How About the Weather

February 5th, 2013

February is here and it’s time for me to snap out of my winter time hibernation, although it doesn’t seem right the gardening season is about to begin.  Mid-month the wobble of the Earth brings us to a point where the strength of the sun returns, plant growth begins again in the greenhouse.  Spinach that was planted in the ground last fall starts pushing out new leave at a faster pace and a few early crops like tomatoes can be put out.  Currently we have a nice blanket of snow hugging the ground with more on the way.  This morning I was sitting at my table drinking coffee and looking through seed catalogues.  Out my window the sky was baby blue and freshly fallen snow looked lite as a feather, clinging to the sides and capping the top of my grill with a growing white dome.  Everywhere I looked I could see faint crystals of snow still dancing in the air, to lite to be dragged to earth but too heavy for the soft breeze to blow away.

Now a couple days ago the scene was strikingly different, thunderstorms… January.  I just don’t know I love a good thunderstorm but maybe not in January.  As I lay there in bed wide awake listening to the sounds of that storm I couldn’t help feeling like things are a little out of place.  As a kid back in the 80’s (okay I like saying that, makes me laugh inside……way back in the 80’s) we use to have several week long stretches of -20 degree weather.  There may have been a song about being Thunderstruck but there certainly wasn’t one about Thundersnow.  Dad would keep the cows in the barn during those days because it was just too cold to be outside.  Cows are a great sources of heat and although it was cold outside it would be warm in the barn.  Great billowing clouds of steam would exit the bovines as they munched their hay, filling the barn with a fog.  The condensation would freeze on the walls and ceiling so that after a couple of weeks a layer of ice several inches thick would encase the cement.  On the ceiling little bubbles of ice would form, starting from a single drop of water and expanding as long as the cold spell lasted so that at points it could be as big as a baseball.  I always wondered where those ice balls came from.

Well at least we still have some snow during the winter time.  I wonder if in our life we will look at our grandchildren, beckon them to our lap and tell them the story of this strange stuff called snow that would once cover the landscape during January.  Hey I like green grass just like the next guy but winter is for kids both young and old clutching sleds as they scream down some slippery slope, hot chocolate, and hibernation for gardeners



August 14th, 2012

I’ve never been much of a mechanic.  My brother and father always assumed that roll on the farm and at times it felt like there just wasn’t enough room in the shop.  Plus I am not a huge fan of conflict and when equipment breaks down conflict is soon to follow.  See, machinery on the farm only breaks down when it is needed the most, there is hay to be cut or baled, a storm is coming and seeds need to get in the ground before the rain hits.  Whatever time sensitive activity has to wait until the repairs are made and so with grumbles and a gait that informs even the most spaced out child to say out of the way the repairs commence.  Of course my father really was and is a mild mannered citizen so my brother and I would stay out of the way just long enough for the initial frustration to abate and then we would wade into the mix.  I’m not sure how many of you have watched The Christmas Story and remember the scene where the father and kid are repairing the flat tire on the car.  At one point the father spills the lug nuts and the kid lets off a few profane words, surprising both parents to say the least.  Because of this profane outburst he ends up with a mouth full of soap and wraps his friend into the mix by telling his mother that he learned the words from him instead the truth, which is that he learned them from his dad.  Well I find that part of the story particularly funny because as a kid I think the most profane language I heard was always associated with fixing equipment, and frankly that is part of the reason my brother and I would hang around to “help”.  We learned a lot……haha!  Cursing would be directed at the machine itself as if it could hear or cared, then the engineers who designed the thing with sprockets buried deep inside and hard to get at.  Then the weather, politicians, ancestors, plants, living relatives, animals, nothing was spared the wrath of my father working on equipment.  At some point I would boar of the whole display, after all there was online casino playing to get done.  I would wander off, but my brother would stay, and he indeed learned a lot, not only is he now a very confident and professional operator of machinery but he knows how to talk to equipment if you know what I mean.  I on the other hand can hold my own when it comes to operating equipment but am quite the rookie when it comes to fixing.  However I have committed to getting better this year and have actually made some minor repairs on my own.  What a feeling, it is our tools after all that have made human”s different from other animals.  The internal combustion engine is a very complex tool, but not so complex that even a layman like me can’t figure it out.  There are some very simple rules and processes that must take place in order for the equipment to work.  I’m sure I will never attain the level of professionalism my brother has but every little step I make feels like giant leaps to me, and while my language at times exposes my past I am way more relaxed when it comes to my repairs……so I’d like to think.  Things happen, equipment breaks, it can’t hear or know your true feeling no matter how you express them.  Speaking of equipment time to get on the tractor and make some things happen, here’s to hoping for one more day of repair free work!

