We are sisters Jill and Gail and friends.
We come by the cowgirl moniker honestly as direct descendants of Western pioneers and homesteaders. In 1851, our ancestor George Stoll, a 14-year old German boy, stowed away on a ship bound for San Francisco around Cape Horn. George made a modest fortune for himself in the California gold fields, joined the army, and eventually bought a ranch where he raised good cattle and brewed good beer. A couple of generations later, our Grandma Edna arrived. A true homesteader and cowgirl, Edna rode a horse before she could walk and wore chaps for good reason. By age 11, she was cooking for ranch hands and even fed dinner to roving outlaws and unannounced houseguests, the James Gang. Grandma Edna is still kickin’ at age 102 and would be pleased to hear your comments if anything here inspires you.
Back when sustainability wasn’t a buzzword but was a life practice, she schooled us modern cowgirls at her apron strings. We picked Grandma Edna’s beans, tomatoes and sugar-peas, braved her raspberry brambles, climbed her apple trees. She taught us her ways of gardening, home-keeping, preserving and respecting the earth. She patiently showed us how to make chokecherry syrup, rhubarb pie, fried squash blossoms and hundreds of other home-grown dishes.
Through our lives, our Grandma’s extended family had no bounds. We still aren’t 100% sure which folks, whose basic fabric entwined so closely with our own, were actually kin. Our lesson from observing this larger-than-life community, generosity of spirit and blending of resources has been simple: be kind and share your abundance. Here we plan to share the ideas, hope and stories we have aplenty. And, we hope to extend Grandma’s gentle but firm touch by sharing her recipes, spirit of invention and methods of sustainability