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Welcome to Girl Farm Kitchen!

When I first considered starting this blog after graduating college in 2011, it was a bit of a crazy idea: leave New York City and a job in magazines, work on a farm in Santa Cruz, California, and chronicle the food I ate along the way. “Along the way” turned into a far more rewarding experience than I would have imagined, and my time at Love Apple Farms came to represent just what I’d been looking for: beautiful meals that were prepared and shared among friends. Now that I work for Conservation International and travel often, I have a new mission—to capture that communal appreciation of cooking and eating wherever I go.

If there’s one thing I know about food, it’s that it’s so much more than simply feeding ourselves: food is community, creativity, family and festivity, whether you’re eating alone or serving 15 friends. I look forward to sharing recipes and stories, all of them inspired by the ones I hear from the wonderful people around me every day.

If you’d like to get in touch (or write me a letter!) please feel free to email me at girlfarmkitchen at gmail dot com.

Read about girl farm kitchen in…

The New York Times Diner’s Journal

What We’re Reading, Kale Slaw with Avocado and Almonds

What We’re Reading, Delicious Homemade Bread

What We’re Reading, Roasted Cauliflower with Almonds, Raisins and Capers

The Santa Barbara Independent

Interview with Charles Donelan

Delicious Bytes: Three Local Mouthwatering Web Sites

The Santa Barbara News-Press

For Love of Food: Santa Barbara Food Bloggers

Read my op-eds in the Los Angeles Times…

Living at home – and liking it

The dead trees society

42 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hi Sarah. It was nice to meet you yesterday at Patagonia. I’m Helena’s friend with daughter who’s just graduating from UCLA. I sent Amanda your blog (she loves cooking like I do!), so you may be hearing from her regarding non profit work. Thanks for the inspiration! Lynne

    October 9, 2012
  2. Love your article in the LA Times about living at home. I also live at home–it’s nice to read about someone who sees it as a positive thing! 😉

    August 18, 2012
  3. Steve Fenlon #

    I just read your editorial in the minneapolis Star Trib. Thank you! Keep your sense of family and I know with your understanding of life you will draw people of substance and your life will be very rich. I have four sons, but they are all married or I would send them your editorial and encourage them to seek you out. I am encouraged that a young person can have the substance you obviously possess. Be proud of who you are and where you are inevotably heading.

    March 22, 2012
  4. Steven Y Litt #

    As a single parent of three boys, ages 15, 20 and 26 (whom all rside with me), I found your LA Times article this past Sunday marvelous! It made me appreciate having my two older boys around more. My oldest is great in the kitchen. Having migrated from Woodland Hills and Holmby Hills to Mentone I feel like I’ve gone from the metropolis to the farm. We have a garden-in-process and get to live in a citrus/avocado center with some of the best strawberries on earth. For me, experimenting with fresh, locally grown, food is a lifetime adventure that hasn’t killed anyone yet and is never ending fun! Unfortunately the economics of chopping down paradise to put up tract homes is very saddening. Economics speak louder than quality of life all to often. Keep writing!

    March 21, 2012
  5. Great article in the LA Times. Your site is great and I’ll be sure to try out some of these delicious foods!

    March 19, 2012
  6. Hello, I just read your piece in the LA Times today and I love it! I’m in a similar boat, living with my Mom and trying to get myself establish as well as find a job in the field I’ve been training for.

    March 18, 2012
  7. Kerry #

    Loved your article in the LA Times and just found your blog! We are an extended family living together and our ages range from 85 yrs old to 5 months old. It works well for us because we all respect each other and everyone pitches in when they can. We are pretty decent cooks (and gardeners), and look forward to trying some of your recipes. Good luck with job search, sounds like your parents are lucky (and vice versa) to have you around.

    March 18, 2012
  8. Sylvia #

    I just read your article “You can go home again” and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t wait to try some of your recipes (especially the flatbread). Keep up your fabulous work.

    March 18, 2012
  9. I’ve had your Dead Trees Society article taped to my overflowing bookshelf since it first appeared in the LA Times. And I just read your “You can go home again” piece. I love your values and sensibility. Best of luck in all that you do. Your work has great merit!

    You might enjoy a visit to “Flash-Fried Brussels Sprouts,” the first 3D Foodie on YouTube at:


    Ray 3D Zone

    March 18, 2012
  10. Allen #

    I loved your artcle in the los angeles times!!!!

    March 18, 2012
  11. Paul B #

    Hi Sara

    Just caught up on your more recent posts. Really scrumptious recipes wrapped in such entertaining stories. Makes me envious of my brother who let me know that he gets to enjoy the fruits of your labor. I want to hop on a plane and join you guys! How about a trip to the Midwest? Miss you guys!

    March 6, 2012
  12. Very good writing and lovely sensibility, and photos. I’m a fan! Can’t wait to see what you do next…

    January 25, 2012
  13. hannah #

    Great article -Kindle vs. books: The dead trees society
    I was given a kindle for christmas and decided to go with the times and try it rather than seeing it as the enemy of books. I can see that it is useful and i’m sure fantastic for many people but no matter how hard i try i just dont like it. Your article summed all my feelings that noone else seems to quite understand! Long live proper books that have real meaning to them!

