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Tag: know your food

Saturdays at the Brookfield Farmers Market

By Liz Lyon It’s six o’clock on a Saturday morning  as the Gwenyn Hill Farm van makes its way into the Brookfield Central High School parking lot. Over the next hour and a half, the lot will fill up with vendor stands and, later on, with folks of all ages on the lookout for what’s...

Sustainability at Gwenyn Hill Farm

August 31, 2021 By Ryan Heinen When asked what is the greatest skill I have for being a farmer, I thought about my experience grazing cows, growing organic crops, and knowledge gained during my dairy grazing apprenticeship. These are important and necessary skills for being a good farmer.  However, I feel the greatest is my...

Wheat with Flavor

July 20, 2021 By Linda Halley There was a time when wheat was “king” in Wisconsin, and our humble state produced more wheat than any other. A weekend road trip revealed that wheat is not just a minor crop here in the state, it is nearly nonexistent. But from 1840 – 1860 every farmer grew...

Hope Springs Eternal

March 30, 2020 By Laurel Blomquist “There was no time to lose, no time to waste in rest or play. The life of the earth comes up with a rush in the springtime.” –Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farmer Boy If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on right now, it’s this: we live in strange...

Artisan Grain Collaborative

by Alyssa Hartman | The Artisan Grain Collaborative (AGC) is a value chain network of farmers, processors, end-users and advocates working to diversify the landscape in the Upper Midwest. They build connections between the people who grow and use grains and strengthen the narrative and value chain for staple crops as an essential component of...

The Red Devons at Gwenyn Hill

August 13, 2021 By Linda Halley and Ryan Heinen The Red Devon calves are arriving at Gwenyn Hill Farm.  They are a sturdy 70 pounds at birth, ready, within minutes, to test out their legs and look for their first milk.  They are born on pasture and won’t get familiar with the inside of a...

Till the Cows Come Home

July 1, 2020 By Linda Halley Origin: A longstanding colloquial expression found in print as early as 1593. Exact origin unknown. Meaning: A long, but indefinite time. Explanation: Cows are notoriously languid creatures and make their way home at their own unhurried pace. Milestone: After 30 years, the cows came home to Gwenyn Hill. There...

Gwenyn means Honeybee

April 21, 2021 By Linda Halley Quentin Stedman has kept bees at Gwenyn Hill since 2018, our second year into transitioning the farm to organic. We knew that as we developed the farm, establishing prairies, orchards, gardens, and pastures, our crops would benefit from an abundance of pollinators. We also knew that Gwenyn Hill Farm...

Grassroots

By Linda Halley | “Inputs” Definition: In farmer-speak, Inputs are anything added to a farm for agricultural purposes that does not come directly from the farm itself. Think seeds (purchased, not saved), or minerals added to livestock feed.  I have to keep a lengthy list of every input I use at Gwenyn Hill for annual...

Big Little Farm Dreams

by Alexis Champagne | Like many of you reading this, I streamed the Biggest Little Farm on Amazon Prime and fell in love with what agriculture could look like. That’s just it though, what it could be – not necessarily what it is now. My name is Alexis Champagne and I am one of the...

Our Future Food System

by Liz Lyon | If you’re reading this journal post, you’re probably aware of the myriad issues surrounding the way much of America’s food is currently grown, distributed, consumed, and wasted. When I get bogged down in these issues, I remind myself of the future I’d like to see.  This is a future where land...

Thank You

by Linda Halley | Having felt robbed by the pandemic of Thanksgiving, and fearing Christmas was shaping up to be the same, I settled down to a deep winter dinner, made by me, for me. On the longest night of the year, though alone in the house, I would feel surrounded by my friends who...

Lunchtime for the Herd

by Charlie Tennessen | Serving lunch to ninety dairy cows is no simple undertaking.  Every day, rain or shine, Gwenyn Hill Farm’s Land & Livestock Manager Ryan Heinen loads up about two tons of forage onto a wagon and takes it out to the pasture where the herd eagerly waits for their meal. The feed...

The First Half of 2020

By Laurel Blomquist | 2020 is certainly an exceptional year so far. We’ve all been feeling the effects of these stressful times, and 2020 is destined to go down in history, though most of it has yet to be written.  From my perspective from the vegetable fields of Gwenyn Hill, 2020 has turned out to...

Being Essential

By Linda Halley | These days, more often than not, phone calls start with, “How are you doing?” and it is not meant rhetorically. We actually share meaningful information about our lives in the COVID-19  era. While what is happening around the world seems completely unreal, socially distanced interactions with friends, family, neighbors, customers, and...

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

by Linda Halley and Ryan Heinen | Know your farmer, know your food! I was amazed, some years back, when I found that easy-to-remember slogan on the header of a USDA web page. The behemoth federal agency never seemed to even notice the kinds of farmers one can “know.” It made me, as a grower...

Deep Winter Inspiration About our Food System

By Linda Halley with Birke Baehr | Nearly a decade ago I ran across a TED talk that brightened my day like no other. Like most TED talks it was informative and well presented. What was unique was that the speaker was only 11 years old and he was talking about the food system. He was...

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