Windy Meadows Farm

Bird Feeding Tips to Help Birds Survive Winter

Brilliant Red Cardinal In A Tree

Photos by Mary Murray at Windy Meadows Farm

A strong wind is circling around the barns and farmhouse, blowing snow and creating drifts that are knee-deep. Even though the sun is brightly shining, it does very little to chase away the bitter cold. Our local forecast for one day next week: a high temperature of 4 degrees, and the low -9 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures like those mean essential preparations to keep both us and our animals warm. As the winter winds begin racing across the open farmland, we’ll let kitchen faucets drip to keep them from freezing and extra firewood will be stacked by the back door. Outside, the chickens will be given meals of warm mash, goats will enjoy extra hay, and barn cats can snuggle into fleece blankets tucked into their houses.

Outdoor winter preparations certainly bring color to our cheeks: hauling firewood, moving bales of hay, adding pine shavings to the chicken coop, and shoveling paths through the snow for both us and the animals. Coming inside, a warm cup of hot chocolate never seems to taste better. We’re ready and can settle in, no matter what Old Man Winter brings; the warmth radiating from the kitchen fireplace is a simple country pleasure, and just what we need in February.

This morning it was a balmy 7 degrees, and the chill found me layering on my warmest clothes to begin chores. Once done, I stopped — there was a sense of utter quiet. Yet, in that quiet, I could see a flash of red and blue: cardinals, blue jays, and woodpeckers were eagerly eating at the bird feeders.


Winter Bird-Feeding Tips

The sweet chirping of springtime birds is a beautiful sound after the long, cold days of snow and ice. Winter can be hard on birds, so as temperatures continue to fall, I wanted to share a few winter bird feeding tips.

Give birds a high-calorie feed that contains black oil sunflower, millet seed and peanuts. Black oil sunflower seeds are high in protein and fiber, white millet is another good source of protein and calcium, while cracked corn is high in protein and fiber.I choose cracked corn over whole, because it’s simply easier for smaller birds to eat. Adding in chopped peanuts is another great source of protein and fiber. Lastly, setting out suet cakes, made from animal fat, is another terrific source of nutrition.

Keep feeders in sheltered areas so birds can be protected from wind and snow as much as possible. When hanging feeders from trees, use trees behind your house, barn, garage, or shed, wherever they will be blocked from the strongest winter winds.

Resist the urge to prune bushes and shrubs until spring. Hanging feeders in or near these areas helps birds find shelter and protection.

Feed birds daily. Feeders need to stay filled so birds can count on a reliable source of food. As creatures of habit, they know where there is a continuous supply of food and they’ll continue to visit your feeders. Remember to also toss some birdseed on the ground. Many birds prefer eating off the ground to eating from a feeder. A couple of miles away is a small, family-owned garden center that has every kind of bird seed imaginable. They sell many pre-packaged blends, but will also gladly create a special mix for customers. I count on their knowledge and generally pick up their winter blend for this time of year, but some days I’ll stop in and create my own mix of seeds.

If you’d like to make your own special birdseed mix, it’s really simple. Here’s my basic go-to recipe.

Basic Birdseed Blend


  • 1 cup black oil sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup plain peanuts, chopped
  • ½ cup striped sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup cracked corn
  • ¼  cup dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries


When making my own blend, I avoid “filler” ingredients such as milo, which most of our birds avoid, and it usually ends up on the ground.

3-Ingredient Suet Cakes


  • 2 cups birdseed
  • 1/3 cup bacon grease or vegetable shortening, softened but not hot
  • ½ cup peanut butter


In a large bowl, combine birdseed with grease or shortening; mix well. Blend in peanut butter and continue to stir to combine. Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes.  Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, spoon and press mixture into muffin tins, ice cube trays, or shape by hand. Freeze for 1 to 2 hours, and then remove from container. Place in a flat platform feeder or tuck cakes in the nooks of trees.

Keep in mind that homemade suet should only be used in very cold weather so it stays fresh and doesn’t become rancid. If you live in a warmer climate, it may spoil too quickly. In this instance, store-bought suet cakes, which have preservatives, are a better choice.

Chicken Coop On Snowy Farm

Well, I’m off to feed the birds. With a fresh snowfall overnight, it’s the perfect time to refill feeders, then sit back, feet by the fire and dog by my side, to enjoy the beautiful birds.

