The fair weather has been teasing us a bit here in SW Wisconsin. Not too long ago the temperature soared up to the high 50′s but now it’s gone back to below freezing. Yesterday morning Keith and I braved the biting cold breezes to visit our friend Rebecca Claypool at Yellow Barn Farm. The farm sits in the Clyde Valley, a pastoral gem of gently rolling hills, meandering creeks, and a variety show of wildlife. During our drive there, we saw a red-tailed hawk resting on a tree, a busy beaver, and an “Oreo” cow! When we arrived, Rebecca welcomed us into her colorful and cozy home. Numerous trays of sprouting flowers sat on one corner of the room and a crackling wood stove in the living room pleasantly enveloped us with much warmth before a walkabout the property.
Grey to Green
We started off at the greenhouse where several varieties of onions were due for a watering. After that, we moved on to the plant beds where there will be some cabbage, peppers, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, melons, and many more. I asked Rebecca if she grew up in a family of agrarians. To my surprise she is a city girl from Philly. After attending college in Maine, she started work on organic vegetable farms. Eventually she moved to the Midwest to pursue a master’s degree in Agro-Ecology from the UW-Madison. Just last year, Yellow Barn Farm was established. The farm is part of the Community Supported Agriculture System, CSA. Families sign up for a share. It is a box of produce to be picked up or delivered on a weekly or every other week basis for the entire growing season. A benefit of the CSA system is that the farmer receives the payments at the beginning of the growing season allowing them to buy seeds, supplies, and to make necessary repairs without borrowing against next year’s crops. A benefit for the supporters is a weekly delivery of fresh, in-season, variety of vegetables. The farmers and members work in harmony towards a healthy and sustainable way of living.
What’s To Come (row of Brussels sprouts, marigolds, garlic, and onion)
So how does one become a member? First I would suggest visiting the Local Harvest website to find the nearest CSA to your home. If you just happen to be near Rebecca’s Yellow Barn Farm, then you’re one of the luckier ones! You can also find her at the Spring Green farmer’s market every Saturday. Below is a picture I took last fall. I remember buying the red-orange pumpkin sitting on the blue-clothed table and a bag of Brussels sprouts. Rebecca suggested that I make a curried soup with the pumpkin. It was delicious. Thank you Rebecca for the visit and getting us excited for spring
Spring Green Farmer’s Market