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Tag: Seeds

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...

Gwenyn Hill’s Native Prairie; More than a Pretty Face

August 13, 2021 By Linda Halley In 2019, Ryan Heinen, Gwenyn Hill’s Land and Livestock Manager, seeded ten acres of native grasses and forbs, replacing a relatively poor stand of alfalfa hay. Most of the field lies along Bryn Drive and is very visible from the road. For two years it looked rough and ratty....

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...

Laying the Foundation for Local Food: How UW-Madison’s Seed to Kitchen Collaborative Supports & Informs Our Regional Foodshed, Part Two

by Dylan Bruce and Jenyne Loarca |  Why a decentralized seed system with context-relevant data is so important The process of selecting, breeding, and trialing a new vegetable variety is a substantial investment, often taking 8 -15 years before that variety is ready for release. Still, a plant breeder might not know how their variety...

Laying the Foundation for Local Food: How UW-Madison’s Seed to Kitchen Collaborative Supports and Informs our Regional Foodshed, Part One

By Dylan Bruce and Jenyne Loarca, Photos by Dylan Bruce | In the depths of winter, there’s a particular joy in flipping through a seed catalog, dreaming of next year’s gardens and fields, and sunny days outside. Deciding which crops, and which varieties, to grow are among the most critical decisions a farmer or gardener...

Monarch Butterflies & Other Pollinators

By Laurel Blomquist and Kelly Krause Part One: Planting Milkweed & Pollinator Habitat By Laurel Blomquist | Last fall, we were fortunate that our neighbor, Jill from Tall Pines Conservancy, reached out to us with a treasure trove of mature milkweed pods. We overwintered them in our greenhouse, and in the spring, Ryan burned off...

The Scent of Spring

By Linda Halley | It’s going to happen any day now. You’re going to go outside and smell spring. It smells like life itself, awakening after a long slumber. Truly, it is. Microscopic life in the soil is stirring. The biology of organisms eating, digesting, excreting and repeating is the scent of spring. Breathe it in....

Who Gets Kissed? and Other Corny Seed Varieties

by Linda Halley | On the heels of Christmas catalogs come the seed catalogs. Farmers and gardeners alike love to pour over the colorful pages searching for old favorites and promising new varieties. But behind what might seem like a pleasant, winter wish-book is actually big business controlling what gets planted in 10,000 acre farms and backyard gardens. The...

Flavor Rules

by Linda Halley, General Manager | This past week Gwenyn Hill Farm hosted the Kettle Moraine Garden Club. There’s so much to say about what we do here and why. I have to narrow my messaging so we don’t feel like we are in a graduate-level lecture with a test at the end. I like to...

The Search for Flavor

By Linda Halley | During the last heat wave, I was seduced by a strategically-placed mountain of watermelon as I entered the grocery store. It was hot, I was thirsty, and I couldn’t resist. Knowing a thing or two about how a ripe watermelon should look (and sound), I confidently selected the one with a...

Seed to Kitchen Collaborative

By Laurel Blomquist | Last Monday, Linda and I had the honor of meeting with farmer, chefs, and researchers at UW-Madison to discuss their project known as Seed to Kitchen. According to their website: “The Seed to Kitchen Collaborative connects plant breeders focused on organic systems to Wisconsin farmers and chefs, to create delicious, well-adapted vegetable...

Seed Companies: A Professional’s List

By Linda Halley | As a student at UW-Madison I gravitated toward people in the School of Ag rather than in my chosen field, Education. My “aggie” friends were always pondering how to spend time out of town and off campus. One even managed to rent a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired solar home west of...

Saying “Hi”

By Linda Halley | Never having sold Girl Scout cookies or marching band fundraisers door to door, driving the neighborhood and ringing doorbells was a whole new experience for me. That is just what I did for two afternoons last week. Gift of bird seed and friendly letter in hand, I put on my smile....

Planning To Plant

Greetings! Welcome to the very first blog post for Gwenyn Hill Farm. This is your Head Gardener, Laurel. I will introduce myself in a later blog post. For now, I wanted to catch you up on some of the planning that has been going on here at the farm. When I accepted this position, starting...

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