Actually, it's been a long drawn out spring here in western WI. And I'm super okay with that, it's still a maniacal period but a little less stressful in terms of planting. AND...for almost a week it's been raining every day, so things are pretty soggy. Sadly there was a big storm and tornado that passed through a few days ago. The storm really reeked havoc and many folks lost their homes and major damage was done to properties. People are pitching in and helping out, which is always great to see! Thanks all of you out there that are organizing and helping! Things are just hunky dory on EB Ranch, brunt of the storm missed us. The goats are happily on rotational pasture, plants are slowly being transplanted and or seeded into the gardens and hoop house. We actually have a nice crop of lettuce, cilantro, kale, radishes, asparagus and rhubarb that we have been eating from for the past few weeks. The first offerings of spring are so sweet!
About 4 weeks ago I started part time work at Spring Hill Community Farm, about 10ish miles away from me. It has been an absolute dream working with Patty and Mike. I think they are celebrating 25 or 26 years of being a CSA farm. I have learned much, but I am also being reminded of how important it is to interact and include members that are part of a CSA. I believe that is partly why they have been able to have their farm for so long. When your community actively supports your farm, they then become a part of the farm. They work, they harvest, they participate and help out. A member becomes rooted in that farm, it's is partly theirs, who would want to let that go? Patty and Mike are very active in the local and more widespread farming community. They spoke out, they educated, they advertised, they got members to be part of their CSA years ago, before CSA's where even a "thing". I do think it's high time some of the younger generation start doing the same, I feel many of us have been riding on the coat tails of what people have done in the past. Don't get me wrong, I know SO MANY PEOPLE that have worked SO HARD doing this, yet I hear people talk about how easy it was to get people to sign up for a CSA without any real education. And now, I hear people talk about how hard it is to get the number of members they need to make a "living" from farming. Folks are turning away from CSA's for many reasons, I won't go into detail as that's a whole different story.
With all of that, I have been slowly but surely trying to educate and be more active in talking about my goat milk soap, chicken and turkey shares. This is the year for the big leap. I am at the Menomonie Farmer's Market every Saturday. I will be done with my seasonal job working for Patty and Mike in late fall. I will have the winter "off" but I hope to actually participate and be part of farming lectures, the farmer's union, meeting other local farmers. Just taking the winter months to educate myself, educate others, and hopefully inspire! I realize that having goat milk soap shares is kind of a stretch in the world of CSA's. But, for me it's the only way that I can legally have people be "part of the goat". Especially since they are critically endangered, being part of their recovery is pretty exciting! Your support helps me raise these goats, increase their population, and gives me the time and finances to go out and talk about them. So, thank you!
On the first Sunday of June, EB Ranch is having an open house. There is an event posted on the business face book group. I didn't realized that when I created the event that it's totally open to the public, on a business page there is no way to make it private. So basically anybody can invite themselves. I don't want to sound paranoid, but that is why I'm keeping the farm address private. I can't have folks I don't know just randomly showing up. It's a tough line, being open and available to people, yet protecting myself. So, from here on out there should be a "subscription" box that pops up on the website. You can subscribe to receive emails from EB Ranch. These emails will include future farm events along with new soap scents and maybe when I post a new blog. That way, if you are truly interested in EB Ranch you will be specifically informed to upcoming events instead of there being a "public" event. So, please subscribe if you get a chance. It will be a slow transition, it took me a long time to get things set up to even have the option to subscribe. And there might be a few "dud" emails that happen that don't make an ounce of sense. This is also helpful for me to keep things organized. I'm not the greatest computer tech savvy person. Messages often get lost in PM's on face book. I don't have a mobile device, just a computer. So emails tend to be way more organized for me to read and use. Thanks so much for participating, and thank you for your patience!
Well, it's raining again on this Sunday morning. I'm glad I got the opportunity to write, drink coffee, listen to Zounds and Omega Tribe, and just kind of relax. Bob is going to start a fire in the wood stove. Company is coming over later on today and we plan on making sushi and just hanging out. There are many other things brewing in my brain as far as farm projects. Stay tuned!
Thank you for your support!
Born and raised in a small town, then moved back to the same small town. Jill of many trades and happy to be so.