Farm-fresh produce straight from the field is a little hard to find in Sussex without an active farmers market – that is, unless, you’ve been to Basse’s farm stand on Main Street.
While Sussex is currently getting a group together to organize a vivacious outdoor market, Blake Basse is serving up traditional fare like sweet corn, as well as less customary produce like kohlrabi. And it’s all grown at his parents’ farm, a whopping 150 acres of land in Colgate.
The 20-year-old college student is the son of Becky and Roger Basse, owners of the wildly successful Basse’s Taste of Country Farm Market. Selling fresh food has been a Basse family tradition since 1937, according to the Wisconsin State Farmer, and Blake plans to continue to the tradition after college.
“My grandparents started everything, and we had another Basse’s Market down in Muskego,” Basse said. “I grew up there when I was younger before my dad decided to branch out up here. My dad found a nice location, and we kind of decided to make selling more convenient with roadside stands in people’s communities.”
“Everything we sell here is grown at our farm. We really try to emphasize that. This is all local, home grown produce.”
With the central Taste of Country store located in Colgate near the corner of Townline and County Line roads, the opportunity to provide farm-fresh food outside of a farmers market presented itself. Now Blake works the stand in Sussex near Wee Welcome Inn daycare almost every day during the summers to help pay for his tuition at the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse.
The stand operates from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day, with weekends being the busiest. And with the locally grown produce selling sometimes for just 50 cents, Sussex residents may find it hard to snag a better deal.
“Everything we sell here is grown at our farm,” Basse said. “We really try to emphasize that. This is all local, home grown produce.”
Along with the farm stand in Sussex, Basse also helps out with stands at area farmers markets in Menomonee Falls, Pewaukee and Germantown. And combined with the family’s corn maze and pumpkin festival, usually attended by upwards of 4,000 people, the Basse’s are taking the term “family farm” to a new level.