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.


Humus - sphere

That the United Nations has declared 2015 the International Year of Soil has been a good prompt for me to go out and -- um, have you got the windows closed? – actually learn something about the soil.

This is a bit awkward to admit, but as someone who's been farming, if modestly, (occasionally immodestly, when it's warm) for the past twenty years, I know virtually nothing about the substance on which I rely for a substantial portion of my income.

Of course, like anyone who works the land, I've come to know when the soil is tired or burgeoning, healthy or depleted, but this is an instinctual thing, developed inevitably from years of having the soil between my hands, knowing how it should feel, seeing how it absorbs water, observing what weeds are present, which vegetables are doing well or poorly. But I know I am blind to whatever miracles transpire between the time I throw an orange peel on the compost pile and the time it turns into black, friable, sweet-smelling earth.

Rob tending the soil and the CSA beds. Photo by Ian Aley, 4 - 25 - 15

Rob tending the soil and the CSA beds. Photo by Ian Aley, 4 - 25 - 15

Erin's been of use in upping my soil-knowledge since she has a degree in the topic, but much of that has involved the physical properties of soils. My suspicion is that the real miracles, as usual, are all down to the micro-organisms. We rely on them to digest our food, after all, the first and most essential process that allows us to live. It would hardly be a surprise to understand that we're completely dependent on them to do the hard work of returning whatever is left over from living organisms back into the constituents that plants can take up in order to start the biological energy cycle all over again. The more I think about it in fact, higher organisms seem to be nothing more than a sort of fluff that bacteria, fungi, and other microscopic actors have generated on earth in the course of going about they're business, a matter of some good fortune for the likes of us.

So, as we eat through this coming season's largesse together I'll try and relay, occasionally, whatever bits of information I've gleaned about that dark, mysterious realm from which our meals ultimately originate.