Tim Zander grew up in Monona, WI. Although he grew up in a city, his father's family has a long history of operating small, successful dairy farms in the Cross Plains area of Western Dane County. When Tim was 13 his dad operated one of his brother’s farms for the summer. He took Tim and his brother, as well as some neighborhood kids, along to work with him primarily to help pick stones out of the field. After that summer, many of those kids continued working there off and on for many years. Three went on to receive degrees from the UW Madison College of Agriculture. From that first summer on, Tim worked, learned, and saved in order to start his own farm.
Emerald Meadows Family Farm was established in 1994 when Tim Zander bought his first 80 acres of farm land in Beaver Dam. He farmed that land organically from the beginning and earned his first organic certification in 1998 after the full transition period.
In 1997 the farm expanded with the purchase of the current home farm (73 acres) in Columbus. Although the original farm house is still standing on the property, a larger and more modern home was completed in 1998. As with the Beaver Dam farm, the land was transitioned to organic and the first certified crops were harvested in 2000.
Since 2000 there have been several land sales and acquisitions. A brief timeline follows here:
· 2004: 67 acres contiguous to the home farm were purchased and transitioned to organic
· 2005: Beaver Dam acres were sold
· 2008: 40 acres purchased on Schaeffer Road in Columbus, and 20 acres contiguous to those leased on a long-term basis
· 2010: 27 acres on Boelte Road in Columbus were leased
· 2013: 15 acres in Rio were purchased
· 2015: 20 of the 27 acres on Boelte Road were purchased (the other 7 acres were sold to another buyer)
As investment has been made in land over the years, there have also been other changes for Tim and Emerald Meadows Family Farm.
In 2010 Two Good Farms CSA was established as a partnership between Tim Zander and Paul McDowell in Montello. Produce was grown on both certified organic farms, aggregated at Emerald Meadows Family Farm in Columbus, and delivered by both Tim and Paul to locations from Madison to Montello.
Late in 2011 Becky Breda met Tim and in 2012 began helping with CSA administration and selling at markets. On Thanksgiving Day in 2013 they got married, and Becky has been assisting with business management since then (in addition to maintaining a job off the farm).
Paul made the decision to focus more on large crops that he could wholesale, and in 2015 Two Good Farms CSA evolved from two farms in Columbus and Montello to two farms in Columbus and Rio – both owned and operated by Tim and Becky.
The most recent change to our farm/business structure occurred in 2017 with the formation of Badger Organics LLC. We continue to operate our CSA as Two Good Farms CSA, and sell at markets and through wholesale as Emerald Meadows Family Farm.