In the Barnyard: Who are Bohemian Farmgirls?

Bohemian Farmgirl is something that has evolved over years of trying to figure out how to weave all of the meaningful parts of my life together. This is what it means to me, and if it touches part of your soul then my guess is that you are a Bohemian Farmgirl too.

1. Growing a Family--First and foremost, comes family. This may be your biological or chosen family, but whomever your family includes, it's roots dig deep and provide grounding for growth above the surface of the soil.

2. Planting a Farm--Modern homesteading is a way of life for a Bohemian Farmgirl. This may include anything from a windowsill garden to acres of land, buying local and supporting small farms to growing and raising all of your food yourself, and cultivating dreams of homesteading no matter if you live in the city or country.

3. Nurturing a Creative Life--This is the heart of a Bohemian Farmgirl and what brings us all together creating a community of ideas and inspiration. Living a creative life is the wellspring of joy that provides energy to make our dreams reality, no matter what the circumstances. And we all help each other along the way.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bohemian Farmgirl in the Big City: Morningside Heights Farmer's Market

Sundays and Thursdays are farmer's market day in Morningside Heights, and I think if she had any concept of time, even my baby would look forward to it.  I'm not even sure she notices the coincidence that after we make our biweekly trip, she enjoys her meals more.  Last Sunday we bought an 8oz container of chevre from Ardith Mae Farm and she and I devoured it before my husband even knew he was missing out.  We ate it on everything from honeycrisp apples to muffins from Meredith's bakery in Kingston.  When we lived in Ulster county, we would actually shop at the Kingston Farmer's Market.  So Sundays and Thursdays also become a little swig of tonic for my homesick Barnheart.  As I type, I am eating a burger (started eating them again for health reasons...) made from organic beef from Sawkill Farms in Red Hook, where we used to live.  I appreciate that even though these farms are no longer local for me, the farmers travel to the city a couple times a week and I can purchase their goods locally.  Every dollar spent is ingested with love and I enjoy the food so much when it is direct from the farmer whose hands planted and harvested it.  I don't think it's my imagination that the food just tastes better than what I get from the organic section at the grocery store either.  When the food spends less time on a truck and on a shelf, the flavor doesn't fade.  And of course, you gotta love that you can get things like purple broccoli (yes!  purple broccoli!) at the farmer's market.  I'm sure that even kids who hate to eat their greens would get a kick out of that. 
And for shoppers who are on a fixed budget or low income, the green markets even accept food stamps. In fact, for every $5 you spend in food stamps, the market will give you an extra $2 for free to be spent on produce.  Bon apetit!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Book Review: Greenhorns

Go to for info on the film
If you've ever thought about becoming a farmer, love food, or simply wondered what goes into the day to day grind growing of our food, this book will give you a voyeur's peek into the life of the new farmer.  If you weren't already, you will be mighty grateful to farmers everywhere and may even speak your gratitude to the ones at your local farmers' market.  Choosing to be a farmer is a career full of muscle aches, never ending stress, battles against culture's ideas of farmers and food, and very little money. And it seems that many of  today's new farmers are educated environmental activists that have to beg and borrow for a patch of tillable earth, as opposed to the farms of generations past that were handed down through the family.  Hooray for farmers, "new" and "old" and for whatever path lead them to grow the food on my table and yours!  Truly, you are among the heroes that walk (and till) the earth. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Farmgirl Fashionista: The Joy of Sewing your own Clothing

Loulouthi Clippings in Lichen
While the rest of the city dwellers are either sitting on cloudy beaches in bikinis or at their favorite chain store soaking up Labor Day sales, I am seated at my sewing machine crafting a vintage inspired skirt for myself.  If you make your own clothes, you do not do it for thrifty reasons.  Sewing garments for oneself is a labor of love.  For the price of the 2 yards of fabric that I purchased on Etsy for this skirt I made, I could be taking my place on  long checkout lines with savvy consumers with a small armload of bargains.  True, the clothes I would buy at the retailer would be "disposable" (only survive one season due to poor quality) and the skirt I am crafting will last at least a decade.   So I suppose it is less expensive to make your own clothes if you look at it that way.  But this is not the reason I do it.
The skirt I made today was with a velveteen fabric with a garden pattern of flowers and butterflies in colors that make me drool designed by Anna Maria Horner.  The pattern is a vintage inspired one that I picked up at one of the aforementioned chain stores for about $3.99.  So far I have made 2 skirts from it, and it is now one of my favorites.  Four bucks well spent.  But the thrill for me in crafting this skirt is 1. my addiction to beautiful fabric and 2. knowing that this is the only one like it in the whole world.  Unlike the items I could have bought at the mall, it is also not likely that I will step out onto the sidewalk and see someone else wearing my exact same skirt. And oh yes, there is great satisfaction in the art of sewing itself.  :)