Mary Murray is a Midwest farm girl who enjoys the simple pleasures of living in the country. "For us, living where there is plenty of room for gardens, animals, and for kids to play and explore is the best kind of life." Visit Windy Meadows Farm and read all of Mary's GRIT posts here.

All GRIT community bloggers have agreed to follow our blogging guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts.

How to Keep a Cut Christmas Tree Fresh

Testing Christmas Tree Freshness

Photo by Any Lane on Pexels

Even with all the complicated emotions the year has brought, in our little corner of the Midwest, there’s still a feeling of excitement and anticipation as we get closer to Christmas. Light posts on the town square are covered in greenery and bows, while strings of lights happily criss-cross over Main Street. Shop windows glitter with lights and decorations, and as I open the heavy door to the makers’ market, a small shop of local, handmade items, the scent of cinnamon and balsam stirs up heartfelt memories. A shop filled with homemade soaps, beeswax candles, and all kinds of handmade wares, soon, my shopping is done. I step back outside and find the December air hits me with a blast; however, the clean, fresh air feels good, cheers my heart, and I’m off to wrap secret surprises to tuck under the tree.

I continue to read that this year has been one of record sales for live Christmas trees. Understandably, Christmas trees spark something magic in all of us, and with a year such as this, families want to make the holidays as special as possible. The adventure of bringing home a live tree makes for great family fun — and I say adventure, because for our family, that’s exactly what it is!

Each year we bundle up and drive to our favorite tree farm, walking through the acres of woods looking for the “perfect” tree, which is usually the first one we saw — you know, way back at the beginning of our trek. Then comes the “who’s going to lay on the ground and cut it this year?” decision. I always bring a blanket, to help fend off the snow and/or mud that also seems to be a part of the adventure.

We walk back to the office to pay for the tree, a walk that somehow seems much longer than when we started out, and then tie the tree to the top of the car (again, another memory in the making). Lastly, when we’re home, as expected, we find it barely squeezes through the door and always brushes the ceiling. It doesn’t matter; the scent soon fills the room and it begins to work its magic.

If, like so many others this year, you've got your eye on a live tree, it seems like the perfect time to share some how-to’s we’ve learned over the years for keeping your tree green and safe through the season. Even if it's already decorated keeping the last three steps in mind will ensure it lasts longer for you to enjoy. 

Timing. While many trees are bought in November, a fresh tree is best bought a couple of weeks to even a few days before Christmas, as it will begin to dry out as soon as it's cut.

Buy the freshest tree you can find. If you can cut it down yourself, that’s great! If you’re buying a pre-cut one at a local lot, ask how long they’ve been there…many times it’s been several weeks.

As soon as you get the tree home, cut off a couple of inches from the trunk so it can begin to take in water. Aftera tree has been cut, the sap immediately starts to seal off the cut, keeping it from absorbing moisture back into the tree.

After the tree has been cut, place it into a deep tree stand then fill the stand with warm water. Cold water will seal off the cut base again, so be sure to add enough warm water to cover the cut. Check daily to see that the stand is still filled with water…this helps keep the tree as fresh as possible.

Keep the tree away from any heat sources: fireplaces, heating vents, space heaters. Any heat will cause the tree to dry out quickly and they can be a fire hazard.

After the season is over, and all the decorations are tucked away, recycle your tree! Lots of communities will offer free recycling turning the trees into mulch for next spring's gardens. Or, if like us and you live in the country, simply place it in the woods as a winter hideaway for wildlife.

During this season, there will be familiar traditions, as well as new ones. Make it a holiday to remember. Hold hands, laugh, take pictures, and call friends & family. And after the last song has been sung and the last cookie eaten, step outside…enjoy the silence of a cold December sky and the stars shining down. A blessed holiday season from our family to yours.

headshot of meMary Murray is a Midwest farm girl who enjoys the simple pleasures of living in the country. "For us, living where there is plenty of room for gardens, animals, and for kids to play and explore is the best kind of life." Visit Windy Meadows Farm and read all of Mary's GRIT posts here.

Creating a Herbal Tea Garden

Windy Meadows Farm

A cup of herbal tea, on blustery days like this, warms me from head to toe. After I've been outside clearing a 6-inch snow from the path taking me to the chicken coop, then another path leading to the goats, coming back in the farmhouse to a warming cup of tea makes it all worthwhile.

