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.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Homemade Butter Recipe

Note: This post contains affiliate links. 

Every time I take a tiny step towards self-sufficiency I feel great satisfaction and pride.  This week my daughter and I made our own butter.  True, we didn't milk a cow, let the cream rise, and use an antique butter churn.  We simply bought heavy cream at the grocery store and shook it in a mason jar. Nevertheless my smile was as wide as the soup bowl on the dinner table that night.  We slathered that butter on artisan bread and dunked it in the soup I made in the crock pot.  Simple pleasure.  Next time we will get raw milk from a local farm and try it from scratch (being that we don't have a milk cow of our own...). Here's how we did it.

You will need:
A pint of heavy whipping cream
A quart sized mason jar 

Pour the pint of cream into the mason jar and close the lid tightly.  Shake vigorously until the contents separate into butter and buttermilk.  I've been told this takes about 10 minutes, but it took us closer to 30.  You will see the cream thicken almost immediately and then all of a sudden you will have a mass of butter and liquid.  Pour the liquid off (our cats went crazy for it), replace the cap, and keep shaking.  Again, pour the liquid off so all you have is butter in the jar.  Add a little (about 1/2 cup very cold water to the jar and shake again.  Pour off the water, scoop out the butter, and voila!  Of course you will want to refrigerate it.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not represent the views of the Woodstock Animal Sanctuary.

For the last few months, I've had the pleasure of volunteering once a week at the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.  Mostly I clean up poop, and I love every second of it.  These animals (The Lucky Ones, as Jenny Brown, co-founder, calls them) now have a safe and loving home for as long as they shall live.  The sanctuary is home to chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, cows, pigs, and more.  Their stories of life before arriving at the sanctuary are nauseating, and sometimes gruesome.  Even if an animal is destined for the dinner plate, he/she deserves a cruelty free, respected life of being cared for.  These orphans were abused and neglected, made ill by a lack of proper care.  But they hold no grudges, which is more than I can say for a lot of humans.  Their gratitude melts my heart.

Clide, a rooster, greets me as I start my shift by walking me to the volunteer center and then following me around to make sure I am doing my job. Sheep look up at me and smile. Goats knock over my wheelbarrow and climb on my shovel as I work, creating mischief that can only make me laugh.   A baby pig, runs to me for some back scratches when I call her by name.  They all make me smile, and I come alive each time I pull into the driveway and pull on my muck boots. I am the one who is grateful for their unconditional love which has helped me to feel joy once again.