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.


Fibonacci Numbers, Sunflower sequence, and Mid-summer's angles of reposeFibonacci numbers, mid-summer's angle of repose

Happy August! Wow it's really August and we are already at the mid-point of the Flower CSA season. There is a point in the growing season that reminds of my days in Washington's North Cascades pondering alpine glacial geology while collecting native plant seed for restoration education projects with the National Park Service. We would be along the trails seed collecting Elymus glaucous (blue wild rye) and a slough of floral friends. Now and then I would stretch my back and shift my gaze from soil to skyline. The glaciers would 'sit poised' when viewed from a distance, like a well fed cat, cool and contented on its perch.

Mt. Baker, a mix of fire and ice. Photo from North Cascades Institute

Mt. Baker, a mix of fire and ice. Photo from North Cascades Institute

That such a mass of ice, could just 'hang out' along a 60 plus degree slope without an ensuing avalanche is a marvel. In geologic speak, this point is known as the angle of repose – the steepest angle at which a sloping surface, (in the case of glaciers ice) formed of a particular loose material is stable. It's a marvel that an icy mass of material withstands gravity at such an angle--that such stillness from a distance—can mask all the movement taking shape, giving form to the Earth upon closer viewing.

Photo by Rob McClure

Photo by Rob McClure

In the botanical sphere of your flower farm, there is a similar angle of repose, usually around late-July, the heart of the dog days, wherein all that dogged energy put into growth and tending to flowers and fruit, simultaneously seems to both burst in movement and stand still. I've learned to not fight this tension, but to try and find stability, surrender and ride out what took shape early on in the season and help bring the harvest to fruition.

This landscape mirrors your bouquet. There's a bit of negotiating with shape, space, and inward/outward energy, priorities start to fine tune, and I try to make space for celebrating the points in between.

With this week's bouquets, maybe you noticed the push/pull, inward/outward movements from planting to harvest taking shape in your flowers, maybe by now you've even started to notice a pattern or style of bouquet that I am drawn to sharing with you.

Maybe you've noticed that I have a special love of circuitous shapes and find stability in spirals.

No wonder this week I am drawn into sunflowers' overlapping concentric spirals. All that movement in such a poised silhouette of composite rays orchestrated in sync with the sun. The sunflower seed patterns contain a hidden mathematical rule shaping the patterns of life. Known as Fibonacci sequence, a set in which each number is the sum of the previous two. If you count the many sunflower spirals, you will always find a Fibonacci number (ex: 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34, 55...). Historically, the sunflower was revered as a symbol of the riches and richness of the world, bringing cheerfulness, direction, and empowerment to all who bathed in her rays.

Fibonocci sequence abounds in sunflower seedheads. Photo by Rob McClure

Fibonocci sequence abounds in sunflower seedheads. Photo by Rob McClure

Whatever points of tension and stability take shape for you over the summer months, may your gaze follow the direction of sunflower stillpoints. May you find time to daydream, wander and surrender to the spiral path of sunflowers' rays in your bouquets. To me this is the quintessential angle of botanical repose, mid-summer on your flower farm.

Thanks so much for your support and enjoy your flowers - ES -