Having been raised partly nomadic, it's hard to believe I've had this farm for ten years! In the past, I never lived in one place for more than eight. Because my parents moved around a lot, I grew to enjoy change, crave that which is new and don't like it when the world piles up around me too much - clean slate, clean house, minimal baggage. I'm easily persuaded to try something new, so managing this incessant need for change in the face of reluctance can sometimes be a challenge. I'm fast to pivot, try something new, but sometimes when I look back, I see the world is lost in my turbulence rather than along for the ride. "It takes time," they say, and I get itchy feet.
Fortunately, age is helping me focus, and living in this gorgeous countryside is keeping me mostly grounded.
When I first moved out here ten years ago, we were in the beginning stages of this wave of back to the land ideology. Folks were buying into CSAs, farmer's markets were getting established in every neighborhood and small town, and FARMHOUSE DESIGN was all the rage. Now, we live in a world of "Farm Direct" everything. It used to be just a handful of farms opened their doors to visitors mostly for U-Pick fruit or autumn corn maze adventures. Now, farms offer tours, farm stands, farm stores, farm weddings, farm experiences, food, and farm stays giving people lots of opportunities to to enjoy a rootsier experience out of the city. And, in the city, urban farming, farm-to-table dinners, and all things farm-forward are now mainstream.
It's an honor to be part of this movement, but I'm getting tired. There's a lot of competition out there so staying in the game is tough. I'm always searching for a new creative niche, but overwhelmed by the constant and exhausting hustle.
So, to deal with the fatigue, there are a few things in the works:
1) As you may already know, the restaurant in Plum City is for sale, and the price has been lowered. If you know of anyone interested in getting into the next big game, please share the listing. I predict that when Pepin, Stockholm and Maiden Rock start feeling crowded with too many tourists, people will take interest in Plum City and Durand. There is a ton of potential in these small towns for creative thinkers. Plum City could be the the next Aspen if somebody started a winter ski and tubing park.
2) The Driftless Dirt Farm is available on VRBO for those of you looking for a farm stay in our little pastoral part of Western Wisconsin.
3) I hope to focus my summer energy on the gardens and our Lake View Organic Farm Store.
Where the restaurant will go is up in the air at this time. I will run the Plum City Winter Markets this weekend and next, then take a few weeks to reevaluate. My next task is to get the FARM STORE at Lake View cleaned and reopened for our APRIL 1st Grand Reopening! Both The Farmhouse World Kitchen and Lake View Organic Farm Store will be open Saturday, April 1st if you want a tour of our projects! After April 1st, our SELF-SERVE FARM STORE is open DAILY 9-5 through mid-December.
There you have it - the farm news from the Driftless Dirt Farm perspective. Over at Lake View, William is in over his head in maple syrup and mud!
Sending love from the farms,