Celebrate local agriculture on Sunday, Aug. 10 by visiting small family farms led by Wisconsin women committed to a healthy, fresh future for our children. From eggplants to emus, sheep to solar energy, bed & breakfasts to beef — these seven farms on the tour offer a unique diversity of farm experiences showcasing the summer's bounty in one afternoon.
"Come meet your farmers and learn about local, seasonal food and how we can all transform what's on our plate," explains Lisa Kivirist, coordinator of the Rural Women's Project, a venture of the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) supporting women farmers. Kivirist will also be hosting tours on her family's farm and bed and breakfast in Browntown, Inn Serendipity.
The farms will be open on Sunday, Aug. 10 from 11 a.m.–6 p.m. and will be leading tours on an on-going basis throughout the day. Tours and activities are free and open to the public and will take place rain or shine (come dressed for the weather). No pre-registration is needed.
Tour maps and more information can be found on the tour website: www.soilsisterswi.org. There is not one set route between farms and attendees are welcomed to set their own schedule and pace.
"This is the third year this group of area women farmers will be hosting this popular tour, with extended hours till 6 pm this time to help folks see more farms," adds Kivirist.
The participating women farmers include:
· Lori Stern & LeAnn Powers, Lucky Dog Farmstay (New Glarus)
· Lindsey Morris Carpenter & Gail Carpenter, Grassroots Farm (Monroe)
· Lisa Kivirist, Inn Serendipity (Browntown)
· Joylene Reavis, Sugar Maple Emu Farm (Brodhead)
· Dela Ends, Scotch Hill Farm (Brodhead)
· Peg Sheaffer, Sandhill Family Farms (Brodhead)
· Suellen Thomson-Link & Sundara Link, Kinkoona Farm (Brodhead)
"I'm proud to be a part of this farm tour as it showcases the inspiring diversity and collaboration among Wisconsin women in sustainable agriculture," explains Joylene Reavis, owner of Sugar Maple Emu Farm in Brodhead. "Just like nature, our group of farms represents a wide diversity of operations and share a strong commitment to connecting our communities with farms and local food sources and to especially increase healthy food awareness and options for children."
Sugar Maple Emu Farm tours include a guided tour of the pens, where they will see emus, sheep and guardian livestock dogs and then learn about various emu products from meat to oils.
Another new addition to this year's Soil Sisters tour include farms sampling various seasonal recipes using farmgrown items that can then be purchased and made at home (bring a cooler). Recipes include items ranging from Orange Lavender Shortbread Cookies at Lucky Dog Farmstay to Lamb & Honey Meatballs at Kinkoona Farm to a Mediterranean Lentil Salad featuring various seasonal vegetables at Sandhill Family Farms.
"We love having the opportunity to share our farming experiences with others, particularly the increasing number of people interested in connecting with local food options," adds Lindsey Morris Carpenter, co-owner with her mother, Gail Carpenter, of Grassroots Farm in Monroe, another tour host. "There is such an inspiring collaboration among women in sustainable agriculture. We all thrive and grow by supporting each other in collective efforts to transform our food system." The Grassroots Farm tour will take you through a highly diversified, certified organic farm operation, including vegetables and fruits, herbs, hops and cut flowers as well as livestock, including pasture raised pigs. chickens, geese, and turkeys.
"According to the US Census of Agriculture, women farmers continue to be one of the fastest growing groups of new growers," sums up Kivirist. "Soil Sisters highlights a cross-section of inspiring women farmers in south central Wisconsin prioritizing small-scale, diversified, community-focused agriculture."
Questions about the tour can be directed to the website (www.soilsisterswi.org) or Lisa Kivirist, Rural Women's Project, Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES); firstname.lastname@example.org; 608-329-7056.
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) is a 501(c)3 education-outreach organization working to promote sustainable and organic agriculture. MOSES serves farmers striving to produce high-quality, healthful food using organic and sustainable techniques. The MOSES Rural Women's Project launched in 2008 to support the growing number of women farmers committed to sustainable, organic and local agriculture.