Hi, Everybody! Well, the mild weather held on long enough to give me good driving to the first ever Wisconsin Local Food Summit that was held on January 4th. I am not a "driver" and it pains me immensely to leave the farm, so I rented a hotel room and made the trek down to Stevens Point about 1:00 p.m. on January 3rd -- just to be sure I got there ok. I know that I worry too much, but being a mom probably makes worrying come naturally. Anyway, I had a really great time at the Summit. There was a wonderful turnout of around 200 people, all excited about the explosion of the Local Food Movement. That excitement at times was palpable. The whole day was spent brainstorming and networking with others. This was my first experience with networking, and I felt rather uncomfortable, but I suppose networking is one of those acquired skills that you just have to grit your teeth and do because you know it is something you need to know how to do. The good part was I met some really neat people and received two very interesting offers that I am doing a lot of thinking about. It is absolutely amazing all the different occupations and passions people have that can link together at the right moment in time. I am SO glad I went. Senator Lassa was there and unveiled the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program that will be presented to the state legislature. The program is asking for $550,000 of the state budget to support infrastructure efforts that will increase local food buying by 10% by 2010. This is estimated to bring an estimated 1.9 billion dollars to the state. And that is with just 10%! AND, it helps us little guys. I sent my e-mails off today to Senator Jauch and Representative Sherman urging their support.
I must confess my head is spinning what with all the exciting information I gleaned from the Summit and my plans for this year. I expect it to be just as busy -- perhaps more so -- than last year. Tom sent off for info on drilling a well, and I am thinking ahead to the annual doctor appointments for me and Lara over the next two weeks while trying to find time to make an appointment with the attorney to get our Will codicils signed, and work on a detailed garden listing. I want to make a list showing everything I plant, where the seed came from, when it was started, when it is transplanted, and expected harvest dates. Do I want to do this using my Yahoo calendar or Excel? Decisions, decisions, decisions. And I want to look into formalizing the business: should I go LLC or do some more research into not-for-profit? It was suggested I contact Rural Insurance regarding getting a liability policy, which so far, no one has wanted to give me -- I'm just not big enough yet, I'm told. Well, everything will work out. I have pictures of farmstands bursting with abundance all over the house and I imagine them as my farm. I see myself being happy amd selling to equally happy customers, and I see myself looking over my garden with everything growing big and strong. (I also picture a fixed fence to keep out the varmints!)
Monday my sister, Mary, and I plan to go to Mellen if the weather is good and listen to geologist that will be there talking about mineral rights. He is not from the DNR so the trip may be worth the while.
Talk to you soon!