Return to Wisconsin

I am a Wisconsin girl, and will never be one to deny it. Born and raised on the Mississippi and an alumni of the University of Wisconsin, this is my home and always will be, regardless of where I am.

However, I just moved to Northwest Wisconsin after a two-year stint in Northern California. Now, those of you from Wisconsin, or any cold-climate state for that matter, are probably wondering if I should be institutionalized for such a decision. I've been here for less than a week and I am really wondering what the heck I just did. Though it was a joint decision between my husband and I given that he had a great job opportunity here, it seemed like the opportune time to make a switch. It would give me the time to separate from the staffing/human resources world to which I had become accustomed to for the past four years, and refocus my efforts on my true passion: sustainable agriculture. And that is the purpose of this blog.

That this blog is about local, sustainable agriculture might strike you as strange given that I am in Wisconsin, having just moved from a state that is a leader in all things organic, local, and sustainable. In a way, you are right, which is part of the struggle that I am currently dealing with. I no longer have access to year-round farmer's market two blocks away from where I live that makes up a bulk of my grocery shopping. I have yet to find a suitable replacement to the fantastic local cheeses, local wine, and all the local food initiatives going on in the area. However, when I was there I was so wrapped up in my job that I was never able to dedicate the time that I wanted to these initiatives. Now that I have the time - where are they? Therein lies the challenge I am facing - how does sustainable agriculture and local food work in a place that freezes for half the year? That is the question I will try to answer in this blog.

I am a strong believer that being local and sustainable is a community wide effort that can only show true impact when there are many people at many levels involved with these initiatives. I hope you are able to take some of my thoughts back to your neighborhoods and communities, or even back to your own kitchen, so that you can start to experience the local food movement.