I is good boy: A day in the life of Baloo, Lead Farm Dog Specialist


It's an exciting week for the Rathgebers' Thymes! This week marks the first installment of the Rathgebers' Thymes blog posts as written from a notable farm and wildlife contributor, Baloo! Our notable Lead Farm Dog Specialist offered to share a day in the life at Rathgebers' Garten for you with his helpful tips on where to find the best drinking puddle and possum carcasses in the area! Our usual contributor (Mallory) will be back next week as we prepare for the first CSA deliveries a mere 15 days away!  More soon!!

Hi. Hi hi hi hi hi. 

I is Baloo. I farm dog with Dustin. Dustin is hooman, though. This important distinction.

I is good for most part. Them chickens like me, but I not so popular with the rabbit-folk.  Win some, lose some- I guess. 


When roosters not sleep and sun behind trees, I must start my smell checks of farm. Smell rounds must are done by Lead Farm Dog Specialist. Me sniff for possums, raccoons, rabbits, and deer- critters who eat veggies not welcome on my watch. 

I run alongside Dustin when he drives machine horse to plant rows. I catch him, sometime he catch me. 

Dustin spend time digging in plant rows. Must be gopher to make hooman dig so much in plants. I help smell for gophers but I not understand what need for so much digging. Dustin pick veggies and give to machine horse. 

When most hot, Dustin and I race to far house for food. I choose crunchy brown circles and gallon of puddle water. It been good year for puddle water- strong notes of table scraps and compost. 

When we go back to farm, I smell for dead possum- a decadent treat for Lead Farm Dog Specialist. I is hungry just thinking about possum.

When sun behind hill, Dustin and I work in dog den. Dustin splash in water, and put veggies in cold, dark room. I check shoes and floors for smells to keep perimeter critter free. 

Long day for Lead Farm Dog Specialist. I go dog cave for sleep. Me have so much energy, but need sleep so is good dog and do smell checks again. 

Farm life is best life for me, I do good job. I is good boy. 

Meet our Team: Mallory the Veggie Consierge


Now that the seedlings in the greenhouse are on their way to adolescence- it's a good time to point out some of Rathgebers' Garten Team that bring the farm to the table for our wonderful customers and fellow community members.  

Enter, our CSA Hype-woman/ Farm Hand & Web Developer: Mallory Rickbeil. 2018 marks her second year on the Rathgebers' Team, and first season as the self-appointed brand manager. When not working for the CSA, Mallory serves as a Purdue Extension Community Wellness Coordinator for Greene, Owen and Clay counties.

Mallory and Dustin met during their first season working with the Linton Farmers' Market as a Market Bucks Program Manager and first-time vendor, respectively. Dustin soon became Mallory's 'go to guy' for the world's most delicious lettuces, baby carrots, paste tomatoes, and Honeynut winter squash. At the end of the 2016 Farmers' Market season, Mallory felt compelled to grow her agribusiness management skills and develop more opportunities to support her programming areas that do not otherwise have sources of revenue. Mallory reached out to Dustin to see if it would be possible to collaborate on a CSA program in Monroe and surrounding counties... And, the rest is history... 

In the weeks leading up to the beginning of CSA season you will find Mallory hustling for shares and working with Dustin to get a sense for what vegetables to plant in the oncoming year. So far, her suggestions that Dustin plant Calendula flowers, pinto beans, and patty pan squash have been commercial failures as far as market sales are concerned. However, she remains committed to the idea that popcorn would be 'very popular' among the customers despite only having her undying love for the popped snack as evidence of this emergent market trend. 

During the growing season, Mallory is responsible for writing the weekly newsletters, driving the produce between the farm and the drop off locations, styling and taking pictures of the weekly bundles, sharing healthy recipes, and getting feedback from the customers on how the CSA can best meet their needs. 

To this day, the delivery fees for a Rathgebers' Garten CSA support the programs Mallory facilitates through her work. In 2018, the revenue gleaned from the CSAs will proudly support a youth garden for afterschool kids, community meals for local food pantries, and promotional materials for the Market Bucks program. "Our CSA customers should know that their support of the CSA business model not only enriches the community in the conventional way that supporting local small farms do-- but, also in a way that strengthens the fabric of the community and helps engage a new generation of young farmers, gardeners, and vegetable connoisseurs," Mallory said/quoted herself in the third person.  

Mallory is pictured above with her partner, Chris who makes amazing things with the bounty of vegetables/ serves as her copy editor from time to time. They live in Bloomington with their two spoiled cats.