Food Freedom

July 10th, 2012

Ever since I was a little baby boy I have been eating food from my backyard.  Okay well not the whole time and not every morsel but pretty darn close.  We were raised on gasp RAW MILK…………a sizeable garden out back and eggs in all the nooks and crannies our wild banty chickens would find to lay eggs in.  As a family we would on more than one occasion pay homage to the farm that yielded the bounty before us by talking about what we were eating and where it came from.  This is a tradition I have continued with my children and do so with fond food memories, memories that I have the privilege to continue to create.

At this point in the yard we are best online casino mostly eating out of the garden, greens at every meal, fried zucchini as a snack, Potatoes for dinner.  My real goal is that someday I will be able to grow it all.  Well maybe not coffee but, then again maybe, things in our environment are changing fast.  To me this vision is one of freedom, the freedom of knowing what it takes to raise, harvest, and preserve the foods you feed your family.  On the 4th of July, I gathered with good friends and loving family and ate one of the best meals of my entire life.  This meal really got me thinking about freedom and what that means to the modern American.  We are truly blessed to live in the society we live in; we have much to be thankful for.  For me it starts with food and the freedom to know who produced it and how it made it onto my plate.  What does freedom look like to you?

Meet Your Farmers

June 12th, 2012

Keewaydin Farms is owned and operated by me (Rufus Haucke).  I grew up on this beautiful farm at the end of Haucke Ln in the middle of nowhere.  It’s a farm filled with strong Keewaydin breezes, silent winters, followed by waves of colorful and pleasantly noisy little birds, killer views, yipping Coyotes, and the pace and flow of seasons.  Although I am as they say the face of my farm it takes a crew of people to fill your boxes as well as boxes that go to groceries and restaurants from Minneapolis to Milwaukee and places in between.  I’m a luck man in that I have had the same crew working with me for a couple years now.  We have a good relationship (I hope) and I look forward to seeing them each year after the winter has passed and gardening begins again.  Adolfo and Alejandra, a husband and wife team, have been working on my farm for four years now, they are the backbone and Keewaydin Farm two full time employees.  Laura Burnham grew up on a farm just down the road from me and as a kid from a dairy farm in quite familiar with what it takes to spend the day working in the fields.  Jackie Kalinko is an educator by trade but a garden and food lover in the summer.  Margarita Michel Gomez is a student from Mexico spending the season studying organic agriculture on our farm.  Aurora and Karma are my daughters and they have their hands in the dirt now that school is out.  They also get to taste test all the goodies we put in your box.  That’s the crew in a nut shell.  I will get some pictures out there sometime soon so you can put a face to the names.

A Word from the Farm

June 12th, 2012

Dry!  There’s your word.  I have to say I have a bit of a different perspective on the hot and dry summer days than the average American.  I’m not saying I don’t enjoy my fair share of them and all the water related activities that go with those types of days.  When I lived in the mountains of Colorado the summer and winter was filled with cloudless days so we had that part of the equation but it was never really what you could describe as hot.  Not like Wisconsin sticky humid hot and that was something I actually missed.  I knew it was time to head home for me after overhearing someone online casino complain about the heat and humidity on one of those balmy 60 degree mountain days after a light dusting of snow the night before in the middle of June.  Okay so what was my point, oh yes, turn on the radio and every DJ on the planet when giving the weather report poo poos a rainy day and celebrates a sunny hot day.  With my farmer hat on I say bring me both the rain and the sun.  The rain is what makes Wisconsin such a beautiful place to live.  We are unique here with our abundance of fresh water and some of the most fertile soil on the planet.  So please mister or miss DJ predict some rain for me because it’s getting dry out here.

