About the farmer
Willow Ridge's farmer is a woman (farmess is not a word). Hopefully this is not so surprising. The earliest agriculturalists were women, and even now, in many parts of the world, women are the ones who plant, tend and harvest. I'm in good company.
I started out studying nutrition in the style of Adelle Davis. In 1974, with three children in tow and help from my friends, I moved from the heart of Chicago to this beautiful land and became Farmer Renee, farming organically for the past 43 years.
Through those years I returned to school to study the science of agriculture. But the most important lessons, too profound for textbooks, came through those two great teachers, nature and farm life itself. There's been no shortage of work, worry, or passion for this chosen life as farmer.
Below are several links to see and/or hear Farmer Renee speak about farming, but first, here's Farmer Renee performing in the 2015 Band of Farmers' Farmer Talent Show at the Hideout:
See and hear Farmer Renee at an eco-fair in Elgin, or watch her speak about organic farming, CSA, and her beautiful land:
The farmer's family...
My children grew up on the farm and worked alongside me. They were with me as I farmed with horses, plowed, made hay, milked cows, and then, when I began growing veggies in 1988, were there by my side again. Now, it's my visiting grandchildren that ride the transplanter, dig fingerling potatoes and eat cherry tomatoes off the vine.