Who We Are

The past few years, the area where I live, Crawford County, Ohio, has seen a wonderful explosion of younger families who are embracing the joys and challenges of living off the land. Because of them, amazing things are happening which have been embraced by our community. Farmer’s markets have been created and on-farm stores have opened. Families dedicated to growing organic produce and naturally raised meats are meeting the public’s needs for locally raised foods. And at the heart of this movement are the women.

Ohio Country Journal is my attempt to share the essence of farm life, focusing on, but not limited to, women. My goal is to bring you into our circle of friendship by inviting you to share your stories and experiences with us. You don’t have to be a full time country woman to benefit from joining us; you just have to be you.

The full-time country women featured in Ohio Country Journal are an inspiration to anyone who dares to follow her dreams, whether it is to live in the country or to bring the country life-style to their urban neighborhoods.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


This is fresh dill. For now it is hanging in my kitchen to dry, which makes the whole house smell kinda picklely, so as soon as I am done typing this post, the dill is going to be moved to the back porch/laundry room.

I love the smell of dill because it brings back memories of Dorothy Stowe. Dorothy was one of our first landscape customers. Jim designed an herb garden for her in the early 1970's, years before having a home herb garden was popular. She always had a bunch of dried dill hanging in the back porch entryway to her kitchen, which was a wonderful way to whet an appetite for the delicious food. 

I admired Dorothy because she was a life-long learner and sharer. As soon as her herb garden was established, she set out to educated people about the benefits of having our own herb patches. She became famous around town for her lovely herb wreaths, herb weavings, and herb vinegars. For me she was a mentor as well as a friend.

Dorothy passed away one very cold January. I had plenty of greens left over from making Christmas wreaths. I made a special wreath for Dorothy's grave by adding Rosemary, "for remembrance" among the juniper and pines.

Fresh dill is lovely to work with. You don't have to be a pickle maker to appreciate this very fragrant herb. Why by expensive dip mixes when  dill dip is about the easiest veggie dip to make?

Basically, any dip is usually begins with a base mixture of mayo and sour cream with herbs and/or spices mixed in.

If this is how you like dip, simply add fresh or dried dill weed, a few onion flacks or onion powder, and a bit of minced garlic or garlic powder.

If you are avoiding mayo, I found this nice recipe for Creamy Dill Dip II online at allrecipes.com.  Again, you can use dried dill if you do not have access to fresh.

Marcheta * (not) in a pickle!

Creamy Dill Dip II 

Multi-purpose for veggies, chips, etc., and no mayonnaise  Easy to double, or halve. If you do not have fresh dill, use 1/3 the amount of dried dill.

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill weed
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons milk (optional)

In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in green onions,salt, dill and garlic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to blend flavors. If the dip is too thick after chilling, stir in milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. 

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