The Jill Pill

June 20th, 2017

Wisconsin

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We visited Casco, WI twice. The first time was a quick stop in November on our way to the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. We did not have much to explore but we did get a chance to try some Wisconsin cheese curds.

Our second time in Casco, we were able to spend some more time there which is great because James' uncle, Mike, and aunt, Kim, live there. They have a lovely property with several animals including these majestic horses.

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Their property, also, has a large greenhouse and bountiful plants throughout their garden. We even found some wild asparagus growing next to their roses.

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Kim is an artist who mainly works with glass and has a new art gallery and studio.

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She also makes her prints into textiles. These prints would make awesome leggings!

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We took a short drive to the town of Algoma, WI where you can see visit the “beach”. The water was very clear and blue.

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There is also an RV park right on the water that had some pelicans visiting. We overheard a man say that the pelicans with a bump on their beaks are the males.

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We walked around downtown Algoma and came across a store front that was available for rent. We were in shock to know that it could be rented for only $200/month. Coming from New Jersey where rent is at a premium, we took a moment to consider living at the RV Park here and setting up a business.

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And then we saw the snowmobile sign and quickly remembered that it is super cold here and covered by snow for much of the year.

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In the evening, we had a delicious dinner al fresco and we ate some of that wild asparagus we had harvested earlier. We have a theory that the asparagus growing by the roses tastes a little sweeter than regular asparagus. That’s Garth in the corner, he joined us too.

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Something we discussed over dinner was the town’s water quality issues. Casco, MI has many dairy farms which use fertilizers to maintain and grow their crop fields. The fertilizing manure has, unfortunately, seeped into many residents well water. Even Mike and Kim had contamination in their well and had to rely on bottled water at the time of our visit.

Aside from the water contamination, we also learned that that large dairy farms in the area, referred to as mega farms, were practicing unkind dairy farming practices. They would keep their dairy cows pumped up on hormones to be constantly producing milk and in small enclosed spaces. The large farms were also causing economical hardships for the smaller farms. As large farms produced more milk, the overall cost of milk lowered, resulting in small farms struggling to compete. I really hope these farms can work towards smarter, more humane, business practices that would cause less harm to their neighboring communities and cows.

We were so grateful to have spent the time we did with Mike and Kim. Since they live pretty far from New Jersey, we don't get to see them often. They were so welcoming and Kim kindly gifted me this beautiful clock she made that went perfectly inside Tray Tray.

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Mike also gifted James a nice Canon camera. We can't wait to use it and try to do a better job at capturing the beautiful places we visit and Harry's cuteness.

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For more information on Kim's amazing work, click here.