Tuesday, February 5, 2019

12 Things You Didn't Know About the Genuine Faux Farm

Welcome to a new series of GFF blog posts that will be an "Ode to Clickbait!"

Wait?  You don't know what clickbait is?  Well, let's start with that first:

Clickbait is a title or link that intentionally over-promises OR misrepresents in order to pull people to a particular website.  The idea is to give you a sensational headline that you just can't resist so you come read our blog!  But, to fully qualify as clickbait - we're supposed to fail to deliver what we promise with the headline.

I already have a problem with that.  We might have to rethink this.

Other characteristics for click bait?  Content is usually short (under 300 words).  Uh oh.
They often steal content from other sites and very little is original.  Uh oh again.

Maybe we'll just stick with click-bait-like titles for a few posts and see if we can have some fun with it.

Here we go!  12 Things you might not have known about the Genuine Faux Farm.

1. We are not "Faux Farms"
We ARE the Genuine Faux Farm, honest and for true.  Please note two things about the name.

First, we are only ONE farm.  The "s" is not applicable to us.  We own only one small farmstead of about 15 acres, which hardly puts us in the same category of organizations that have gathered multiple farm-sites under its farm name.  If you would like for us to become "Farms,"  please contact us about the 50 acres of prime veggie growing or turkey pasture raising land that you will donate to us so we can make the "s" applicable.   Or, you could just remove the "s."  Choices... choices.

Second, we are the GENUINE Faux Farm.  If we're Faux Farm, then we are either just fake/false or incapable of creativity because we'd just be using our last name for our farm name.  Hey!  Look at this blog post!  Creativity abounds!  Please let us be a little bit clever and give our "Genuine Faux Farm" name a chance.  It's a small thing to do in order to build up our confidence.  You can still roll your eyes after you say it - especially if you do that while reading the blog because we can't see you. 

Or can we?   Hmmmmmmm.   NOW, I've got your attention!

2. Our farm has been producing food since 2004 and blog posts since 2008.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but on our farm - we'll do both a picture AND a thousand words.

Since we've already broken some of the rules of click-bait, we'll just go ahead and break more of them by providing real information.  We moved to the farmstead during the Summer of 2004 from Chokio, Minnesota where Rob worked at the University of Minnesota-Morris in the Computer Science Discipline.  We moved to Tripoli so Tammy could take a job at Wartburg College as a professor of Social Work.  We actually received permission to plant a veggie garden at the new place before we even closed on it.

That might give you an idea as to some of our priorities in life.

7. We know how to count.
See!  I toad you so!

3. Kohlrabi Yes, Fennel No
When we are asked what we grow, we often answer with either "everything from A to Z" or "name a vegetable."  It's true that we do grow asparagus and zucchini, but we have to cheat a little with "Q" by saying we grow Quadrato asti Giallo bell peppers and we have no idea what to do with "X."

When we offer the "name a vegetable" option, we usually get a fairly common answer that is easy to say yes to... Tomato?  Yes.  Green Beans?  Yes.  Onions?  Yes.

Sometimes, a person will get clever and try "Kohlrabi?"  Why?  Because it sounds fun and the plants look kind of weird.  And, we can still say "yes" to it because we do grow a few types of kohlrabi.  On the other hand, we've never grown fennel.  Why?  Well, for one, we don't particularly care for it.  And for two?  We haven't had any demand indicated for it.  Well, I guess we'll hear now from fennel lovers!

4. The cats aren't (Quite) in charge (Yet)
But, they WILL sit on things you are about to move.

5.  It takes two PhD's to run a small diversified farm
Ok.  It takes two PhD's to run the Genuine Faux Farm, which just happens to be a small, diversified farm.  Rob is the 'Farm Boss' and he works full-time at the farm (and is the principle blogger and spreadsheet maker).  His PhD is in Computer Science and Adult Education.  As you can see, he is fully applying his education in this profession.  And, while that is meant to be somewhat facetious, I can tell you that pattern-matching and problem-solving are two skills that are needed in both Computer Science and farming.

Tammy is the 'Queen Boss' on the farm.  Our joke is that when you don't like something, you complain to the 'Farm Boss' and if you do like something, all praise goes to the 'Queen Boss.'  If you want to get something done, go to the Farm Supervisors (the cats) and they'll tell you to make the two 'bosses' do it.  All kidding aside, while it may not really take two PhD's to run a small diversified farm, it DOES take two PhD's to run THIS small diversified farm.  Rob could not succeed at the Genuine Faux Farm without Tammy (and hopefully she feels the same way about Rob).  The Farm Supervisors do NOT have PhD's, but that's ok because they know everything and didn't need to study.

6. The View on the Farm is Incredible
There isn't actually a GFF West... yet.  Does this qualify as appropriate for clickbait?  Or is it just silly?

8.  We Thrive on Variety
We believe in diversity on our farm and we've talked about this topic many times on this blog and elsewhere.  That said, we need to tell you some things that you didn't already know about us....

Oh, and 6 cucumber varieties
This year we will grow 20 different varieties of lettuce and 30 different varieties of tomatoes.  Most of these will be heirloom or heritage varieties.  We grow a wide range of veggie cultivars because we know people have different likes and dislikes for taste and texture. and we also know that many varieties of the same vegetable type feature different tastes and textures.  We also grow a wide range of varieties because we are aware that some like certain types of weather and conditions and others prefer different conditions.  Since we grow in Iowa, we try to cover our bases so that we have some successful crops each and every season.

10. No farmers' markets for us, but you can still get our products
Here is a fact about our farm that we are guessing a number of people who do know about us might not have actually realized.  We have not been involved in a farmers' market for three or four years now.  And, before that we were reducing our presence at markets significantly.   We're still amazed that people ask us if we were 'at market.'

On the other hand, you can still purchase a CSA share or make other direct purchases from us even if you are NOT a CSA member.  Contact us and find out what options there are for you and watch these pages for the 2019 program unveiling!

9.  We work in all sorts of whether
Tammy says that we work in all sorts of whether because we work
- whether or not it is raining
- whether or not the sun shines
- whether or not the tractor is running
- whether or not it's the 4th of July or Memorial Day or Labor Day
- whether or not we want to on any given day

And that is today's whether report!

11.  There is NO Number 12 on this list.
But, here are some baby chicks.  That usually makes up for it.

11. We like to educate and have a little fun
In case you hadn't noticed, one part of our farm's mission is to educate and inform others about sustainable farming and local foods.  One part of our own personal mission is to enjoy life and have a little fun once in a while.

We also actually like to provide some value with everything we produce - even if we use a 'click bait' type of title to draw you in.  We hope you enjoyed the post and even got something positive out of it.


  1. Along with a great cup of coffee, I got a great chuckle reading your post today, which I read almost every one of, and yes that ended with a prepositional faux paw (because I usually have a cat on the keyboard) and yes this a run-on sentence. I especially love The Eagle Has Landed. I think every child & adult in the world should be required to read Silent Spring, Sand County Almanac, your blog and anything else of the same mind and conscience. And give up plastic for Lent. May your tribe and followers increase. Keep Calm and Farm on.

  2. We are not in your climate right now so cannot fully appreciate the snow and cold. In the Pacific Ocean there is plenty of water but none of it is drinkable or bathable or who knows what else.....
    we always enjoy your Posts Rob. Darrell W Zenk or Dad Zenk or ???

  3. Thank you both for the compliments and comments!
    Kathy, I appreciated Silent Spring. I can't say I enjoyed it, because that would be the wrong reaction, I think.
    Dad, I suspect you could bathe in the Pacific if you really, really wanted to.


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