A wild apple night

What a night! Up till the wee hours boiling down apples to make and can golden sauce and ruddy butter. Added just a splash of pinot grigio, a dusting of cinnamon and a couple of pinches of cloves, and had the pots bubbling for hours. Nothing like putting up sparkling jars of summer. Most of the apples came from volunteer trees across the farm. We never spray or dust with any types of herbicides or pesticides. Yumm. … Continue reading

Oct. 18, 2014, 9:00-9:30AM Deep Roots Radio – savings seeds starting right now

What: Deep Roots Radio Interview with Koby Jeschkeit-Hagen, master seed saver, teacher, and researcher When: Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, 9:00-9:30AM Central Time Where: WPCA Radio, 93.1FM in and around Amery, WI, and streamed on www.wpcaradio.org Why: Gardeners and farmers started savings seeds eons ago. It’s only been recently that we’ve all come to depend on the dwindling selection of vegetable, fruit and grain seed selections available from large-scale seed houses. You can reclaim valuable genetic diversity, flavors and growing habits by beginning to save your own seeds. And it’s not too late to start. Your fall garden may still offer … Continue reading

Join me Thurs, 10/16, 7:00-9:00AM CT on WPCA Radio – a voice of the people

Hi, I’ll be sitting in with morning jockey Dave Corbett tomorrow at WPCA Radio to share a couple of hours of conversation and inquiry. If you join us, you’ll be able to answer these questions: – What’s community-supported radio, anyway? Same as National Public Radio? – Is WPCA part of the Wisconsin Public Radio network? – How much government support does WPCA get every year? (Hint – the answer rhymes with bureau.) – How much am I paid to host Deep Roots Radio every week? – Is radio free? – How big is my herd of BueLingo beef cattle? – … Continue reading

Live, Sat., Oct. 11, 9-9:30AM Central – Rebuilding food hubs w food, farmers and education

What: Deep Roots Radio interview with Bobby Maher, Director of Hungry Turtle Learning Center
When: Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. 9:00-9:30AM Central Time.
Where: Broadcast 93.1FM, and streamed live from the studios of WPCA Radio
Why: The demand for local, sustainably-grown foods continues to grow all across America, Wisconsin included. What’s it take to redesign a local food system? The food hub planted and growing in Amery, Wisconsin (pop. 2,960 and just 65 miles northwest of the large metro area of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.) has three strong legs: farmers growing delicious, nutrient-rich foods; a brand new Farm Table Restaurant; and, an educational/outreach component in the form of a new nonprofit, the Hungry Turtle Learning Center.

One of the three legs in the food hub stool

One of the three legs in the food hub stool

Hungry Turtle Farmers Coop - an essential component of the new food hub

Hungry Turtle Farmers Coop – an essential component of the new food hub

Delicious, nutritious, local

Delicious, nutritious, local

Deep Roots Radio - connecting the dots between what we eat and how it's grown

Deep Roots Radio – connecting the dots between what we eat and how it’s grown

What’s Facebook and Twitter got to do with organic food? Sat., Oct 4, 9-9:30AM Central

What: Deep Roots Radio chat with Soon Gunther, website designer, social media activist, good-food lover When: Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, 9:00-9:30 AM Central Where: Broadcast and streamed live on WPCA Radio, 93.1FM and www.wpcaradio.org Why: Sustainable growers want to provide healthful, delicious foods to the marketplace. Consumer demand for sustainable, local foods continues to grow. Social media plays a role. Tune in!! Sylvia … Continue reading

Harnessing sun, dew and grass

I was walking out to the chicken coop in the early morning, a pail of seeds and cracked corn swinging on my left and my right hand raised to shade my eyes. The sun, just a few degrees above the trees, hit the dew-drenched grass and sent spears of bright light into the air. It was like a white fireworks: busy, slightly chaotic, riotous. But the air was soft around my ears. The loudest sound came from my rubber boots swishing through the tall, wet grasses. What a difference from last year, when drought reduced our fields to short dry … Continue reading

Chickens: devastation and 3-step proposal

Mad. Upset. Determined. Our farm is in rural Wisconsin. Although we’re just 70 minutes from the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro, predators are everywhere: coyotes, wolves, bear, hawks, eagles, owls, weasels, muskrats, badgers, fox, raccoons, possums, stray cats and the occasional house dog turned hunter when allowed to roam the countryside. It’s amazing any livestock or songbird makes it. The challenge is made even greater when you raise animals on pasture – wide open spaces where threats lurk under leaves, in borrows beneath the grass, and in the skies above. Although we sometimes hear packs of coyotes yipping close by, we’ve never … Continue reading

Putting my money on the beat-up trailer

Sometimes we stand together quietly – me and the cows. The air is still and filled with green smells: grass, hay, leaves, fresh herbs. I lean against the metal gate and watch as some stroll from one patch of fresh grass to the next, others recline and chew their cud, and calves run in what looks like a game of tag. It’s what grass-fed/grass-finished cows do every day, every growing season. It’s late summer, time for harvest. On Thursday, Dave and I loaded two beefy steers (altered males) into our “new” cattle trailer. It’s an investment we made this spring … Continue reading

Food scare. Ag hype. What’s the truth? Live, Sept. 6, 9-9:30AM Central w Ag Insider

What: Deep Roots Radio interview with Chuck Abbott, Ag Insider journalist. When: Saturday, Sept. 6, 9:00-9:30AM Central Where: Broadcast and streamed live from the studios of WPCA Radio, 93.1FM and www.wpcaradio.org Why: The Internet, social media, emails and water cooler conversations are all about the latest hype, scare or boast about America’s food and the system that produces it. Where’s the truth, and how do you find it? This Deep Roots Radio conversation features Chuck Abbott who posts daily on the Ag Insider. A project of the Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN), Ag Insider is available free of charge. … Continue reading

Rain – at last

Farm Update – Monday It was the downpour that woke me this morning. What a welcome sound! After four weeks of dry – only 1/4” rain that entire stretch – we needed this inch-and-3/8 on our fields. The seasonal pond just below the house has gone from dust to ripples. And, somehow, a small flock of geese knew it would reappear. It’s stopped now. Clouds scurry overhead and the air is filled with the rustle of grasses and leaves pushed by cool gusts from the north. Everything feels scrubbed clean, refreshed. Calves are kicking up their heels and running circles … Continue reading