Growing Local: Harvest Moon Organics Offers Organic Meats and Locally Produced Goods

the family farm hopes to add new commercial kitchen space, launch new print publication

Rebecca Mennecke, photos by Kyle Lehman

The Drilling family, owners of Harvest Moon Organics.
The Drilling family, owners of Harvest Moon Organics.

Growing local, supporting local, and staying locally focused is what allows Harvest Moon Organics of Cadott to provide great quality poultry, pork, and beef to the Chippewa Valley since it opened as a family-run farm in 2017.

Since the farm’s purchase and restoration beginning in 2010, Harvest Moon has been a labor of love for owners Andrew and Emily Drilling (as well as their three adorable children Olive, Ira, and Otto), who are dedicated to raising certified organic meats and selling locally produced goods through their farm store, The Old Laughing Lady.

“We enjoy every aspect of running a farm,” the pair said. “Overcoming challenges, working hard, learning resourcefulness and new skills out of necessity, and meeting new people and making new friends – (those) are just some of the great things that come from running a farm.”

One of the challenges this local farm faces is educating locals on the true meaning of supporting local, as “local” meat distributors don’t necessarily butcher and sell meat that has been locally raised, creating misleading advertising and labeling that can confuse consumers on whether they are actually supporting their neighbors. “This is what creates challenges for us as a farm that raises our animals from birth to finish and direct markets the end product,” Andrew said. “This is why it is so important to ask a lot of questions when purchasing ‘local.’”

The Drillings aren’t only local, they’re organic – a term that gets loosely tossed around in direct marketing. Their farming practices are USDA inspected every year to ensure they adhere to rigorous organic standards (which you can find at Harvest Moon Organic is also certified by the Real Organic Project, and was named one of the best local organic farms in the 2021 Chippewa Valley Reader Poll.

In addition to creating more sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices, going organic also means not supporting big oil companies through synthetic fertilizers, Big Ag companies (such as Monsanto, Pioneer, and Cargill) through seeds, plants, machinery, and land, and helps eliminate Big Pharma monopolies, the pair said. “By purchasing and growing organic, we are not supporting the industries that are destroying our health, environment, and small family farms,” Andrew said.

Their farm store – named after the 1968 Neil Young song – features items produced, found, and made on their farm, including their pork, beef, chicken, eggs, soaps, and art. They also carry items from other local farms and entrepreneurs including Pozarski Family Farms Maple Syrup, B’s Bees honey, Terravee Naturals Elderberry Syrup, Fizzeology Foods Ferments, Everything Hemp CBD, and more. The family plans to soon add a commercial kitchen to offer goods like apple cider vinegar or wheat bread flour using ingredients grown and raised on their farm.

The Drillings know firsthand the importance of supporting local, as major meat industries across the country monopolize the industry and destroy family farms. But, it can be tough to let locals know that their spending habits are part of the problem. “If we keep money in our community, the community will thrive,” Emily said. And that doesn’t mean you have to purchase directly from their farm, she added. Supporting other local businesses and the Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market (which is now open for its summer season!) indirectly supports their farm.

As big believers of tangible media, the pair hope to launch a new publication called Old Ways – a paper publication featuring homesteading tips and ideas from their farm and others like it in the Chippewa Valley.

Harvest Moon Organics • 2722 220th St., Cadott • (715) 450-3507 •