🐓The Farmgirl Monthly🐓
Shopping Guide ~ August Edition
Beehive Cheese
Check out this bourbon infused cheddar from Utah! Pour Me A Slice is a collaboration between Basil Hayden's and @beehivecheese. This boozy cheddar is sweet and creamy. As you near the rind, the spiciness of the bourbon becomes more pronounced. This beauty will be enjoyed by bourbon and cheese enthusiasts alike.

In 2005, Tim Welsh and Pat Ford had a vision of opening a creamery in the mountains of Northern Utah. Can you believe they only had 8 days of cheesemaking between the two of them when they started Beehive Cheese!? It's true. Not knowing what they couldn’t do, the two broke with tradition and created their own rules about what artisan cheese could be. With their families by their side, they built a company grounded in independent thinking, connectedness, and authenticity. Beehive Cheese continues to produce award-winning cheeses that bring family and friends together, even in the hardest of times.

The Baker Nest Design Co.
Born from my love of history, vintage & antique treasures, and crafting home decor; I began making barn quilts for interior decor in 2016. What began just as making these hand-crafted, painted wooden quilt blocks for my friends and family, quickly turned into Baker Nest, our bustling little business!

While I still continue to hand-make and hand-paint barn quilts, I also write barn quilt pattern books for the do-it-yourselfers, design and release seasonal barn quilt collections, teach classes locally in Southern Illinois and nationally for the American Quilter’s Society, and Country Living Magazine Fairs.

For barn quilts, pattern books, DIY materials including Fusion Mineral Paint, and event schedule, visit our website. For wholesale information (pattern books) contact us at katiebaker.nest@gmail.com

Blake Hill Preserves
Blake Hill Preserves is an English Fruit preservatory in Vermont creating innovative sweet, savory and spicy jams, marmalades and condiments for the modern pantry. A family business owned by Vicky and Joe, we combine three generations of preserve-making skills with innovative yet super elegant flavors and the finest ingredients for health-conscious customers.

Blake Hill isn't just the name of our preserves - it is where we live too! An1800s farming property nestled in the mountains surrounding the tiny village of Grafton Vermont, population 600, and voted one of New England’s prettiest towns. Settling here in 2005, we reclaimed an old sheep barn for our home and started enjoying simple country life, including making jams from the abundant wild berries surrounding our farmhouse.

Three Rivers Farm & Retreat
Three Rivers Farm + Sourdough Microbakery is run by The Byrne Family in the beautiful state of Tennessee. We make sourdough baked goods from a wild yeast sourdough starter that are not only delicious, but more easily digestible than most breads you’ll find in your local grocer. Our breads are made simply with flour, water, salt & starter, & our sourdough tortillas are unlike any other you’ve tried, made with hand-rendered lard from pasture raised pigs!

We are passionate about bringing delicious & nutritious food right to your table & are so excited to be able to ship our hand-crafted products directly to your doorstep!

Homesteading DIY from the City to the Country ~ Homegrown Household
I can still remember the first thing I designed: a brick pathway up to our 1950’s ranch house back in 1994 in Pasadena, CA. I think I drew it on a piece of paper with colored pencils. My parents paid someone to make it a reality and that was it for me. I knew I could create anything.

I didn’t really like school but I sure went to a lot of it. I have my Bachelor’s in Business and I’m a registered nurse. My husband is a former professional baseball player and he pursued me when I was finishing up nursing school. We were married within a year and off having our first baby and then another and another.

We live in California and out here it is expensive to live. We couldn’t afford an updated home. So we started in a super small condo and remodeled our way up to our current fourth house: my dream home.

It’s a gorgeous southern-style home with a gabled roof and large front porch. There aren’t many built like this out here. I drove by this home several times a week and prayed it would go on the market. Well, not only did it go on the market but it was in our price range. We had an offer in the day it became available.

Most of the land has never been touched so we are starting our homestead from scratch. I can still remember going into the power tool store and telling the owner what I wanted. He looked at me and said, “I don’t think you need that much power.” He was wrong. That day I bought my favorite tool: our brush mower. It is a beast. I’ve taken down 8 ft trees and created paths through dense forest.

We had lived with HOA’s for seven years so when we moved out here to our five acres, I could finally express myself. In these past eight months, I’ve built a fence by hand, a goat shed, a chicken run, demoed our kitchen and started on the landscaping. And I’ve made sure to put every step of the way on Instagram, so my followers can learn from my mistakes and successes. It’s honest and raw with a little bit of humor mixed in.

7 Things to Know Before You Start a Garden ~ Journey with Jill
When I started my first garden, I had no idea what to expect, what to do, or where to start. But determination propelled me through all of those uncertainties. And thankfully, I experienced enough success that I was hooked.

Eight years later, I strive to help other beginners (like I was) learn to start their own gardens without the doubt and uncertainty that I experienced.

In my book, Vegetable Gardening for Beginners, I walk beginning gardeners through starting their own gardens. But before you start making plans, building beds, or purchasing seeds, it’s important to go into this endeavor with the right mindset.

And with that in mind, here are seven things to know before you start a garden. These are seven things I wish I had known before I started mine, excerpted from my book, Vegetable Gardening for Beginners.

