Second Opinion Magazine
The Watershed Café: A Gathering Place of Local Flavor
By Summer Kelly, The Watershed Cafe
The Watershed Café is a locally and sustainably sourced restaurant, perched above the scenic St. Croix River in Osceola, Wisconsin. The owners, Rita and Steve Rasmuson, established the restaurant in 2014 with a mission to bring the best comfort food to the table. For Rita, that means using simple and fresh ingredients. “We are a whole food restaurant, which means we bring in beautiful food and simply create dishes for all people to enjoy.”
Rita’s vision for The Watershed Café is built around the nature of St. Croix River Valley. “We wanted to create a space for community,” Rita said. “We really enjoy the culture of the river valley–the park systems, the activity of the outdoors, and the community itself.”
The St. Croix River Valley is a hub of small, family-owned farms practicing sustainable and organic farming methods. The Watershed Café works closely with four farms within 10 miles of the restaurant to source much of its fresh vegetables, herbs, dairy products, and meat. Because the story of The Watershed Café is connected to the stories of its partners, we would like to share a bit about them.
Common Harvest CSA: Margaret Pennings and Dan Guenthner of Common Harvest Farm created a fruitful, small-scale sustainable CSA farm as stewards of the land. Stewardship of the land for them means practicing organic farming methods: hand-weeding, amending the soil with local and organic compost, growing vegetables without pesticides or herbicides, and using solar panels as earth-friendly energy solutions for the farm.
Foxtail Farm CSA: Chris and Paul Burkhouse, owners of Foxtail Farm–Winter CSA, have a unique twist on farming in the Midwest. They focus their efforts solely on winter produce. They run their farm with a “Morganic” philosophy, a term coined by a Foxtail Farm member meaning “more than organic.” To Foxtail Farm, this means building dependable relationships between farmers and members, and growing produce naturally with organic principles in mind.
Crystal Ball Farm Organic Dairy: Troy and Barb DeRosier own and operate organic Crystal Ball Farms using a holistic approach to farming with pasture-raised, grass-fed dairy cattle. To increase the farm’s sustainability, Crystal Ball Farms installed roof-top solar panels to the barns, creamery, and granary, providing renewable energy for the farm.
Peterson Craftsman Meats: Peterson Craftsman Meats is a family owned and operated farm practicing pasture-raised beef cattle farming. With a passion for maintaining the vitality of the land and the animals, Andy Peterson uses organic practices, rotational grazing, and crop rotation.
Join us for local comfort food at The Watershed Café at 99 N. Cascade Street, Osceola, WI. Learn more about all of our sustainable partners at www.thewatershedcafe.com.
Summer Kelly is a local gardener and plant-enthusiast with a passion for marketing and environmental sustainability. Crossing paths with Rita and Steve of The Watershed Café is the best thing that has happened to Summer in her free-lance marketing career.