🐓The Farmgirl Monthly🐓
Shopping Guide ~ July Edition
Farmgirl Paints
I grew up in the Midwest surrounded by endless miles of corn and soybean fields. I always knew I would want to return to the country someday, but it wasn’t until four years ago that my dreams became reality. My husband and I purchased a 16-acre property outside of Nashville, TN…SIGHT UNSEEN. We packed up our two daughters and set our sights on making a dilapidated piece of property our haven. It was, by far, the hardest thing we've ever done. We ended up naming the property “Hesed Hill” because of God’s unfailing steadfast love for us. It’s where we work and rest.

I am the owner of Farmgirl Paints, and for the last decade I’ve made hand-stamped leather cuffs out of upcycled belts. A year ago, the Lord took it a different direction and now I use all my giftings…writing devotionals, creating art, and hand-painting jewelry designs to complete our ”Love Letter” monthly releases. It’s an honor to use my gifts to point others to Jesus.

Farmhouse Products USA
Love our country? So do we! Farmhouse Products handmakes wooden American and custom flags on a family farm in Friendship, Maryland. The farm has a rich history dating back to the 1600s. Our mission is to build a community and bring America together by taking you along on our journey to Explore, Recognize, and Spread The Word of the United State of America, through its symbol, The American Flag!

Each flag is made to order; crafted from hand-picked wood and then painted. No flag is exactly the same, revealing the personality of the wood grain. Our most popular size, large, measures 36”x20”, includes hardware to hang perfectly on any wall in your home. Flags are also clear coated for outdoor display.

Custom flags include, but are not limited to, coin holders, state flags, military logos, colored stripes, and your personal customization. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see our latest products and more.

Chelsea Hansler Art
Chelsea Hansler Art is born out of a pure passion for painting. I spend most every night lost in my work and enjoying the ever changing learning curve. As an artist, I hope to bring my subjects to life and to create a cherished keepsake that will tell a story for many years to come. As an outdoor family with a little homestead, I find myself painting many scenes of nature, wildlife as well as farm animals. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to expand my portfolio and challenge my abilities as an artist. I take on many commissioned pieces as well throughout the year ranging from animals to special portraits. To see more of my work you can check out my social media pages.

Thirty Acre Farm
Nothing comes close to farm fresh food. The trick to capturing it at its best is to nurture it naturally—then keep it alive. At Thirty Acre Farm, we farm what we ferment to create the shortest distance between our organically certified vegetables and the living foods we live for. Our active cultures kick in a healthy dose of probiotic power, but our kraut, kimchi, and other ferments give your gut an even easier reason to rejoice: the savory tang and crisp texture that pack a season of Maine splendor into feasts you can enjoy all year long. As a multi-family owned business, there is nothing we love more than sharing our ferments with you. From traditional flavors like Caraway Kraut, all the way to our unique Melon Head Hot Sauce, we are creating small-batch, fresh, and delicious food for the community.

The Schoolhouse Life ~
Oils + Holistic Gardening
Did you know that plants have chemistry? It’s totally true--and that chemistry can be used in so many ways.

In our home + garden essential oils have become major staples. Using plants on plants makes loads of sense when it comes to dealing with pests, bacteria and all other kinds of issues that can pop up.

It’s important to keep in mind that our gardens, like our bodies, really need balance and often, less is more. The avoidance of synthetics and chemicals can improve the quality of the produce you grow, but it overall will create a foundation for health, and essential oils will help build a balance that improves that foundation in a powerful way.

So, when thinking about using oils, start at the very beginning, what I like to think of as the gut of the plant--the soil. If the soil is healthy the plant will get what it needs to thrive! So, thinking about ways to actually attract or invite in diversity can really be a better method than trying to eradicate something else--this is true for fungus, weeds and pests. While these things can all lead to weak and low producing plants, it’s often simply a symptom of something else being out of whack.

Oils work holistically in that they promote balance, harmony and diversity. They trigger other living organisms, from the soil to the plant, to function at their best and this is when we’ll start to see our gardens as healthy as they can be.

Often, we can assess the health of our gardens by looking at the symptoms--check out our free garden guide to get a list of recipes and oils for specific needs, and ways to use them safely in your garden. Natural and holistic wellness is powerful, and oils are a simple way to access all that plants have to offer.

Having essential oils on hand is like having a garden of bottles that are at your disposal whenever you most need them. They offer a broad range of potential benefits, and any one oil can do a myriad of different things.

Peppermint, for example, is an excellent tool in the garden. It repels many pests, in particular aphids and rodents. Make a spray for aphids--perhaps mix it with a small amount of unscented liquid castile soap and apply to the underside of infected leaves. More proactively, use it regularly as a mist in your garden area. Additionally, peppermint is very cooling and a quick spritz of that same spray on the back of your neck on a hot day can help rejuvenate and cool off.

