🐓The Farmgirl Monthly🐓
Shopping Guide ~ May Edition
B&B Family Farm
Lavender Essential Oil - B&B Family Farm distills our own lavender essential oil here on the farm. The lavender is grown, cut fresh and distilled within 24 hours of being harvested in our copper still. We are a certified essential oil producer by the International Perfume Foundation and have won many awards for the smell and quality of our lavender essential oil. Nothing has been added to our pure lavender essential oil and the lavender is grown without the use of any chemical or pesticides. Throughout the summer months, you will find us in various stages of distillation and can view the process first-hand to see the amount of labor and lavender that goes into producing this precious oil. We distill many varieties of lavender and have sample sets or 5 milliliter bottles available on our website and in our seasonal gift shop in Sequim, Washington.

Dovehill Farm
Dovehill Farm is a sustainable 7 acre farm located in the heart of the last green valley. Our family has been providing our community with farm fresh produce, eggs and preserved foods for three years, and have now added woodcrafts to our list of goods available.

All of our cutting boards and rolling pins are made from trees on our farm, milled on farm and then shaped and crafted by hand by my father. We use the best hard woods and condition the wood with our own wood conditioner that we make at the farm using natural beeswax. We have made custom sized boards, French and standard rolling pins and lots of other wood products. We also have natural live edge slabs available if you’d like to make your own wood crafts.

All of these items and more can be found on our website!

Open Ridge Farm
Nestled at the base of Mt. Mitchell, where clean water flows abundantly, is Open Ridge Farm. We are a small, family-run market garden. From fruit and nut trees to vegetables and hot peppers, we work to build healthy soil through regenerative methods, providing nutrient-dense food for our community. Our sauces are built around the flavors of the peppers we carefully cultivate each year, crafted in small batches right here on our farm. We are passionate about our gardens and our hot sauce, and you can taste that in every bottle!

All of our sauces are made with only whole food ingredients, utilizing organic lemon juice and our farm-grown peppers as the base. We never add artificial stabilizers or preservatives. Pica Rica is our flagship sauce. It has all the beauty of the habanero pepper -- very spicy, but with notes of sweetness!

The Small Farm
We are a family of six living on eight acres in Central Texas. Because our last name is Small and our place is small, The Small Farm felt like a pretty good name! We use our goat milk and beeswax to make small batch skincare products right here on the farm using our tried and true recipes. Our goat milk lotion is very thick and a little goes a long way. It not only moisturizes the skin but it also leaves a non-greasy finish that provides a protective barrier from harsh dry conditions. Made with pasteurized goat milk from our dairy goats, goat milk contains an abundance of fatty acids, minerals and vitamins that will nourish the skin. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that will help relieve skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis.

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Season Full of Flowers ~ Tanglebloom
While you’re busy starting seeds and planting out veggies for your resiliency or victory garden, why not add some easy cut flowers? You’ll be able to make joy-inducing bouquets all summer long to share with friends and adorn your backyard-to-table feasts!

Most cut flowers will be happy to grow right alongside your tomatoes and basil; no need to start a new garden bed (unless you want to!). Our favorite cut flowers are easy to grow and produce a bounty of blooms. Some are even great for drying. Flowers will attract pollinators, and a few will even provide food for songbirds if you let them go to seed.

Read on for our top 6 favorite flowers to grow for cutting and enjoy a season full of flowers and the joy they bring.

Eat the Weeds ~ Meadowdale Farm
I grew up in rural southern Vermont spending a good majority of my childhood outside. As soon as the thick blanket of snow receded I was barefoot in our backyard stream building dams, forts, and immersed in a world void of Nintendo, Seventeen Magazine, and consumerism.

For many spring and summers I’d spend a week with my grandparents. They had been quite old when they finally had their only son, my father, and were well into their 80’s as I remember them. Weeks at their 1780’s timber-frame cape could, at times, drag on. The house seemed suspended in time. In the morning I would hear the pine floorboards creak as a kettle was put on. The interior doors would get propped open with black antique irons and you could smell the kerosene heater that was warming the living room.

I’d roll over on the, somewhat rock hard, horse-hair mattress with a crunching sound and flip on the old Zenith radio. Most of the days were spent swimming, picking Concord grapes, reading, eating sandwiches, gardening, and foraging together.

My grandma had come from a hard-working Irish immigrant family that came from lean means. The Depression had hit her generation hard, and the Depression hit rural Vermont extremely hard. I’m not sure if her knowledge of foraging came from making-do after the “Black Tuesday” stock market crash in 1929 as a young adult, or just growing up Vermont where: Thrift and Resiliency are broadly woven into our unique character and culture because that’s what it takes to survive.

Late springtime pre-supper walks down the driveway were something to pass the idle hours for me and a way for Grandma Ella to fill our bellies...

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Let's Talk Marigolds ~
Freckled Feather Homestead
I simply don’t think you can have enough marigolds in the garden. Let’s talk about why you should be adding them, too!

I use to be one who never saw outside the box when it came to gardening. I planted as I learned from my parents (back then organic gardening wasn’t really a thing). I planted row by row, year after year, losing so many crops to pests because I refused to use any pesticides. Something had to give, and it wasn't going to be me giving up on gardening organically!

“Knowing that the food we grow here on the homestead for our family and friends is the most nutritious and pesticide free is what matters most to me”

I began researching organic gardening and came across loads of wonderful information but one that seemed to turn up in every article was marigolds. I’m huge on researching and then I like to put what information I gather to the test. It‘s how I grow as a gardener and tweak to find what works for me and how I garden, too! 

Microgreens ~ Sunrise Micro Farm
If you’ve ever tried wheatgrass or if you had a Chia Pet as a kid back in the 70’s or 80’s, you have already had experience with microgreens! These are a few fairly common examples of microgreens that have been in the mainstream for decades. What you may not know is that there are so many different varieties of these tiny little plants and their flavors, textures and uses span far beyond what comes to mind for most people!
Microgreens are the first leaves of mature greens and vegetables. These leaves are part of the cotyledon (‘kaa-tuh-lee-dn’) stage and emerge first during germination. The cotyledon(s) provides every plant with its’ initial energy source through the process of photosynthesis. Once the tiny leaves have developed strong roots, they can be harvested and enjoyed!

Each variety of microgreen has its own unique flavor and texture. They are usually intense and aromatic with tender, flavorful stems. The whole plant can be used in many different ways, such as mixed into a stir-fry, blended into smoothies, added to salads for color and crunch or simply munching on a handful out of the refrigerator! Microgreens of all varieties have also been used in the culinary world by chefs for years to garnish dishes.

Microgreens are not only delicious and aesthetically pleasing, they are also...

Gourmet Pickled Eggs
Karl and I are accidental homesteaders. We started with a small garden in late Summer 2012 and our first chickens were gifted to us in November 2015. We built our first coop prior to their arrival and the rest is just a wonderful blur. With gardening and chickens came the need to learn preserving. Once I had canning figured out, I started playing around with the idea of pickled eggs. I started with a recipe I found online and eventually made them from my very own dill pickle recipe. I have created several flavors and I like to call them “gourmet” pickled eggs. At the markets, I have changed the minds of many people that said they hate pickled eggs. As I explained to them, these are not gas station eggs. Offering samples is a huge help! (Multiple recipes available!)
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