Friday, March 10, 2017

 

"Show me a day when the world wasn't new." - Sister Barbara Hance


The dog and her boy. 


Look at all those sling bags of potting mix. Eeeeiii! Fun.


Field tunnel still standing strong after 50+ mph winds. Low profile, and cheap and easy to fix is how we're rolling in plasticulture this season. :)


Newly surveyed field. Turns out we have quite a bit more land than we realized. Sweet!


Cover crop-covered beds, and clover-covered walkways. Already nice and green.


One of our best decisions last year was to plant the walkways and headlands in perennial clover. It's already greening up and looking pretty.


Sweet littles of sweet peas.

 

Patchwork flats.


 This was my Grandma Lena's case for toiletries. We use it as our seed transport box. 


Friends, hello! 

We've been hard at work. Well, Farmer Mike's been hard at work planting seeds, and I've been hard at work doing other things to support us being hard at work. Does that make sense? :) I've had some wonderful opportunities to do other work that supports farm work and local flowers, and have been gone a lot.

And now, I'm back at the farm, preparing to transition to part-time contract, mostly at-home work for MOSES so I can be on the farm full-time. Our family is over the moon happy about this transition, and I'm so very grateful that MOSES is willing to work with me in this new capacity. It allows me to better care for our family (my first love), our farm (my second love) and still continue to work with and support other farmers, doing work that I enjoy for additional, necessary income. It's such a win-win. After a long, challenging year and some of transition, this feels like such a great step towards our farm dream goals.

We have starter plants coming to a couple of select places near you, and CSA members signed back up for another 15 weeks of flowers, and been talking with our beloved buyers, and, we have so many seeds in the dirt. It's all so exciting. Another season coming our way.

Be well, xo

Jennifer, Mike, and Earl









Thursday, February 9, 2017





Oh my goodness, it's February. What a month January was.

I've struggled with what to write. We're all wrestling with big questions and feelings as we ride the waves of the media and the new administration. Our hearts feel pulled, then broken, then elated by the resistance response, all in the same hour. Whew. And we are privileged white folk in rural Wisconsin. We think of our immigrant and native and black and lgbt and disabled friends and neighbors, and how can we be helpers?

Here's what we know:

We're going to keep growing flowers and food, and bringing thoughtful and sustainable beauty and nutrition into the world. More varieties, more quantity!

We're going to plant about 200 trees on our piece of ground in April. Wanna come help? :) We'd love it.

We're going to restructure our life a bit so that we have more capacity to farm. 

We're going to increase opportunity for education, and our friends in the city to reconnect with nature and food and flowers on our farm. Stay tuned for the Eat Local Farm Tour in July.

We're working on an exciting new partnership with a women's shelter in St. Paul to bring flowers and food to shelter residents and their children, for an afternoon of preparing good food to eat, and arranging beautiful flowers to adorn our table and selves. We can use some funding for this new venture - if you'd like to support this project, please send me an email and we'll talk.




We believe it's more important than ever to put our money where our hearts are. We've spoken with some of you this winter, and will track you all down by the end of April, and feel so very grateful that you are willing to support in our family farm. Thank you!






Still sleeping, shhh. Not for long - we fire up the greenhouse on Monday. WOOT! 




Here's our list - do you think we'll get it all done?



We're so grateful to be able to do this work as we enter our 5th?! year of Humble Pie Farm. It's going to be a wonderful year.

xoxo
J,M+E

Thursday, December 22, 2016



Hiya friends! Happy December from your Humble Pie farmers! We took this right before it snowed a couple of Sundays ago. We're so glad for snow and cold to bed and rest the ground and prepare it for next year. The cold kills the bad bugs, and rests the ground for new growth in spring, and the snow cover protects it and provides necessary moisture. So nice to let it all sleep and rest.

Your Humble Pie farmers been working on a few little things like...getting ready to sell some starter plants next spring. Humble Pie flowers and veggie plants will be at a select few co-ops near you in May! Fun!

And...growing more flower varieties and quantities than ever before. Eeee! 

And there will be food, always food. We love the flowers, but will always want to participate in growing good food for our community and ourselves. Flowers for mental health and food for physical health.

We also have some big exciting changes coming up at HPF. We're all in next year, folks. As of April 1, both Mike and Jennifer will be on the farm mostly full time. We're going to get so much done. Never before have we been able to work together most of the time on our farm business; one of us has always had another full time job. We'll still have part time gigs to supplement income, especially in winter, but you guys, we're so excited to make this leap. And nervous as the dickens of course, but we firmly believe in living the good life. Following hearts and dreams, with practicality of course, but just doing it. So here we go.

We're ordering seeds this week for it all, and will fire up the greenhouse in mid-February. 





Hey friends, happy happy holiday season to you! December can be hard with all the expectations and the darkness, among other things. We feel it too, and just really wish you and yours love and moments of quiet peace. The light is returning, and this year we just feel the need to go deeper and simpler. Love hard and work hard and let go of what is not needed. 

Mr. Fred Rodgers said, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”

We want to find more ways to be helpers this year.

Thanks always for your support...looking forward to light, flowers and food soon. 

Be well,
J,M,E <3


Saturday, November 12, 2016

 
Hi Friends!

I had the best of intentions to continue weekly posts, but life happened and I missed a couple. Thanks for coming back. Our family has been reconnecting and eating good fall food and enjoying this fine weather (with a bit of skepticism, it’s really too warm), and planning, planning, planning for next year. It has been really nice for us to have extra time to get our fall stuff done in a less hurried manner. These mornings of low, golden sun have been pretty glorious. 

