Thirteen years ago, FairShare CSA Coalition organized the first Bike the Barns, a day of biking, farm tours, and gourmet food. Proceeds from the ride benefited FairShare’s Partner Shares Program, which helps low-income families afford farm-fresh veggies.
We wanted to make this amazing day of on-farm fun accessible to everyone. So, in 2017 we launched the first annual Bus the Barns to provide a non-cycling option. As a Bus the Barns rider, you get to enjoy the same farm tours, gourmet local food, and live music, plus special on-farm activities designed just for you! Join us as we bike and bus to ensure food for every family.
The bus tour will start and stop at Fireman’s Park in Columbus, Wisconsin, which has a gorgeous historic pavilion and great green space for lounging before and after the ride. The first half of the route winds its way through mixed fields and forests to the northwest of Columbus, with a few nice sections along state wildlife areas with lots of wildlife. The second half of the tour is through mostly agricultural lands with some gently rolling hills. Participants will visit 4 farms along the route.
Interested in biking the route? Hop over to the Bike the Barns page to learn about the bike option.
LUNA CIRCLE: TASTE TRIALS WITH JULIE DAWSON
What does the perfect pepper taste like? How juicy should tomatoes be? How sweet can you beet? Julie Dawson, an associate professor of the UW-Madison Horticulture department and leader of the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative, is seeking the answer to these questions. Connecting Wisconsin organic farmers to kitchens across the state, this joint effort is working to develop the best of every vegetable, and you can help them out! Julie will be joining us to talk about organic farming and the future of sustainable agriculture, and conducting a taste trial – getting your feedback on different varieties of tomatoes to determine the best!
BURR OAK: INVASIVE SPECIES WITH GROUNDSWELL
Groundswell Conservancy’s Development and Outreach Coordinator Danni Lang will be joining us at the Burr Oak farm stop to share a presentation about the wild world around us, and what we can do to take care of it. You will learn to identify five of Wisconsin’s most challenging invasive weeds and the best way to remove these plants from our sensitive landscapes. From garlic mustard recipes to high powered brush mowers, there is sure to be a tool for you to get involved in the fight against invasive weeds!
SASSY COW: DAIRY DELIGHTS WITH SASSY COW
While lunch is being devoured at Sassy Cow Creamery, just down the road you’ll find the traditional style dairy farm that houses 600 sassy cows! This farm tour will include learning how ice cream is made and how Sassy Cow started. Moo knows, you might even get to have some bovine bonding!
TWO GOOD: LEAF EMBOSSING WITH MARTHA BUCHE
You can’t spell Earth without art, which is why we decided to invite Martha Buche from the Driftless Folk School to get crafty at our Two Good Farm stop. Using tree leaves and copper wire, you’ll get the chance to make your very own piece of fall art to take home and show your friends and family!
OUR BUS THE BARNS PARTNERS
Julie Dawson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her background is in organic plant breeding and participatory research. Research topics include season extension methods, organic and participatory variety trials and variety selection for small-acreage farms and gardens as well as extension resources for urban growers. She leads a project called the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative with other plant breeders to test varieties with local farmers and chefs, focused on flavor for local food systems.
Groundswell Conservancy protects special places, forever. Since our inception in 1983, we have protected hundreds of special places and 12,345 acres in and around Dane County. As a local land trust we work with communities, landowners, and partners to create our vision of a world filled with green places where communities thrive.
Martha has been exploring the arts ever since she discovered soap carving in sixth grade. Since then she has developed her artistic skills in two and three dimensional media on three continents. Martha has taught every age group from infants to grandparents and loves helping people awaken to their own innate creativity. She is excited and honored to return to Columbia County where she graduated from High School way back in the last century! Martha has two grown children and a very patient husband with whom she lives in rural Vernon County, Wisconsin.
For more information online, check out our FAQs page.
Still have questions?
Call FairShare at (608) 226-0300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I just love this event. The food, getting to tour the farms, riding through the countryside with friends.” ~ 2017 Bike the Barns Rider
Photos courtesy of Light & Life Photography