Tuesday, May 25, 2010

destroying the garlic mustard.

This post is dedicated to Terri - my lovely friend whose wedding I am playing the role of MOH (as she says) this June. This weekend, as I was picking her up for her bridal shower, I walked into her backyard to see - No, it couldn't be! the pervasive GARLIC MUSTARD! I immediately began plucking it out of the ground and told Terri frantically "We must destroy this!"

So, you might have been like me until only recently and have no idea what this invasive weed was all about. That all ended for me my first week on the farm, when I spent hours walking the wooded trails at the farm, stalking the wild garlic mustard. So now, I share the good word with you.

The Wisconsin DNR has a great webpage dedicated to the plant. It was introduced to North America from early European settlers who were cultivating it for medicinal and cooking purposes. Yes, it's edible! If you start pulling it up you will definitely smell garlicky greens too. I haven't tried it personally, so let me know if you get adventurous.

Garlic Mustard is a biennial plant, producing small leaves close to the ground in its first year, and a 1-2 ft. flowering plant in its second year. The plant blooms from May - early June, so now is the time to get it before it disseminates the hundreds of seeds that each plant produces.

To rid your site of the garlic mustard: pull up the second year flowering plants, shove them in a garbage bag, and dispose of them offsite. Put it on the curb! Check out the DNR's website for more in depth info if you're interested.

So, get to it kids! Happy garlic mustard picking, invasive plant destroying days!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

loving the farm life.

Two weeks in and there's much to love about my farming escapade so far. So to update...ten reasons I love my job:

It's low-key and low stress.
I roll out of bed, throw on any old clothes, make coffee, eat breakfast and am at work. Also, since I am at home, lunch is a great time for baking breads or hanging laundry out to dry.

I hang out with plant friends.
What wonderful friends they are. and cute. and tasty. I'm especially excited for the microgreens we've got sprouting up! They're so so lovely. They will be a wonderful addition to our market next weekend.

lettuce, basil, parsley, spinach, radish, clover

radish! mmmm, spicy.

I grow delicious food! and eat delicious food!
Right now it's asparagus, rhubarb, spinach, lettuce mix, green garlic - plus fresh eggs every day. I have
so many recipes I am excited to try out - what with my lovely friend Suzanne's new food blog, Food with Fervor, my newly discovered SmittenKitchen (thank's Melissa!), and The Garden of Vegan cookbook from the library. Last weekend I made leek and spinach quiche with green garlic, gouda, and organic herbs de provence (thanks to Herbs&Spice in Cincy). It's a quick and easy breakfast to get me going in the morning, not to mention tasty and satisfying.

garden greens, quiche, and local wild rice bread from Honey Bee Bakery

almond rhubarb coffee cake

I go to the farmer's market every Sunday morning.
I just can't get over this! I love going to the farmer's market and now I get to be on the other side of the table. It's such a vibrant community scene! I love talking to everyone about food while I drink my coffee in the sunshine.

I recruit - and it's fun!
I am privileged to recruit locals for buying a share in this farm. i.e. engaging in a farmer/consumer partnership. I want to be your farmer. :)

It's in Wisconsin. !!!
Need i say more? No, but I will anyway. I'm grateful to be living in a place I have visited many times, but never dwelled in. I look forward to experiencing and exploring Wisconsin's capitol city. It's also wonderful being less than 90 miles from home and family. <3

I am participating in building local, sustainable food systems.
And that my friends, is bad ass. It's such a crucial, crucial endeavor to be part of. I LOVE it.

It's weather dependent.
Everything, everything is linked to the weather, the season - it's all about watching the patterns. Some days we work in the sunshine, other days (like today) we are stompin' around in the mud.

It's active!
My body is working, moving, stretching, sitting, standing, bending, kneeling, crawling (in the dirt). My body works! It's good to be alive!

Needs lovin'.
The only thing that could be better about my job would be if all my loves were here with me. Cincy, Nashville, Montpelier, Florida, etc., etc.


If you think you need some lovin' then come to the farm! Some farm lovin' with tasty, fresh eggs for breakfast and lots of pleasantries await you.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

livin' the farm life.

Welcome to my life - in past and present tense on the futurenet. In order to document my experience living and working on a small farm near Madison, I've decided to do what all future guys and gals would do: make a blog about it. Now, I'm not too fancy when it comes to these devices, but I'm going to give it a whirl. I'll add it to the list of things I've never before done, but will do here in the next few months.

I'm a 25-year-old who, like many in my age demographic, went and spent a bunch of money I didn't have for a diploma I am not currently using. But that's okay! 'Cause now I get to go out into the world and seek out my informal education. One of the many skills I hope to acquire during this quest is growing my own food. In search of finding someone to make me a farmer, I happily found a way back to my dearly loved homeland - Wisconsin. Since graduating two years ago, the winds took me through Nashville and then Cincinnati, and now I happily find myself here at
Equinox Community Farm - a small, sustainable CSA and market farm just outside of Madison, Wisconsin. The farm is in it's second year of production as a CSA - that's Community Supported Agriculture, and took on an intern (me) to help with their expansion from about 18 to 30 shares.

Now let's do a little farm tour:

the house from the southwest.

chickens! about 50 chicks. come July, they will be laying eggs.

my little red truck in it's new home.

small garden to the west of the house. home to green and purple asparagus, rhubarb, everbearing raspberries, lettuce greens, spinach, and cilantro.

sweet smelling lilacs outside my window.

@ Northside Farmer's Market with John - the farmer. FJ.

from the north side of the house. yea, there's a hot tub.

So, this is my new home back in the homeland of all places! Stay tuned for more adventures as the growing season carries on. Or just come visit me! Guests are always welcome AND there are bunk beds! Who's takin' top bunk?