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.


Orchard Music

"To listen to trees, nature's great connectors, is to learn how to inhabit the relationships that give life its source, substance, and beauty," David Haskell, Song of Trees

We have been listening to, singing with, and growing fruit trees and flowers since 1993--growing and nurturing neighbors, and fruit forests throughout this 24 year time frame and would love to welcome you into the farm foray--we promise we won't make you sing and dance. We will let our fruit and flowers sing a symphony for your tables.

At the start of another season, as we wake up from the dream state of winter-- here are some of our farm's favorite music we invite you to tune into.

For me the first meaningful step in any adventures is the planting of a fruit tree. Tree planting is also one of the first seasonal acts we do at the start of spring. Our bareroot aboreal bundles are still dormant, their grafts still healing, and planting before bud break helps encourage root to soil development. Tree planting keeps us grounded to life's music  just waiting to be revealed and reveled in rhizospheres near and far.

Rob, mulching in a young mulberry tree. Photo by Erin Schneider

Rob, mulching in a young mulberry tree. Photo by Erin Schneider

The frost slowly thaws and heaves and this is the time to delight in the tambour of my shovel chiseling the soil. I dance to the percussive shaking out of compost as I massage the roots of a young plum. I lose myself in the serenades that spring forth from the pruning saw calming the kiwi vines vigor, the lyrical love songs expressed during a currant pollination, the gutteral gutations of elderberry sighing after a heavy rainfall, the umpa sighs of overflowing pear branches as I polka-dance up the tree, 1, 2, 3 - I harvest and sing.

Come May, Rob and I have witnessed longing in the cherry's petal-fall, stunned and stunted cries of apricot caught off guard in a late season frost. We stood at the edge of our transplanting seats mesmerized in the floriculture operas on par with Madame Butterfly. I've paused mid-day to tune into the tonality of tulips, the saturated chords of serviceberry's overbrowsed discontent in the early years, the cadence of coneflower's medicine soothing a cold, the aforethought of Malus's moods when it comes to orchard management that rivals a Chopin Noctourne, the morning dew's resonance surprised in a raspberry reverberation and even an E minor octave as seaberry is defoliated in Japanese beetle discord. The turning over and tuning into nature. We can't step outside of this life song.

spring orchard viewpoints

Her music made us, it is in us. We grow, tend to and harvest it's bounty. We hope to share it's symphony with you. - ES