Wednesday Webs: Ag Day 2015

Ewe with baby lamb

I used to raise Corriedale sheep and at this time of year I really get to missing them. I miss being a farmer, albeit a pretend one. Instead, I’m a farm designer and writer. Yes, this is fun too because of the interesting people and places I come across.

Here on the web:

Happy Ag Day! Thanks to our farmers!


Want to Work with Farmers? Want to BE a Farmer?

tomato seedlings under a light

One of my unique selling points (USP) is that I love promoting my clients. Long after their project is done and filed away, I keep up with them and their latest news. It’s easy because I have such awesome clients!

With that thought, and because I planted my seedlings yesterday (here’s a picture from last year), let me pass along news from one of my recent copywriting clients, the Wisconsin Local Food Network. This dedicated organization works hard to connect good food farmers with good food consumers.

Wisconsin Summer Job Opportunities

  • Farmers Market Coordinator (3 positions)

    Seeking qualified and motivated individuals to manage operations in the upcoming 2015 season. Salary is $14.11/hr, for approximately 180 hours per season, typically May through October. Each market’s part-time, temporary coordinator position will be up to 8-10 hours per week. Some evening and weekend hours may be included.

    The application deadline is 5:00 p.m., Friday, February 27, 2015.

    A full job description for each coordinator position with duties and qualifications is available upon request. Please reference the contact information provided below. To apply, send a resume and brief cover letter to same.
    ⋅ Ferryville Farmers Market: Sherry Quamme, 920-210-4560
    ⋅ Gays Mills Farmers Market: Sharon Murphy, 608-624-3409
    ⋅ Prairie Street Farmers Market: Michael Douglass, 608-326-4964

  • Land Steward LTE or Crew Leader for the Goodman Youth Farm, Madison

    Community GroundWorks is looking to hire two part-time positions for the 2015 season: Land Steward LTE and Crew Leader for the Goodman Youth Farm.

    Deadline to apply is March 5, 2015.

    For detailed job descriptions and application instructions please visit their website here.

  • DeForest Farmer’s Market Manager

    This is a part-time seasonal position that will oversee the DeForest Area Farmers Market. This position is expected to work 230 hours for the market season. The position averages 8 hours per week for the 24-week market season plus limited additional hours during the off-season. Pay rate is $13.00/hr. The Farmers Market is held every Tuesday from May 12 to October 20, 2015, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park. An additional market will be held on Saturday, May 16 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for Garage Sale Day. The Market Manager is expected to attend every market. The coordination hours may be performed at home. Prompt responses to phone calls and emails are required; a Village issued cell phone and email address will be provided.

    Essential job duties and responsibilities include:
    ⋅ Market logistics and vendor coordination
    ⋅ Publicity including written press release, social media
    ⋅ Building and maintain musical calendar
    ⋅ Working with steering committee on policy development and special events

    A full job description and application instruction can be found on the village website under Farmers’ Market Manager.

  • NuGenesis Garden Interns

    NuGenesis is hiring two part time garden interns for the 2015 season. This is a part time, seasonal position with flexible start dates that can run from April through October. Hours can range from 10-20 per week depending on your interests and availability.

    This position is designed to offer someone interested in community and educational gardens, experience in the following:
    ⋅ Organic growing techniques
    ⋅ Garden education
    ⋅ Garden design
    ⋅ Hoop house production
    ⋅ Volunteer management
    ⋅ Non-profit event/fundraising planning and organization.

    A full description and application information can be found here.


Wednesday Webs: Things I’m Learning in January

The books I'm reading right now

I just came home from a morning yoga class. Ah, there’s nothing like an hour of sun salutations with friends to chase away the winter blahs. I’m energized. I’m motivated. I’m itching to do something constructive with January instead of watching it blow by from under my quilt.

In yoga we’re reminded to ground our feet deeply before rising our arms toward the sky. As my teacher Sunshine says, we must set our roots before we can grow. How applicable that is, especially while our New Year’s sense of renewal still lingers. Even if nothing’s growing outside, I’m using this month for personal growth, as in learning new things. And I’m using online education as roots for that growth.

Here’s what I’ve been clicking into this month for some great coaching and tutorials. They’re free. I listen to them while I work. There are no excuses!


Dreaming of Fresh Food in Freezing Wisconsin?

seed catalogs and starter trays

Just so you know, that’s not a studio backdrop in this photo. It’s snow outside my window. Actually, this is a rather oxymoronic image in that it doesn’t fully convey the blistering-blue cold we’re braving these days, with temps far below zero and wind chills 20 degrees even further still. But the earthiness of seed catalogs and starter trays makes winter hibernation a warm and tolerable thing. Yep, I’m planning my garden and dreaming of fresh food.

I was motivated into a gardening mood yesterday after talking with new client Jane Hansen, who is coordinator for the Wisconsin Local Food Network (WLFN). WLFN is a collection of people and organizations that work to build sustainable, equitable and resilient food systems throughout the state. To put it simply, in their words, “We help local food businesses (whether a farm, a processor, a distributor, a restaurant, a farmers market, or a grocery store) thrive!”

As Jane and I discussed local food here in Wisconsin, we targeted some of the challenges both producers and consumers face. On days like today, it’s obvious that Wisconsin’s short growing season puts a freezing halt to the availability of fresh and local food. Yet, as Jane says, in the summer we have a wealth of produce—sometimes too much, which results in waste in the fields, in distribution and in the kitchen. These are just a few of the issues WLFN deals with as it helps local food producers connect with consumers.

On January 30-31, the WLFN is hosting its 9th Annual Wisconsin Local Food Summit in Wisconsin Rapids. The event is in conjunction with the Wisconsin Farm to School Summit on January 29. So if you’re interested in a 3-day weekend of food networking, education and a much-needed break from winter, this is the place to go.

In the meantime, I’ll be busy writing a promo piece for the WLFN. For such a worthy and purpose-driven organization; this will be an honor.

Planning Ahead for a Colorful New Year!

Easter Egger rooster

This is Cornwallis, our Americana rooster. Isn’t he gorgeous?

Americanas are also known as Rainbow Layers or Easter Eggers because they lay eggs in beautiful hues of green, blue or pink. They’re not a recognized breed but I don’t worry about such formalities. I’m planning ahead for when these young’uns surprise my Easter guests with colorful eggs—one of the many exciting things I’m looking forward to in 2015!

Easter Egger Rooster

We normally don’t raise roosters except for meat, but Cornwallis somehow slipped past us. Since he’s just so doggone pretty, I mean handsome, I decided to keep him. The other day I gave my poultry pets leftover holiday rolls, (baked from scratch, mind you) and Cornwallis carefully took them from my hand and gave them to the ladies. He’s such a gentleman.

Yep, he knows I’m talking about him.

Americana chickens

Normally my chickens are hard to photograph. They have super sensitive hearing and as soon as I open my camera, they shoot me the moon.

My Americana rooster, Cornwallis

Except Cornwallis. He stands there cocking his head from side to side while I tell him how handsome he is.

Easter Egger rooster crowing

And then he puffs himself proudly and gives a big cock-a-doodle-do. Just so you know, at this time of year cock-a-doodle-do is cockerel lingo for Happy New Year!

Have a blessed New Year everyone. Hope we can work together in 2015!