Publisher’s Letter: Fall 2011
By Jamie Lamonde | Photo By Jim Klousia 0
This issue, we’re honoring the women farmers of our region. Luckily for us all, this is a fast-growing group: over a ten-year period, women-owned farms increased 58% in Wisconsin! With a keen sense for business, an intuitive knack for continuous innovation and an instinct to diversify, they are changing the face of agriculture in our region and the nation.
Women farmers are leading with their hearts, applying an abundance of creativity and business savvy to provide us with healthy, sustainable and organic food. And in the spirit of nurturing community, they are growing their numbers through networking, sharing resources and teaching each other at events and other farm-focused activities. We have a lot to learn from them.
We are incredibly inspired by the four women farmers profiled in Lisa Kivirist’s article, “See Jane Grow.” After we visited their farms to take photos—over the course of two extraordinarily hot days—I was left with a deep sense of hope for the future of farming in our region. Although each farm was very different from the next, the thread that runs between them all is a true dedication to working with the land and animals to produce delicious food with love.
As I walked the rolling hills of Shady Blue Acres checking out all the nooks of her farm, I was struck with how owner Blue Strom (handling the heat like a champ while I dripped profusely) was so clearly in her element. Despite the intense sun beating down on us, she was full of excitement and energy as she toured us around the farm, explaining her reasons for doing things certain ways, sharing her future plans and showing us how much the animals enjoy life on her farm. That day, I was literally jealous of her sows—they had it made in pig heaven with a large pond where they wallowed and went for cooling swims.
Blue’s passion for farming is contagious. The same goes for the other farmers we visited for this issue: Gini Knight of Sweet Magnolia Farm, Carrie Johnson of Jordandahl Farms and Diana Murphy of Dreamfarm. As you read more about them, we hope that you’ll be motivated to support our region’s women farmers next time you’re shopping for food.
As I write, I’m 37 weeks pregnant with my first child, and by the time you read this we will have welcomed our little one into the world. Needless to say, there’s been no room for procrastination on this issue of Edible Madison! And once again, you’ll find our pages packed with stories and resources that aim to better connect all of us with our local food community.
Next issue, watch for guest editor, Jim Klousia, who will be stepping in so that I can spend time with Baby, to provide you with lots of food for thought for the winter months.
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
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