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©2020 by Farm Happy

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

Updated: Mar 12

I have always been fascinated by nutrition. I would have loved to become a naturopathic doctor or dietitian if it didn't mean sitting inside all day. Prior to farming, I spent a lot of time attending workshops on nutrition for disease prevention. Eventually, I started a garden in my parent's backyard. I worked as a manager of a hydroponic and home brew store. John came into the store looking for suggestions to improve his garden and continued to bother me every day thereafter. I told the creep I wouldn't go on a date with him unless he brought me a jar of local honey. He brought me canned tomatoes. Eh, close enough. We have been inseparable since those canned tomatoes. One perk in the package was his parents owned 10 acres of pristine horse pasture outside of West Bend that was dying to be turned into an organic farm.

We started small off of what John had already established into raised beds and ventured into a nearby farmers market. To our surprise, people actually wanted to buy the produce we were growing. So we kept doing it, and are still doing it. We've expanded throughout Washington, Waukesha and Milwaukee county and are finally making a name for ourselves as organic farmers.

I often get told I look really healthy. You'd think that's the case since I am busting my buns outside most of the year. But with constantly busting my buns, comes sacrifices I have made physically and mentally. Like everyone else, I'm on my own path to health. I decided to see a naturopathic doctor to help me figure out how to balance my health to sustain my future in farming. No coffee. No cow dairy. No refined sugars. No red meat. Eat this. Don't eat that. I'm hoping gluten doesn't also get removed from the equation. Most importantly - RELAX (What does relax mean again?).

I still can't tell you what it means to relax. Changing my diet hasn't been hard personally, I used to be vegan so I know the process of breaking and forming new habits. Changing my diet has meant changing John's diet, whether he likes it or not. John has a disgustingly large sweet tooth which doesn't quite help me avoid sugar or dairy. We've been known to spend over $100 on doughnuts when on vacation...

I have always ate the typical American diet for the most part but was fortunate to grow up with a mom who is an amazing home cook and has inspired me to cook from a young age. If it can be made from scratch I will try it. My background in fermentation has led to making sourdough breads, kombucha, kefir, pickled vegetables and eggs, cultured butter, you name it. John is also passionate about making pies and pasta so those skills are also super helpful to become adaptable in the kitchen.

My life as a farmer and now as someone seeking optimal health, I feel I have the perfect opportunity and platform to share my journey to inspire you to know your food and your farmer. One of the biggest questions we get at the farmers market is, "What do I do with this?". Well I'll tell ya... Stay tuned!

This transition hasn't been easy or fun. At family gatherings I am often questioned, "what WILL you eat?". Dairy and sugar are in nearly all packaged food, from bread to broth.

Farming has taught me appreciation from where food comes from. To address my dietary concern madness I stuck to what I knew and decided to try to make everything I missed from scratch, without any of the bad stuff.