    January 11, 2012
  14. Frannie Laughner #

    Hey, Sara! It’s me, Frannie. I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog and follow it religiously (is that blasphemous?)! And of course I miss you, but this is an awesome way to see what you’re doing and how your life looks and still benefit from your wonderful cooking by trying out your recipes.

    All of my little vegetarian friends (cough* Kevin Plybon *cough) are benefiting from the spice tomato and eggplant stew recipe especially! And every time the team gets together to practice we’re like “Agh, we miss the amazing talents of violin prodigy Sara Barbour SO MUCH!”

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I love you and am thinking of you! Keep up the amazing and compelling work. 🙂

    October 7, 2011
  15. Dear Sara. Please come to my home and cook for me. I will shower you with love and provide all the ingredients. Love, Kel

    August 19, 2011
  16. Anne Egli #

    Your Kindle vs. books article just came out today in the Fresno Bee and I immediately sat down to write you. Ah, books, is there anything else like them? To look through my shelves of books, to hold them, to know each one by it’s cover; they are such friends. This is something I seemed to have passed down to my kids, for they too love their books and have their collections from over the years, especially my daughters but also our boys. When the girls were young, I read the Grandma’s Attic series to them, over and over and over. Recently when I started looking for these books for my granddaughters, all three of my girls wanted the whole series, too, for their own. But I was told that it absolutely could not be the newest books, they had to be the old-style ones, the ones with the pictures they grew up with, for otherwise they wouldn’t be the same books. They are right, books are old friends and to change them is to ruin a beautiful friendship. How do you curl up with a Kindle? Guess you can, but it will never be the same.

    July 8, 2011
  17. Oh my! Life is so conflicted sometime. In today’s Dallas Morning News I read your great little piece and must submit that ever since I learned to read I have unwittingly been a member of the DTS. And that was a long time ago…71 years ago. As a close by neighbor of the Waxahachie Public Library I was thenceforth one of its most frequent visitors…Gone With The Wind in the 3rd grade…Mother’s permission required, of course.
    I have to summarize all the preceding comments and say I totally agree with and endorse all of them. One of the hardest decisions I ever had to make was to give up my life’s library because I couldn’t bring them to a new living space. (We won’t go there.)
    But, I was given a Kindle Christmas before last. I love it! So far I have read 68 books, mostly fiction, as I have a voracious reading appetite and the time to satisfy it in my retirement. I can load up and take them all with me whenever I travel.
    It has occurred to me that one day I can make a wonderful gift of hundreds of books to someone I might know who enjoys books as much as do I. All in one padded envelope.
    I lived in Pacific Grove for a year in my Army career and rally envy your life in Santa Cruz. I miss surfing there. Keep up the good work. Visit my site where I offer a menu for each of the fifty US States. Good grub! Don Shipman, Dallas TX

    July 4, 2011
  18. Peggy Day #

    Hi Sara,
    Re your dead trees society, all the things you wrote flashed thru my mind when my daughter offered to buy me a Kindle for Mother’s Day. I finally told her, maybe later . . .
    I must have my dead tree every morn for breakfast, seldom watch TV news.
    Also, I am having my first and only book published this year and the thought of reading it on a Kindle is somewhat off-putting. The traveling convenience is the only argument that speaks to me.
    My house overfloweth with read and not-yet-read books and I love them in somewhat the same way some love their pets. They are alive, full of delightful characters and wonderful adventures or full of historical admonitions crying out for our attentions.
    I will always be a member of the DTS, even when I lie cold in the ground.
    Thanks for your article!! I am happy to have found your blog and plan to spend some time with it! I started out as a country girl and am still one in my heart.
    Peggy Day

    July 4, 2011
  19. Jose "Richard" Valdez #

    very interesting, I look forward to reading and seeing more.
    Good Luck!

    June 28, 2011
  20. Your column from the LA Times was picked up by our local newspaper today. You have put into words my feelings about the Kindle. I also love the feel of a real book in my hand. I love sharing a book with someone and it’s a great feeling to put it into their hands and say “you need to read this story.” You can’t pass off a Kindle in the same way. I still have my own hard back copy of
    “A Wrinkle in Time” on my book shelf and I am in my late 40s. The popularity of the Kindle and the other technology will also change the way libraries are viewed. I hate to think that children will never visit a library and that I won’t be able to stroll the aisles looking for a new author or genre to experience.

    June 27, 2011
  21. Jill Harmon #

    Yes! I thought I was about the only one who would refuse a Kindle! One cannot have too many books. I too thought of THE SHADOW OF THE WIND. If you have not read it, you should.

    June 24, 2011
  22. Amanda #

    Every book…has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.
    Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind

    June 23, 2011
  23. Loved the article on books. I ran a readers poll on my blog, albeit a very, very, very small poll in terms of responses, but overwhelmingly, people still read by hardcover/paperback books. There’s nothing like holding a brand new book in ones hand; you don’t get that feeling from a machine.