How to Pick Up your Box and Your Pick Up Dates

May 29th, 2012

Greetings CSA members,

The nature of the CSA, what does it stand for?  Community Supported Agriculture and when you reverse it you have an Agricultural Supported Community.  This means a closer connection between you and your food and the farmers who work to produce it.  It means having a face to put behind your meal, and remembering food comes from soil and toil not the grocery store, via who knows where.  Being in a CSA means eating locally with the seasons and at the whims of Mother Nature.  We tickle her with our hoe and she laughs with a harvest.  In the beginning expect the boxes to be easy to carry containing mostly scrumptious salad fixings of spring and early summer.  By August and September the boxes will be full and varied.

The farm is 1 1/2 hours from Madison so we rely on you to make the pickups go smoothly.  Write your pickup days on your calendar (listed below).  Find the box with your last name (for those of you who are sharing a box all households’ last names will be on the box) marked on the box label.  If a check off sheet is provided at your pick-up site check of the appropriate name.  Leave last week’s box neatly folded for your site host, to be picked up by our driver.  IF YOU DO NOT FIND YOUR BOX DO NOT TAKE SOMEONE ELSE'S, contact your site host and the farm immediately.

You may bring your own bags to transfer your produce into, leave the waxed box carefully and neatly flattened.  Or you may take the box with you, carefully flatten and store to be returned at your next pick up.  We thank you in advance for taking care of these reusable boxes.

If you are unable to pick up your share you must make alternate arrangements ahead of time.  You can instruct someone to pick up your box for you, you can ask the farm on Monday not to make a box for you that week, or you can ask your site host to hold your box for a later pick up.  If you are a no call, no show your box will be donated to an appreciative family at the end of the pickup window!  Make sure that anyone you send in your place to pick up your box knows these instructions.  In the past we have had issues with people taking the wrong box and although I am not 100% sure my guess is that people unfamiliar with the procedure are grabbing the wrong box.  So again make sure that anyone you send in your place to pick up your box knows the instructions.  Imagine how disappointing it is to come to pick up your CSA and find it isn’t there.  Also remember to thank your site host for sharing their space.  We could not be doing this without them!

Check our website a couple of times a week  Rather than the traditional newsletter we will be posting on our blog news, recipes, pictures and veggie storing tips.  Please feel free to post comments.  We would love it if you sent us your favorite recipes to share with other members!

A really good Cookbook for CSAers is From Asparagus to Zucchini produced by Fair Share and can be found at their website  Also Keewaydin Farms will be partnering with Local Thyme, a CSA menu planning service that can be found at, there will be tons of great suggestions on this site to help you use up all the delicious things you are going to receive in your box.

We will have a farm party this summer on Sept 1st, make a farm visit a part of your Labor Day plans!  We will have workshops, games, kid activities, food from the farm, live music, camping and more.  If you are in the Kickapoo Valley area and would like to arrange a farm visit please give us a call.

If you have questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact me immediately

Rufus Haucke 608-606-0666 or you can email me at

All Standard, 20 week Egg and Double Shares begin June 6st and will run every Wednesday until the last pickup on October 17th.

 The following is a list of pick up dates for the EOW week produce and egg shares.  If you are an EOW produce and/or egg share please make note of your pick up dates.

