Livet är bra! (Life is good)

Ace, our resident foodie photographer, let us know that our glamping trip to Lindsborg, Kansas, would be extra special for her. Her family members are Swedish-speaking Finns and, well, why don’t I just let her tell it?

Take it away, Ace!

Uff da! Where to begin? Lutefisk and köttbullar (Swedish meatballs) have been a Christmas tradition in my farmour’s (grandmother’s) house my whole life.

My farmour, Ingegerd, was born in Jakobstad, Finland, a Swedish-speaking border town in Finland. And my farfar (grandfather), Edwin, was raised by his Finnish immigrant parents in logging camps in northwest Washington.


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Working Class Heroes

What do cow birthing, mattress recycling, maggot farming, salt mining, skull cleaning, and airport runway maintenance have in common?

One fearless man with, well, more than just a little dirt under his fingernails.

His name is Mike Rowe.


Photo by Sklmsta via Wikimedia Commons

You probably know Rowe from his television show, Dirty Jobs, in which he spent several years traveling to all 50 states, working as an apprentice on over 300 jobs that most people go out of their way to avoid.

Septic Tank Cleaner?


Shock value notwithstanding, Mike’s ultimate goal was to spotlight and celebrate hard-working Americans who make civilized life possible for the rest of us.

I love this guy.

And he just keeps getting better.

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Perennial Plate

Have you had a chance to catch The Perennial Plate?

The Perennial Plate is an online weekly documentary series dedicated to socially responsible and adventurous eating.

Who doesn’t love THAT idea?

Creator Daniel Klein and co-producer/cameragirl Mirra Fine are traveling the world exploring the wonders, complexities, and stories behind the ever-more-connected global food system.

“Klein, who has cooked at the restaurants of Thomas Keller, Heston Blumenthal, and Tom Colicchio … offers a closer look at where our food can actually come from (but often doesn’t) than anything you’re likely to see on the Food Network,” says the Huffington Post.

The episodes follow the culinary, agricultural, and hunting explorations of this intrepid chef.

“Season One took place over a calendar year in Minnesota where, every Monday for 52 weeks, the duo released short films about good food,” reports the Plate’s website. “In Season Two, Klein and Fine traveled across America, taking the viewer on a journey to appreciate and understand where good food comes from and how to enjoy it.”

This season, Klein and Fine are blazing a trail around the world—to China, Japan, India, Spain, Morocco, Italy, Turkey, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa, and Ethiopia. Along the way, they’re telling the stories of real food and the people who make it.

In a recent episode called “Do Not Blame the Sea,” the destination was Sri Lanka, where a small fishing family was nearly decimated by the 2004 tsunami. “And yet today, they still fish (either on stilts or in a boat) because they have to do it to survive,” explains Klein.

Even though I’ll never be able to catch up on the site’s bounty of past episodes, I can’t wait to see where they’ll go next.

Who knew I could be an armchair traveler and a footrest foodie at the same time?

If you’re already a fan, share your favorite episode.

Photo by Lars Swanson

Photo by Lars Swanson

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Good morning!

This is the pathway that greets our crew every morning, winter, rain, or shine. Yesterday, we were all back to work but the sunshine and warmth from the weekend turned to rain. I spent most of last weekend in the garden planting 50 new perennials in one of our main flower beds (day lily, poppy, columbine, and lupine). How about you? Have you been in your garden yet? What did you do on Mother’s Day weekend? I also took a long Sunday nap. On Saturday I scrubbed the walls and floor of our dairy, cleaned out the cow’s water tank, took photos around the farm, and helped hubby with an excavation project. (More on that later.)



Mother’s Gift Posthumous

Enchanting …

How else would I describe Wonderland?

(I’m not talking about Alice’s old stomping grounds.)

This flight of fancy is all grown up and pours smooth as “dream” from the eyes of That’s the best

Kirsty Mitchell, an English photographer who beckons us into a whole new world of wonder.

When Kirsty’s mom died in 2008, she was devastated. Her mother, an English teacher and brilliant storyteller, had been her lifelong inspiration, weaving stories into the fabric of Kirsty’s soul.

Struggling to find an outlet for her grief, Kirsty began submerging herself in artistic expression.

“Real life became a difficult place to deal with, and I found myself retreating further into an alternative existence through the portal of my camera,” she explains. “This escapism grew into the concept of creating an unexplained storybook without words, dedicated to her [my mother], that would echo the fragments of the fairytales she read to me constantly as a child.”

And Wonderland, a stunning series of photographs like you’ve never seen before, was born.

“All the characters came to me in my dreams,” she says, and it has been thrilling to bring them into reality. “After all, it’s not often you get to stand beside an 8-foot princess in the rain, or witness the dawn with a dancing circus girl on stilts!”

Her magical images are not created in Photoshop, nor are they staged in exotic locations around the globe. They have been captured with her camera in special spots within a short drive of her home in Surrey, England.

After three years, the Wonderland series is nearly complete, and I’m excited to hear there’s a book in the works that will accompany Kirsty’s exhibition.

“I just know that the day I see my mother’s name printed on the inside cover of the Wonderland book, it will feel like I have finally fulfilled my promise to myself and her precious memory,” says Kirsty.

Delve into Kirsty’s online diary to savor behind-the-scenes shots and learn the secrets behind creating each photograph.

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happy HAPPY birthday to MaryJane and Carol!


Carol and MaryJane share the same birthday—probably the reason why they’ve worked so well together for so many years—they’re really two peas in a pod. So today we’re celebrating their birthday farmgirl-style with a triple chocolate cake (Saralou’s surprise), gluten-free brownies (Karina’s surprise), huckleberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and lemon cupcakes with huckleberry frosting (my surprise made by my friend Traci).

Yup, no pictures of us today cause we’re reserving the day for sweat pants and celebrating (eating). I’m thinking we’ll make popcorn for lunch.

raspberries all “rowed up”

My raspberries are what farmers around here refer to as “all rowed up.” Sho ‘nuf.


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