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Farm News - October

We've contributed "Jen's Journal" pieces recently to the Sandhill Family Farms newsletter.  These share what we're up to this autumn and provide a window into what we're thinking about here on the farm, so we thought we'd share the pieces here, too!

Here's a recap Jen's Journal pieces featured in October.  Happy fall!

Prairie Wind Family Farm 

Jen's Farm Journal
For me, autumn is a time of welcome change.  We move from rapid pace decision making in the field to a slower pace of decision making indoors.  In the summer time, Jeff and I stand in the field together and decide on questions like, "Will this arugula benefit from one more days worth of growth or do we need to harvest it right now?"   In the fall time, we sit together with maps and calculators and consider questions like, "When can we plan to harvest 1500 lbs of parsnips and 600 lbs of rutabagas?"  

When we sit around the kitchen table together to plan the upcoming autumn harvests, I often wonder if family farms across the Midwest also relish these these same cycles of weather, harvest, change and togetherness.  I also wonder if these are the same conversations our grandparents had around this time of year. 
 
Jeff comes from Illinois farmers on both sides of his family.  Jeff's maternal grandfather grew up in the early 1900s on a family farm in Sugar Grove, Illinois where his family raised corn, soy beans, chickens and livestock.  Jeff's paternal great grandparents farmed corn in Atlanta, Illinois.  His great grandfather, Arthur, and his brother (pictured here), helped to bring in the autumn corn harvests, just as we've asked our boys to help with the big fall vegetable harvests.  
 
When I look at the pictures, it makes me proud that we can continue these family traditions with our children.  Here's to a great fall harvest season!
Jen's Farm Journal
This weekend I had the pleasure of working at my last market of the season (though our Oak Park Farmers' Market stand runs through this Saturday). Saturday was a truly wonderful day to be outside -- a sunshine-filled fall day with cool breezes and the smell of donuts and coffee wafting through the air.  

The market was filled with shoppers eager to find autumn produce to stock up their refrigerators for winter time and that perfect pumpkin for their front porch. Amidst the market bustle, I captured a picture of Jessie, one of our long-time farmers market staff members, teaching group of kids and adults about different vegetables at our stand.  She taught was an impromptu lesson sharing her knowledge of the different types of kale we grow, their different names and origins and the best ways to prepare each different variety.  Oak Park Farmers Market
This fun conversation, and the beautiful setting, struck me so I had to take a picture.  What a great conversation to have with kids and adults on sunny autumn morning! Here are a few more pictures from the 2016 market season. Thank you to all of our market customers who visit us each week and who make it all worth it!
Oak Park Farmers Market
In 2017, we'll continue our farming journey as Prairie Wind Family Farm.  Support local Illinois family farmers by joining our CSA program.  Thank you!


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