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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Friday Favorites

Screen capture from episode 11

Something about this Youtube Series has us riveted at Chez Vee. Watching designer, adventurer, and filmmaker Martijn Doolaard work methodically and slowly on his cabin in the Alps is soothing and fascinating.

The notes for episode #11 describe what most would think the most boring video ever. I dare you to not get hooked, if only for the breathtaking views.

#11 “Spring is coming, but not just yet”

The first birds have arrived. I’m finishing the kitchen in the inner cabin, in which I’m spending more time because it’s getting colder again. I’m hauling more wood in for the scaffolding and crane for the roof renovation.

0:00 Intro
4:07 Preparing boards for the indoor kitchen
5:16 Temporary plumbing
9:35 Roof / crane talk
18:20 Trip to the saw mill
22:10 Outro talk

This recipe Chicken Tsatziki Bowls by Half Baked Harvest is on the menu for dinner tonight.
. . . . .
Rounding corners one by one can be pretty hard on your palm and fingers. This hack is genius.

These poems

Friday’s Philavery


being equal in stupidity

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Friday Favorites

Y’all may not know this but I have been on a bit of a postage stamp binge these past two years. New and vintage. I’m now the person who walks into the post office just to ask what new stamps they have.

I’ve been following printmaker Lili Arnold on Instagram for a while now and am so excited by these new U.S. postage stamps that she designed.

Speaking of postage, people always grumble when postage prices increase. This video by comedian Kathleen Madigan sums up my feelings about this perfectly.

This video will have you reaching for the Kleenex.

Sacramento, California employs some old school, and super cute, fire-control methods.

Texas Mountain Laurel are blooming now… they smell like grape Bubble Yum.

The care and love that the Elgin community has shown to those affected by Monday’s tornados has made me even happier to live in a small town. I’ve had many friends that live elsewhere ask how they can help. The Elgin Chamber of Commerce has created a webpage to assist anyone wanting to help.