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Here’s the Wild Idea

Andrea’s Wild Idea: To start and run an organic farm with her husband, and share her recipes from the foods she grows with the world through her blog and book, Dishing Up The Dirt.

Today’s guest has one of the most important jobs you can think of: she’s a farmer and grows the food we eat. After moving from town to town living the nomad lifestyle, Andrea Bemis and her husband, Taylor, started an organic vegetable farm called Tumbleweed Farm in Parkdale, near Hood River, Oregon.

We talk about how she got into farming, what she would have done if she wasn’t a farmer, what she’s learned from working on the land, and the realities of farm, which is not always as romantic as it may seem. We also talk about how she turned her passion for growing and cooking her own food into a successful blog, Dishing Up The Dirt, and how that blog gained the attention of a major publisher and resulted in a gorgeous cookbook. Andrea is a delightful storyteller with a great message of having a simple dream and sharing community through food.  At the end, Andrea even shares some recipes.

Presented by REI

Listen to this Episode if

  • You’ve ever thought about quitting your job and moving to a farm.
  • You love local, organic produce.
  • You’re into food blogs and beautiful pictures.
  • You want to grow your own food.
  • You want to write a book, especially a cookbook.

Key Takeaways

  • 2:20 – How Andrea got into farming.
  • 3:45 – Why Andrea got tired of the ski bum life.
  • 6:00 – Why Andrea’s romantic idea of farming quickly changed.
  • 7:50 – What changed when she started harvesting food.
  • 9:15 – How she transitioned from her husband’s family farm to owning her own farm.
  • 12:05 – What kind of produce they grow at Tumbleweed Farm.
  • 12:55 – The brutal life lessons she learn from farming.
  • 14:20 – Why she is no longer a vegetarian after becoming a vegetable farmer.
  • 15:50 – What it’s like working with her husband.
  • 18:00 – How financially feasible farming is.
  • 20:45 – What Andrea would do if she wasn’t a farmer.
  • 23:35 – When she started cooking (and writing about it).
  • 25:50 – How she started her blog and wrote her cookbook.
  • 29:00 – How Andrea’s book got picked up.
  • 32:20 – How to get started farming (or just gardening)
  • 35:20 – What kind of financial benefits and tax breaks there are for farming.
  • 36:20 – What Andrea and her husband do for fun when they’re not farming.
  • 38:00 – Andrea’s tips for social media.
  • 40:40 – What morning routines they have on the farm.
  • 42:10 – Your dream doesn’t have to be something big or crazy.
  • 44:05 – The importance of community.
  • 47:00 – Andrea’s badass mantra.

Other episodes to listen to

Eric Wolfinger, famous food photographer


Dishing Up The Dirt by Andrea Bemis


Tumbleweed Farm
Oregon Farm Link (formerly iFarm)
Andrea’s interview on She Explores
2 Farmtables + a Microphone

Connect with Andrea




Wild Ideas Worth Living on Facebook
Wild Ideas Worth Living on Instagram
Wild Ideas Worth Living on Twitter