Ecosystem Restoration

THINKING LIKE A BLUEBIRD

Last summer some friends gave us a bluebird house.  At that point, I knew one thing about bluebirds – they are featured in a song that includes the words zippety doo dah. Not surprisingly, zip was exactly how many bluebirds we interested in our spiffy, new birdhouse. Now I am […]

ONE TINY PIECE IN A PATCHWORK PRAIRIE

Geography is destiny, and I got both my geography and my destiny defined a little more clearly yesterday at the University of Wisconsin-Arboretum’s Winter Enrichment Lecture Series.  Naturalist extraordinaire Rich Henderson shared his insights about the past, present and future ecology of prairies in Wisconsin.  He was speaking from 34 […]

OCA: ONE TINY PIECE OF OUR BIG PUZZLE

This week UW-Madison ethnobotanist Eve Emshwiller taught me to care deeply about oca, a funky little tuber that I will probably never see. Botany seems like a conflicted field to me.  Some researchers are working to develop “perfect” varieties of plants that can be grown in vast monocultures, while other […]

Conversational Prairie 101

Because our little barn is a timber frame structure covered with slabs of oak weathering to a silvery patina, I like to think it looks like it belongs where it is.  (See my post, Building our Timberframe Barn here .  But when it was being built, the site looked like […]

Buckwheat Beginnings

When you decide to be a farmer, you have to start somewhere. How about a row of raspberries? Last April I drove an hour and a half to East Troy WI for the “Berrylicious Workshop” at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute , which promised and provided hands-on training in pruning, […]