Lately I've been thinking, why buy herbal tea when I can easily grow the herbs I need myself? I'll know exactly what is in my tea and know that it's absolutely organic.

tea ball photo
Photo by Unsplash.

To begin with, I'll keep the garden outside my kitchen door...the herbs will receive full sun and be close at hand come harvest time.  Next, I'll choose as many fuss-free varieties as possible, brushing up on how to best care for each herb, and making sure I harvest them at their absolute best flavor.

What will I plant? Old favorites such as chamomile, apple mint, lemon verbena, pineapple mint, lemon balm, and peppermint. And then, just to add some new flavors, I'm going to plant lavender, cinnamon basil, sage, and ginger.

Now that I've chosen my plants, what's the best way to grow them? Herbs need to be in full sun, in soil that drains well. My garden will be against a wall, so I'll plant taller herbs in the back, then stagger shorter varieties toward the front. If you want to plant herbs in your yard, create a clever circular design by planting tall herbs in the middle surrounded by smaller varieties. (And herbs grow perfectly well in containers, too if space is limited.) Keep an eye on them to be sure they're getting plenty of water in the long, hot days of summer, and be ready to snip them at their peak.

While you can certainly dry herbs to use year round, you can also enjoy them fresh! Snip them early in the morning, rinse under cold water, pat dry, then store them in a mason jar of cool water and use within a few hours. 

It's also easy to dry herbs...simply tie them into small bunches and hang them upside down to dry for several weeks. They could also be dried in a food dehydrator if you have on handy. Once they're dry, store them in an air-tight container.

tea cup photo
Photo by Unsplash.

You can also find fill-your-own teabags for sale...fill them with your own herb blends to share with friends. Tuck several bags into a vintage teacup...a gift they'll absolutely love.

Recently, at a local shop filled with all kinds of wonderful vintage finds,  I spied a pretty retro teapot that was cleverly turned into a wind chime...I think it will be just right hanging in my tea garden. 

When the snow is gone, and the ground is warm enough for planting, I'll share the progress of my tea garden from the first plantings to harvest, and even share some of my favorite herb blends. Dreaming of warmer days...planning a garden is ideal on this blustery afternoon.

Garden Tips for Perfect Tomatoes

Windy Meadows Farm

Some country pleasures never seem to change. With the windows open, the sweet scent of freshly-cut grass drifts in, a woodpecker can be heard in the big maples surrounding our front yard, and a cherry-red cardinal is perched on a windowsill. And this spring, for the first time ever, we have seen the orange Baltimore Orioles at our birdbath…so exciting for a birdwatcher like myself!

A continuous string of warm days here in the Midwest means we’re enjoying sun-dried sheets as well. It’s a simple pleasure to hang sheets and quilts on the clothesline and then watch t hem snapping smartly in the breeze. By early afternoon, t hey’ll be dry and brought in doors, t hen tonight, our family will sink into  sheets that smell faintly of sunshine and clover…sure to bring pleasant dreams.

Our last frost date has officially passed, so soon we’ll be planting tomatoes, potatoes, beans, zucchini, peppers, and other family favorites. A visit to the local nursery found us choosing fragrant herbs…cinnamon basil, German thyme, spearmint, and apple mint will be growing in our little kitchen garden.

Because, at least in our humble opinions, there’s almost nothing like the taste of sun-warmed tomatoes fresh from the garden, I wanted to share a few of our tips for what we think makes for perfect tomatoes.

headshot of me 

1. Prepare the garden soil

Tomatoes need anywhere from 6 to 10 hours of sun a day, and rich, well-drained soil is a must. Add generous amounts of compost or manure to your garden patch. I like to start with about 2 inches of compost and then work it into the top 6 inches of the garden.

2. Planting tomato seedlings

The best time of the day for tucking seedlings into your garden is morning or late evening, on a cloudy day. This lets them settle into their new spot without the shock of a scorching sun or extreme mid-day heat. I space my tomatoes about 3 to 4 feet apart; this allows plenty of room between the plants and rows for tomato cages and also allows me to easily hoe and till between them as they grow and spread.  I add mulch around each plant as well. We always have compost or spent hay from our goats (always with a little manure included!)  but you could use pine needles or wood chips to keep the weeds down and keep the tomato roots cool and moist.

