This post is a long one folks so I hope your coffee mug is full or that you’ve got a nice glass of wine you can sip while you read. It’s been a complete whirlwind of a month that has included a lot of travel for the DUTD book tour and I must say, damn it feels good to be back at the farm! I’m so thrilled with the opportunities that the book has brought about and I can’t wait to share some fun things that are on the horizon but for now, my heart is in Parkdale and it feels great to be dirty again. Taylor and Henry have kept things afloat while I’ve been away and as you can see from the photos above our farm family is growing. Three little pigs have joined us here at the farm and we’re happy to have them in the rotation. I’ll chat more about them below but I first want to share details from my amazing book tour and all of the badass folks I’ve met along the way. I apologize in advance for all the links that follow but I am seriously so grateful to all of the wonderful people who helped make my tour possible. It takes a village to make a farm girl’s dreams come true and I am over the moon stoked to be in such good hands. So thank you for reading along and supporting all of the folks who support Dishing up the Dirt. First stop, New York City baby!
One of the most challenging things about having my cookbook released in the early spring is that Taylor and I can’t really leave the farm together. I knew this was going to be an issue a year before my book came out when my publisher said “your book will be released in early March.” I thought, shit, I can’t leave the farm in March, or really anytime in the spring. Can’t my book get released in the late fall? Turns out Spring is the perfect time for a farm to table cookbook to launch. It’s just tricky figuring out the logistics of leaving the farm to go promote the book! In fact, Taylor and I have never been away from the farm at the same time during the season. The truth is, the farm can’t be left unattended for more than a few hours so I knew traveling across the country with my man wouldn’t be an option. Thankfully, my amazing father-in-law (who is a seasoned farmer) offered to fly out to Tumbleweed Farm so that Taylor could come with me to NYC for my book signing and most important, to meet the team who made this all come together. Our first stop in NYC was to the HarperCollins offices. I cannot tell you how surreal it was to be in that building and see all of the floor to ceiling books that occupy every square inch of that space. The Dishing up the Dirt cookbook is in really good company and I had to wipe tears from my eyes when we first walked in. It was overwhelming in the best way possible! I was really excited to meet my book team because for the past year and half we’ve only communicated via email (and phone) and it was awesome to put faces behind everyone! After meeting the team we headed to my book signing in the West Village. Thank you barre3 for hosting the event and to Ancolie for whipping up food from the DUTD book for the occasion. I had to bring a little taste of Oregon with me too so the always amazing Union Wine Co. sponsored my book tour by supplying wine for all of my events. They are amazing and trust me, rosé out of a can is one of the best treats a farmer could ask for! If you haven’t tried any of their wine please click on the link above and find out where you can purchase it. The company is amazing and I’m honored that they were a part of my tour. My book signing at barre3 was a total blast. Thank you to everyone who came out to the event. It was so awesome meeting all of my NYC readers and getting to clink glasses (or cans!) and chat about food, farming and pretty much everything in between. I loved every minute of that event and I must say, New York, you did not disappoint! My next event was at Sweet Green in the Meatpacking District and it was fun to create 3 different grain bowls for the occasion. Thank you everyone who supported that event as well!
After NYC I dropped Taylor off at the farm and headed out to Missoula, Montana with my dad. We road tripped from Parkdale and it was awesome! My dad and I haven’t had this much quality time in years and the trip was really special. My brother and sister-in-law live in Missoula and it was a great opportunity for us to all get together. The event was held at Fact and Fiction bookstore and I loved the vibe of the Missoula crowd. I was able to wear jeans and a flannel which made me feel right at home! Thanks again to Union Wine Co. for supporting this great event. Missoula I love you! And if you visit Missoula in the near future please check out Bernice’s Bakery for all of your coffee and pastry needs. This place is magical!
Finally, it was my Mom’s turn to take a road trip with me up to Seattle. We were lucky enough to have Hotel Andrä sponsor our stay. If you are a foodie and visiting Seattle this is the hotel for you! I mean, there is literally a cooking school right in the hotel. The Hot Stove Society is the bomb! They offer year-round cooking classes operated by the amazingly talented Tom Douglas. The restaurant in the hotel (Lola) was absolutely wonderful. Even if you aren’t staying at the hotel please check out the restaurant. The menu is fantastic.
My first night in Seattle I was honored to prepare a 6 course meal from the DUTD book with the seriously badass Jim Henkens of Marine Area 7 . It was a private dinner for 25 folks and it was one of the highlights of my life. Seriously amazing! Being in the kitchen with Jim was not only fun but it was super special to see my food come to life in a setting like this. Thank you to all of the amazing folks who purchased tickets and got their books signed. The evening was magical and all night long I had to keep pinching myself that I was not dreaming. Jim you are one special human being. Thank you for the opportunity to cook in your kitchen with you!
Last and certainly not least, I gave an author talk at my new favorite bookstore Book Larder. Book Larder is a special place because it’s strictly a cookbook bookstore. They even have a full functioning open kitchen front and center! I prepared my beet butter from the book to a full house (again…pinch me!!!). If I’m being honest this event was the one I was most nervous about. I’m not very comfortable public speaking however, once I got going (and got to look at my mom in the crowd for comfort!) I ended up really loving it. The folks who came out were all really lovely and the staff at Book Larder is top notch. Seriously, I love this bookstore and if you find yourself in the Seattle area go check it out. You’ll be in cookbook heaven!
Phew….Did I lose some of you back there? I hope not. I know this post is a lot but I’m still so damn proud of this book and I can’t say thank you enough to everyone who has purchased a copy, left a review on amazon, or sponsored my events. I am indebted to so many folks that the only way I’m going to pay everyone back is to just pay it forward. And if you all want to join me in paying it forward here is my plan. I’m going to do something spontaneously kind every single day for the next month. Whether it’s donating a book, produce, baking cookies for my mailman, gifting a neighbor with a 6 pack of beer, or simply letting someone cut in line at the grocery store I’m committed to spreading kindness around. It took a lot of kind people to make my dreams come true and I owe the universe so much love and gratitude! I’m going to donate a book to one lucky reader too. I know many of you already own the book but I think they make great gifts too. So if you leave a comment below with ideas of how you’ll pay it forward I’ll choose a winner randomly by May, 17th.
Now that I’m back at the farm for the time being (I’ll keep you all posted on events that come up later this summer/fall) I feel like I’m getting into a good groove with Taylor, Henry, the plants and animals. As much as it’s been amazing to travel around I really do love being home. The work load is overwhelming crazy right now but this truly is where I find my peace.
This season we are expanding our operation a bit with the addition of a new hoop house, new tractor implements and a rotation of animals which feels pretty good. Our motto this year is “work smarter not harder.” So far it’s been working! And speaking of animals, the pigs are a total blessing. Not only are the pigs the best compost eaters in the world but they are great for our soil and will be great for our bodies. We are raising them for meat and I know some folks will be sad to know that but I am committing myself to keeping our food as local as possible this year. We love our pigs and they will be treated with kindness and love until the end. If farming has taught me anything it’s the importance of the full circle of life. The less we rely on outsourcing the better for us, our community and the planet as a whole. Cheers to local food first!
Alright, I know your eyes are probably glazed over right now but thanks for reading along! Don’t forget to leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of Dishing up the Dirt.
One more thing…..if you all could send some good healing thoughts to my father-in-law we would really appreciate it. He had a major health scare this week but luckily he’s doing SO much better. Extra healing vibes are more than welcome at this time. We love you John!!
Happy Friday everyone.
Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm.
All of the above photos were taken by my girl Kate Schwager.