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.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Farm Table: Healthy Granola Cookies

"Cookie" is a word that makes all toddlers pay attention. (More so than the word "no"...Hard to believe, I know.) Heck, even my ears perk up at the sound of "cookie", and that's good enough for me.  My niece, who also has a toddler at home, shared her idea for healthy cookies (thank you Anne!) that are made from kitchen staples:  peanut butter, bananas, oats, and raisins.  In fact, that's her entire recipe: Mix these four
ingredients together and bake for 15 minutes.  So today my daughter and I got out the mixing bowl and did just that.  We poured spoonfuls of peanut butter into a bowl and added one mashed banana, a handful of raisins (the size of my hand, not hers), and some oats.  We tossed in some pecans just for fun.  We mixed it all together with a wooden spoon until it seemed like the right consistency.  Then I patted little lumps of dough into cookie shapes and placed them onto a cookie sheet.  Fifteen minutes later, viola!  Healthy cookies!

Our first attempt did turn out a little dry (nothing a glass of milk couldn't cure).  I'm considering adding a smidge or two of applesauce next time to see if this helps.  And I'm thinking of all kinds of other ingredients that could be added or substituted:  craisins, carob chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, honey, apples, blueberries, pears, and the list goes on.  You don't even have to be adventurous in the kitchen to bake these cookies into a satisfying snack!  So try it and let me know what ingredients you used.  We can compare notes here in this blog post.

These tasty treats are great for packing up and taking on our city excursions to ward off crankiness caused by crowded subway cars.  And I'm looking forward to packing some for extra energy on a long hike in the country too.
Bon apetit!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Prairie Homestead
My wonderful sister-in-law (thank you Karen!) sent me a link to this awesome blog called The Prairie Homestead ( and here I discovered a kindred bohemian farmgirl.  I immediately purchased Jill Winger's two eBooks (Your Custom Homestead: Awakening a Fresh Vision of Homesteading and Natural Homestead: 40+ Recipes for Natural Critters & Crops).  She also has a free eBook called The Essential Homestead: Successfully Using Essential Oils in your Home, Barnyard, and Beyond, which I also downloaded.  The next day I read Your Custom Homestead from cover to cover in one sitting!

 Jill defines a modern take on homesteading as "a mentality that strives to go back to a simpler way of life and celebrates wholesome foods and the natural world.  It's a mindset that resurrects time-honored skills and appreciates the simple, yet meaningful, pleasures in life." 

She continues on to identify 21 steps to creating your own custom homestead regardless of whether you live in a high rise building in a big city (like moi) or on 100 acres of raw land.  With her permission, I will chronicle my own journey through these 21 steps here on this blog.  I would love it if you joined me as you discover how Jill's ideas can make your own homestead adventure more meaningful for you.  Send me a note, write a comment after each post, and by all means check out the inspiration of Jill Winger on her blog!

I also posted a link to her recipe for homemade liquid dish soap on my Homestead Inspiration board on Pinterest. Once I have all the ingredients, I will let you know how I made out.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An Invitation to the Bohemian Farmgirl Blog

Fine Art by Elise Mahan available on Etsy
I have come to realize that blogging is like a constellation--connecting stars until something magical appears.  As someone who desperately wants to create a beautiful life in the country, I am not very attracted to all things technology, particularly social networking.  I'm much rather meet up with someone in person in a local bakery and share ideas over coffee and crusty bread.  I also fluctuate in mood between wanting to isolate in nature for days at a time like a bear in hibernation and longing to connect with other bohemian farmgirls who share the same creative passion.  ...Which is precisely why blogging is so perfect.  Here I can do both, and I don't even have to fix my hair.

As I read back on my journal pages for the past year, I see just how much clarity I have gained.  I know what I want.  I know what I don't want.  I know what I will do and what I won't do.  While my family and I are busy with this stage of our city lives, I have been able to explore ideas before making any major investments, commitments, or decisions.  Now the steps are clear, and with each new insight, things feel more right.  So moving to New York City hasn't been a step in the wrong direction; it has been a necessary part of the evolution of my dream.

So here is my invitation to you:  Do live on a farm or homestead, or imagine doing so?  Does the perfect day include creating and hiking or napping under a tree?  Do you long to grow your own food and serve it up on a beautiful handmade plate?  Do you count sheep, goats, chickens, llamas, cows, and bees before you go to sleep?  Do you wish you could make cheese, butter, soap, yarn, and maple syrup in your kitchen?  Do you scour flea markets and vintage shops for things you can repurpose or revive? Do you look forward to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival more than Christmas?  Do you want to do any and all of these things in a dress you made yourself?  If you said yes to one or more of the above, please, become a star in my constellation.  I am looking forward to meeting you.