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About Me (Dorothy Stainbrook)

About Me (Dorothy Stainbrook)

How Caring for a Sick Child made me an Entrepreneur

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Thank you so much for checking out my labor of love. It’s been a journey for sure, filled with the ups and downs that life hands out.

Dorothy Stainbrook in front of large boulder.
Dorothy Stainbrook in Arizona

I certainly didn’t start out loving to cook and as far as gardening went…..well my first experience with gardening was to buy a 6-pack of tomatoes, plant them whole as the 6-pack and then watch them die, lol.

That all changed when my daughter was born. She was born with only one working ventricle in her heart and was going to require indefinite hands-on care. We assessed our financial situation and decided it would make more sense for me to quit my state job as my husband’s salary was going to be needed to get through what laid before us.

Well, that was all fine and good, but I found I needed something of my own to aspire to as I tended to my daughter’s various surgeries and health issues. We happened to live on 23 acres of weed-infested land so I decided to roll up my sleeves and become a farmer! That way I could stay home and take care of her, but still have a personal ”career”.

I knew I was really a farmer when I had the conversation with my young son on what he wanted to be when he grew up. After posing the question to him, he sat there in deep thought. I then said ”Do you want to be a farmer?” He looked at me incredulously and said ”No way! That’s a girl’s job”

Dorothy and son after a hike in Colrado.
My son (all grown up now) and I after a hike in Colorado

Over time, I did learn how to grow tomatoes from seed rather than a 6-pack, and turned the acreage into a nice little farm. I sold my fruits and veggies at the larger farmers’ markets in the Twin Cities (still do as a matter of fact), and built a commercial kitchen on the farm to turn the produce into fresh preserves, spices and herbal teas.

My daughter got to grow up with a parent at her side, and although she is not ”cured”, she is leading a very productive life as a social worker in the Colorado school system.

Me (mom) and my daughter in Tucson, Arizona.
Tesla (my daughter) and I on vacation in 2019

I on the other hand have never returned to an office job, but have evolved and pivoted in a number of directions that all started with the farm.

Had to learn to cook all that fresh produce right? So these days I share and publish my experiences with food, health and gardening on my blog, “Farm to Jar”. I also sell those fresh preserves and herbal teas at my online site, ”HeathGlen”. Oh, and I visit both kids in Colorado every chance I get. Neither one of them wanted to take on that girly work of farming!

If you want to connect further with me, I share information at our You Tube channel, on instagram reels, or on tik tok.

Cheers! Ciao! Happy Trails!

Explore the site, comment if you want to start a conversation, and remember…..

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients.” ——Julia Child

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Saturday 6th of May 2023

Very inspiring and informative site. I just found you but will carefully peruse your content. I'm very interested in growing strawberries at this time. I'm on 5 acres and currently farming only indoors (mushrooms & microgreens, that I sell at the farmers market). The mention of your commercial kitchen really piqued my interest. Could you write a post/photos about the process of how you built this? I'd love to make some products with my produce and have been wondering what the requirements for such a kitchen are.

dorothy stainbrook

Sunday 7th of May 2023

Hi Kay, Selling at farmers' markets is a lot of work isn't it? Thankfully it is fun. Writing a post with photos about my commercial kitchen process amd tje farrmers markets would be a website unto itself. I thought about doing that once, but I am not in a place right now where I could take on that level of work. It's all I can do to deal with the farm, the ecommerce site, the blog and the farmers' market.

The requirements are very locally specific and you would need to contact the state and local agencies involved in your area for the requirements. In my case I had to work with the state Dept of Ag, the state Dept of Health and all the various local agencies. It took a couple of years before I was fully licensed.

Start with using google search and find the agencies particular to your area. Requirements vary vastly area to area.

Best of luck!!


Thursday 12th of January 2023

What a nice write up on what you do and how you got there! I admire your discipline and dedication. I have learned a LOT from you over the years and I really appreciate you. Keep up the good work!

dorothy stainbrook

Friday 13th of January 2023

Thank you Beth. It’s so important to me to know that someone is benefitting in any way from the things I share. Truly appreciate the comment and I hope to keep on swimming for quite a while.


Thursday 8th of December 2022

Kudos on your how-to's for heirloom tomatoes. It is the best!

Wednesday 4th of January 2023

@Duane, Thank you so much. I’m planning on getting deeper into heirloom tomato growing in 2023 so stay tuned.

Loretta Ottinger

Saturday 16th of April 2022

Dorothy, I found your scallop and spinach recipe and going to try it tonight. When I look at the photo in the recipe it appears to show pasta underneath the spinach. Curious if the only two items you serve for this meal are the scallops and spinach or do you add pasta? I just lost six pounds by watching my carbs (I was about 10 pounds overweight) and trying to keep meals simple and low-carb. BTW, I love your bio, great journey.

Wednesday 4th of January 2023

@Loretta Ottinger, I think what you are seeing is onions in the cream sauce. It looks a bit like pasta but I didn’t serve these with pasta when on the slow carb diet.

Annette Lynch

Friday 4th of February 2022

Happened to stumble upon your website recently. I come from a long line of small farmers and home gardeners, and heirloom tomatoes are one of my passions. I live in NW Pennsylvania, which is sometimes a difficult area for gardening - short growing season, humid, etc. Your advice is spot on! My second passion is genealogy, so I was amused to see the name Stainbrook. We have been overrun with Stainbrooks here since the late 1790's, including some of my direct ancestors. Maybe the urge to grow things is in the genes!

Annette Lynch, Meadville, PA

dorothy stainbrook

Friday 4th of February 2022

Ah, that is so interesting Annette! I don’t hear of that many Stainbrooks here in Minnesota. Heirloom tomatoes are a good passion to have aren’t they? Thank you for the comment and letting me know that my advice works in NW Pennsylvania also!


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