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.


"This Quilt is Covered in Dirt...On Purpose"

Urbanized populations are losing their connection to life-supporting soil. As farmers were letting the dirt speak for itself. 

You may have re-called previous musings on Soil and last season's Unearthing a Soil Quilt Project. Well like Amish Friendship bread, we had no idea what we and the soil have started. The story continues, and we are so thankful to the National Geographic Team for featuring our soil quilt project as part The Plate blog series.


You can get the dirt on the latest Soil Quilt iteration, from Whitney Pipkin, read on at:

This Quilt is Covered in Dirt On Purpose.

please feel free to share on social media @NatGeoFood and @WhitneyPipkin!


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Post humus reflections - Celebrating the Soil

Well after 7 months, 37 soil fabric pieces and resulting soil profiles, 204 square knots (with homespun yarn by laura/orange cat community farm), roughly 15 x 23' of fabric, 3 group stitching sessions including support from a hedgehog, 7 yards of wonder under, 4 poems, 18 stories, 49 photos, millions of microbes, a few choice words during the sewing process:-), and countless intentions infused with love later...the Soil Quilt has been unearthed!

Thank you for helping provide a platform for which the soil to have it's say and for your humble and heartfelt collaborations with the humusphere during the International Year of Soil!

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You're Invited: Unearthing a Soil Quilt

Sunday, October 11 from 10 - 11:30 am at the Rock Springs Public Library

Celebrate the 2015 International Year of Soils by honoring and learning about the soil community locally. Unearth and share stories with local farmers, soil experts about our connection to our foodshed. Celebrate the making of the Soil Quilt and resulting artwork, stories. Light refreshments served. Co-hosted by Sauk/Columbia County Farmers Union. Take the Farm Art D'tour and see the Soil Quilt and other Art and Agriculture/Food highlights following the event.

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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.

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Let the Soil Speak...

Unearthing what might happen when soil microbes, curiosity, and art are stitched together...

The United Nations has declared 2015 to be the International Year of the Soil. As a local Sauk County farmer, I am delighted to see the world's attention directed toward this miraculous substance, the preservation and maintenance of which are among my daily duties. As a trained soil scientist, I can describe the physical, chemical and biological propertis of the soil, but there is far more we DON't understand about how soil biology transforms the once-living back into life's components. Most folks, meanwhile, regard this substrate of terrestrial life merely as something to scrub out of the carpet.

So let the soil speak!

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