I started out making Farm Girl Skin Care products for myself. I work outside caring for all my chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and goats. My skin is exposed to the weather 365 days a year. I realized, as I grew older, that I needed good personal care products, ones that work for me, are affordable, and are not laced with chemicals with long names that I can’t pronounce.
So, I did what any farm girl would do. I made my own. I grew up on a farm in very rural northern IL. We grew and raised almost everything we ate. I was raised on pastured beef, pork, chicken, and drank raw milk. My mom had a huge garden. She froze and canned everything. We had vegetables and fruit all year long. We did all this because that is what you did if you lived on a farm. You made it yourself.
Farm Girl Goat Milk Soap is the cleansing bar I use every day. It’s got all the moisturizing benefits that goat milk provides. And it is naturally tan. From the goat milk. Nothing artificial in this soap. I only use essential oils and all natural fragrances.
Farm Girl Intense Moisturizer is a body butter. I use this on my face and body. Keep in mind I have mature skin and spend a lot of time outside. It’s loaded with Shea Butter. Start with a half a pea size amount and add more if needed. A little goes a long way.
Farm Girl Essential Salve is a reparative salve. It is full of organic ingredients and has a wonderful fragrance from all the essential oils. Use sparingly, add more as needed. If you need just one Farm Girl product, this is it.
I am proud to be able to offer Farm Girl products through Kinnikinnick Direct. David and Susan, the owners of Kinnikinnick Farm are my neighbors and I worked on their farm in the nineties. Like my mother before me, I have always grown flowers at my place. Susan and David convinced me to sell those flowers at their stand at the farmers market. I fell in love with the market and the rest is history. I began raising chickens—300 hens—the way we raised them when I was a kid so I could sell free range eggs at the market. And then ducks. And Geese. All for eggs. And then turkeys for Thanksgiving and because I just love them. When I got some goats, I fell in love a second time. I love their milk. It became the foundation for my Farm Girl Skin Care products.
In the beginning…
I remember vividly as a child the wooden bins of grain in the barn and in the loft of the corn crib, the heavy, silken feeling of them as you thrust your arm in, the dust in the air as the sun streamed through the window. It’s smell I cannot quite capture for you, I guess it’s a bit beyond words. I remember stuffing my pockets full to spirit some to the horses and chew them as I made my childhood rounds about the farm.
I would go to the corn crib with my grandfather Earl Hazzard and choose a few ears of corn, we would shell them in the sunshine then trundle across the yard and down to the basement. Grandpa would get the hand crank grinder out and we would make cornmeal. Up the stairs we would go to deliver it to my grandmother, Marguerite and she would make us corn cakes on her little iron skillet and for dinner we would have cornbread. The cornbread recipe on my cornmeal was adapted from her recipe, that skillet is in my kitchen as we speak, the lessons they taught me continue on through my beliefs and my work.
Philosophy and practices
Hazzard Free Farm places sustainability first and foremost. Whether it is ecological, environmental or economical, without sustainability we fail the future. We are proud to bring you a wide variety of high-quality heirloom grains grown in the organic tradition and stone ground using age-old techniques. The beauty of the local foods movement is transparency. And as the movement continues to flourish, we encourage our customers to visit the farm with family and friends.
We do not use treated or GMO seeds ever, opting only for ancient, open-pollinated or heirloom varieties. Organic foundation seed is planted whenever available. Chemical pesticides, herbicides, insecticides or fungicides are NEVER used.
We remain deeply committed to adapting ancient and heirloom grains to our soils and our farming practices. It can take three to five year or more to do this, these crops are incredibly adaptable over time and well worth the effort. Our investment in this process is a risk but it will pay off in the health and ecological benefits to our land, our products, the sustainable farming community and our customers' health.
Ashley Boykin is the founder, owner and pastry chef behind Wonderland Sweets. Ashley has studied in Chicago, IL at the Cooking & Hospitality Institute and graduated in May 2009 as an Associate of Applied Science in Baking & Patisserie. Ashley has baked her way through Rockford working at local hotspots such as GreenFire Restaurant, Bakery & Bar, Franchesco’s Ristorante & Fresco at the Gardens. She has worked along side so many tremendously skilled and talented chefs that have helped her build on her education and experience along the way. Ashley is passionate about all things baking, pastry and art. Wonderland Sweets is now where Ashley strives for greatness and brings her passion, skills, talent, experience and education to serve the Rockford area!