While the Flyte Family Farm has been in operation for decades, it began a new era when one of the Flyte children, Adam Flyte, married his wife Carrie. Adam was raised on the farm, and grew up with plenty of traditional agricultural experience. Carrie's training, however, was rather unorthodox. While a student at UWPlatteville, she received an internship with Walt Disney World. Luckily, instead of wearing a mouse costume, she was assigned to be an assistant in Disney's large hydroponic gardens in the Land Pavilion at Epcot Center.
During her internship, Carrie learned the techniques and strategies involved with growing hydroponic produce, and by the time she left Disney, she was quite impressed by its ease and the quality it produced.
After Adam and Carrie were married, they began farming for themselves; later, when Adam's father decided to hang up his overalls and hand over the daily operations of the farm to them, they began making improvements, installing hydroponic greenhouses, which allowed the farm to extend its selling season and crop selection.
Today, Flyte Family Farms grows a diverse set of crops on over 3,000 acres of land outside the town of Coloma in central Wisconsin. 2,500 acres are dedicated to traditional crops including cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, and peppers. In addition, the farm grows 600 acres of organic crops, mostly under contract from large companies such as Del Monte, for which it grows organic corn. The majority of the organic acreage, however, is dedicated to growing organic hay, which is sold to feed cows at organic dairies.
Flyte Family Farms vends many different farmers' markets across the state. In Madison its stand can be found on East Mifflin Street at the Dane County Farmers' Market, as well as the West Side Community Market.
The Daily Page: What's the most popular item you sell at the market?
Carrie Flyte: Blueberries have been a big hit, but we recently started growing dry, edible beans, and I have a feeling they will be quite popular in the future.
What's the one thing you wish you grew, but don't?
Since we added potatoes last year, I think we pretty much grow everything we want to grow. One thing I would like to expand on is our organics.
Do you have a recipe to share?
Portobello and Cranberry Bean Quesadilla
The recipe is:
2 cups cooked Flyte Family Farm Horto beans
1-2 large portobello mushrooms, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, roasted and sliced
1 zucchini, roasted and sliced
Chipotle chili powder
Vegan jack (optional)
2 burrito sized tortillas
pico de gallo
Heat a couple tablespoons of water in a medium-sized skillet. Add mushrooms and garlic and season with a few pinches of chipotle chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook until mushrooms are soft, about ten minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, season warmed beans with chili powder, coriander, Mexican oregano, cumin and salt.
Layer beans, mushrooms, roasted veggies, vegan jack and a bit of pico de gallo in a warmed tortilla. Fold tortilla over and fry if desired.
Top with guacamole and more pico de gallo. Serving size: Two large quesadillas.