“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” ~Umberto Eco
Farmgirl & lambs Green Hill Farm “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson Wishing you a wonderful day!
“Walking Dash” Green Hill Farm June 2020 “To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards […]
Just having some fun with this cheeky, little acrostic poem, because….. you know we’ve all been there at one time or another. Here’s wishing you a whatever-free day! 😉 “Whatever” by Tonya Rieley Hengerer When a situation Has reached A perfectly and Thoroughly ridiculous state and Emoting or dealing with it further would be a Very tiring Endeavor, this Really great word just sums it up!
When we hear someone speak of a family heirloom, we may envision a pocket watch, silver teapot or even a quilt. Recipes are also treasured pieces of family history passed down from generation to generation. This tomato soup recipe originally belonged to my great-grandmother, Delia Crumpaker Rieley and dates back to the 1800s. I remember watching Grandma Rieley making it during the winter months with juice from tomatoes canned the previous summer. Last week, with temperatures dropping, I decided to make my family’s heirloom recipe for tomato soup; I made it in my great-grandmother’s kitchen with homemade juice from tomatoes grown on our 106-year-old family farm. I loved being part of that continuity. In taking time to carry on simple traditions, not only do we connect with the past, but we perpetuate memories that we hold dear. My great-grandmother most likely made this tomato soup with fresh milk from Green Hill Dairy Farm and the summer’s bounty of tomatoes picked from my great-grandfather’s vegetable garden. It is very simple, only requiring 3 ingredients; however, don’t let its simplicity fool you. It’s delicious! Just the thing on a cold evening–it really hits the spot! Serve casually in a mug or in a bowl garnished with a little basil for color (my addition). Oh, and don’t forget oyster crackers–the perfect accompaniment. Enjoy! Heirloom Recipe: Tomato Soup *Use organic ingredients when possible Serves 4 Ingredients: 1 quart tomato juice (homemade is best) 1 […]
*This post originally appeared in September 2014. It is the last post in a trilogy titled, Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective. I posted the second part of this journey yesterday as I am celebrating the completion of the restoration of my home and sixteen years of living on Green Hill Farm this month. A kind thank you to everyone who took the time to read or re-read Retrospective #2. In looking back on the experience of saving my family’s homeplace, I’ve realized that not only was it a gesture of love, but more importantly, it was an act of faith. Faith, or wearing my rose-colored glasses as I like to say, sustained us through difficult times and propelled us forward. I don’t know where we would have been without it. At the beginning of this journey, shortly after my parents offered us the homeplace, my mom and I took a walk through the house. I remember walking through the dark, dimly lit downstairs hallway, the musty smell of rooms left undisturbed for too long, and cobwebs carefully covering yesterday’s treasures. I remember slowly climbing the stairs, counting each one as I went up. It made me think of Granddaddy. He once shared a story of the time his Grandmother Rieley visited when he was just a boy; She asked, “John, how many steps are there?” He quickly replied, “Sixteen!” He told me that he knew the answer because […]
*This post originally appeared in September 2014. I was celebrating ten years of living on Green Hill Farm (purchased in 1912 by my great-grandparents) and the restoration of my family’s homeplace. I thought remembering this milestone seemed like a good way to start the blog, Fourth Generation Farmgirl. Every May, I like to re-publish this post for new readers. It’s an introduction to this blog, but even more, it’s a nice reminder for me of the importance of continuity. May 2020 marks the 16-year anniversary of living in my ancestral home (circa 1790). For those of you who may have already read this post, I apologize for its repetition; however, if you choose to read it again, you have my thanks. : ) There’s a sign that hangs in our vestibule or small covered porch that reads “PERSEVERANCE,” and it’s been our mantra since moving to Green Hill Farm. My husband and I were in our early 30s when we decided to take on this project. Sometimes when we look back at pictures we say, “WHAT in the world were we thinking? Were we INSANE?!!” Whatever the answer, it was the path taken. This path has lead us on a journey that has been difficult and challenging at times but rewarding and enriching, too. Anyway, we all know that anything worthwhile isn’t easy. Which brings me to the next piece of our story. The first day we visited the house after construction […]
Eiffel Tower Sunset Paris, France October 2017 Farmguy and I visited Paris, France a few years ago, and we absolutely loved it. It’s a fabulous city for walking, especially since there seems to be a gem around every corner. From its beautiful architecture, fantastic museums, lovely gardens, amazing history, and of course, food and wine, it was difficult to choose a favorite experience; However, if I were pressed, I think it would be visiting the historic art store, Sennelier—which we happily discovered while looking for something else. Located on the Left Bank of the River Seine, directly across from the Louvre museum, this crowded little shop has provided supplies to artists for more than 100 years. Gustave Sennelier opened his art supply store in 1887, just a few blocks from the most famous art school in Paris, Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In the beginning, Sennelier sold paints made by various manufacturers. Later, he decided to produce his own paints, traveling all over Europe to buy the best raw materials. It was such a thrill to walk through this old art shop choosing paints and brushes from the very same place where Cézanne, Picasso, Gauguin, and van Gogh bought oil paints and pastels so many years ago. Here’s the thing: Paris is full of treasures. All you have to do is be willing to explore! Have a wonderful day!
I love asparagus, not just because it’s delicious and has lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. I love it, because it’s perennial. No matter how long and cold the winter has been, that dutiful spring vegetable is one of the first signs of life in my kitchen garden every year. And, is it ever welcome! However, I must admit that I owe its presence entirely to my dad. Dad is the most talented and diligent gardener I know, producing picture-perfect vegetable gardens with enough corn, squash, beans, and tomatoes to feed a small country. He started this little asparagus patch a few years before I moved back home. He was gardening on the very same spot that my great-grandfather and grandfather cultivated years ago. Dad really liked this particular area as it has about a foot of premium topsoil. So, I have to say that he wasn’t overly excited when I requested that he relinquish it so that I could start my own kitchen garden. He impressed upon me that I needed to take “good care” of the asparagus patch, because it was “QUITE an endeavor” to get it established: first, a trench is dug deeply enough to protect the root system of the plant during the winter months; second, it must be kept clean–no weeds; third, don’t cut foliage down until after first frost (necessary for photosynthesis for next year’s crop); fourth, fertilize annually; and last, it takes about […]
Green Hill Farm Spring 2020 My beloved Clover is the oldest and sweetest sheep on Green Hill Farm. He loves picking through and enjoying the very last bites of grain. I sometimes catch him flipping over the troughs to make sure he doesn’t miss a single piece. So, yesterday, when I saw him bathed in the evening sunlight, it was a little […]