Looking for the Hidden Garden

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The hard frosts of the season have settled in.  Gardens around the area are putting their winter squash into storage and closing their gardens for the season.  Frost wilted plants are pulled from the soil to be added to the mulch pile.  Ground is turned.  Root vegetables not pulled from the ground are covered and mulched.  It is time to prepare for winter.

In a previous entry I wrote that we will be looking for a CSA to provide the fresh vegetables that we will not be producing in our garden.  Since the gardening season is winding down, now is a good time to contemplate what we would like in a CSA.  Without any reservations I will say that we would like a CSA that is local, organic and has a strong following.  We are not looking for any dairy, eggs or cheese so that eliminates some.  We would like some convenience.  There will be limits to convenience as I live in Baraboo and Tom lives in Madison.  We will be selling our homes and combining residences until the last house sells.  Flexibility is something that we would like.  We have to be flexible n our lives but there should be some flexibility in the grower as well.  Lastly, I would like to connect to the farm.  Be able to see and talk to the farmer.  Know first hand about the shares and possibly help in the production of the vegetables that we will be eating.

With this outline of what we would like to see in a CSA I am looking at Orange Cat community Farm located in Sauk County.  The farm is a certified organic farm located near Reedsburg WI.  The grower is Laura Mortimore.  Laura grew up in the area.  Growing vegetables is her passion and this farm the culmination of her love for farming and hard work by her and the people involved in the CSA,

Orange Cat Community Farm offers a variety of options for the person interested in a CSA share.  There is a standard share.  A weekly box of produce from the farm.  Perfect for the family weekly vegetable needs.  An every-other week share.  Once every two weeks a box is provided.  Ideal for the small family or single person.  A spring share. starting in May, the share will mainly consist of greens, radishes, scallion, herbs and salad turnips.  This will give you a taste of what is to come later in the summer.  A storage share.  Two boxes of potatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage, garlic, celeriac, beets, just to name a few.  Enough to keep you satiated through the winter months.

You can work on the farm in return for your share of produce.  Working for your share takes commitment.  You will work 4 hours each week rain or shine.  But the feeling of accomplishment and knowing that you played a part in your weekly share outweighs the sore back from pulling weeds on those cold rainy mornings.

There are a range of pickup sites.  Baraboo, Reedsburg, Portage, Lake Delton.  You can decide the most convenient for your deliveries.  You can also pick up your share at the farm.

There are community events at the farm.   Dinners, a garlic pick in summer and a pumpkin pick in the fall.  Enjoy a few hours of your day at the farm in the fresh air.  Meet others in the community and the people that work on the farm.  Learn about the growing process.  See firsthand the work behind what comes on your dinner plate.  Laura welcomes everyone that comes out the the farm.  The farm is not all work.  There are days to enjoy the harvest as well.

If you would like to know more about this farm you can contact Laura at orangecatcommunityfarm@gmail.com

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During the spring summer or fall come to the farmer’s market on the Baraboo square.  Laura is happy to provide information on CSA share with the Orange Cat Community Farm.  You can sample some of the veggies while you are there.

You can always stop at the farm.  You may see the orange cat surveying the work in the fields.

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