Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hello from the beautiful Midwest!

Some of the Wisconsin machinery and livestock that I've been spending my time with.

Hello to friends new and old! I am happy to say that the last eight weeks have found me settling nicely back into the American swing of things. I am getting used to American keyboards again and have enjoyed a few (local and humane!) cheeseburgers with fries and ketchup. (Ketchup!! Definitely not a mainstay of European cuisine.)

I have been receiving a lot of wonderful comments lately from readers interested in specific advice regarding WWOOFing. This is great!! I am really happy to be of service. Due to the fact that I am currently traveling, I have not been able to keep much contact with readers, but I will be back in Massachusetts on January 19th, after which I look forward to writing back to those interested with a good deal of promptness. Until then, please feel free to keep questions coming.

I want to reaffirm my commitment to publishing various tips and information, such as my thoughts on packing and the best place to get tapas in Barcelona. However, I have been quite busy putting together the pieces for life post-Europe and have had less time for this than I'd anticipated. These things will come, though!

If you're interested in what I've been up to these past two months - it's been a whole lot of knitting, job searching (through the apprenticeship program offered by the Maine Organic Farmer's and Gardener's Association [MOFGA]), relaxing at intervals, and traveling around to visit family and friends. Currently I am having a wonderful, if somewhat stuffy-nosed, time in Wisconsin. Recently I spent a great day at my old stomping grounds of Growing Power, the only working farm in my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I had a wonderful time seeing my old friends - Will Allen and his internationally-acclaimed crew of people and red worms. I also enjoyed remembering that I have upper body strength whilst transporting dozens of pots of arugula and red mustard, as well as shoveling a lot of fantastic compost made from manure, Lakefront Brewery's spent malt, Alterra's coffee grounds, and many other food wastes donated by the animals of Growing Power and local businesses of Milwaukee.

I also had the opportunity to watch the excellent new documentary Fresh, in which I have a small and silent cameo! For those of you interested in WWOOFing, whether or not you'd like to do this in the States, I would highly recommend looking up this inspiring and brilliantly put together film. It does a great job of reminding one of what is essential in producing good food, as well as why it is so important to be respectful to various organisms on a farm, from a soil microbe to a chicken to a pleasant barbecue. It's also quite artistically pleasing, with a great soundtrack and gorgeous cinematography (especially whenever Joel Salatin is onscreen!).

Take care,


  1. hi jenny, i really appreciate your generosity with answering (or intending to answer) everyones questions. I am hoping to go to france within the next year or so to learn more about cheesemaking. It seems like a lot of the questions i have, have been asked by other readers, so i was wondering if you could maybe post your answers that you are planning to email to people for everyone to see. I'd say the more info the better. i also have a few other questions: how long can you stay in france? if its only 3 months, is there anyway to extend that time? or do you know of anyplace that i can get this information if you don't have time to answer so many questions? Also, did you have to get liability insurance, and if so do you recommend any company in particular? a dairy that i talked to said i had to get that. i really look forward to your future posts. also, i hope you have fun in maine if you go, i worked on a couple farms there through mofga two summers ago, it was such a wonderful place and experience and really sweet people.
    ok, thank you again,

  2. Hi Jenny,
    Thanks so much for just being you! Just love your writings! any books soon? Love ya

  3. Annalis -

    Thanks so much for your comment. I will be responding to it in the next few days. I am quite interested to hear about your MOFGA experience, if you'd like to share it. What farms did you work at?

    Gale -

    Thanks for being a wonderful fan, as per usual. Perhaps a book by the end of this year...? We'll see!