Cedarwood, repels snails, slugs, moths and other known predators in the healthy garden. It also offers fungal balancing qualities and can improve the health of your soil at a molecular level. Make a spray, use on cotton balls or add a few drops to the water you water your plants with.

Geranium, a wonderful repellent of many bugs, it’s strong floral scent is also a draw for many pollinators like butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.

Would you like a longer list of holistic essential oil options for your garden? Get our Gardening Guide with recipes + access to our recent gardening webinar here.

Join our supportive self-sufficiency + creativity community -- www.theschoolhouselife.com

Ready to start using oils in your home + garden? Farmmade readers get a free bottle of Cedarwood --our favorite garden oil-- with any starter set of $100 or more when you order with our link! This is our favorite way to start. Take advantage--we’d LOVE to help you on your holistic journey!

Happy Earth Farm ~ A spiritual journey to make Mother Earth happy
Happy Earth is a small organic farm in rural Thailand. We started it 15 years ago following our inner desire to truly live, learn, and grow with Mother Earth. For us, our farm is not merely a farm, but a spiritual journey that has reconnected us to our roots.

Before embarking on this journey, we have worked in non-profit organizations promoting community forests and alternative agriculture, thinking that it could create a long-lasting change in the world. However, through our experience, we have learned that instead of forcing change on others, it is best to be the change we want to see. Hence, we decided to return to our family farm and start an organic farm. We named it Happy Earth because we believe when the Earth is happy, we are happy.

It was not an easy beginning. When we first moved back to our family farm, our land was plagued with heavy chemical use through industrial farming of economic crops such as sugar cane, corn, and tapioca. The air was full of chemical dust and we could hardly breathe. There were a lot of misunderstandings and disbelief from our family. It took us several years to change that. At one point, we were tired and almost gave up. But when we looked back at our land, there were butterflies and insects flying, the chemical dust disappeared and our compost-filled land seemed to gain its vitality. It was as if Mother Earth was happy to have us here.

Years of following biodynamic, permaculture, and natural farming principles have somehow healed our land. This only reinforces our belief in what we are doing. We now grow local plants like kaffir lime, bitter orange, sesame, rice, and beans. These ingredients are used to create a line of body care products through which we hope to spread our philosophy, to make Mother Earth happy.

With direct access to the raw ingredients, we turn what we grow into things like No-Poo Head-to-Toe Wash, Jasmine Rice Powder for face mask or hair rinse, Mung Bean Powder for face and body scrub, Kaffir Lime essential oil or cold-pressed sesame oil. These products are based on traditional Thai medicine and are made entirely from what we grow. They are 100% natural, chemical-free, biodegradable, and are meant to be good to Mother Earth, animals, and humans alike. We even tell our clients that our products are so pure that they can even eat it (see our Instagram Highlight)!

Through our products, we hope to bring back the old traditions of self-care, reconnect people to Mother Earth, and share our spiritual journey with others. For those who are following the same path, please don't give up. The struggles will only serve to reconfirm your beliefs. Many things will be refined and redefined. But it will be worth it in the end.

Follow our Happy Earth journey via the link below or visit our YouTube and social media channels to see how our products are made, what we grow, and what life on the farm is like.

Keeping it Real ~ Hope Springs Dairy
Modern living can be a battle. Toxins are all around us, from products for our body to the pollutants in the air we breath. However, God has given us an immune system to be able to combat the “enemies.” The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defend the body! Did you know that, “the immune system keeps a record of every germ (microbe) it has ever defeated so it can recognise and destroy the microbe quickly if it enters the body again” (Better Health)? That’s spectacular! However, it’s up to us to feed our immune system those things that will make it stronger.

Enter in real raw milk. A super-food for the immune system. Made up of vital nutrients, a complete protein and living enzymes that are able to protect us against pathogens. We are privileged here at Hope Springs Dairy to be the number one supplier of real raw milk in Central, OR through a herd-share program.

While living in Africa for ten years, we came in contact with a nomadic tribe who survive off of raw milk (and cow’s blood). These people walk long distances with their cows, and have the endurance to keep up. As a cross country coach, I would encourage my athletes to drink a big glass of raw milk after a long run as both an electrolyte and nutrient dense replenisher. I could share story after story of the one of a kind, superior benefits of making raw milk a part of your healthy lifestyle.

As a family of eleven, we pride ourselves in living a healthy lifestyle, and teaching our children the benefits of exercise, nutrition, and hard work. Dairy farming has allowed these teachings to come to life. Many people know the sacrifice of dairy farming. Twice a day, seven days a week, the cows and goats need to be milked. With a system in place, everyone knows they need to pull their weight. We have a morning crew and an evening crew. Those who are involved in sports at the local high school (we homeschool but have highly encouraged our kids to participate in sports), work around their sport’s schedules. From bringing in the animals to hooking up the machines, we all know what it takes to run the farm.

