(Our neighbors, Pearson Cattle and their sweet Simmentals out on new lush pasture.)
In my experience, there is nothing like the generosity of a farm and its farmers. Farms tend to be a meeting ground for neighbors where advice is sought, food traded or gossip shared. It's a place where you can show up unannounced, be greeted kindly, and find an hour or more later, you're still there content in conversation, stories or food. I'm not sure if this is because life is a little less social overall on a farm that farmers welcome a visit, or if it's because life is slower on a farm, or if it's because there are loosely set schedules for much of a day's work, or if that's just the way it is if the farmer doesn't also work off-farm, but I think visiting with a farmer is one of life's pleasures. I suppose there are a few curmudgeony types out there, but I haven't met many.
When I was a little girl, my mother and I befriended an old Finish farmtress down the road from where we lived in Northern Minnesota. Mayme loved my mom and I immediately and brought us into her life of cow milking, garden tending, pancake making and every other facet of her daily doings. Her husband had died long before we knew her, so she did most of the day-to-day work herself but had farming help from her grown son and daughters when needed. She chopped wood, butchered pigs and chickens, milked twice a day into pails with her hands, met the milk truck with her milk cans every morning, made butter, grew a gigantic garden without a weed to be seen, and put her hair up in pin curls Saturday night to get ready for going-to-town and church on Sunday. Of course, there were lots of nights in the sauna to clean up after a dirty-life day.
As I grew up, there always seemed to be farmers I'd meet with my parents who'd offer a quick smile or joke, a cookie or piece of candy from their dish, or just their time. When I moved to Maiden Rock, I quickly found a few of these farmers in my neighborhood, and found myself gravitating towards them. When you find this kind of person, it seems you want to be with them often, you value their wisdom, and probably will love their cooking, too! My husband is one of these farmers. He's often around for a visit, will stop whatever he's doing to listen or share a story, and food and beverage are quite common around his farm!
It fills my heart when a visitor to our store says, "Thanks for taking the time to visit." Or, "Thanks for being so nice!" Or, "Honestly, I was a little bummed when you weren't here last weekend when I stopped into the store. I like seeing you!" All of you who have so candidly spoken these words help me see how I ended up doing what I do out there in front of that store. My greeting and visiting with you is not part of the business plan. It's just what we farmers do (that's a bold statement for me to make! I am humble about my farming skills except my ability to jabber!). Because I had those wonderful experiences growing up with kind, funny and generous farmers, I think that's what I want you to experience when you visit us at Lake View Farm.
This is the first load from the 2020 harvest brought in yesterday, 10/6/20. William will be busy harvesting his conventional soybeans for the next few days and will likely bring in the organic soybeans after that. The corn is still drying in the field, so that will be a little later. If you're out in farmlandia this weekend, you are likely to see lots of soybeans going to market. If you see a farmer combining corn, it's probably being taken as high-moisture corn to be used in a dairy. High-moisture corn is often cracked and bagged to create another form of fermented winter feed. Although, it has been so dry, there may be guys out there harvesting corn for the general feed market. William reports the sunflower harvest for our farm will be in 2-3 weeks. If we don't get too much rain, we'll be done harvesting early this year.
Our gorgeous namesake, the Lake View will open wider once that corn out back is harvested, but in the meantime, a walk to the end of the field to see the lake vista and valley open before you is quite a satisfying jaunt on your farm visit. You also may want to walk the country roads out here to see the colorful splendor that is FALL. You are welcome to park at the farm to take a walk in the country as long as you check in regarding any potential booby traps (aka neighborhood doggies). The Wisconsin "Travel Wisconsin" website has a cool map to help you navigate Fall COLORS.
WHAT'S IN THE STORE THIS WEEK?
I love soup, so bring you soup. This week we have Beef & Wild Rice and a Tomato Rice & Garbanzo Curry. Chewy Gooey Gingerbread is also making a showing!
"Have the pullets started laying?" you often ask. Alas, we are still waiting for the young girls to begin their symphony, and in the meantime, suffer a perennial egg shortage. Our joke is that a dozen from Lake View Farm might only mean 5-7 eggs - no such thing as a baker's dozen around here! As one of my favorite neighborhood farmtresses often exclaims, "Can't be helped!"
My heart and love go out to each and every one of you. It is always a pleasure to see you here for a visit, a joke and a good laugh. Each week I am filled with your kindness, generosity and friendship, and look forward to our next encounter.
Smiling behind a MASK,