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.


The Harvest Homestretch

A single nighthawk, batting across the sky one evening last week, was enough to panic us about the end of summer. We’d already been watching the barn swallows getting set to leave. In mid-August, their offspring still romped the skies, swooping for horseflies past our ears, testing one another with their dives. Last week they sat on the wire, carefully watching the sun go down. Next week, the boreal dark one step too near, they will be off and gone.

Rob sizing up the winter squash in the CSA beds, Photo by Treasure People Photography

Rob sizing up the winter squash in the CSA beds, Photo by Treasure People Photography

carrots 7 - 20 - 19.

It seemed a good occasion then to look back briefly on the summer and estimate what the Fall might hold in store before frost chokes the life out of what remains of the garden.

Vegetable production has been mercifully bountiful this year, by contrast to a number of years previous. Carrot production in particular has returned to a level probably not seen for a decade or better. The problems had been numerous and ever-changing – carrot weevils, poor seed vigor, rabbits, under-planting, uncooperative weather. The carrot weevils are still at it, but all other systems are go this year. Participating in the UW’s Seed-to-Kitchen Collaborative study—which provided 30 row feet of seed for each of five different varieties – certainly did not hurt. Potatos and sweet peppers – also species which we are trialing – have been similarly prolific. The peppers have done especially well given an August which provided a comparatively normal amount of sunshine and heat by contrast to the wash-out rains and near-constant cloud-cover last year.
A handful of crops are not doing particularly well, including tomatos which – after a very promising looking June with vigorous growth and July with comparatively little blight – are producing at only middling volume. We also planted a couple of problematic varieties which are prone to cracking and produce few fruits of passable quality.
The relative paucity of hot peppers this year is due to slight under-planting, combined with a location in the garden which is prone to dry soils because of adjacent trees.

And, as we’ve mentioned before, our tree fruit and kiwi are both in rough shape this year, so Fall fruit is likely to be minimal. The kiwi skipped fruiting altogether after a difficult and long winter, and our pears are producing minimally, as are our apples.

Jonagold apples. Tree fruit in particular, seemed to have taken a break after a harsh winter. Photo by Treasure People Photography

Jonagold apples. Tree fruit in particular, seemed to have taken a break after a harsh winter. Photo by Treasure People Photography

Upcoming weeks look to hold a surfeit of winter squash and melons, though (as usual) we might not be able to vouch for the sweetness of the latter (a few 90 degree days in September would be of good use in this regard). We should be able to provide good stocks of potatos and onions going into the winter.