Tessa McDonald: The Five Question Interview

Tessa McDonald hails from the great state of Alaska. After serving in the U.S. Army she relocated to Texas. She owns and lives on Green Woman Farm amid an edible forest she is cultivating with her husband. With the aid of their sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, guineas, and turkeys they are regenerating the land without pesticides. Tessa’s interest in studying best practices in harvesting and preserving herbs led her to create hand rolled Incense, blended herbal teas, herbal extracts, and dried herbs grown on the farm. 

1. Why did you move to Elgin? 

I found my love for gardening quickly outgrew my backyard and wanted to start a farm with an lots of animals and an edible forest. I fell in love with Elgin’s downtown and how close knit everyone was like back home. After we settled, we quickly noticed we made the right choice with our community and don’t plan on ever leaving.

2. What compels you to spend time creating?

The need to discover is what got me on my journey of gardening, herbal remedies, & tea brewing. Many people don’t know how much one herb can help with so many problems, so I started to explore this and the many methods of preservation. I wanted to be able to take a small seed, and make that plant into natural cleaning supplies, dried herbs, soaps, extracts, anything my imagination could make. I take time to study, fertilize, and grow my plants. I put them to good use, and surprise myself a lot with the things I make and what can survive here.

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

I think my biggest lesson is learning when to stop. Farming is a nonstop job, but the need to slow down and rest is also just as important.

My second thing would be stuff doesn’t happen on my time. Mother nature will send us winter storms, spring hail, and sometimes drought and we have to move with it, not against it.

My third would be to let go, sometimes a plant or project cant be saved and you just need to yeet it & start from scratch and that’s just the circle of life.

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

So my current thing to do is binge watch tv at night while I roll incense. I just watched Ink Master and I’ve moved on to watching Greys Anatomy. I’m harvesting my collection of culinary and medicinal herbs to dry out and putting them to use in incense, oils, vinegars, teas, & extracts. As for music, I constantly have some blasting on the farm while I work, so mostly Electronic Dance music so my goats get a mini rave. My current favorite songs are My Best Life by KSHMR and Legacy by the Sidh. As for what I’m nose deep in reading, I got this new book the Lost Book of Herbal Remedies that’s inspiring me to expand the herb garden once again.

5. Cake or Pie?

Pie… and I know this won’t win me southern points but I love pumpkin.

Learn more about Tessa and Green Woman Farm…

Instagram @greenwomanfarm20

Website greenwomanfarm


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The Five Question Interview: Rev. Amy Meyer

The Rev. Amy Meyer has been with 1st Presbyterian Church in Elgin since 2010. Pastor Amy holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and is an ordained minister in Mission Presbytery and has used her training in both church settings and as a chaplain for Hospice Austin. Before her seminary training, Pastor Amy held positions as a youth director for the Presbyterian Church of Lake Travis and as a graphic designer for a division of Trader Publishing.

She lives in Elgin with her husband, Chris and their two children.

1. Why did you move to Elgin? 

I moved to Elgin from Austin after I was selected to be the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. I stay here because I fell in love with the church and the Elgin community!

2. What compels you to spend time creating?

One of the things I love most about being a pastor is having the space to create. Whether it’s a worship service, a special class, or even a short devotional, I have the opportunity to share my creations with the people I love on a weekly basis. I usually find that the most meaningful creations contain an infusion of the holy while still being grounded in the world. I have also discovered that ‘creating’ is ‘meaning-making,’ and it allows me to explore ancient wisdom as I grapple with difficult questions.

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

1) If you have a voice at the table, use it to call institutions and individuals to the common good. Always remember to be the moral voice for the powerless.

2) Gratitude and forgiveness have a unique way of opening up a path for hope.

3) When the animal shelter tells you she’s a black lab, she’s probably a pit bull. But you will love her anyway. 

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

I’m reading “Texas Tough: The Rise of America’s Prison Empire.” It’s both disturbing and informative. I’d recommend it, though I’d also warn any interested readers that it’s not for the faint of heart. 

5. Cake or Pie?

Either one as long as it’s vegan. In fact, if you’re interested in some great theological conversation along with some homemade Chocolate Tofu Pie, I’m your gal! 


You can listen to her podcast Passing the Peace here or wherever you listen to your podcasts. And of course you can find her at 1st Presbyterian Elgin

Pastor Amy will be at the Holiday Luna Market with Beer & Hymns where they will be accepting donations for Advocacy Outreach.

Making a list + checking it twice ☕️

Yesterday’s Fall Fest & Market Days at Down Home Ranch was a blast! I held back on putting out any new Christmas cards and items, because I like to wait until after Thanksgiving to sell those items. As I say this I realize this may not make very good business… but it feels right for me.

This morning I’m making a list of items I’d like to make for upcoming holiday markets… if I have time. A couple of these new things will be fun to try, so they have stars next to them. I may not get to the rest and that’s okay. 

The luxury of having a day job offers me this flexibility and I’d be unwise not to allow myself some grace. The moment printing and participating in community events like this is no longer joyful… I will know I’ve pushed too hard.

Next up is Shop Small Saturday at Body + Shine Wellness. I can’t wait to trot out my new holiday letterpress & watercolor cards, block printed notebooks, and a handful of new hand printed items.

Upcoming Events


Shop Small Saturday
Saturday, November 27
10am-5pm

Body + Shine Wellness
28 N Main Street
Elgin, Texas
78621

@bodyandshine

Holiday Luna Market
Friday, December 3
6-9pm

Earthen Metals
202 E 1st Street
Elgin, Texas
78621

Hosted by She Creates Union

Best for Last Holiday Market
Saturday, December 18
10am-4pm

Ironbridge Farm
Elgin, Texas
78621

Hosted by Felting Farmer Lady


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