3. Watering…a must!

Tomatoes need continuous and even watering. Too much water will rot the roots, while too little will keep them from growing. I’ve learned that letting the soil dry out too much, then rushing to water heavily doesn’t make up for the dry soil. I’m sure to end up with tomatoes that have cracked along with blossoms that drop or rot.

The key is to water early in the day, water the ground, and water deeply.

4. Fertilizing

I always use a fertilizer that’s just for tomatoes, and I’m sure to follow the label instructions…which means I have to curb my desire to overfeed thinking I’ll have even larger tomatoes! Too much fertilizer will lead to lovely vines, but not many tomatoes.

With these few steps to get you started, I hope you find time to add a tomatoes to your summertime plans. And whether you have a full-size garden, sunny patio, or breezy’ll be so glad you did. Imagine the wonderful flavor of your own salsa, tomato sauce, or fresh tomato bruschetta! 

Mary is a Midwest farmgirl who enjoys the simple pleasures of living in the country. "For us, living where there is plenty of room for gardens, animals, and for kids to roam and explore is the best kind of life." You can visit Windy Meadows Farm here

Sweet September...

Windy Meadows Farm In our part of the Midwest, it’s easy to see the change of seasons has begun. The soybean fields have turned golden and we can see the corn will follow shortly. Thick patches of goldenrod, buzzing with honeybees, line the gravel roads, potatoes from our garden have been harvested, and the last of the sweet summertime tomatoes have been picked…waiting to become savory tomato sauce as well as to be enjoyed on a delicious BLT sandwich (or a BLAT as my daughter says…just add slices of avocado!)


These early days of fall give us a chance to wrap up summer activities: harvesting the last of the garden bounty, stacking firewood, ordering hay, making sure barns and sheds are ready for the frosty days ahead, and finally putting the garden to bed. 

Because we just harvested our potatoes, I thought I’d share some old-time gardening advice that’s been handed down over the years to me.  It’s advice I like to call tried-and-true because I’ve seen the amazing gardens that came from following such advice. 

I’ve always been told that now is the ideal time for digging root crops, such as beets, carrots, potatoes, and turnips. If time gets busy, they can stay in the ground a little longer, but if temperatures stay high into fall and there is constant rainfall, they need to be harvested as quickly as possible. 

The potatoes we harvest are placed on screens in a shady area for about 10 days. I then put them in flat, wooden boxes for storage and put them in our cellar.  

I’ve been told, by those same wonderful old-time gardeners, that sweet potatoes need to be handled with care when digging them. Just like white or yellow potatoes, they’re best set aside to cure for about a two weeks, and then stored in flat boxes in a cellar. 

I dread the thought of having to buy store-bought tomatoes, but truly, the best BLT tomatoes are gone now, but there are still tomatoes, maybe a bit imperfect, that will be wonderful tomato sauce, and this recipe couldn’t be easier!


End-of-Season Tomato Sauce

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Quarter as many tomatoes as will fit in a 13- x 9-inch pan…no need to core or peel, just slice the stem end off.

3. Add pressed garlic to taste, drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to coat the tomatoes, and then pop the baking pan into the oven for 45 minutes.

4. After the tomatoes have roasted, spoon them into a blender and puree.

5. Add 3 tablespoons of Italian seasoning and any additional salt and pepper to taste; blend to combine.

6. Add a quartered onion and blend once again.

7. Pour the sauce into freezer containers and it’s done!

That’s it…oh-so easy! You can change the recipe to match your taste by using fresh herbs instead of dry seasoning and I always add a pinch of sugar…just because that’s what my mom does (yep, tried-and-true). Then, when the winter winds blow, you’ll be able to savor a taste of summer.

While the rest of our garden is quite ready for a rest, the peppers are producing non-stop…what to do with them? I always think they’re great sliced and sautéed with onions and then stored in freezer containers for serving on Italian sausages. And with tailgate season at hand, I’ve been filling the smaller peppers and serving them as a cold appetizer. Just mix softened cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, diced green onion, and crispy, crumbled bacon. No recipe needed, just add as much as you like of each ingredient, then spoon into halved peppers. That’s it, and they’re yummy!


