Steph Larsen

Steph Larsen lives in Lyons, Nebraska, where she and her partner are "part-time farmers," growing food for themselves and their community. Steph holds a master's degree in geography from her home state of Wisconsin and serves on the board of the Women, Food and Agriculture Network.


The time it always rained

For farmers, water is both boon and bane. Here in Nebraska, we've already gotten more rain than we usually get for the entire year, and more is on the way.

Business & Technology

Online food co-ops like Nebraska's create innovative virtual farmers markets

Right now, I'm facing a problem shared by scores of farmers. I have four lambs that have been raised entirely on grass, and I know there are customers eager to buy them. I just don't know who they are. Luckily, …


Whistle while you work

  How does my garden grow? Quite well, but with lots of weeds to pull!(Steph Larsen) Living in a place where I can grow things makes me want to burst out in song. And I’m not alone — there’s a …


It’s raining apples

These apples might look green, but they’re perfectly ripe — and begging to be picked.(Steph Larsen photos) I have my work cut out for me.When nature calls on the farm, we listen. Meaning, when a fruit with a short shelf …


Battling the bugs — and the temptation to use chemical WMDs

Going off to war against the weed-lurking worms. (Steph Larsen) I’m at war with the common stalk borer. As much as I believe in sustainability and chemical-free agriculture in theory, I’ve never been more tempted to use insecticides as I …


Mapping the farm with my ears

(Steph Larsen photos)Ever since taking a cartography class in graduate school, I’ve had a penchant for maps. Full of information, they elegantly highlight places and ideas that we may have missed otherwise. As a visual person, I can appreciate the …


Getting into a jam in Nebraska

(Steph Larsen photos) “You live in the middle of nowhere!” This was the exclamation, repeated at regular intervals, we heard when an old high-school friend of mine came to visit. For folks from the city — even Nebraskans — visiting …


Should I have accepted a government farm hand-out?

These granaries once stored this farm’s corn. No more. (Steph Larsen)Experience is the best teacher, but there’s been a big gap in my experience I couldn’t fill. I’ve worked in food and agriculture policy for a good number of years …


Being prepared — to grow your own meat

(Steph Larsen photos)Everyone knows the Boy Scouts’ motto: Be Prepared. While my immediate inclination is to ask “For what?”, it’s as good a command as any to live by.  One at which I failed miserably last week. I came home …