Valerie Boese

Valerie Boese

Gardens Bliss

By Valerie Boese

I have a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Healthcare Administration. I have lived in the country all my life. I got my first taste for gardening growing up in South Dakota, on my family’s truck farm. We grew acres of tomatoes and melons every summer for local markets. We currently live on acreage in northeast Nebraska, where we grow a large garden chocked full of many vegetables, herbs, and fruits. We like growing potatoes, apples, popcorn, globe artichokes, herbs, heirloom tomatoes, flowers, and many more varieties of vegetables and fruits.

My family grows fruits, vegetables, and flowers every summer. Planting and watching our gardens grow is our passion. We believe in self-sustainability, grow it, eat it, preserve it, and store the leftover. Food preservation is a family effort and good family times to be had, together we dig the potatoes, can the pickles, freeze the corn, pick the basil, and snap the beans, etc. Our objective, store whatever the surplus is, to allow us to eat from our garden every day of the year.

My family enjoys homemade cooking infused with our own fresh fruits and vegetables. I have been inspired to create many new recipes from the veggies and fruits we grow. I also enjoy baking, including whole grain bread, English muffins, and bagels. I have a food blog, where I have many of my tasty recipes displayed for everyone to enjoy.

We have many critters including dogs, cats, pond fish and more than 20 breeds of chickens. Our 20 breeds of chickens have grown into a family business, Tar Box Hollow Poultry. We raise rare and heritage breeds of chickens. We are selling chicks, hatching eggs, and adult birds.

It is my hope that through my writings and photographs, I will seed inspirations for people to dig in and grow something of their own, rather it is a whole garden or maybe just a few tomatoes. While you’re at it, get some chickens too. There is nothing like the gratification and enjoyment of growing your own fruits, vegetables and gathering your own eggs.

For more on Valerie and her family, visit her blogs at and