MONROE, Wis. — This summer, meet Wisconsin’s inspiring community of women farmers championing local food and family farms and come to SOIL SISTERS, the award-winning, largest women farmer led event of its kind in the nation. SOIL SISTERS: A Celebration of Wisconsin Farms and Rural Life invites you to come tour, taste, learn and play in this multi-faceted on-farm weekend involving more than twenty women-owned farms in and around Monroe, Brodhead, New Glarus and Blanchardville in South Central Wisconsin from August 2 to 4, 2019.
Featured in Midwest Living, Modern Farmer and Living the Country Life, and the recipient of a 2018 Edible Madison Local Food Hero award, SOIL SISTERS brings the national spotlight to the inspiring stories of Wisconsin women-owned family farms that produce food and fiber while stewarding the landscape. Women represent approximately 11 percent of primary operators on all farms in Wisconsin, a higher number than neighboring Midwest states. Wisconsin has 1,180 organic farms, second in the country only to California.
“Come meet your farmers and learn about local, seasonal food and how we can all transform what’s on our plate,” explains Dela Ends of Scotch Hill Farm, a founding member of SOIL SISTERS since the event started seven years ago. “From heirloom tomatoes to pickles, sheep to solar energy, farmstay bed & breakfasts to beef, we soil sisters offer a unique diversity of farm experiences showcasing the summer’s bounty.” SOIL SISTERS is a venture of the Wisconsin Farmers Union Foundation, in partnership with the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) and Renewing the Countryside.
SOIL SISTERS offers a range of on-farm “green acres” immersive workshops, from preserving the harvest to cheesemaking as well as several opportunities to experience what it would be like to run your own farm. Dining events featuring items raised by the soil sisters include the Taste of Place at Cow & Quince restaurant, Farm to Table Dinner at Dorothy’s Range and a Pizza on the Farm fundraiser held at Inn Serendipity Farm and Bed & Breakfast. Additionally, restaurants feature specials throughout the weekend showcasing local ingredients.
New in 2019 are two options of ticketed Bus Tour of Farms that provide the opportunity for a “behind the scenes” and intimate experience on three farms per tour. Additionally, day-long workshops will be offered that give a detailed learning opportunity in areas such as operating a pasture-based livestock ranch, launching a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm, running a farmstay bed and breakfast or powering your home or farm completely with renewable energy.
“SOIL SISTERS highlights a cross-section of women farmers, representing one of the fastest growing groups of new growers prioritizing small-scale, diversified, community-focused agriculture,” says Darin Von Ruden, President of the Wisconsin Farmers Union Board of Directors and the Wisconsin Farmers Union Foundation.
The SOIL SISTERS event is a weekend celebration that includes:
• Green Acres: In Her Boots, a day long, hands-on program for aspiring women farmers. Facilitated by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES); Friday, August 2; 10 am – 3 pm; ticketed event.
• Taste of Place at Cow & Quince restaurant: Kick-off the weekend at this local food celebration; Friday, August 2; 6 pm – 8 pm.
• Green Acres Workshops: On-farm, hands-on fun and educational workshops; Friday, August 2 through Sunday, August 4; at various times and locations; ticketed events.
• Farm to Table Dinner hosted by Dorothy’s Range with a sit-down dinner featuring heritage pork; Saturday, August 3; 4 pm – 8 pm; $92 per adult; ticketed event.
• Pizza on the Farm fundraising meal hosted by Inn Serendipity Farm and Bed & Breakfast, featuring made-to-order personal pizzas with local, award-winning Emmi Roth cheeses and root beer floats; Saturday, August 3, 5 pm – 9 pm; $35 per adult; $10 per child ages 2 to 12; children under 2 free; ticketed event.
• Bus Tour of Farms: Friday, August 2, 12:30 – 5 pm and Sunday, August 4, 12:30 – 5:30 pm; $60 per adult: $40 children (2-12); under 2 free if can sit on lap.
• Dine Fine: Numerous participating restaurants feature menu specials. Friday, August 2 through Sunday, August 4; specials vary by participating restaurants.
“The Soil Sisters weekend celebrates women farmers pioneering new approaches to family farm businesses while honoring Wisconsin’s agricultural roots and encouraging new farms to launch,” explains Jen Riemer who runs Riemer Family Farm with her husband, Bryce, in Brodhead on farmland that has been in their family for generations. “I’m excited to host the In Her Boots workshop on August 2, during which myself and other soil sisters will share our farm start-up experience and ideas with other women farmers with farm dreams, even if you have yet to purchase an animal. That collaborative, supportive spirit is what soil sisters is all about.”
SOIL SISTERS is made possible by the Wisconsin Farmers Union Foundation, the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service and Renewing the Countryside. Additional sponsors or media partners include Edible Madison, Emmi Roth USA, Green County Tourism, Green County Economic Development Corporation, Adunate Word and Design, Cedar Crest Ice Cream, and the Monroe Chamber of Commerce.
— SOIL SISTERS
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