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Weekend At Harvest Moon Organic Farm

October 27, 2009

(First published on Facebook August 10, 2009.)

So at first I thought I’d start like this: “I just got back from a weekend at the most wonderful place, Harvest Moon Organic Farm.”

But the more I think about it, I think focusing on the place is a mistake. Yes, it’s an incredible 20 acre organic farm in the hilly driftless region of western Wisconsin, a place glaciers forgot to flatten, so you wind down through beautiful wooded valleys and farms to get to Harvest Moon. Yes, this ground lay fallow for 15 years, and before that it was a horse farm, so this is amazing soil. And I’m an avid fly fisherman, so isn’t it wonderful that the Bad Axe trout stream runs right through the property? Trout and watercress at your feet anytime. And isn’t it great that part of the farm is a different microclimate that runs about ten degrees cooler than the rest of the property? Think of the diverse growing potential of that. And don’t you just think you’re in the south of France when you sit in the cool shade of the barn, doors thrown open wide to the view of the fields where Zephyr squash are growing before your very eyes, trout is roasting on the grill, and you’re sipping rosé?

All true. Yup. My new favorite place.


But…none of that would matter if it weren’t for the people. If you airlifted me in to this plot of land and left me there, alone, for ten days, it wouldn’t be the same. As someone said, “The mystery of the Amish is that there’s no mystery. They are open, honest people. What you see is what you get.” Harvest Moon farm is that way too – the mystery of why Harvest Moon is such a wonderful place is not the place at all, it’s the people there and the people they draw around them. (More on the Amish in a future post!)

Jenny and Bob Borchardt own Harvest Moon Organic Farm…or maybe it’s better to say, they live in relationship to the farm. They tend the soil and plant vegetables. But what they did this past weekend was tend relationships among people. Using their farm and their passion for whole food (small “w”, small “f”) they gathered people who have the same sense that eating fresh, honestly raised foods is the right way to live. I feel honored to have been among that group. It was fascinating to watch people who hadn’t met before, drawn to the fields and drawn to each other because they share good food and cooking…and eating! My tongue was treated to some of the best meals in my life, amazing because we picked the beets, made ricotta and served roasted beet salad with ricotta just an hour later. Nothing beats food that fresh, that real. But in the end, the meals were wonderful because in addition to being great food, lovingly served, the big table was a circle of interesting, caring people, the chefs, the farm interns, the bread maker, the herbalist, the marketing specialist. Good conversationalists all, with immediate common interests. No egos, just sponges. This happens because Jenny and Bob are that kind of people. We are on the verge of altering our national food supply system in this country and it heartens me immensely to see Jenny and Bob as part of our new food system. It gives me hope knowing they are part of the new plan!

All true. Yup. My new favorite people.


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