Wellspring is a nonprofit education and retreat center and organic farm whose mission is to inspire and teach people to grow, prepare and eat healthy food. In so doing, we transform food systems and build community. Programs in wellness education, ecology and gardening, the arts and personal growth have been offered to the public since 1982.

History of Wellspring

Wellspring was founded on March 1, 1982 by Mary Ann Ihm. As an educator, Mary Ann sought to create a holistic learning environment, one that would help people live in harmony with themselves and the earth. The first Board of Directors met in April, 1983. Programs were held in Milwaukee. In 1987 the country location was found and in spring of 1988 Wellspring moved to Newburg WI and began a CSA, the longest running CSA in Wisconsin.

Wellspring Farm and Property

Wellspring offers a quiet country setting, nestled in the Milwaukee River Valley with 36 acres of gardens and nature trails, woods and meadows, ponds and prairies, and an outdoor labyrinth. Over 80 species of birds have been identified on the grounds, which are also home to other wildlife. The space is known for its relaxing, calming and rejuvenating qualities, yet we are only 35 minutes from downtown Milwaukee.

On-site there is a 6 acre certified organic vegetable farm, 1 acre education garden, a solar heated greenhouse, 3 hoop houses for season extension, a small flock of laying hens, apple orchard, herb garden, perennial flower beds and 30 acres of wildlife refuge


Wellspring’s mission is to not only grow organic food, but to teach the community the importance of growing, eating, and living sustainably. Many educational opportunities are available at Wellspring throughout the year. Wellspring offers farm tours, workshops and learning opportunities for individuals, families, school and community groups. Classes and programs include home gardening, cooking with seasonal produce, food preservation, seed saving, tree grafting, foraging for wild edibles and summer camps for youth and teens.

Wellspring is committed to nurturing the next generation of farmers and offers seasonal internships as well.

See http://www.wellspringinc.org/GardenProgram/HomePage for more details

Board of Directors

Wellspring is governed by a Board of Directors who sets policy and gives direction to the organization. As a working Board the directors are involved in committees that oversee the financial and educational aspects of Wellspring.

The Board of Directors for 2013–2014

Darrell Smith, President
Amy Salberg, Vice-President and Secretary
Joanne Olsen, Treasurer
Howard Hinterthuer
Emma Jacque
William Sims
Laura Staton

Wellspring Staff

Angela Rester, Executive Director
Evan Conklin, Farm Manager
Heather Hall, Assistant Farm Manager
Mary Ann Ihm, Founder, Conference & Hospitality Director
Francie Szostak, Education Director
Patrick Brooks, Building & Grounds
Adrian Lee, Permaculture and Farm Team
Rhonda Klug, House Keeper

Press Archives

April 2014 - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Backyard Weeds Can Be a Meal for Foragers - http://www.jsonline.com/features/food/backyard-weeds-can-be-a-meal-for-foragers-b99244355z1-257179551.html?fb_action_ids=817001134994750&fb_action_types=og.recommends
March 2014 - Edible Milwaukee Magazine - Spring 2014 http://digitaleditions.sheridan.com/publication/?i=200361
February 2014 - Shepard Express Hero’s of the Week! http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22658-heroes-of-the-week-wellspring-volunteers.html
November 2013 - Edible Milwaukee Magazine - Winter 2013, Where the Wild Foods Are and Kids Table Column: Home for the Squirmy Wormies
October 2013 - 88.9 Radio Milwaukee, Community Stories - On Wellspring’s Farm to School Partnership with Grafton Elementary: http://www.radiomilwaukee.org/healthy-living/wellspring-farm-school-lunchrooms
September 2013 - Fox 6 News Milwaukee – On Wellspring’s Farm to School program at Kewaskum Elementary that includes monthly produce tastings and school gardens! http://fox6now.com/2013/11/05/wis-school-district-finds-new-way-to-get-kids-to-eat-vegetables/
September 2013 - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Foraging for Wild Edibles Workshops at Wellspring http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/lifestyle/220861221.html
November 2012 - http://activepaper.olivesoftware.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=V0JETi8yMDEyLzExLzA5I0FyMDAxMDY%3D&Mode=HTML&Locale=english-skin-custom
October 2012 - http://farmtotablewisconsin.com/2012/10/13/wellspring-growing-the-next-generation-of-farmers/
July 2012 - http://www.naturalmilwaukee.com/MILW/July-2012/Wellspring-Organic-Farm-Hosts-Seasonal-Cooking-Classes/
June 2012 - http://www.jsonline.com/features/food/produce-boxes-give-csa-members-challenges-delights-r85asjm-158491425.html
May 2012 - http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/lifestyle/151678645.html#!page=0&pageSize=10&sort=newestfirst
March 2012 - http://www.jsonline.com/features/food/csa-owner-says-organic-farming-was-her-blood-5l4fb6j-142377345.html
March 2012- http://www.jsonline.com/features/food/homegrown-foods-have-a-homecoming-7t484gi-142377055.html

Thank you to Paul Oemig for several of the lovely farm shots featured on our site!

Program Areas

Wellspring has three main program areas, the CSA Farm, the Education Programs and the Conference and Retreat Center.

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Page last modified on July 05, 2014

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