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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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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Eight Years & Counting (Stitches)

Eight years ago today I started a local stitch & bitch in our small Texas town. Knitting and crocheting may be a solitary activity, but regular community with other knitters and crocheters is a bright spot in my life.

I had started one while living in Austin and was craving this community again, so I began by asking a local business owner Molly Alexander if we could meet once a month in her new fairly store. I knew it would be a great fit for a knitting group and her business. I had planned to call it a Stitch & Bitch, but decided Stitch & Hoot was much more on brand for her lovely store The Owl Wine Bar & Home Goods Store.

I knew that the community I craved could thrive in such a welcoming space. Eight years later this group of mostly women, still meets once a month to knit, drink wine or Topo Chico, and catch up with each other’s lives, or rather to Stich & Hoot. Covid-19 created a brief interruption as we pivoted to Zoom then back again to The Owl at their adjusted hours.

We could have met in each other’s homes, but meeting publicly allows us to post on social media and attract new members, and sometimes knitters just visiting family for the holidays will pop in… this really does happen. Also, I should point out that She Creates Union exists because Emma Clark saw our flyer at The Owl and showed up to crochet. Kismet.

Our September Stitch & Hoot will be Thursday, September 23rd 5-7pm. There will be cake. Bring your pointy sticks or even sharper wit and join us in celebrating eight whole years of Stitching & Hooting. All are welcome!

If you ever find yourself near Elgin, Texas on a 4th Thursday, come by The Owl at 5pm. We’d love to have you.

Some come to stitch, others come to hoot.

Cheers, Stacey