en plein air

HUZZAH for art and community and conversation! And huzzah for an afternoon off! We had heaps of fun visiting and sharing the farm this weekend during the plein air art on the farm event. It’s a treat and a privilege to see the farm through the eyes of our community. Thank you all for joining us for this especially relaxing, inspiring and spirit-nourishing afternoon. Here are some photos from Sunday’s event –

…and even a few haystacks – 

with awe and gratitude and bright eyes, t&j

Pi(e) Day Index, 2016

In celebration of irrationality, community, and deliciousness, we present to you 2016 Pi(e) Day, in numbers:

  • 3.14 mile run/walk loop from the farm (in truth, it may be closer to 2.96 mi)
  • 7 people walking, 1 immeasureably awesome umbrella, and 1 good dog with near infinite earspan
  • 17 pies; 8 savory, 9 sweet
  • 13 featuring locally grown ingredients (including, but not limited to, eggs, beets, honey, rhubarb, cherries, green tomatoes, Hidatsa Shield Figure beans, tomatillos, wine cap mushrooms, kale, shallots)
  • 5 gluten free
  • 1 featuring lambs quarters(!)
  • 1 jar of pi-ckles
  • 26 people, 5 of these = lil’ squirts, all cozied up in our little home
  • 2 months, youngest pie celebrant
  • 3, most generations together to celebrate pies
  • 5 people on the couch at one time
  • 0 empty chairs
  • 4 soggy wet tables, abandoned outside; approx. 16′ wet bunting
  • 0″ rain in gauge (psssh. clearly we need a new rain gauge)
  • 1 lost pair of rain pants
  • 3 dishwashers, tag-teaming
  • 2 exceptionally happy farmers
  • 364 days until next Pi(e) Day!

walk routepie day festivitieslittle onespie day pie chartpieshot

A big, heaping thank you with whipped cream on top to all who were able to join us last night for our 4th annual Pi(e) Day transcendental merry makings! We feel honored and grateful to have had the time with you.

With full bellies and gratitude, your farmers, Trish and Jeremy

meet your meat

Do you know where your meat comes from? We would like to welcome you out to the farm for a special Pastured Poultry Field Day on Saturday, June 20th. Fun for the whole family, everyone is welcome. Tour begins at 2:30PM. CCF05162015_0002 copyCome spend the afternoon at the farm with us and see how our chickens are raised. During our Pastured Poultry Field Day, we’ll visit with newly hatched chicks in the brooder. Then we’ll head back to the orchard and visit with the chickens in rotation on pasture in chicken tractors. The tour will also include a discussion on mixing and grinding our own blend of certified organic and transitional whole grain feed rations, the economics of raising chickens/how we set our price, and sharing details on humane slaughter. Although we will have the equipment set up and be discussing slaughter methods, we will not be demonstrating a slaughter on Saturday. (We are looking for help on butcher days, if you are interested in coming to help out, please let us know.)

The general state of meat production in this country is grim – for the animals, the farmers and the environment. But as meat eaters, we can make choices as to where we source our meat. We’re excited about raising happy, healthy animals for our community in a way that benefits the land. Come visit the birds, ask us questions. Food tastes better when you know where it comes from. We look forward to sharing our small pastured poultry operation with you. Hope to see you on the tour.

2015 pi(e) Day Index

pie day2

Key ingredients for a most delightful pi(e) day soirée: friends, feasting, and merriment. Thanks everyone for joining us in celebration of all things delicious and irrational! Here is an index for the evening:

3rd annual π/Pie Day at the farm
50 (ish) degrees, gusty winds

19 pies!

7 gluten free pies

1 vinegar pie?!

