ST&BF at the Christopher Farm & Gardens: Erika's Favorites & More!

We enjoyed yet another lovely visit to the Christopher Farm & Gardens! I won’t waste too much time trying to find the words to describe this most recent visit... but will share a few photos (as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words) and encourage you to join us next time so you can experience it for yourself!

ST&BF at CF&G - May

“You are as welcome as the flowers in May.” – Charles Makin

Perhaps the only thing matching the beauty of this incredible space is the beauty in the hearts of those who have opened the space up to us: Jay Christopher (Owner), Erika (Director) along with Rob and the many CF&G staff that we have met and come to know!

Every visit offers a variety of activities. The highlight of this visit included a tour by Erika (pictured in shorts/navy top) as she pointed out some of her favorite spring flowers and locations on the property!

The mission of The Christopher Farm & Gardens is to bring together horticulture, landscape design, education and the arts to inspire and enlighten guests.

CF&G is dedicated to providing a space for enjoyment, understanding, and conservation of native Wisconsin plants, trees, animals and the Lake Michigan shoreline.

The vision of The Christopher Farm & Gardens is to continually grow with a focus on education and preservation of God’s earthly creations.

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot, together we can do great things.” – Mother Teresa

The above quote accurately reflects the combined efforts of “Bob the Builder” Hartig and the wonderful staff at the CF&G! The sixth and most recent TLC Survivorship Can Be Fun “Bob the Builder” project involved the making of a wooden planter box. Past projects were done virtually, via Zoom and Bob was available in person to guide others interested in building their own wooden planter box.

Then, CF&G offered a wide selection of plants and flowers to fill the wooden planter boxes.

And provided knowledgeable staff, including Amanda (Greenhouse Manager), to offer instruction and answer questions!

“So plant your own gardens and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.” – Jorge Luis Borges

As a result, many left with their own little piece of the CF&G to take home with them to beautify their homes and soothe their souls!

Maryellen & Tom K

John S

Rae-Ellen W

Nate & Rachel

“Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.” – Walt Whitman

Over the years we have enjoyed so many activities at the CF&G including the following “Survive, Thrive & Be Fit” activities: Survivorship Through the Lens outdoor photography, Gentle Yoga for Cancer Survivors, Steps to Survivorship, Survivors on Snowshoes, DISC-over DISC Golf, Tai Chi for Cancer Survivors, Great Heights with Delightful Kites and even a few Hiking Along the Cancer Journey overnight backpacking outings. We’ve also enjoyed a few bonfires on warm summer evenings and even cold winter days, completed scavenger hunts, carved pumpkins, shot off “Stomp Rockets”, enjoyed train rides, visited the on-site Train/Transportation Museum as well as the Nature Center, assisted with a Habitat Restoration Project, and were guided on a variety of tours by the amazing CF&G staff!

But, of all of the activities that we have enjoyed... based on the many the comments I have received (along with my own experiences), the most popular activity is simply what I refer to as “Wandering the Wonderful Property”!

There is that in the glance of a flower which may at times control the greatest of creation’s braggart lords.” – John Muir

Personally, I have trouble distinguishing a weed from a plant or a flower. In fact, I consider many “weeds” (i.e., dandelions) to be quite beautiful. Thankfully, there are those at the CF&G with a far greater knowledge and intellect than I who understand how the horticultural-related aspects of nature work. And they have used that knowledge to create a beautiful, sustainable, healing space. Similarly, there are the great minds of our doctors and nurses who understand the biological process of cancer and have a deep understanding on how to best treat this disease.

When in the presence of such great minds, I realize that NOT all men are created equally!  I am certainly grateful for these great and beautiful minds that allow many of us to live great and beautiful lives!

Mark your calendars for our next visit to the CF&G on Sunday, June 6th as we gather to commemorate National Cancer Survivors Day!

Submitted by Sharon Pentek

"Water on the Rocks"

A soothing sound of water flowing.

Submitted by Sharon Pentek

"Tip-toeing Through the Tulips"

A variety of colors displayed by tulips.

Submitted by Bernie Pentek

"Phlox on the Rocks!"

A display of charming colorful dainty blooms.

Submitted by Bernie Pentek

"Bridal Bouquets"

White spring blossoms exploding in the air.

Submitted by Mary Schueller

"The Frito-Llay Flower"

The number of things I see and learn at CF&G never ceases to amaze me. One of Erika’s favorite Spring things is this beautiful orange flower called a Fritillaria. While we had difficulty pronouncing the name, several in our group decided we’d remember it by word association. It’s the Frito-Lay Flower. What a beauty!

Submitted by Mary Schueller

"Nesting Stare Down"

When Erika pointed to the inland pond where there was a tall pole with a nest on top of it, I must admit that my vision was not good enough to see if there actually was a duck nesting in it as intended. But thanks to a telephoto lens, I was pleasantly surprised when I downloaded the photo since I had captured the duck staring right at me!

Submitted by Mary Schueller

"Double D: Ducks & Daffodils"

What fun it was to watch this group of ducks! They had just arrived at CF&G, but were eagerly exploring the territory and seemed to be very much enjoying their new home amidst a backdrop of daffodils.

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