops, Driftless produce is available through its CSA program, which currently provides 650 customers with fresh produce from June through October.
The Daily Page: What's the one crop you wish you could grow, but can't?
Noah Engle: It would be great if we could grow a variety of salad greens, but it is just too labor intensive, and would require a lot of new machinery.
Do you have a recipe to share?
Driftless Organics Sunflower Oil Vinaigrette
The recipe is:
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup or honey
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/2 cup Driftless Organics sunflower oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine mustard, vinegar and maple syrup/honey in a small bowl or half pint jar. Mix with a fork. Slowly add sunflower oil while whisking with your fork until emulsified. Add salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
This is just a basic recipe. Feel free to add fresh herbs, scallions, etc.