Farm News

Preparing for a Late Fall rain

Farmers are notorious for complaining about the weather, and rain in particular.  There's too much of it, or too little, or at the wrong time, or--my favorite--we need it in one part of the farm but NOT the other.  For the most part, rain (and predictions of rain) can shape our work priorities but we can generally roll with the punches, despite the complaints.  We have irrigation and, though it's much more labor intensive, we… read more »

So many hands

While we still have more market days and Late Fall Shares to distribute, this week marks the end of our main season CSA and a big change in how we spend our days at the farm.  For the past 5 months, we have planted, tended, harvested, and distributed vegetables with the help of many hands.  This year, we were joined by a wonderful group of worker shares who worked 4 hours/week in the field in… read more »

Just so many chances…

Reflecting on the season that is quickly passing, it's hard not to feel humbled by just how few chances we really have to get things right on the farm.  Each season presents its unique package of challenges and advantages, improvements and luck (good and bad!).  Each year is another chance to take what I've learned and try again, but sometimes that space of time before I can try again is excruciating.  We live with a… read more »

Research on the Farm

For the past couple years, we have set aside small sections of our fields for on-farm research trials.  These trials are led by Claire Strader, who works with Dane County Extension and FairShare CSA Coalition.  She is investigating new growing techniques to reduce tillage on vegetable farms.  Reductions in tillage can mean reduced labor and fossil fuel use, and mitigate losses in organic matter that repeated tillage can cause.  We're really interested in all of… read more »

Now Taking Orders for Pastured Pork and Turkeys

We are now accepting orders for our pasture-raised pork and whole turkeys.  See order form HERE.  Orders are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Read on for details! Our Livestock I will be the first to admit that I am not a livestock farmer.  My background is in vegetable farming and my skills and expertise largely focus in that area.  However, I love having animals on the farm for a number of reasons.  First,… read more »

Transition to Fall

This is one of those years when the transition from summer to fall seems to happen overnight.  Suddenly we were looking at temperatures 10-15 degrees cooler, fleeces and rain pants came out of hiding, and the crops were following suit.  Tomatoes seems to stop dead in their tracks--literally.  Sweet peppers ceased ripening.  Basil died back.  Cucumbers slowed production.  We're had a great harvest season with most of our summer crops though, so it's without much… read more »

Pigs Escape!

Nothing makes a busy August week on the farm even busier than the pigs learning how to escape!  We haven't had this problem in many years, but this cute curious group has decided that there's more to explore than their old apple tree and the piles of cast-off produce.   One early morning last week, rain was on its way and so I went out to make sure our truck windows were closed.  That's when I… read more »

Making Time to Preserve the Season

Central to my love of farming is my love of food.  We love to cook, eat well, share with friends and family, and I also LOVE stocking the freezer and the pantry shelves with yummy things for the long off-season.  If only this stocking didn't have to happen during the busiest time of the year!  We are at the peak of abundance right now, and the frenzy doesn't stop when I leave the field--the kitchen… read more »

Member U-Pick Tips and Guidelines

U-pick opportunities are underway, and are about to get more exciting!  Whether you are a member of our on-farm CSA, or a Market Share member at the Westside Community Market (full-season members only), you are invited to participate in our U-pick opportunities as part of your membership.   There is no charge to members for these items, we only ask that you take what your household will put to use and follow any posted limits.   Many… read more »

Storm Report

After a long stretch of summer weather with little rain, we got some--to the tune of 5+ inches over the course of several days.  As I watched the rain drive down in sheets and the wind whip through, the usual stressful thoughts go through my mind as a vegetable farmer.  Are the hoophouses still there?  Are the turkey okay?  Are the greens getting shredded?  Are the peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, green beans--all on the verge of… read more »