On my way home, I stopped off to pay the Sanders family a.k.a my sister and her family a visit.
I give my sister ALOT of crap for living in BFN but all kidding aside they live in the heart of the Wisconsin country and during this time of year you can’t help but be awe-struck by the beauty. It was a gorgeous drive, that gave me plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. Ahhhh nature.
When I arrived at the Sanders Casa, I received the warmest welcome from the three of the Sanders girls. They attacking me with hugs and kisses and shouted in excitement, “Aunt Annie’s here!!”
I will never grow tired of that welcome.
I will also never get tired of my brother-in-law saying, “Leanne, let’s go shopping.”
Let me explain, my brother-in-law is brilliant (actually, both of them are) and wherever he gets an idea into his head, he somehow always manage to see it through to make it a reality.
He is also unbelievably handy (re-doing bathrooms, kitchens, insulating basements, building decks, you name it) and crafty (homemade paper, candles, ornaments, wine making, etc), needless to say he is a GREAT resource to have in my family.
Ever since I can remember, Bob has mentioned wanting be self-sustained. Prissy Lissy wasn’t always a huge supporter of this dream but I think she is COMPLETELY on-board these days especially considering their amazing organic and self-grown vegetable garden, chickens (+ eggs) AND wine collection! Although not completely self-sustained, they are darn close.
I manage to learn something new every time I hang out with him. For instance, their “Three Sisters garden” wasn’t coined after their three beautiful daughters, the term and definition date back to early Native Americans who used to plant corn, squash and…(blanking) beans in the same plot. Now he told me they did so for harvest purposes and while they were away hunting they would come back to dried corn, beans and ready squash. There is a lot more to the story and tradition, but I would never have known without Bob-o.
Three Sisters Garden
I scored the largest zucchini I’ve ever seen and two adorable ears of corn. Then we moved onto their other garden.
I was in heaven! Tomatoes, green and red peppers, banana peppers, jalapeños, onions, potatoes, melon, pumpkins, oh my! I know I am forgetting a few, but I was just so excited!
Next best part of my morning? My niece asking me “Annie, do you wana see my shitens?”
My sister and I died laughing and because we are mature like that, we asked how many chickens she has. “Two shitens, wanna see my shitens?”
Bob (and Alissa) also have amazing access to all sorts of farmers (and Amish baked goods)…perhaps because they are their neighbors. Just last year, they started purchasing an entire cow (for slaughter) from a neighbor.
These cows are treated humanely until slaughter, organic grass-fed and finished and located about 10 miles from their home. They are able to save a boat load on their grocery bill, while helping sustain their community and feeding their family safe and healthy protein.
This year, they also raised their own chickens for meat and purchased a pig from a 12-yr-old boy who is part of the local 4H club. So not only are they reaping the benefits mentioned above, but they are also helping other children stay active and interested in an extracurricular that is vital to their community.
Next on the tour of the Sanders family farm, Bob took me to his supply closet. It was filled with wine making equipment, finished and corked wine as well as enough canned tomatoes and pasta sauce to last them an entire year. He told me they haven’t purchased canned tomatoes or pasta sauce in over 4 years! I wanted to move in.
Originally, I was bummed that I wouldn’t be able to go to the farmer’s market this weekend however after my visit to the Sander’s farm the only thing I missed out on is mushrooms! Thanks Sanders!!
Check out my loot:
Bob – I hope I did you proud with the pictures and background. Thanks again for all the veggies, wine, eggs and pasta sauce, I can’t wait to cook with your ingredients.