 



Next year, we’re going all in on this farm dream, friends. I’m going to cut back my hours at MOSES in later spring, so Farmer Mike and I can be here together and farm this beautiful place like our lives depend on it. Cause really, they do. 

We have different skills that benefit our farm business, and I’ve been so busy working off-farm that my skills haven’t helped the farm like they can. Even though farming is risky financially, and emotionally, it’s what we love and what we’ve come here to do.

We feel we can do this because we have the support of you, our wonderful community of buyers and local and sustainably-grown consumers in the Twin Cities. And we don’t take it for granted. Especially after chatting with flower growers all over the country this week.

Heidi from Field and Florist
Farmer Mike and I attended the Association for Specialty Cut Flower Growers Conference (ASCFG) in Grand Rapids, Michigan earlier this week and hung out with some of our people. It was pretty awesome to be immersed in flower growing and growers and marketing and harvesting for two days. I met some of my flower farmer icons, and was able to say “thanks” in person. Thanks for teaching and inspiring me all along this journey through feeds and posts and bulletin board questions. We’ve belonged to the ASCFG since our first year, and it’s been an invaluable resource. 

We also met some other growers in our area so we can connect and share resources. We all do better when we all do better. 

Steve and Gretel from Sunny Meadows
And oh my gosh Erin was there and I got to say thanks in person for all she's unknowingly taught me!

 In the last coupla' weeks we've...

planted garlic, and this weekend are seeding some fall-sown flowers for early bouquets next year,

started setting up a better, bigger greenhouse system so we can grow some starter plants next year,

begun putting in low tunnels in the field for spring wind protection and earlier production next year,

started working on some wreaths and dried flowers for a few lovelies’ orders this fall,

begun working on a production plan with at least 10 new varieties for next year, so we can offer more single stem bunches, and of course, more variety in the mixed bouquets,

and are just trying to hug each other a lot and make a strong, rockin’ effort to stay in the present and just love.

You too?

Be well, and big hugs!
J,M+E



Thursday, October 20, 2016







WestonAlan Photography shared some photos from Abby and Jerome's late August wedding with us this week. What a treat to be a part of that beautiful day.

Just that as we hop off to Lanesboro for the New Farmer U for mama and some biking and children's museuming for papa and E.

Stay tuned for some exciting news on the greenhouse building process, and my favorite (eek!) - SEED ORDERING!

Peace out friends,
J.M+E









    



Thursday, October 13, 2016

We had a sweet little harvest party on Saturday with the Sliced Bread Jug Band, squash soup, 5 gallons of cider and lovely folks. It was a bit chilly but we played games and gathered around the fire. Thanks for coming, those who could come! We missed you who couldn't be with us.







The next day we nursed our sniffles, rested and picked a few of the remaining apples.


 

This kid and his pink cheeks. 

 



 


I walked through the field on Tuesday and snapped some photos of the last of the lasts. We harvested what we could for drying for wreaths, and a couple of winter events. Loving the sweet dried flowers.

And now friends, the planning is on for next year. We're working on a greenhouse. We're ordering seeds. We're planning more varieties and tightening up our flower game on this new land.

One year under our belts, and we're excited to apply our new learnings.

And we're loving sitting at the dinner table together, and just looking at each other more. It's nice.

We'll keep in touch with our fall and winter plannings, and are planning to fire up the greenhouse in January. Eeek.

Happy week to you.

xoxo
J,M+E




Thursday, October 6, 2016




These ladies actually really run our farm. 

And we would be so much less healthy with out their delicious, nutritious eggs every morning. Did you know that chickens are voracious omnivores? They got a little lamb treat from E's unfinished dinner the other night and they loved it. 


The sun is setting on our first year on HPF land. I won't say I'm not a little jealous when I see those Instagram photos of all the beautiful dahlias folks are pulling out of their fields this mild and rainy fall. When our tunnels that held our "fancy flowers" as I call 'em, the dahlias and the lisianthus mostly, were destroyed in the tornado and straight-line wind storm on July 5th, we were so focused on all the immediacies to fix, that we weren't thinking so much about what it would be like in October when we still hadn't had a frost but didn't really have flowers.

It's a bit of a bummer. But it's also nice to chill out at the supper table together at night instead of running out to finish the day's work.

 

This week our farmer friends over at Clover Bee Farm got married at the wonderful Barns of Lost Creek, and we helped with the flowers. Willow garlands, eucalyptus and fall colors. Lovely. 

Going through the seasons with the crab apple tree is a delight.




Canned peaches and pumpkins? Yep, we should be saving them, but they're just so delicious. 


And then there are the Chicago Cubs. I used to feel a little bad for my son, born to a Cubs-lovin' papa, and a potential lifetime of heartache. But not this year. They're so good. Their first play-off game is tomorrow night against the Giants. Go Cubs Go!!! 

And finally, we're having a party on Saturday. We'd love to see you for cider pressing, the local Sliced Bread jug band, squash soup, and a field walk. the weather looks like it'll be beautiful, with a jacket on, and we're just so excited to host you at our new farm. 3-6pm-ish, this Saturday, Oct. 8th. If you google Humble Pie Farm, it'll get you to us, but call or text with questions. 952.451.5393

xxoo
J,M+E