The Ties that Bind

Oct 9, 2017 | Gardening, Potager, Recipes | 6 comments

But before the Pesto recipe, I know you’re gagging for a farm hunt update…

There are things in the life of a Believer that bind them to the LORD. At least I think there are. What do I know?

Not much.

But, I do know that I’m an ornery, self-sufficient, fool. Constantly struggling with what to do with this blog, struggling with what to do with opportunities presented to me, and constantly looking for a place for my family to put down roots. Pining for the days where I don’t have to share my farm with my landlord (he’s always here). The stress binds me to God. I’m desperate for Him.

This little farm experiment was supposed to be a three-year gig. Three years. But then I had two more babies. “Surprise!” And now, in front of me, sits two pieces of paperwork. Right here. In front of me. Right now.   An offer on a home that we’ve fallen in love with in our beloved Door County (with all manner of contingencies…. enough to turn my hair, full-on-gray.) And a lease that is due by Sunday morning. The mind reals. and the lease for another year.

Quite frankly – it’s a crap shoot. I feel like I’ve put my life on hold for the better part of this year as we try to navigate planning for the future. I’ve turned down a potential T.V. offer for now since I don’t know how long we’ll be here (yeap), I’ve plotted to sell whatever I have that I don’t need, I’ve made phone call after phone call to referrals, experts, village boards, struggled with when, where and how to write my next book…. it feels like there is so much at stake here in our little world.

If it was just me that’d be one thing. But there’s all these six little lives that need us to make sound, wise decisions….

And the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

And I can get a little frantic. See, for someone “like me” it’s not about just finding a beige house with a beige attached two car garage, in a beige neighbourhood (no offence to my dear friends in Beigeland)… or any ol’ farm for that matter. It’s about a vision, and warmth and creativity and the ability to create the environment that’s been pent up in my brain for all these years…. it’s about the weirdest “perfect house” with the “perfect potential” for the “perfect price”… and thus, the LORD is binding me to Him as I step out in faith once again, with NO CLUE how this is going to turn out.

I can say this, but no more:   We’ve finally found something what works for us. But it’s a crapshoot. We’ve offered. They’ve countered. And now it’s been a weekend of radio silence.

And raging P.M.S. so there’s that. (My poor husband.)

And a lot of tears. And so, I cling to God, lest my overactive imagination take me down and completely destroy me forever.

Funny. Not so funny.

But I dare not put into words how badly I want this house….

So let’s talk about something I can control.

My basil harvest.

It’s mad crazy food prep time here on the farm. I’ve been having SO MUCH FUN putting up food this year.   I’ve had some sort of lightbulb moment… or perhaps I’m just accessing my “inner Ang” now that for the first time in thirteen years I’m not mad sick with pregnancy or navigating a newborn. (And, for the record, I’m not complaining, but it’s a huge mental and physical sacrifice that I’ve been more than blessed to make…. but dang – it feels good to be ME again!).

Our days have been spent braiding, freezer, drying, cutting, canning… more than we have EVER DONE in our twelve years of learning to grow food…. AND IT’S BEEN AWESOME!

We’ve worked SO HARD this year as a family to train our palettes to really, REALLY appreciate the homegrown, local, and fermented food and we’ve planted and planned accordingly. I’ve always been so proud as a family of what we DON’T eat as a family….(pop, GMOs, food colouring, high fructose corn syrup… just about anything processed) but this year… we took it to a whole new level. I wanted to get even more intentional about what we DO it. And, dang, it’s been incredible.

My babies have always been little foodies but now they can taste the difference between Farmer Ryan’s beef and Costco’s. They go out every morning and milk their goats for fresh milk at breakfast. They’ve learned how to pickle beets, sun-dry tomatoes, braid peppers, skim the scum off fermenting foods…and when your kids are BEGGING for more saurkraut at each meal – well, you can have two seconds of feeling like you’re doing something right.

Except you realize your garden isn’t near big enough.

Oh snap. And now we circle back around to all of those “wanting property of our own” feelings.

Reel me in Lord…

One patch we were especially proud of was our basil patch. It comprised the back half of our herb garden this year and the basil was waist high by the time we harvested it. I must confess, while I love making basil, I hate pulling the leaves. Child labor baby. (wait for the very end of the video for some major cuteness).  We all pitched in and stocked the freezer with twenty-two pints of basil, saving some back for herb butter and dried basil.

Pesto is so simple and delicious. And it makes my family happy. And that’s a good thing.

Buying a home may not be easy – but this pesto recipe is. Thank goodness.


Poor Man’s Pesto
Recipe Type: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Angela J. Reed
Prep time:
Total time:
Making pesto is easier than you think
  • Three or four big handfuls of fresh basil leaves
  • 3-5 garlic cloves depending on your garlic addiction
  • Half cup or so of fresh parmesan cheese (romano blend is my preference)
  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (depending on how runny you like it)
  • Large handful of walnuts (Pine nuts if you’re feeling decadent)
  • Salt to taste
  1. Whiz everything in food processor until desired consistency
  2. Pack in pint jars with 1/2 inch headspace
  3. Freeze
  4. Keeps for well over a year

Angela Reed - Parisienne Farmgirl Thank you for reading!





  1. Nita Hiltner

    Wow, how hard things seem now. Sometimes when it is just too hard, there is something even better. But having looked for houses in that area, it’s not like a dozen farms are listed anytime soon. I hate it when people make it hard when they know damn well you want the house. But contingencies? Don’t let them work you too hard. I pray you get this house. I will pray harder.

  2. Terri Smith

    Love you and those babes! The perfect farm WILL HAPPEN….Don’t “settle”. GREAT VIDEO GIRL! Keep oon keepn’ on!! You always inspire me to “take it to the next level….THANK YOU!!

  3. Dani

    Angela, I so know these feelings with the house. We had to look for a house and wait sooo long, but at least, we have found and become our dream home. Hope the same for you, Angela.
    If I am out of pines for the pesto, I also substitute them with almonds, because they are mild as pines. I love the walnuts for my winter version with green salad like lambs lettuce and chives and do my pesto with them. And lot of garlics, of course.

  4. R

    We have been in similar positions before, and for an impatient control freak like me, it was extremely painful! One time, the Lord gave me my way on a house, & I regretted it later. I think He was teaching me to trust Him rather than insist on my own way. The next time, we turned it over to Him and were ready to walk away from the perfect house (b/c we were trusting Him with all we had and the sellers were being difficult), but God worked it out and we got the house. Now we’re in a third house, renting while attempting to build our dream home. I am (still) learning I have to let go of my (sometimes unrealistic) material expectations yet trust God will fulfill my dreams when they match His will. I share all of this to hopefully encourage you. His ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours, huh? Sanctification is beautiful yet brutal. Hang in there!

  5. catherine

    Sending you lots of positive thoughts and hope the buying process will be sorted quickly, and you can start packing and enjoy the fun of making a dream farm.

  6. Lorrie

    Due to allergies we can not eat pine nuts or walnuts. Another alternative?


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