21 Things You Might Not Know About Me: Mary Falk
Mary Falk and her husband, Dave, raise grass-fed sheep, cows, and goats on their organic farm surrounded by lakes and rivers in southern Burnett County. There they produce award-winning LoveTree Farmstead Cheese from the milk of their animals.
Their unique and robust cave-aged cheeses are available seasonally at St. Paul Farmer’s Market and on their website. You can reach Mary via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. I am originally from California, although I spent my teenage years south of Milwaukee. I moved to this farm in Trade Lake area of Burnett County from Santa Cruz, CA 32 years ago. Yes, I left a cottage near the ocean beach for this farm!
2. I have only had one date here 31 years ago, the longest date I’ve ever been on!
3. I’m crazy in love with my husband, Dave. I feel like the richest woman in the world to be married to such a warm, compassionate, talented and loving man… good-looking too! Northern Wisconsin sure knows how to grow ‘em!
4. Dave and I went trout fishing in the Colorado Rockies for our honeymoon. How awesome is that?
5. On the rare occasions that Dave and I get free time, we sneak off to Madeline Island to go camping, cycling and canoeing.
6. We have three sons. Two are in law enforcement and one works with emotionally challenged youth. I am equally proud of all of them. However, it has been said that children grow up to be the opposite of their parents…
7. We have two grandsons and a third is on his way!
8. Before we started farming full-time I was a news talk radio announcer. I met some very unique people!
9. I make cheese here on LoveTree Farm from the milk of our own sheep, goats and cows. We specialize in grass-fed, raw-milk cheese and try to squeeze the flavor of the north woods into every tiny morsel.
10. Our claim to fame is that our cheese has won the highest awards in the country and it has served at the Vatican. Dave and I were also named Bon Appetit/Food Network Food Artisans of the Year.
11. We have 200 acres, half that we farm organically and half that we dedicate as a wildlife refuge. The waterways that meander through the property act as a wildlife corridor that flows to the wild St. Croix National Scenic River, which in turn acts as a highway of sorts for a multitude of “critters.”
12. We graze our animals on the same property that is frequented by various predators, including coyotes, bears, bobcats, wolves, and many more! We utilize non-lethal predator control with livestock guardian dogs. It works great! Live and let live!
13. In my spare time I lobby for non-lethal predator control funding for farmers and ranchers and to preserve the Endangered Species Act. I visited Washington, DC a couple of times during the last month to meet with our Senators and Representatives, hoping to shake their tree a bit. We were successful!
14. In 1991, we joined forces with our neighbors to prevent a toxic ash dump from being built here in Trade Lake and learned that all of our neighbors care deeply about this unique water, our community and the wildlife it supports. A healthy environment is good for everyone. We all need to do our part to protect it!
15. For six years I was a Burnett County Board Supervisor. Now that was an interesting experience!
16. I enjoy anything that makes me strong and flexible and helps to keep me breathing. Outdoor cycling is the best! A good ride makes all of the senses come alive, especially if you’re being chased by a Fisher cat!
17. I love locally-grown and grass-fed food (including venison!) Real food tastes great and is amazing medicine for body and mind. Shop locally and know where your food comes from!
18. Twenty-six years ago my asthma was so severe that doctors didn’t think that I would live another year or two. I later learned (through my own research) that food allergies were at the root of my health problems. That was over 25 years ago. Lesson learned? We need to be our own advocate!
19. I am grateful for every sunrise I get to witness. It makes me feel like I won the lottery!
20. I enjoy making 3D felted-wool sculptures of people I know. They are fuzzy wooly portraits, a bit spooky-looking. Dave calls them my “VooDoo” dolls. Sigh.
21. First thing every morning I read at least a chapter in a challenging book while sipping on a mug of good coffee as the sun comes up. “Serial Reader” is a fun (and free) app!
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