Hope Springs Dairy is a 40 acre farm located in the heart of Central, Oregon. With a view of the snow capped mountains, our animals graze on fresh pasture, free from any pesticides or herbicides. Our alfalfa is the “key ingredient” in the quality of our milk; supplied from a local farm known worldwide for high quality alfalfa. The cows are all Jersey known to produce A2/A2 milk; high in fat, and the nutrients listed above. Our goats are mostly Alpine/Nubian with a few Sanaans and Lamanchas, also producers of amazing milk!

Each state has developed laws surrounding the buying and selling of raw milk. In the state of Oregon, we are required to have our customers join a ‘herdshare’ program; this essentially makes the customer part owner of an animal, and we in turn; as the farmer, board the animal and provide each customer with
his/her share of milk. In order to stand by our standard of providing the highest quality product, we must be careful how we handle the milk— this is key. We are grateful to be apart of helping others with this most amazing food!

Connecting Cultures and Sheep ~
Vermont Grand View Farm, LLC
Halfway through my first trip to Gotland island Sweden in 2015, I found myself sitting at an old table outside of a farm store sharing a meal of home made crisp crackers, butter, and tea with a Swedish shepherd and shepherdess, Curre and Lotta. For four hours we shared stories about run away rams, lambs that eat the neighbor's flowers and the proper pasture forage for sheep. Differences in our language, culture, and native country simply enriched our conversations as we connected through our sheep.

Six months previously, I welcomed our first flock of Gotland sheep to our farm. Gotland sheep are relatively new to the United States and our farm was the first to bring the breed to the far northeastern corner. They were drastically different from the Romney sheep I had been raising, with a delicate structure and gray curls. I realized that there was much to learn about the breed and since few other breeders lived in cold climates, I was facing challenges they had not seen. When the opportunity presented itself to travel to Gotland, my husband and I jumped at the chance to see 100% Gotland sheep and talk with the shepherds who raise them. I contacted several farms on Gotland before setting out and with suitcase and notebook in hand, we found our way to the small island of Gotland in the middle of the Baltic Sea. There we set out to learn about the culture, people, and history behind our sheep.

Since the island's first inhabitants, sheep have played a major role in the economy and culture of Gotland. Viking traders brought sheep to Gotland which became a central trade route. Today, ruins scatter the landscape as a reminder of the past. The city of Visby tells the Viking story through fallen cathedrals, rune stones and its stone wall. The sheep that the Vikings brought to the island had rough coats and were a hardy landrace breed. In the early 1920s a shepherd saw a ram with a nice curly fleece and became the first shepherd to selectively breed for the beautiful characteristics we see in modern day Gotland sheep. I can honestly say that I have never felt so welcomed by a group of people than by the natives of Gotland. They opened their farms, farm stores, and homes to us, generously giving of their time and knowledge. The shepherds on the island work together to improve their genetics and breeding programs as well as in marketing their products. They extended this desire to help one another gain skills and knowledge to be successful to us despite the fact that an ocean separated our farms.

Our trip to Gotland helped us fully understand and appreciate the hard work of Swedish shepherds in developing the breed. We learned countless lessons from shepherds like Curre and Lotta, about the Gotland breed and the history of this tiny island. As we parted that day, Curre shared one last bit of farm wisdom with us. “People may have different cultures or religions-but underneath, the people are all the same. You just have to find something, some–what is the word?–connection, and you are all the same. The connection brings people together. Just like having sheep,” he concluded, looking out into the pasture, squinting into the sun, real pride in his voice. “Sheep bring people together, too. And that’s a real good thing. Real good.” With arm raised high, he waved to us, turned back and said, “keep dreaming, keep dreaming.”

Classic Blueberry Jam
Dark, vibrant, and full of flavor. Extremely versatile and delicious. Use as a classic jam for pb&j sandwiches or jazz up your next charcuterie platter with a jar of this! It’s a fantastic jam to dollop on top of a soft, spreadable cheese and enjoyed on a crunchy baguette, or cracker.
Yield: 4 (8 ounce) jelly jars
2 lbs. fresh blueberries (about 6 cups)
2 cups...
Water Bath Canning Directions:
Ladle the hot berry mixture into warm prepared jars (jars that have been washed and kept warm prior to filling). Use a funnel to safely transfer the mixture, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a dampened, clean, lint-free cloth or paper towel and again with a dry towel. Place the canning lid over the rim of the jar and screw the ring on until it’s just-snug on the jar (not fully tightened). Carefully lower the jars into...

Refrigerator directions:
Ladle the hot berry mixture into warm prepared jars (jars that have been washed and kept warm prior to filling). Use a funnel to safely transfer the mixture, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a dampened, clean, lint-free cloth or paper towel and again with a dry towel. Place the canning lid over the rim of the jar and screw the ring on until it’s just-snug. Place the jars on...

Happy Preserving!

Recipe published with permission from Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. 
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