While we see the signs of fall around us, somehow the days urge us to get busy…to be outside. We can sense a change is coming and it’s time to prepare ourselves for the cold days ahead. Tomorrow morning we’ll stack firewood and soon I’ll be making grape jam. As the Tony Bennett song goes, “the days grow short when you reach September.”

Mary is a Midwest farm girl who enjoys the simple pleasures of living in the country. "For us, living where there is plenty of room for gardens, animals, and for kids to play and explore is the best kind of life." You can visit Windy Meadows Farm here, Windy Meadows Farm.

Knee Deep in Summer!

Windy Meadows FarmWe are knee deep in summer, as the old saying goes.

Gone are the gentle spring afternoons where the temperatures were low and the cool breezes were welcomed through each open window and screen door. In our part of the Midwest we enjoyed a long and cool spring…perfect for the start of garden chores, spring cleaning, and outdoor get-togethers. Our last gathering with friends was around a bonfire, and as the evening wore on, I found myself gathering cozy quilts for each of us…unheard of in June! The weather was almost autumn-like as we woke up to brisk mornings and ended each day with a chilly evening.

However; today, the sun is high and the thermometer reads 93 degrees.  Heat like this means chores are done early before the sun and humidity can take their toll.  The hens were out early stretching their wings…later they’ll enjoy watermelon to help cool them off. I spent a couple of days painting and sprucing up their coop…inspired by others I’d seen, why not make it a little fun?



Signs from our local feed store, colorful tea towels stitched into curtains, a little stenciling, and other little things I had tucked away were dusted off and added.


I found an old screen door in the back of our barn. I wish I knew how old it is…it’s heavy, the wood is thick, and the “screen” is metal. There was a little rectangular cut out in the middle…it made me wonder if that’s where mail was slipped through once upon a time. If only it could tell it’s story.


Soon the sprinklers were going, goats were given extra water and a quick stall cleaning, and apples were picked for making applesauce.

While heat like this will definitely find me indoors (there’s always something that needs tending in an old farmhouse!), I also know that it’s the perfect time to hang quilts and sheets on the clothesline. For me, there are few things more wonderful than air-dried sheets. On a day like this, they dry quickly, and as I pull them down, there’s a brief tug-of-war wrangling them off the line and into the basket. It’s worth the effort though…there’s nothing like falling asleep on sheets that seem to smell faintly of clover and sunshine.


Have you tried making your own laundry soap?  There are so many “recipes” to be found and each is just a little different. Why did I wait so long to make my own? I know exactly what’s in it, only 4 ingredients, and it smells so fresh.

Homemade Laundry Soap

• 1, 4-lb. box of super washing soda
• 1, 4-lb. box of baking soda
• 1 4-lb. box of borax
• 3 bars of Fels Naptha soap, grated

1. Stir all ingredients together until thoroughly combined; store in a lidded container. Use 1/4 cup or a little less for each load.

Simple country pleasures are everywhere to be found, even in the heat of summer. Tomorrow I’ll pick enough mulberries to make syrup…a treat on a stack of fluffy pancakes or waffles.  Spinach and lettuce are ready for picking, along with raspberries, and sugar snap peas.

Even though the days are hot, as the sun goes down, it can be lovely time to sit outdoors. The sunsets are beautiful, the doves are singing, fireflies are flickering, and the calm of evening has arrived.

It’s a time to enjoy the simple things…watch and listen. Tomorrow another hot summer day will come; maybe I’ll make some homemade ice cream. The grass needs mowed and the garden tilled…I have a feeling that coming indoors on a scorching day to a bowl of homemade ice cream may just be what we need.


These days are ours for the taking…enjoy every minute.

Mary is a Midwest farm girl who will tell you, “I love simple, old-fashioned ways. For me, it’s the country pleasures that mean the most ... tying on an apron for Sunday dinner, barn sales & auctions, farmers' markets, county fairs, porch swings, and slow train rides. Add to these the laughter of children, and I couldn't be happier!” You can visit Windy Meadows Farm here, Windy Meadows Farm.

