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About Dorothy & Farm to Jar

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Thank you so much for checking out my labors of love! My goal for both the HeathGlen site (our products) and the Farm to Jar site (recipes and gardening information) is to share my years of experience in farming, cooking and health.

Hiking in Santa Fe

The problem (or benefit) in describing what you will find on my two websites is that over the years I have taken so many turns and pivots that it is difficult to share information on just one topic. There is one thing all of the pivots have in common however…FOOD.

To better describe these pivots, I’m merging the areas of my expertise into 5 categories. The overarching topics that I share on the blog include:

  • Low carb and slow carb recipes
  • Growing your own food at home (with or without a garden)
  • Diet help on a variety of diets or lifestyles
  • Mixology using shrub syrups
  • Easy Seasonal Cooking with occasional fancy recipes

The HeathGlen ecommerce site is where you can purchase the products we make and sell in our commercial kitchen on the farm.

It is my hope to help make your life healthier and happier by continuing to share what I have learned around food, drink and health.

Now, to get a little more personal, below is a bit more about me personally and my journey to health, fitness and delicious living.

My Journey

I started my interest in food and drink in my 20’s working as a bartender and a server in some quality restaurants in Portland, Oregon. The road took a few turns after that….

I got married to the love of my life, finished a graduate degree in environmental planning, and moved to Minnesota to a property of 23 acres and started working for a state environmental agency.

I had my first child (a daughter) just after moving to Minnesota. As it turned out my daughter had a serious heart defect that required major surgeries at Boston Children’s Hospital (a Fontan to be specific). It quickly became clear that she was going to need hands-on care from a parent as she developed.

Since we had some acreage, I quit my state job and started growing blueberries and produce on our land. Fast forward 3 years and we had another child and the berry and produce project turned into a small but productive organic farm, specializing in blueberries, heirloom tomatoes and chile peppers.

While my daughter is not “cured” with a normal heart, she is now a beautiful young adult living a good life in Denver Colorado, as is her brother.

My awesome daughter as a young adult
Hiking with my son in CO
Hiking with my son in CO

In the meantime, the farm kept growing, we established a commercial kitchen on the farm and started making preserves out of the fruit we grew. You can see our whole range of award-winning preserves, our spice blends and our shrub syrups at our thriving online store.

The last real pivot was becoming an online diet and health coach. The farm work had definitely kept me healthy, but it wasn’t until my kids were older that I realized (or cared) about how much weight I had gained.

In 2014 I started eating slow carb (Tim Ferriss’s plan), lost 30 pounds and became an online diet coach at a wonderful platform called I loved helping people one-to-one and over the past years I have coached over 400 people to health and fitness, primarily through low carb, slow carb or keto types of lifestyles. While I no longer coach, I am happy to share referrals to some of the online coaches I worked with over the years. You can email me at [email protected] for referrals to the coaches that reflect the values you see on my sites.

The one thing many of my clients had in common however, was the fact that they didn’t cook. They were either too busy, didn’t know how, or didn’t know how to modify their cooking to lower carb options. So…….

My latest addition is to share easy cooking tutorials (video). You can now find a list of cooking and gardening tutorials on my You Tube channel, my instagram reels, or on tik tok.

In summary, my two websites (HeathGlen and Farm to Jar) are an effort to share some of the knowledge accumulated from all of these previous life experiences (and research) in cooking, gardening and health.

Whew! Enough about me already!

Cheers from the better half!

Cheers! Ciao! Happy Trails!

Explore the sites, 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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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.

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!



Friday 15th of October 2021

Hi Dorothy is it very challenging to start tomato farming at commercial scale.

dorothy stainbrook

Friday 15th of October 2021

Hi Angelbeth, tomato farming on a commercial scale will depend on many, many different factors for success. If you are going to make money selling at farmers markets you need to be near a large city with an active market. Then you need to look at the saturation of the market. In terms of physical variations, the challenge might come in your knowledge base, your soil type, and the scale you want to grow at. It’s pretty impossible to answer that question on a broad scale, and would require specific information on your goals, your growing situation, your investment capability, your equipment, team, zone, variety of tomatoes, etc. etc.

I would suggest you start with your local extension service and gather information and then lay out your specific goals and timeline. My situation is going to be very different than yours.


Tuesday 13th of July 2021

Thanks Dorothy. Congratulations on your lifestyle and accomplishments. I have some tomato growing questions. I will email them to you and if you have time perhaps you can pen a response. Best wishes.

dorothy stainbrook

Tuesday 13th of July 2021

Thanks Jim! Feel free to email me and we’ll see if I can help.

Cindy Lou Robinson

Friday 4th of June 2021

Good job on the videos, Dorothy. Also nice to see the inclusion of your family on the web page, It looks like your 'best man' is in a little community pub much like one myself and friends would haunt for an after-work Friday pint (or two;) - usually an amber ale - even in the summer! Stout...not so much. Always feels so lush at the front of the mouth but just can't get into the back end taste. Good in recipes though! Perhaps a BBQ sauce made with your heirloom tomatoes and Guinness :) I too am fond of heirloom to-maters. I just started a farmer's market herb and spice blends, infusions, and extracts biz in Alberta. Super fun and a LOT of work. Keep up the farm and blog/vlog gig, Dorothy, and thanks so much for your contributions.

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