February 20th, 2014

Okay I have a confession to make, I love winter!  I know this one has been particularly harsh, record setting even.  But man does it bring some beautiful environmental phenomenon.  Sun Dogs, layers of frozen atmosphere, the driest snow I have ever seen, deep red, purple, pink sunsets, that layer of wood smoke that settles about 100 feet in the air in the early am.  Don’t get me wrong I’m ready for the change and a bit of an escape.  I certainly think it helps to have greenhouse work to do.  Starting in a week or two we will begin planting the first seeds of the season.  Walking into a greenhouse this time of year on a sunny day mean you are instantly transported to a warmer environment with temperatures somewhere around 70 to 80 degrees.  Nothing like the smell of wet warm earth and the strong rays of the sun off ones back to really shake off these cold weather blues.

I was reminded again this year  that another strategy for fighting the winter blues is to get out there and enjoy it.  Play.  Build snow forts with the kids, go snowshoeing, build a luge (really), embrace this reality because soon enough it will be gone and we will again be basked in the warm rays of the sun.  This year is the first year I have ever pulled on a pair of snowshoes and explored the wilderness right outside my back door.  I use to go snowshoeing all the time when I lived in Colorado but for some reason I haven’t’ done it in Wisconsin.  No more of that nonsense!

This weekend I felt the change in the air.  Your farm is starting to wake up from its winter hibernation, I can feel the pull of the environment and it says wake up its time to plant.


Some Farm History

February 20th, 2014

The history of a place is something I always love learning about.  Any time I pass a historical marker on a newly traveled road I stop to read it.  I love thinking about the lives that came before me.  The same holds true for the history of this farm that we now call Keewaydin.  This locale has been a major part of my life and I could easily imagine being the only person to have lived here.  Thankfully this farms history have been recorded by past owner like Lyford Looker.  The Looker family lived here from April 2nd 1949 until they sold the farm to my parents and moved to their new home on October 30th 1976.  Through those years so many changes happened and reading the journal entries are a real trip back in time that tells the story of how agriculture changed.  When this farm was first settled by the Drake family it was sheep and wheat that ruled the freshly tamed landscape.  Eventually after disease, soil depletion and market changes the state moved to dairy farming, this land we call Keewaydin was no different.  Today though this farm as entered a third faze of its existence, vegetable production.  Again some of these changes are market, some are the calling of the owner and some are environmental.  Stay tuned as we look back at these past lives, and this farm’s history.


Update: Chicken

February 20th, 2014

What does a chicken do in the dead of winter?  I think for the most part life goes on, their world shrinking to the confines of the chicken house or just outside the door.  They keep on working though, an egg a day by 47.  We hope to have over 200 birds by the end of the year so we can bring eggs to market year round.