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.

Food

I eat weeds

Flowers or weeds? Depends on what you’re in the mood for.(Steph Larsen photos) The first edible plant to poke its head out of the ground at my farm early this spring wasn’t lettuce, arugula, broccoli, or any other hardy plant …

Food

Feeling sheepish: An exercise in small-town networking

Sheep ready to be unloaded into their new pen from the borrowed livestock rack.(Steph Larsen photos)My first experience working directly with cows on a daily basis was not a particularly good one. It was 7 years ago on an organic …

Food

Farmers don’t get vacation

The old granary on our Nebraska property (Steph Larsen)Farmers know that their chosen profession is not an occupation, but a lifestyle. If you believe the Hollywood version, farming is all about waking up at sunrise, frolicking with cute lambs and …

Food

A farm by any other name

Our new farmhouse and outbuildings.Photos: Steph Larsen In Green Acreage, Steph Larsen chronicles the sprouting of a small but sustainable Nebraska property. ——————————— Last December, I bought the farm. Clearly I mean this in the literal, not euphemistic, sense. (Although …

Business & Technology

It takes a community to sustain a small farm

A local grocery store in Pleasantville, Iowa.Wikimedia Commons These days it seems the most popular person to be in the food system is the “local farmer.” Farmers markets are popping up everywhere, and their size and popularity grow all the …

Food

Updates on secretary of agriculture appointment

In the five weeks since the election and almost a month since my first post about the secretary of agriculture, a lot has changed. But one thing has become increasingly clear: The people who voted for Barack Obama expect change …

Food

How to change USDA with sustainable agriculture allies

In a recent post, I discussed likely candidates for secretary of agriculture in the Obama administration and encouraged you to voice your support or dislike of the names being floated to Obama’s transition team. You can have an impact: in …

Business & Technology

Hog farms can benefit rural agriculture and community

I spent last Thanksgiving on a 320-acre farm in Pocahontas County, Iowa where Jerry Depew grows corn and soybeans, and for more than 10 years, has also raised hogs. Jerry never has more than several hundred hogs at a time, …

Food

If you can’t stand the smell, tough luck

Duplin County, N.C. stinks. And no wonder. Its human population is just under 50,000 people, but it is also home to 2.2 million [PDF] of North Carolina’s 10 million hogs [PDF]. Last week, I went on a bus tour of …