Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I heard that the 2020 event has been postponed until 2021 as a result of the covid-19 pandemic, is this correct?
A: Yes. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the need to protect the health and safety of the farmers and attendees, SOIL SISTERS 2020 has been re-scheduled for the first weekend in August, 2021.
Q: Do I need to register for SOIL SISTERS: Green Acres Workshops, Taste of Place, Farm-to-table Dinner on the Farm at Dorothy's Range, Pizza on the Farm at Inn Serendipity?
A: Yes. All these events are ticketed and both registration and payment are needed. Space is limited for most of these events. Other than the MOSES In Her Boots workshop, all tickets are processed securely through Brown Paper Tickets.
Q: Can I give, as a gift, a workshop or a couple tickets for the Taste of Place to a family member, business client or friend?
A: Absolutely. You would register and pay for the tickets as usual. If using Brown Paper Tickets -- used for everything except the In Her Boots workshop -- you simply fill in the gift recipient of the tickets (aka the "Attendee"), and your personal contact information related to processing the credit card charge (aka the "Payment" section). Of course, all the stipulations and limitions apply to the gift recipient as they would to the purchaser; tickets are non-refundable and no credits are offered for no shows. If you encounter any issues or would like to make sure SOIL SISTERS is aware of this gift of a workshop or special culinary event, please send an email to "lisa (at) innserendipity (dot) com" or call Lisa Kivirist on her farmhouse land line: 608-329-7056.
Q: Do I need to pre-register for SOIL SISTERS: Taste of Place at Cow & Quince?
A: No pre-registration needed.
Q: Can I tour any of the farms, on my own, over the weekend, outside of the ticketed events?
Unfortunately, no. All the farms participating with SOIL SISTERS are operating farms, and therefore have chores to be done, crops to be harvested and animals to be attended. Out of respect for these farms, please do not visit farms outside of their workshops, culinary events or the Bus Tour of Farms. Thanks for your understanding.
Q: Do I have to commit to the entire weekend?
A: Of course not, but there's plenty to experience if you did. You can attend just one workshop or culinary event, or create your own itinerary full of culinary and farm adventures suited to your schedule and interests.
Q: How should I plan my day for the Green Acres Workshops?
A: To easily navigate among the participating farms, a map is available for download: low resolution SOIL SISTERS map. Please note that cell phone service can be limited, so we recommend you download all maps for use for the event. You can also review the Green Acres Workshops Google Map created for the participating farms offering workshops. Remember there may be significant distance between some farms. You'll have to decide which workshops are best for you or your group. Some farm driveways may be closed to avoid congestion. In those cases, please park on the road, making sure your car is completely off the main road for safety reasons. Please use caution while driving near the farms. Out of courtesy to other participants and the host farmers themselves, please note that only ticketed participants will be able to stay on the farm during the workshops.
Q: How should I plan my day for the SOIL SISTERS: Bus Tour of Farms?
A: Register online for the Bus Tour of Farms. Free parking is available where you pick up the bus at Twining Park in Monroe.
Q: Is there a bus service offered?
A: Yes. Read more about the Bus Tour of Farms, new in 2019. Registration is required and space is limited. The only way to visit the farms is by participating in the Bus Tour of Farms, a ticketed on-farm workshop or a culinary event like the Farm-to-Table Dinner or Pizza on the Farm Fundraiser.
Q: Can I bring my kids?
A: You bet, unless the Green Acres Workshops or culinary events are specifically designed for adults. When registering for these ticketed events, any age limitations will be clearly noted. For on farm events, please remember these are working farms and parents are responsible for their children. Please keep your kids with you at all times. The Farm to Table Dinner at Dorothy's Grange is for adults, ages 21 and over. However, the Pizza on the Farm fundraiser event at Inn Serendipity is specifically designed for families with kids; in fact, no alcohol is served or allowed at the event.
Q: Can I bring my dog or other pet?
A: No. Since many of the farms have livestock and animals that already call that spot home, please leave your pets at home. Please respect this "No Dogs or other Pets" policy so that everyone can be safe and avoid any farm animals being adversely impacted by the event. Thanks, in advance, for your understanding.
Q: What should I bring or wear?
A: Dress for the weather. All SOIL SISTERS events will take place rain or shine. Bring your water bottles, sun hats, sunglasses and wear sturdy walking shoes or boots. It's also a good idea to have a rain jacket/umbrella on hand for an isolated thunderstorm and a sweater or jacket should a cold front pass through or if you decide to do as some of the farmers do and catch a late night double feature at the Sky Vu drive in theater in Monroe. Many of the farms will have a range of homegrown products, specialty handmade gift items and books for sale. Be sure to bring a cooler and ice (some farms may have meat for sale) to transport these products home. Bring cash or personal checks, since not all farms accept credit cards.
Q: Why is SOIL SISTERS focused on women farmers?
A: Over the last ten years, the number of women-owned farms grew nearly 30%, making women one of the fastest growing populations of new farmers. Many of these new operations champion the type of farming you’ll see on participating SOIL SISTERS farms. All the farms are small-scale and diversified operations supporting sustainable agriculture and committed to feeding local communities. Many of the women farmers run these operations in grateful partnership with spouses, partners, siblings, children, family and/or friends.
Q: Why is SOIL SISTERS focused on the soil?
A: Soil is where food begins. Healthy soils are the basis for healthy food production. According to the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service: “There are more soil microorganisms in a teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on the Earth. Millions of species and billions of organisms—bacteria, algae, microscopic insects, earthworms, beetles, ants, mites, fungi and more—represent the greatest concentration of biomass anywhere on the planet!” It’s no wonder that the 68th United Nations General Assembly declared 2015 as the International Year of Soils.
Q: I haven’t told anyone yet, but I have this dream of starting a farm someday. Any advice?
A: Many of the women farmers were in your shoes, several starting farms after urban corporate careers. SOIL SISTERS is intended to be a venue for you to ask open questions and get honest answers based on their experiences and advice.
One of the major sponsors of SOIL SISTERS, the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting organic and sustainable agriculture farmers. The MOSES website has many free resources for beginning farmers and offers various free field days throughout the summer. The award-winning MOSES In Her Boots offers programming specifically for women farmers, including the In Her Boots: Sustainable Farming For Women, by Women workshop series with a session being offered as a part of the SOIL SISTERS weekend on Friday. Please visit the MOSES In Her Boots project for more information.
Q: I can’t make it to SOIL SISTERS this year, but this sounds terrific. Are you doing it again?
A: SOIL SISTERS is an annual event, so plan for it next year. In the meantime, please check out each farm’s websites as many do their own open houses, workshops and other events throughout the year.
Any other questions, contact:
For SOIL SISTERS, a program of Renewing the Countryside and MOSES In Her Boots
E-mail: lisa (at) innserendipity (dot) com
Farmhouse land line: 608-329-7056