Monthly Archives: August 2015

Dreaming of a Farm?

If you’re a farmgirl at heart who’s planted in the city, you’ve probably dreamed about owning your own farm. Well, look what we discovered on our Farmgirl Connection chatroom from Barbara in Ithaca, NY (GreenSleeves2015):


My parents have both passed away and it is time to sell their small farm (14+ acres) and Victorian home. It is located in Laurens, NY. It sits in a lovely rural spot, yet close to many conveniences. We hope there is someone out there looking for just such a terrific property, and I’d like to tell you a little about it. This farm is an excellent and exciting choice for a homestead, craft brewery, organic produce farm, or other home-based business. The house has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, an extra kitchen with floor-to-ceiling built-in cabinets, an amazing amount of storage for an old (1880) home (6 lighted, walk-in closets), and gorgeous woodwork throughout. There is a 2 1/2-story barn, chicken house and detached garage. There are 70 blueberry bushes, fenced with netting, that yield about 200 quarts a year. The land and buildings have been well maintained. There is a stream on the property.

Interestingly, wild hops grow abundantly on the property—AND—there is a great need in NYS for more hops growers. There is a large new brewery going in Oneonta, and a hops processing plant is in the works. This could be a great opportunity for the right person or family. We’ve been told that a 5-acre, fully mature planting of hops could yield a $50,000 income per year. There is room for this, as well as much more on this excellent property. This link will take you to more information. We are not listed with a realtor, but are hoping to find the right family on our own.

If you’d like to make an appointment to see it, or just to ask more questions, please call Margaret at 607-432-8063.


Just for fun, we thought you might like to see what farmgirls are saying on our chatroom about Barbara’s farm:

Nini, Pennsylvania (Ninibini) says:
Oh, BARBARA! First, let me say how sorry I am for your loss. So hard. And letting go of a family treasure such as their home and farm must be very, very difficult. Having said that, though, I think I’ve just seen my dream farm!!! What I wouldn’t give to be able to relocate and start a new life there… We were upstate New York last fall and I fell in love, absolute love. But I think I could live a little further south and be quite happy. If only… If only… Thank you for telling us about your parents’ beautiful home and farm. I pray that the perfect family will move in and be able to honor their hopes, dreams, and hard work… and the love they built there! God bless – I wish you the best! Hugs – Nini

Laura, St Augustine, FL (RabbitGirl) says:
Hi Barbara – I am so sorry for the loss of your parents. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to have to sell their home.

I actually know where Laurens is. I graduated SUNY Oneonta a long time ago, but I imagine and hope it hasn’t changed all that much, so I wanted to offer a testimonial that Otsego County is absolutely gorgeous and rural and the kind of place any true Farmgirl would love. Your parents’ home is beautiful. If my life circumstances were different, I’d want it for myself.

Best wishes to you in finding the right family that will love and preserve your parents’ farm.





food waste sculptures

We’ve talked about food waste.

Photo by Foerster via Wikimedia Commons

How to avoid it,

how entire cities are composting it,

and how some folks eat it.

But I recently discovered another use for food that has passed its prime.


While you may not want to replicate this at home, I know you’ll appreciate the aesthetic. Lauren Purnell, a Canadian photography student living in London, has achieved social-media star status by crafting uniquely beautiful works of art from pitched produce.

Watch this video clip from CBS This Morning:

On second thought, moms might just want to recreate Lauren’s lovelies in their kitchens (using fresher veggies). Imagine how enticing they would be to pint-sized picky eaters.

Visit Lauren’s Culinary Canvas website to see more.




In the last two pages of our children’s book, Moo-n Over Main Street Metropolis, we created a project for kids so they can have their very own Jersey cow. All they have to do is make a color copy of the cow, Sally O’Mally, in the book onto cardstock, write their cow’s name on her pinafore, cut her out, take a photo of the two of them together, and mail or e-mail it to us. We’ve posted some of the photos on our website.

Here’s a glimpse of Dolly Anna and Gladys Pippi on their first trip with us.

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We’re Celebrating our Farmcation

Since we’re in between moving out of our old home and moving into our new home, we’re bunking up at the farm with NannyJane. We’re calling it our “farmcation,” and you might see a few more farm pics in the coming weeks.

We just got back from an East Coast trip, so we’re waking up with the sun and the rooster, and this morning, we decided we’d wander out our back door at the farm …

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A beautiful morning with my favorite hikers.

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Know Your Food Merit Badge, Intermediate Level, Part 1

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,571 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—9,327 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life   

For this week’s Farm Kitchen/Know Your Food Intermediate Level Merit Badge, I cultivated a few of my favorite recipes, revamped them so they’d be completely organic, and then packed all the ingredients up in my charming (if I do say so myself) reusable and homemade shopping bags. Why, you may ask? To take to my friend’s home and to make them dinner with, of course.

We farmgirls are a gregarious and generous bunch.

I was a bit nervous, to tell the truth. These particular friends were dyed-in-the-wool processed-food eaters. In fact, I am loath to call what they eat food. It’s more like … well, more like a deadly concoction of preservatives, MSG, food colorings, additives, and high-fructose corn syrup.

Speaking of HFCS, my little chickadees, part of earning my Intermediate Level Merit Badge was to completely and utterly eliminate that particular substance. I thought it’d be simple. Easy peasy, lemon squeasy.

Water tower in Rochester, Minnesota. Photo by Jonathunder via Wikimedia Commons.

I was wrong.

Talk about insidious. That ingredient creeps and crawls its way into our foods in areas you’d never imagine. If HFCS was a spy, we’d be in trouble. It can slip into your house undetected. It can wriggle its way into your coffee-stand mocha, slip into your salad dressing, find new life in a bag of snack-time potato chips, and even be in the children’s neighborhood lemonade stand. Seriously, this stuff is the Jason Bourne of syrups. (Although Matt Damon is much more attractive).

Anyway, once I started paying uber-attention, I was shocked and alarmed. I realized my days of buying nearly anything pre-made had come to a sudden halt.

Unless my cookie craving could be satiated with something homemade, I was concerned I would never be able to enter a bakery again. I mourned.

Unless my local and favorite lunch buffet could revamp their menu, I was going to have to fulfill my cravings for enchiladas and lobster bake all by myself. I weeped.

Unless I could figure out the magical list of ingredients for my weekly Hazelnut White Chocolate Pecan Caramel Mocha with Whip and Sprinkles, I was gonna have to quit cold turkey. I gnashed my teeth.

But enough about me. Back to my friends and my bags o’ groceries.

I had to bring every single ingredient: we’re talking salt and pepper and olive oil and everything. I just couldn’t trust their pantry with my beloved and high-quality food items, and besides, I wanted to show them just how good organic and local and homemade could be without the slightest bit of cheating.

First, I had to remove about five billion dishes out of their oven. Turns out, they don’t use their oven.

Like, ever.

It’s for storage.

I found this odd, strange, and somewhat distressing, but I soldiered on. Next, I had them taste-test my homegrown tomatoes, which they were somewhat loathe to do. I didn’t blame them: I used to hate tomatoes. Those pink, mealy, gross things I found on my hamburgers or thrown haphazardly into my salad? Nasty. But my bright red (or sometimes purple or orange) ‘maters from my garden? A treat that would transform any skeptic.

All my friends agreed they had never tasted anything like my heirloom variety, and in moments, I had none left for my garnish. No matter, it was mission accomplished already!

Stay tuned for how the rest of my experiment and badge earning went next time …