19 pie enthusiasts
2.5 years old, youngest pie celebrant

3 bicycles

1 nerf football

1 bowl of whipped cream

3 quarts of hot apple cider
7, rumored number of pieces of banana creme pie consumed by one young personOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPrint

pie day 3Heaps of good stories, fun conversation, and smiles. Once again, we’ve witnessed the mathmagical truth, that just as the ratio between a circle’s circumference and diameter is constant – so is the ratio between our levels of delight and the scale of enthusiasm, support, and engagement of our community.pie day


elementary soil science

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe had the chance to spend the morning with third graders from Creekside Elementary School today, discussing the merits of worms and compost, the fine art of mixing potting soil, and the importance of good soil stewardship. This was part of a field trip series has been organized by Black Hills State University Sustainability Coordinator, Katie Greer, and Spearfish Local intern, Jessie Clark. While we visited in the greenhouse, Jessie led the students in a ecosystem services web exercise in the garlic shed, illustrating just how intricately interconnected and interdependent everything is.

Here are a few photos from our morning in the greenhouse.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Checking out soil particle size settled in a water column. Talking soil composition, structure, and glomalin. Rain storms, earthworms on the sidewalk, and how the soil breathes like we do. (An open letter to the group who had to hear about mycorrhizae: It really is awesome. Jeremy in particular gets jazzed about it. Please understand he couldn’t stop himself; it’s such a fundamentally important part of our soil, our no-till farming practice, he just really wanted to share this with you. But you weren’t quite ready for it. We could visibly watch the interest drain from your little bodies as you looked down at the dirt and started kicking tiny dust clouds. Sorry about that, kiddos. Thank you for being so patient, not rioting. Someday I hope you come to love mycorrhizae too. Sincerely, t)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Today was part two of a three-part series of farm tours for the third grade class at Creekside. In total we’ll have a chance to host 180(ish) students, for fall, winter (today), and spring trips. By coming out to the farm during this time, the students are getting a chance to peek in at the inner workings of the farm – more than just the display at the Farmers Market table. There is so much that happens on a farm throughout the seasons, these trips are hopefully building a deeper connection to the local food system. A 1/3 of the class (60 students) came in November and helped us winnow seeds. We talked about the advantages of saving our own seed, regionally adapted varieties, selecting for taste, plant strength and vigor.  We investigated different seed shapes and dispersal mechanisms. Observed how calendula seeds look just like a cartoon hedgehog, (pokemon? I can’t remember). And a BHSU student, Evan, led the kids in a local foods relay, comparing food miles for different types of grocery items.  After each group visits, they return to school and put together a presentation for their classmates; they share what’s happening on the farm, what they learned. The spring trip will be in April(ish), we’re looking forward to it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The no-hesitation, dive-right-in approach to vermiculture is absolutely the best thing ever. Big, muddy high-fives, you guys, we appreciate your enthusiasm for castings. Figuring out which end is the mouth-end was routinely important throughout the morning groups (I suppose it’s always good practice to know which end to address). And finding worm eggs was pretty exciting too.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe were so happy to see these kids understand the link between healthy food and the farms and soils that produce it. Thanks for spending the morning with us! 

pi(e) Day Index


2nd annual π/Pie Day at the farm
50 degrees, sunny
23 people
4 happy dogs
4 years old, youngest pie celebrant
3.14 mile route
6 runners, 7 walkers
2 tandems, 3 bikes and a tag-a-long
2.5 trash bags-full picked up along the route
$189.77 raised for the Spearfish Bike Coop
13 pies!
1 big bowl of whipped cream
4 quarts of hot apple cider
1 car stuck in the mud, same 1 removed

…and some that can’t quite be quantified so easily: so much fun!, heaps of good conversation, delicious foods, merrymaking; and infinite thanks.morepieThank you, everyone, for joining us in celebrating pie, community, the Bicycle Coop, and wonderful, mathematical phenomena! We raised almost $200 in donations for the Spearfish Bike Coop, to help pay for rent on the workshop space and buy tools. Hooray! And we are continuously wowed by your culinary craftsmanship. Russian vegetable pie, salmon quiche, tamale pie, berry, apple, pecan… everything delicious.