Before this summer is completely over I am determined to document the things we have seen and places we have been together. I'm serious. Gonna try anyway. First stop...Wisconsin.
When we were in Wisconsin we were able to catch up with an old school friend. About the same time we left the Rockies for our European adventure some years ago, Gretchen left the Rockies to create a new life for her family back on the soil she grew up on. Back in the day her parents had farmed this land and sold Shaklee vitamins to my husbands folks. She inherited their love for the natural world and the great outdoors. When both parents were gone she had a vision to bring the old homestead back to life as a modern market farm and is working hard to do just that.
It is a year round effort to cultivate Hickory Hill Farm. Nothing goes to waste. In the spring they tap the sugar maples for syrup. Summer time they hit the farmers markets with organic veggies, eggs, edible flowers and wild-gathered herbs. In the fall they harvest corn, spelt, and wheat. Winter brings fresh cut pine and dried roots to the market stalls. In between there is weeding, mending, reparing, building. It's just awesome. It's a lot of work. A way lot. Food, it's a miracle truly.
Once upon a time I thought this was my destiny. It turns out I was wrong but it is super inspiring for me to follow Gretchen's journey. She is amazing. So glad we were able to visit in person.
And, people? If you have never looked out over a lush, central Wisconsin valley and smelled the veggies and grain ripening in the heat or felt the rain pelt down from heavy clouds overhead, you don't know what you are missing.
It was good to be back.