Farmville, USA

Geographers laid out most of the Midwest in simple, square-mile grids bordered by country roads. Farmers populated the majority of these grids over a hundred years ago. Last weekend, I visited two working farms in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. Fascinated by the process and details of the farm worlds away from the Whole Foods dairy isle, I wandered the farms taking photos.

Today, larger farms dominate the agricultural industry fueling critiques like Food Inc. However, independent family-owned farms still flourish in specific niches.

The chicken coop.

Grass-fed organic milk, still hot.

Stand off.


Chomping grass, not grain, the Heidel Organic Farm produces a few thousand gallons of milk a week. David showed me around the operation and I did my best to avoid cow shit and take photos at the same time.

Lone ranger.


I always liked Chicken Run.

Twice a week, Organic Valley picks up milk from the Heidel farm.

Fresh eggs, from "unobstructed" chickens.

The farm dog inspecting the chickens.

The view from a hundred year-old hen house.

Milking time!

The Heichler farm vertically produces hand made sweaters. Starting with the lamb, Kathrine and Karl raise the sheep, spin the wool and knit the sweaters. More info here.


More patina.

Catching some rays.

Empty stables.

Ready for an omelet.

David Heidel.
Farming is a livelihood, not a job. These farmers are proud of their work. It was inspiring to spend time on their farms. Visit a farm sometime, you will enjoy it.
Here are some more links,
Farmville (Picasa),
Wisconsin (ART).