Laura Mortimore farms solo at Orange Cat Community Farm near Reedsburg, Wisc., where she produces over 40 different varieties of certified organic vegetables. She sells her food at the Baraboo Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, and via a 140-member CSA with pick-up sites in Baraboo, Reedsburg, Wisconsin Dells, Portage and Sauk City.
“The most challenging aspect of running my farm myself is not so much the labor, it’s being the sole person making decisions,” Laura explains. “There are so many decisions to be made – what happens today, over the season, over the arc of the farm.”
Laura majored in horticulture at UW Madison. She worked an internship at an organic farm in Minnesota immediately after graduating, where she fell in love with farming. It’s a love affair that’s still going strong; this is her seventh season managing her own farm. Approximately 3 of Orange Cat’s 22 acres are in vegetable production.
“I get up and I go outside into the beautiful WI landscape that I love…. I get to step outside to the sunrise and the pink sky and the dew on the tomato plants.”
For a list of what’s available at Madison-area farmers’ markets, visit the Dane County Farmers’ Market online. To find a CSA to join this summer, visit FairShare CSA Coalition. [As of Sunday, June 12, Laura had eight spaces open in her CSA. Email Laura directly for information about her farm at email@example.com.]
Spicy Bok Choi with Sesame Noodles
1 package (8-9 ounces) fresh sesame or garlic-flavored linguini
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
4 heads baby bok choy, bottoms trimmed, heads cut in half length-wise
8-12 brown mushrooms, thick-sliced, or 1 yellow sweet pepper, cut into chunks
1 cup sake (rice wine) or chicken stock 2 tablespoons soy sauce
Boil noodles in lots of salted water until barely tender. Drain and keep warm. Meanwhile, heat a wok or very large, heavy skillet over highest flame. Add oils, swirl the pan to coat the bottom, and add the ginger, garlic, and hot pepper flakes. (Keep your face away from the stream; it’s spicy!) Story-fry for 30 seconds or less, then add the bok choy and mushrooms (or sweet pepper) and continue to stiry-fry another 2-3 minutes. Add the sake or stock and soy sauce, cover the wok, and let steam until everything is tender, 5-8 more minutes. Divide the noodles among 4 soup plates or deep bowls. Portion the boy choy mixture over the noodles. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
This recipe is from “Asparagus to Zucchini,” a seasonal cookbook by FairShare CSA Coalition
CREDITS: Produced by Molly Stentz and Julie Garrett; theme music performed by Cathryn Herlihey; logo by Katie Hess; photos and reporting by Julie Garrett