    Great blog!

    June 23, 2011
  24. I just read your srticle in the LA Times about books v. kindle and I feel exactly the same. I grew up in Seaside so Santa Cruz and the farm are in my backyard. I’m really encouraged by recent grads and the lives we’re leading, Good luck and I hope to read more

    June 22, 2011
  25. Wonderful article on books! In her definitive biography of Antoine de St. Exupery, Stacy Schiff wrote that he often took a case of books with him on his air mail flights because he couldn’t stand to be away from his favorites. I’m guessing a Kindle wouldn’t provide the same sense of security. And someone else whose name eludes me wrote that when visiting someone’s house or office for the first time, you should peruse their books as the selection and arrangement will tell you everything you really need to know about them. Hard to do that with a Nook …

    June 22, 2011
  26. I am a nineteen year old college student, and I just read your article for the LA Times about Kindles. Please let me just say that as a life-long lover of books and reading, I heartily agree with all your expressed sentiments. A sleek piece of machinery is NOT the same thing as reading an actual book, with pages and a binding and a cover. So many of my best friends growing up were books and though I understand the popularity of Kindles, I still carry a book with me wherever I go. Best of luck to you in all your future endeavors.

    June 22, 2011
  27. Polly Matsuoka #

    HI Sara,

    I loved your essay about books, I read it this morning in the SJ Mercury News. Did you grow up in San Jose? I think a Sara Barbour went to preschool with one of my sons…Daniel or Andrew Matsuoka…maybe that was you? If so, welcome back to the area and thanks for sharing your writing and love of books! I live in Santa Cruz now, and hope to visit Love Apple Farm soon and take a class in gardening.

    ~Polly Matsuoka

    June 22, 2011
  28. Michelle Osry #

    Sara – this is all so wonderful. I’m inspired already! Lots of love, Michelle

    June 21, 2011
  29. Linda #

    I’m so excited to hear more about your awesome life!

    June 20, 2011
  30. I, too, have just seen your L.A. Times “dead trees society” piece, and want to compliment you on it. As a used/rare bookseller, I am bored to tears with the endless whining and hand-wringing about the dire effects of various sorts of e-books on the future of the trade. But you’ve articulated beautifully why books — real books — will continue to *matter* to people. Thank you.

    June 20, 2011
  31. adia #


    June 20, 2011
  32. david c. hamilton #

    i may be late in catching up with the LATimes piece, but it was if i were the one speaking. i, too, will go reluctantly into the tunnel of progress and stop participating in the killing of trees, but i still feel robbed of the ability to stroke a book with love and respect. thank you so much for saying what i have felt these last few years, and will continue to feel.

    June 19, 2011
  33. Bryan #

    Your recent LA Times article, The Dead Trees Society, hit home for me as a teacher of history and literature in another life. You wonderfully captured the human connection to others’ expression that only a book can create. My ten year old son, a voracious reader, who recently begged for a Kindle, echoed your sentiment. “Dad, its just not the same as holding a real book…” Good to know that even younger generations would agree. Here is to the power of books!

    June 19, 2011
  34. Kevin Chard #


    What a great op-ed piece in the LA Times! Now that I’ve found your blog, I’ll be back for a look around your interesting recipes, etc. Hooray for clafoutis!

    Kevin Chard

    June 19, 2011
  35. James #

    Brilliant article! Plus neither Kindle nor any other gadget can make a house feel like a home as only books can.

    Can’t agree with you more re. good food (especially in company) and the bliss it brings in one’s life.

    Best of luck with the farming.

    June 19, 2011
  36. Lorna and Mike Savage #

    Hi Sara. So good to see you on your new journey. We will be following your journey. Love The Savages

    June 18, 2011
  37. Ben Jackson #

    Jumping on the bandwagon to say that your LA times article captured the essence of the value of real books beautifully. Active readers who engage with books make each volume unique. That is something that is lost with e-publishing. Good job!

    June 18, 2011
  38. Just read your article in the LA Times about books and it is exactly how I feel. I would be lost without my book and it doesn’t cost me anything as I am a big library user. It helps me save trees in my own way. Thanks for the wonderful article.

    June 17, 2011
  39. Isabell #

    love your story! wish you much luck on your new path

    June 17, 2011
  40. Colleen Marsh #

    I just read your article The Dead Trees Society published in the LA Times. I loved it and you were able to say in words how many, many of us feel. Excellent article!

    June 17, 2011
    • r #

      Just read the LA Times article of Kindle vs Books. Yes, I too am tempted to get a Kindle, but a few weeks ago I was in Potrero Hill area of SF and walked into a neighbourhood bookstore. While there I came across several mystery writers I’ve never heard but am determined to start reading. Had I had a Kindle how would I have known to find these writers? Explore a local bookstore, touch the jacket. I am a dinosaur. If I knew your local I would have written a paper letter using fountain pen and lovely stationary and I would have posted it.

      June 20, 2011
    • Cindea #

      I loved the story too!
      Thank you,

      June 22, 2011

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