Last Sunday I had the opportunity to visit Piney Hill Farm in Glenwood City, WI, for an adventure of the pioneering kind. For one day the Minnesota Slow Food Revolution took over Piney Hill Farm for a lovely time of tours, talks, and some delightfully foraged foods. I had an excellent time wandering around the farm, listening to discussions on co-ops and ethical meat farming, and by the end of the day I was leaving Glenwood City with new knowledge and a sunburn.
I heard about the foraged foods dinner through a friend on the WAM Collective, and shortly after catching up with her, I set out to explore the farm on a tour lead by Wade, Carl, and Heidi, the owners and farmers of the land. I really enjoyed the tour because not only was it a nice walk on a beautiful day, their woods reminded me of the woods that I used to live by and was quite fond of exploring as a child. Along the way, we looked at the yurt (a personal favorite),the vineyard plot, a plethora of wild flora, the sugar shack, and the melon field. The tour was about 40 minutes in length and it was fun for all ages. I was inspired by the involvement and care that went into this land, not only from the current farmers but also the previous owners. After growing up around both family farms and commercial farms, it was very cool to get a more in-depth look at the goings-on. I really enjoy seeing the farmer treating the land with love and care.
After the tour, I was able to listen to a few different talks. The talks were both enjoyable and educational. The first discussion was about co-ops, specifically The Hungry Turtle Co-op located in Amery. I like listening to discussions like this because deciding to make a difference is a pretty cool thing, and it’s cool to see people going for it. Basically, this talk was focused on how supporting local farmers and co-ops is super important because small time farmers don’t have the equipment that the large-scale Californian farms do, which puts the family farms at a disadvantage. I also found it really intriguing to find out about ways to support farmers in my area like Farm Table, the farm to table restaurant located in Amery, which I hope to try someday soon.
The next discussion was about farm animals, which was interesting to listen to because I am not interested in talking about the animals as a consumer and have never been. I have been vegetarian since the eighth grade and recently made the transition to veganism, so most of the stuff that was said I felt like didn’t apply to me but it really made me think about the people around me. The farm that gave the talk to the group was T. C. Farms, a family owned farm based out of Minnesota that wanted the best ingredients for their cooking needs. Their motivation for farming was for taste, but it did lead to more organic conditions. While I guess I can understand where they are coming from, and I’m glad that they want the best living conditions for the animals in their care, I still can’t imagine raising animals to eat them. That was a little difficult for me to listen to but I’m glad I did because knowledge is power, and although I think it’d be super cool if no one ate meat, I understand that that is not achievable and I’m happy that some of those who do eat meat try to keep it as ethical as possible.
The Salt Cellar restaurant prepared the food, and although I can’t say much about the meat and cheese, I really enjoyed the salad and other veggies. And anyone who knows me know I’ll do anything for coffee, so the cold pressed was a highlight of the day.
All in all, I am very glad that I attended the foraged foods diner because it got me out of Bloomer and in touch with nature. It was a beautiful day to be outside and it was an experience I couldn’t wait to share.