The last week has been fun for us as we have had several groups come visit us on the farm. First we had Samuel Thayer, Author and Forager, bring a tour through while they picked out many edible “weeds” that can provide both tasty sources of food as well as many vitamins. We love collaborating with Sam as we learn the many weeds we can start to include in our own diet that just grows without any cultivation. We have an abundance of lambs quarter and decided to saute that up for dinner one night and what a pleasant surprise. Sauteed in a little chicken broth, add a little salt and lemon zest, and it is a wonderful side dish.
Next we had Gigi Stafne, Master Herbalist and Naturopath, visit us with her group of students. They walked the outskirts of our yard and found approximately 15-20 “weeds” to use for medicinal purposes. Who knew that the overabundant weed known as plantain is a wonderful source of helping with bug bites or used as a poultice. Or that burdock roots are a bitter than can be used to help support digestion and liver functions. All I can say is this week was a definite treat. We continue to learn more about foraging for food and medicine and enjoy the aspect of being a little more self sustainable.
Then Friday and Saturday, Maple Hill Farm was one of the venues for the Art Along the Flambeau. We hosted a blacksmith called Odin’s Forge on Friday. He had his portable forge with him and you could hear him hammering out his designs. Beautiful art that is made with fire and metal – wonderful talent. We also sampled some of the sheep milk cheeses out on our deck. Four family farms supply the sheep milk to Carr Valley Cheese and they then in turn make wonderful varieties of cheeses. The four farms are from Strum, Clear Lake, Weyerhauser, and of course our little farm here in Ladysmith. We also then sampled some cheeses from a little creamery up in Bayfield WI who has become a good friend of ours and he makes delicious cheese as well. We love to support our fellow farmers as we all know farming is a labor of love. You don’t farm to become rich but you do farm for the riches it provides you in many other ways.
We are starting to be able to enjoy some of the garden -- spinach, garlic scapes, a few little tomatoes, lettuce, rhubarb. Mother Nature needs to warm up a bit more but we are enjoying what we can at this moment. Salads are starting to become a ritual and we get creative with the weeds we forage to make it a little more exciting and add a little different taste. Some nights we can make an entire meal out of a salad and be plenty happy. Of course a few little red tomatoes never quite make it into the house as we just grab and enjoy like a piece of candy.
Lastly we ended the week with our nephew’s wedding. Nothing better than family enjoying time together and capturing a few moments just visiting. The groom and his new bride exchanged their vows at the beautiful venue called Worden Avenue Exchange in Ladysmith. A truly work of art in itself – a historic building that has obviously been painstakingly brought back to life by the owner. A true treasure for our area.
Until next time, Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food.