Historically, the “fifth season” referred to the various ways people preserved food in order to enjoy their harvest well beyond the growing season. It was common to can, freeze, and dry foods during the peak of the season to extend the bounty.
Through the formation of the Fifth Season Cooperative, we preserve many things in our region: our health and wealth, the connection between producers & consumers and the market for traditionally, sustainably raised foods.
The Fifth Season Mission
To produce, process and market healthy, local foods in our region by supporting the values of environmental, social and economic fairness for all.
The Fifth Season Vision
We are a multi-stakeholder cooperative that is mutually responsible to the planet, community and each other’s needs. We are a sustainable regional food system where the majority of our food is accessed from the region where we live. We are rooted in sustainable methods which produce nutritious, high quality food. The true cost of food takes into account ecological stewardship, quality of life and growing nutrient rich foods.
Fifth Season Cooperative History
In January of 2010, the Vernon Economic Development Association (VEDA) received a $40,000 Buy Local Buy Wisconsin grant from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture (DATCP). In partnership with the Food and Farm Initiative of the Valley Stewardship Network, VEDA set to work bringing together key partners in the 7 Rivers Region to develop an economic model that brings local food to institutions. The Fifth Season Cooperative was incorporated in August, 2010 to provide the infrastructure and coordination needed to bridge the gap between producers and buyers in the 7 Rivers Region.