Farmgirl Spirit Merit Badge

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 4,945 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—6,765 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 Each Other/Farmgirl Spirit Merit Badge, I found a creative outlet for my spring fever. Spring fever? Say it isn’t so! Farm Romance Fever sounds more like it.

Having all these badges under my belt (figuratively speaking, of course), I really wanted to do something with them. Namely, show them off a bit. All in the name of hospitality, naturally. I didn’t really want to show off the badges, per se, but the skills I acquired earning those badges. Know what I mean, organic string bean?

Just a little farmgirl humor there …

I always host a party in Spring. Maybe it’s that the days are getting a bit longer, maybe it’s the fact that I’ve done my spring cleaning and want to show it off before the dust settles once again, maybe it’s the joy of packing up the sweaters and boots and pulling out the flip-flops and sundresses, but whatever it is, I’m always ready for some friendship and good eats ‘long about May! So, in my best handwriting, I mailed an invitation to my idol, a man who turned 80 yesterday, a man who has used his fame and fortune to help the farmers of America a tremendous amount—Willie Nelson. Imagine my surprise when not only did he RSVP, he RSVP-ed a resounding Yes! Evidently, I was not the only one in need of some farmgirl interaction, eh?

First things first, I planned my menu. I used to plan my menus based on whatever was on the cover of the first foodie magazine that caught my eye standing in line at the grocery store. Nowadays, I base my menu according to what’s in season and what’s calling my name at the Farmers’ Market.


Do you hear that?

That plaintive cry of “Yoo hoo … over here! It’s the heirloom tomatoes talkin’ atcha!”

No? I must be hearing things again. No matter. On with the show.

This weekend brought some lovely asparagus, fresh arugula, wild garlic, and some rhubarb that nearly made my mouth water just peering at it as it lay innocently in my basket. The recipes were flying through my head with reckless abandon and total disregard for the state of my kitchen.

Here’s what I came up with for my backyard farmgirl date with Willie:

  • Asparagus frittata with eggs from my girls (the feathered ones, of course)
  • Flat bread pizzas with olive oil and garlic, local sheep cheese, and fresh arugula (and a tiny squeeze of lemon vinaigrette)
  • Roasted chickens (at first, I was going to cover my girls eyes when I brought the main course came out, but it turns out they cheerfully peck at any bones. Little cannibals.)
  • Rhubarb tarts with local cream – whipped, as you would expect.

I documented my enchanting evening with my newly found (and newly badged) skill: photography.

I think this Farmgirl Spirit Dinner may just be renamed The First Annual Farmgirl Spirit Dinner. I’m already looking forward to the second and the third, and so on and so forth. And who knows? With my new convert to the farmgirl way of life, I may end up the subject of a song next year …


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Maybe the Farmgirl Spirit Dinner will be the new name for Farm to Table events! It has a great ring to it, don’t you think? That name then gives a bit more license to Glamp up the table settings and set the stage for something like a “Round-up Weekend”–An opportunity to tent camp, trailer glamp, and wear your best cowgirl boots and lace skirts! Think of all the badges that could be used to pull off such an event.

  2. Karlyne says:

    Wow, the portrait of you and Willie is amazing! And I like Winnie’s idea, too; send me Willie’s email address and I’ll see if he can make it to a Round-up Weekend. I think he’d like all those lace skirts and cowboy boots…

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