Thursday, July 31, 2008

G.........oing organic!

Just south of Plymouth, Wisconsin, is Springdale Farm where organic produce is grown, packaged and delivered to several hundred customers each week. A couple of dear friends and I were given a tour by Peter Seely, whose family owns and runs the farm. The barn is covered in solar panels which provide more than half of the power used in the operation, which includes battery powered tractors, carts, and even a solar weeder! Batteries are charged with the solar power. Wood boilers provide more power, especially in the cooler months. The solar weeder is particularly interesting. Peter built the weeder basing it on one he had seen in Europe. It has a solar panel on the top and allows two people to lie down ans they slowly move along the rows of produce, weeding as they go.
Almost all steps in the process are done by hand. The farm employs many workers and also gives folks the opportunity to volunteer and work for produce. We are taking advantage of the latter, and after trimming and washing eight crates of red onions and bagging a great deal of Swiss Chard, we went home with a box of farm fresh eggs and a great variety of extremely fresh vegetables. We'll be doing this bi-weekly until they close for the winter in mid-December.
I can honestly say, we have not eaten so well since the days I lived on a farm many years ago. What a wonderful place, and what a splendid opportunity!

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