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.


Those Dog(ged) Days of Farming – a Mid-August Manifesto...

Mid-August. The dog days of summer came to be known as such due to Sirius's (or Dog Star's) close proximity to the Earth and relevance in signifying the shifting of seasons and weather patterns. To the Egyptians, the star's rising meant the flooding of the Nile was just around the corner. To the Polynesians, a welcome sign from which to navigate the winter seas. The ancient Greeks observed that following the star's heliacal rising, unsettled weather conditions abound and gave way to the hot, dry time of summer, causing plants to wilt, men to weaken, and women to become aroused. Anyone suffering its effects was said to be astroboletos, or 'star-struck'.

Hence these dog days of August coincide with the dogged days of farming. Any farmer suffering it's effects, shows symptoms of being awe-struck by the sheer abundance of growth heralding the produce. The workload lengthens while the daylength shortens as you're up against the onset of frost and endless onslaught of zucchini. This is the time of year, where you dig deep into the subsoil of your soul and find those pockets of perserverence and just keep pace. Like the ancient Dog star, you feel the heat of the day last into the night—the prominence of the star's position in Cannis major—casting a warm shadow while the canner boils onward with the next round of pickles and salsa. Those extra unplanned yet necessary projects burned a hole in your pocket and you see your cash flow wilt alongisde your chard and broccoli. Dog gone it, the cilantro set seed before the tomatoes ripened – time to reinvent salsa seasoning with a bit of thyme, though not the time to make long-term plans, just size up the rootedness of with the carrots and comfrey.

While muscles hardened from a seaon's labor, you remind yourself to soften and relax your mind and park your worries in the decaying Cumulus congestus –precipitating away a false sense of moisture, and heck it hasn't rained much anyway in the past few weeks, and NW Sauk Co has officially been declared as drought-stricken. And so I try to cultivate mini rituals (every hour stop look up at the clouds and enjoy a relevery – shake out the routine, do a few yogic downward dogs, dance out the wheat, sing to the saskatoon while you water the orchard). These are the things that will get me through the harvest, and the relentless brushing of Japanese beetles from the seaberries, scrubbing of cucumbers, deadheading of sunflowers, chopping of onion, picking of pears, etc., I try not to grow weary, shrivel up from falling short of even the best laid plans (just when you think you're getting ahead of the game with infrastructure, the County reminds you, you need a new septic system—I know, I know, says the soil scientist in me, this year's poop is next year's flowers). Rather, I try and let my barefeet warm to the radiant heat of soil as before long, I'll be trading in sandals for snowshoes.

Mid-August. These are the dog days and the dogged days. The time to do and to dream, but do so in a way that balances perserverance and willpower to get you to Fall into them, with the very formlessness of the drifting skies, stars, cloudshapes and heat. The good news is I finally seem to be getting the hang of it – this farming thing. And like the dog days of summer in all its abundance and anxiety, floodwaters of weariness and arousal, cloud shapes and dog stars foreseen, farming dreams seem to appear when the impediment to them doing so has relaxed; and according as they are thus set free. Bring on the floods of fall! And now back to reigning in the harvest.