Simply Delicious. Unbeatably Healthy.
Simply Delicious. Unbeatably Healthy.
A sea of greenhouses surround the farms in the Westland region of the Netherlands. The great indoors provides optimal growing conditions for fresh, wholesome food, without harmful chemicals.
Our family farm was founded 168 years ago, in 1855, in the Driftless Region of Southwest Wisconsin. Now, Arcola Farms is proud to import and adapt the latest in Dutch food and farming technology, to bring our first sustainable, commercial greenhouse farm to Minneapolis.
Replicating the Netherlands public, private, and university collaboration, the next generation of modern farming paves the way of growing simply delicious, unbeatably healthy food. 12 months a year.
The first farm is planned for construction in 2023 near Minneapolis, MN.
The Arcola Farms Origin Story:
David Stennes, Arcola Farms found and CEO, had an interest in horticulture early in life, with his first outside summer job as groundskeeper for an estate, where Arcola Bridge crosses over Lake Minnetonka. In high school and college, summers were spent in horticulture education, working with trees to treat Dutch Elm Disease, with the cure that his uncle, Mark Stennes, created at the University of Minnesota. Mark was a renowned plant pathologist, scientist and researcher, who’s later work included the discovery and product creation of the newly available, disease resistant St. Croix Elm tree.
In 2018, with a lifetime of passionate interest in plants, forestry, and farming, David and his wife, Mary, bought out her family’s interest in their Wisconsin farm. The historic 1855 Donald Farm is also home to Dane County's Donald Park, a natural habitat and conservation area which now consists of 780 acres of preservation prairie and forest, established in 1993 with a land donation.
On the farm, decades of chemical spraying and field-damaging tilling had eroded the fields to what had become hardened ground, incapable of holding rainwater. He couldn't penetrate the ground with a shovel.
Using his knowledge and research of regenerative agriculture, Stennes took a bold approach to restoring soil health and bringing back biodiversity at the farm.
In their first season, he replaced corn and soybean fields with fields of native cover crops, with roots to capture rain and carbon. The goal was to return the neglected land to rich, fertile fields of soft soil for growing produce to sell locally.
The process of farm research and learning led Stennes to study 3 critical things in American farming. 1) Sustainability in food production 2) The damage of chemical inputs to farms, to our food supply, and the dramatic increases in human health problems associated with food. 3) The health of the planet, and our need to feed far more people in the future.
Lightbulb Moment: In his research into the latest ideas on planting, David came across a National Geographic cover-story on Dutch greenhouse technology that changed the trajectory of his plans for growing simply delicious, unbeatably healthy food.
“This Tiny Country Feeds the World: The Netherlands has become an agricultural giant by showing what the future of farming could look like”. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/article/holland-agriculture-sustainable-farming
The Netherlands is #2 in world exports of food, growing chemical free food year round, in large scale indoor farms.
The questions came. “What if we could grow great quality, healthy food, sustainably, not just in June through early September? What if we covered this whole field with a modern greenhouse, to keep fresh food coming all year?"
With their Wisconsin farm located a long drive from their Minneapolis home, they passed the baton of the farm, and David’s lifetime of work to create Arcola Farms began.
Now, in winter 2023, join us on the journey as we prepare to build and plant the seeds at our first indoor farm.
Have a connection to the people that grow your food.
See some of the key inspiration behind the founders story:
Kiss The Ground - Netflix Documentary on soil health, combatting climate change, and preserving the planet.
March 2018 interview with Dr. Zach Bush The Rich Roll Podcast, on GMO’s, Glyphosate, and Gut Health
“Sustainable”. The 2017 documentary that had Stennes reach out to his network of chef-owned restaurant friends to ask the question, “What if you could have any produce you wanted, available any month of the year?”
Sustainability and Climate Health: We have entered a new age in American agriculture, and the future of food. Using proven agricultural technology, sustainable growing practices in modern indoor farms lowers our carbon footprint.
Arcola Farms is proud to lead the way in healing our planet.
The journey to soil health, biodiversity, and the planted seed of thought for modern greenhouse agriculture
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