 Every Other Week Produce and Egg Shares start, June 6st:  for Oregon, Commonwealth, and Bloom Bake Shop

June- 6th, 20th

July- 4th, 18th

August- 1st, 15th, 29th

September- 12th, 26th

October- 10th

Every Other Week Produce and Egg Shares Start, June 13th: for Waunakee, Lowell, Viroqua, and La Crosse

June- 13th, 27th

July- 11th, 25th

August- 8th, 22nd

September- 5th, 19th

October- 3rd, 17th


 1.  Know Your Pick Up dates.  This is especially important for EOW produce and/or egg members.  Write your pick up dates on a Calendar or keep this letter in a visible spot so that you can remind yourself of your pick up dates.

 2.  Take only the box with the right name on it.  IF YOU DO NOT FIND YOUR BOX DO NOT TAKE SOMEONE ELSE'S, contact your site host and the farm immediately.

 3.  If you send someone else to pick up your box make sure they know the instructions.  Especially the part about not taking someone else’s box.

 4.  Return waxed boxes if you take them home and unfold them carefully. Each box cost around 2 dollars and can be reused many times if treated right.

 5.  Communicate.  If you have questions, concerns, ideas, suggestions let me know your feedback helps us get better and you are a very important part of my farm and I want to know what you are thinking so let me know.

 6.  Become an adventuresome eater.  You are going to be receiving items in your box that perhaps you haven’t eaten before.  Don’t shove them to the back of your refrigerator.  Use the many resources available to you and get creative.  Food is about sharing, exploring, coming together as a family or neighborhood.

 7.  HAVE FUN.  We live in a bountiful world.  Wisconsin has some of the best soil in the world and a steady supply of rain.  Look forward to the food adventure in your box.  Come visit the farm.  Share new foods with your kids or your sweetheart.  Talk to your grandparents about what farms were like in their day.  Check out our website to learn more about your very own CSA farm.

 Please save this letter for future reference.
Thank you for supporting our small family farm,

Rufus and Family
Keewaydin CSA


Count Down to the First Box

April 30th, 2012

Well here we are on the edge of the first week in May, in just a couple of weeks we will begin our 2012 CSA delivery season.  We are scheduled to begin deliveries the first week in June and with all this warm weathers it doesn't appear like we will have any issues filling our boxes.  There is still time left to sign people up and we do still have room.  So if you know of any friends interested in joining our CSA send them our way.  So far we have salad mix, radish, beets, spinach, peas, turnips, and green scallions planted in the ground.  In our greenhouse we have Chard, tomatoes, articoke, cabbage, brussels sprouts, caulilfower, broccoli, leeks, eggplant, and a bunch of culinary herbs.  More planting to continue this week.  Expect to see more information regarding the details of how our pick ups work mid May.  Until then, as they say up north, keep your stick on the ice, and get your pallets ready for some delicious local food.


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CSA Signups Have Begun

January 23rd, 2012

es the snow has finally come and it feels a bit like winter but that doesn't mean produce is ever off the minds of us farming folks.  Seed catalogs are filling our mail box and dreams of spring greenhouse work and the sweet smell of earth fill our heads.  I think this year is going to be the best year yet.  Of course I always think that but I know it will be this year.  So why don't you come join us for the growing season.  We will have a full line of veggies and some fruit to fill our boxes as well as a few protein options.  We are also offering an extra four week extention on the regular season.  This is our fourth year as a CSA farm and we are loving our connections to you our CSA members.  Come join us



October 25th, 2011

I'm sitting at my computer on a late October afternoon.  The weather is warm and the sky is clear, a beautiful fall day.  We continue to garden, with garlic to plant and root crops to dig but the pace has definitely slowed down.

This time of year we switch gears to construction projects that need to be done and the planning for 2012 begins.  Yes its true we are already thinking of 2012, but there is so much to do and we want to provide more beautiful vegetables, so the research begins on how to do that.  We are also working on our offering for next season, we have a couple shares we are adding so look for that information to come out in the next two weeks.

I hope you enjoyed what we had to offer this season and we look forward to what we can do next year.  Happy Fall!


Winter Share Notes

October 25th, 2011

Pick up for the Winter Share will be November 16th at the site you choose on your sign up form.  The share will be available for pick up during the same hours as the regular season.  Please feel free to email if you have any questions.