Farm Blog

Thank you again for braving the blizzard to celebrate, connect with great food, and 'planting an orchard'! Just imagine all those future cherry trees (don't forget to squat:-).
I am so uplifted from all the good vibes, intentions, laughter and seeds shared and planted.

We were able to raise $850.00 in funds! This will go a long way, thank you! Additionally, with all the seeds donated today and from what I've gleaned from others, The women growers in the Sine-Saloum region will be able to plant out a couple hundred row feet/farm. In the past we've planted shared 'demonstration beds' ie since many of the farmers share space/land to grow on we've constructed seeds beds to trial different varieties, plant insectory herbs and flowers and share techniques. From there seeds are harvested and shared forward amongst the individual farmers. So in essence your generosity helped plant teaching/learning/eating/

sharing beds of veggie, herb, and flower goodness!

I will honor my commitment and extend the immense gratitude, generosity that was shared during the workshop with the women farmers in the following ways:

Work with NCBA CLUSA Farmer to Farmer Program to transfer funds and mail seeds.
I'll also email and share highlights, photos forward later this week in celebration of our workshop success.

I am tentatively set to travel there Nov/Dec. or January in 2016.

I also finally remembered the name of third grower group, JUBO (means widespread). If you're interested in learning more about how they got started, here's a link to an interview I did as part of my last Farmer to Farmer adventure in Senegal.

I Will keep you in the loop as the project evolves and thanks again for sharing your generous spirit!

For the chocolate lovers:
Becky Otte, who made the amazing truffles, has more of her chocolate goodness to share and is selling some of her creations just in time for Valentines. if you're interested send her an email:

Also Here is a link to Roots Chocolate website.

For the Fruit Lovers:

I've enclosed a handout of some of the different fruits we grow at our farm as well as a flyer highlighting this season's events at the farm! We'd love to have you venture out and tour the orchard, come visit us (though not nearly as cool as the orchard poses we did during the workshop).

Thank you again for helping me transition from being a butterfly weed seed (ie wind pollinated, not knowing where or how my intentions, projects might stick) to more of an oak or cashew seeds - wherein I can deepen my awareness, provide support in the same place(s) in Senegal for the growers and in my backyard in Wisconsin:-). Here's to planting the seeds of the as yet to be imagined on and off the yoga mat! Wishing you all much abundance.

Happy Mid-winter!

Yours in hardy kiwi,

PS If you are into exploring the planting side as well as enjoying more local fruit creations, we'll be hosting a Local Fruit Tasting May 16, details on our website.



We appreciate your forebearance with the schedule change a couple of weeks ago. A family portrait on Sunday, scheduled by the photographer for the low-slanting rays of the late day sun, required that we remain in Reedsburg through the evening, delaying our usual delivery until Monday. The shot was originally scheduled for 6:00 pm, then moved foreward to 5:00 at the last minute -- even the photographer, whose metier is light, was blindsided by the sea-changes of the August sun.

The few weeks after Lammas see a startling decline in day length, with afternoon repairing into evening so much earlier day by day that as a child I had the sense that the year itself was preparing for the sad, school-bound days of autumn by going to bed earlier and earlier, leaving the long after-dinner sun of June, with its sense of endless possibility, a distant, choked-off memory.

These days we view the light-collapse of August as nature's way of reminding us it's time to can. Switching off the light outside is what's required to drive us out of the garden and in front of a hot stove; two hundred jars will fill the larder by Labor Day, two hundred more by frost. We make our late-season hay while the sun doesn't shine.

At the same time, I begin to feel that my protoplasm can't possibly absorb enough heat and light to get me through the winter. As the deeper darkness sets in toward equinox, I'l again become complertely dependent on St. John's Wort and vitamin D tablets to bear my spirit over the Void until March. I've always wondered if my childhood aversion to sitting still during the excrucuiating dark months of schooling forever fixed my emotional reaction to sunlight. My mother and grandmother were both inveterate sun-worshippers, so perhaps the malady is genetic.

Our onions also take notice of the seasonal change. They are “long-day” types bred in northern climes to put on leaves for energy harvesting while the days grow longer, then bulk up their bulbs when the sun's arc starts to drop again towards Capricorn. This year has been especially good to them – copious rains through June, then near-drought in the latter weeks of July and early August, insure that no molds get down into the bulbs once their necks drop over, only to rot them come November. This mid-summer “curing” period is always a bit frought – leaving the bulbs in the field until the tops are brown provides the tightest closure, and continued contact between roots and soil allows them to fatten further by absorbing the remaining energy of the leaves; but an unforseen rain is always a hazard. At the same time, the tops of the bulb can green-up if they get too much sunlight, and cool weather can induce premature seed stalks; so we pick and choose the ones we think should come out and finish them under cover, carefully culling those with poorer-storing, thicker necks for fresh-eating and putting in your share bags. Better keepers will follow in coming weeks.

In the meantime I'm glad the waterless cleaning of the bulbs with a vegetable brush is best done on the steps of the porch with the declining light of August still bright enough to highlight every mote and molecule of clinging dirt. I'm happy to try and make the bulbs dust-free, soaking up each delicious photon of remaining summer while I can.