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.


Simplicity, Gladiolus and the Magic of 3's

As August shifts to September with all the overabundance of fruit, flowers, and veg ripening in the fields, I thought I'd begin the month to celebrate simplicity in this week's bouquets and focus on the 'magic of 3's.

Farmer florists have a few patterns to draw from setting the structure for a bouquet. Like a recipe for a summer salsa (1 part hot pepper 3 parts sweet 5 parts tomato), flowers follow a similar recipe. Texture, focal, filler. 1:3:5. From here the variations are endless and sometimes chaotic colors emerge. So I've been playing with simplifying, finding beauty in the most basic of texture, focal, and filler. This week's bouquets will feature 3 flowers representing texture, focal, and filler and a play on 3 color types.

September is a riot a color, a great time to play with chaos and simplicity. Photo by Erin Schneider

September is a riot a color, a great time to play with chaos and simplicity. Photo by Erin Schneider

For the texture, look for helenium, aster, - something that will hold the shape of the bouquet. From there, let the gladiolus draw you in - their colors ablaze in the vase. Soften your gaze with a texture of basil, sage, edible herb and if you think of it, use the fresh leaves in your pasta dish or tea cup.

Glads in particular, I have always had an affection for. The flowers were my standard to which I would choose my husband (i.e. a man who knew my favorite flowers were coral glads would be the one for me - Rob was spot on!) Admittedly, I think I dropped him the hint though. Glads were also the first flowers I dissected in my botany class I learned plant taxonomy. Sepals and calyx, corolla, and stigma, glads would forever continue to open new worlds for me. Indeed they are grown and found across continents. one African species of gladiolus grows only in the mists where the Zambesi Rivers flower over Victoria Falls. In the Midwest, glads are a bit more fussy, requiring farmers to dig up the bulbs and store through winter. Their spiky sprays and rays of beauty are worth the effort.

Buckets of glads at my window. Photo by Erin Schneider

Buckets of glads at my window. Photo by Erin Schneider

In Gretchen Scoble's book, The Meaning of Flowers, Glads historically grew wild and abundantly in the Middle East, referred to as 'lilies of the field.' Perhaps those sentiments laid the foundation for Glads to stand for natural grace. Their poise in a bouquet as their petals unfold, one by one with the passing of each day, pierces the heart in gladness.

Gladiolus stems and summer bouquets ready for transport. Photo by Erin Schneider

Gladiolus stems and summer bouquets ready for transport. Photo by Erin Schneider

On the horizon, there are 3 remaining Flower CSA deliveries with the next delivery set for Thursday, September 15.

As the abundance of the fall harvest beckons, enjoy the simple gladness that comes from a ray of flowers. As always, please let me know if you have any questions, suggestions. Enjoy your flowers!