On “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg,” farmer, author, and entrepreneur Lisa Kivirist talks about the power of women farming differently—especially when they collaborate and support each other. “We don’t fit into the same-old, same-old. Especially in the conventional agriculture system, we farm differently,” says Kivirist. “We love the idea of learning from each other, so that is the spirit that we farm under. And that is lacking in agriculture.”
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Kivirist is an author of several books including Soil Sisters: A Toolkit for Women Farmers. The book gathers the voices of over 100 women excelling in sustainable agriculture to construct a central resource for sharing advice and tips. “We need resources and we need inspiration to forge our own path. Women all across the food system are doing things differently, and there’s no particular model to follow, but we do have each other,” says Kivirist. Alongside many women farmers, Kivirist hosts Soil Sisters: a three-day culinary event that celebrates the family farms and rural life around Monroe, Wisconsin on August 2-4 2019. “We want to know our communities, feed our communities, and bring those folks out onto the farm,” says Kivirist.
The event will include a workshop as part of the In Her Boots project, an initiative started in 2009 by Kivirist’s Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES)—an organization that promotes organic and sustainable agriculture by providing education, resources, and expertise. In Her Boots facilitates collaboration and support between women starting farms and businesses that strengthen local food systems. “It is a lot of women mid-life who are returning to family farm roots. It is very intentional, this encore of farmers—they offer us different skill sets from their careers,” says Kivirist.
Women farmers are bringing entrepreneurial talent to their farms, says Kivirist. Some of these farmers create businesses designing farming equipment and technology specifically for women’s needs and strengths. At Kivirist’s Inn Serendipity Farm and Bed & Breakfast, guests retreat into ecologically-based living: the inn is a carbon-negative business that runs on solar power and serves exclusively seasonal meals sourced from the farm. “[The meals] go against where society has gone in the last couple of decades—able to access everything 24/7—but they’ve lost that special factor, that taste factor. We have an opportunity to renew these factors,” says Kivirist.