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.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Review: Homegrown & Handmade
I just finished reading the book Homegrown & Handmade: A practical guide to more self reliant living by Deborah Niemann.  This is a fantastic handbook that covers just about everything for the beginner homesteader.  The only thing I found missing was a chapter on beekeeping.  The author's no nonsense approach is truly practical, as she shares her hands on knowledge that she gained from her own experiences (including mistakes).  Of course, if you want to have sheep on your farm, for example, you should do more reading than this one book and get as much experience as you can before you bring them home.  But this book will give you an idea of what your in for if you do want sheep, so you can decide if you want to go ahead and do further research.  Once it is my turn to have a homestead, I feel like I've gotten a little head start from learning what this book has to offer!  No doubt I will make mistakes of my own, but I have a few notes on what not to do as well as what to do that I must credit to Niemann.  Thank you! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Book Review: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

I'm only a hundred pages into this amazing book, but I had to share it now instead of waiting til I finished it.  Barbara Kingsolver is my favorite writer, and I have read her fiction books.  I happened to find the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle on our building's free table and I snatched it up.  It's a memoir of a year in the life of her family during their eat only what food is in season (and preferrable local) project.  Yes, it's somewhat of a cheerleading book on eating local and the slow food movement. But she writes truthfully about her family's struggles and triumphs with the year long commitment they all made.  Kingsolver and her husband Steve have two children, one in third grade and another entering college.  They made this commitment together as a family, not as parents enforcing a rule that must be obeyed.  So their daughters were invested in the process too, even though they had to give up some of their favorite foods, or at least not have access to them all year round. The project is somewhat enlightening to them all, to say the least.

The book offers insight into the factory farms that fill most of our supermarkets with what we Americans generally call meat and produce.  But the information is supplied in such a way that she does not tell you what you should do;  she merely offers the facts and then lets you decide.  She also writes about just how much of an adjustment it was to make the switch to in season food, and how the family celebrates new recipes and enjoys food so much more.  They do have a large garden where they grow their own food, and watch it in anxious anticipation of the harvest that will fill their cooking pots.  They supplement with trips to the farmer's market.  Kingsolver's older daughter contributes essays on her perspective as a young adult to the book. Her younger daughter even starts an organic egg and chicken business so that she can save up to buy a horse. 

And the best part is, there are seasonal menus and recipes in the book and on the website so that you are not lost in a mountain of collard greens and eating corn til it's coming out your ears (no pun intended).  Check it out at