Saving Water: Tips We've Learned Along the Way

Windy Meadows FarmSlowly, but certainly, we’re beginning to see the gentle green of spring…buds on the lilac, chives sprouting in the garden, and the sun shining brilliantly. Yes, there’s a lingering chill in the air, and even a bit of snow fell last night, but we can feel that a change is coming. The predicted warmth of this week will encourage daffodils and azaleas, and it looks like the last of the puddles are finally drying. I quickly dodge the few remaining puddles as I set out for daily chores, only to land in a spot of mud more often that not. The folks around us call this "Bootscrape Weather" and they couldn’t be more right. Funny enough, the farm wives will tell you mud on the floor is as much a sign of spring as the first flower!  An old quote from the Hoosier Farmer comes to mind…

“Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots.”

A basket sits by a comfy sofa, and soon I steal a few minutes to look through the latest arrival of seed catalogs and favorite magazines. My to-do list is getting longer… I want to make an arbor from some dusty old doors I found tucked away in the back of  our barn, while a vintage screen door seems just the right thing to add a little whimsy to a flower garden. And oh yes… those broken dishes. (Who knew the bottom of that box was so flimsy?) When I lifted it up, out they came with a crash… a rainbow of colorful bits that now wait to become mosaic stepping stones around the chicken coop.

Then in the middle of all my planning and dreaming it comes to me, as it does every year, why (on what was once a cattle farm 70 years ago then in later years a horse farm) are there no working water pumps near the barns and gardens?  Each year this means hauling water from the one lonely spigot near the house to make sure our goats and chickens, barn cats and trusty guard dog have all the water they need. And when the garden is planted, several sections of hose work will wind their way over the grass, gravel, and then more grass until they meet their destination. Years ago we had someone search for water lines… there must be some, but after watching them dig up most of the yard and finding none, we gave up. (Someday I’d love to have a water pumping windmill… add one more thing to do to-do list!)

large tomato on scale

Like so many, we look forward to that first tomato, warm from the garden... is there anything better? We've also started setting up a little roadside stand to share our extra vegetables. So over the years we’ve tried to come up with clever ways to provide water for the garden by saving rainwater and using the water we do have as efficiently as possible. And so, if you should you find yourself living in a 155-year old farmhouse with only one outdoor spigot, we’re happy to share some of the ideas that have worked for us.

 1 — Underground cisterns are a good way to collect rainwater, and if you live in an old farmhouse, you may already have one. Ours is located where all the rainwater is directed off of the roof, and adding a new pump was easy. Companies such as Lehman’s Hardware have several types of pumps to choose from. Practical and pretty… what’s not to like?

 2 — Adding mulch to garden rows will help plants hold onto moisture, as well as slow down evaporation and weed growth. Last summer we tried a new method that worked very well… a thick 6-inch layer combination of straw, compost, and shredded leaves. It could also be manure, pine shavings, or winter’s bedding from the chicken coop. Anything that will hold water and break down over time.

 3 — Watering early in the morning before the heat of the sun can begin to evaporate the water is always best for us. On days that are very hot or during a long dry spell, we will water twice, again at sunset. While there’s no evaporation, watering late in the day can attract slugs, so it’s something we don’t do often.

 4 — Soaker hoses are great to make sure the water gets right to the plant roots, and it also helps cut down on evaporation.

 5 — Setting up a rain barrel is something new for us, and we can’t wait to see how it works. We had the ideal spot to add a downspout that will feed rainwater directly into a rain barrel. I feel that harvesting the rain just might make all the difference during the hot days of July and August. And while we’re not worried about a higher water bill, we do want to make sure we don’t waste the groundwater from our well.

 6 — Simply go organic! Organic planting methods will help retain moisture in the garden. Healthy soil filled compost, leaf and grass clippings, and manure will act as a sponge to keep plants strong and growing, even when the heat and dry weather arrive.

farm stand by road

Walking to our garden spot this morning, I reconsider its future size. Hmmm, maybe I’ll add a section for a salsa garden, and the kids would like a pizza garden. While I’m pondering, in the distance I can hear a garden tractor sputter and then roar to life… Someone else is thinking it’s time to garden, too. The earth is waking up… in its proper time.

Mary is a Midwest farm girl who will tell you, “I love simple, old-fashioned ways. For me, it’s the country pleasures that mean the most ... tying on an apron for Sunday dinner, barn sales & auctions, farmers' markets, county fairs, porch swings, and slow train rides. Add to these the laughter of children, and I couldn't be happier!” You can visit Windy Meadows Farm here, Windy Meadows Farm.

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