Grow what you eat.
Before the mouthwatering photos in seed catalogs lure you into trying a myriad of vegetables, pause for a moment. Make a list of the vegetables your family actually enjoys eating. Then, consider which of those you want to grow. The last thing you want is a bed full of kale when nobody in your family likes it. Focus on the vegetables your family wants to eat and learn to grow those well.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.
What if your family might like kale? Or what if you can’t stop thinking about purple carrots or cute cucamelons? By all means, make room for them. Earmark a small section of your garden for experimental crops. I call them “rookies” because they’re “trying out” for a permanent spot. But a garden of only experiments will probably disappoint. Keep most of your space for your family’s favorites, and fit in a few rookies to keep it fun.

First Class Farm Girl ~ Hobby Farm Mommy
I am most definitely what most people would consider a girly girl. I love sparkling champagne and pink in every shade. I love a glittering chandelier and wearing a sun dress, I even have a walk in closet full of high heels. I’ve been travelling the world as a flight attendant wearing a pill box hat and fitted retro uniform for many years. I’m certain that because I have these stereotypical feminine qualities that people would be surprised to learn I spend the majority of my time mucking out my horse stalls, renovating my chicken coop, chasing around my pet ducks and planting vegetable and flower gardens. I have been keeping my high heels well travelled and my rubber boots muddy.

My husband is also in aviation and works as a pilot but was raised on a dairy farm. I grew up in the suburbs but spent the summers horseback riding at a local stable where my passion for horses started. Although the wonder and excitement of aviation and travel can be really inspiring it was actually the longing for an honest and natural country life that bonded our hearts and connected our true roots together. We have travelled the world together but agreed that our forever home should be somewhere far from the hustle and bustle of the airport.

Our home and hobby farm is in beautiful Mulmur, Ontario about an hour north of Toronto, but certainly feels worlds away. I impatiently went shopping for horses immediately after moving to the country. My reluctant former dairy farmer husband would tell you “My wife wanted horses, I didn’t want horses, so we got horses.” He has since admittedly fallen for them as he’s witnessed our young daughter develop such patience, fortitude and compassion alongside them. It really is the sweetest thing to see the minis roam up to our front door and peek through her playroom window waiting for her to sneak them some carrots.

Grow Big or Grow Home ~
Seeds and Soil Farm
Seeds and Soil Farm, Palmer AK: “We teach, we grow and we save seed in this great land”

Seeds and Soil is located on beautiful Lazy Mountain within the Matanuska-Susitna Valley of Southcentral Alaska. Our standard last frost is Memorial Day weekend and you can have decent odds betting on a first frost the last week of August. This is a relatively short growing season for any tender plants and high standards for anything grown in between! 

At Summer Solstice we are nearly at 19 hours of daylight…..short day plants will have some challenges without proper sleeping masks (which is a must during the summer here). With our over abundance of daylight, our crops can pack on the size in a short amount of time. Our growing season also produces some monstrous mosquitos that are truly relentless without a warming fire on overcast days. 

“Grow big or grow home” is considered an understatement when discussing our states most popular ruminant; your fence should be as tall as a legal bulls rack. From apples to cauliflower there isn't a vegetable that moose do not like (except for radish as pictured below). One evening on a farm walk I noticed that there were about 20 apples ready for harvest within the fenced area. I was a bit tired, so I put it off until the morning. At dawn there were 5 apples left- that moose hopped a 6 foot fence without a single clue left behind. 

We have our fair share of “pests” (although different from the Lower 48) but we have our own big breeds of slugs, aphids, sawflies, grubs and flies. To counter these there are powerhouses of lacewings, daddy longlegs, damsel bugs, ground beetles, lady beetles and so much more. Our farm is “eco regenerative, no-till, permaculture based, naturally grown, no plastic, and human scale agriculture”. We grow our food within an ecosystem of living soil, plants and creatures. Alaska sure does provide all the creatures…..we provide the seed and the soil.

Watermelon Cucumber Salad with Feta
Cube up 3 cups of fresh, seedless watermelon and place in a large bowl. Next, dice up 1½C cucumber and add to the bowl. I prefer using an English, Persian or Japanese Long cucumber- the kind of cucumber that is seedless and doesn’t need peeling.

In a separate bowl, mix together ½C diced red onion, 2TB finely chopped...
My name is Katie Neumann and I am a garden-to-table enthusiast living in northern California with my wonderful husband and our two young boys. If I have a free moment you can almost always find me digging out in the garden or stirring up something in the kitchen. I founded Deeply Rooted Kitchen out of my passionate belief that every great meal is rooted in the garden. Becoming more connected to where your food comes from (even growing it yourself!) and cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients will not only improve your health but will naturally elevate the quality of your meals as well.

When you start a recipe out with fresh, local, seasonal ingredients the food practically does the work in the kitchen for you! The recipe I have for you today features watermelon, cucumbers, onions and mint- all goodies that are abounding in the garden this time of year! This recipe is very simple to prepare and serves as a delicious side dish (or main dish!) for those days when you don’t want to turn on the stove. It is crisp, refreshing and is served best on a warm summer night outside alongside those you love most.

  • 3C cubed, seedless watermelon
  • 1½C diced cucumber
  • ½C diced red onion
  • 2TB finely chopped mint
  • 2TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 2TB freshly squeezed...
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