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I Found My Thrills on Blackberry Hill

In Sonoma County we are at the heart of an amazing agricultural growing region that rewards us with an abundance of fruits and vegetables. While we may be most famous for our vineyards and award winning wines, there is one crop that is close to my heart.

Welcome Farmers - happy Sunday to you all!

To visit Mrs. Colonial you must first travel up a relatively long gravel drive. The first time I made my way up I was excited at the idea I was about to get my first, real peek at this beautiful home. However, before I made it to the top of the hill, off to the right, I spotted it, right there in all its tangled, abandoned glory was a humongous blackberry patch.

Rock Haven Farm blackberry patch.

While most people would be thrilled to find something more elaborate or interesting, for me, it was magic in a blackberry patch, and a sign, this project was for me! You see, a couple years before I stumbled upon the farm, I had suffered from health challenges for decades, and I had a whole host of debilitating symptoms. I had been diagnosed with many vague things, one of which was an autoimmune disease. I saw numerous doctors and specialists but none of them could tell me exactly what I had or how to cure it. One of my medical doctors even told me it was just the way my body was and I would be that way for the rest of my life. She prescribed numerous medications, one of which was antibiotics. In fact, she dished them out like candy. She literally told me I could have antibiotics whenever I needed them for symptoms related to my gut. After many months and several courses of antibiotics, I finally realized I was traveling down a dead-end health road and something needed to change. I decided it was up to me to find the answers, so, I set out to conquer a mountain of research and climb my way back to good health. I became my own health advocate. I quickly learned that most diseases, and specifically autoimmune diseases, which I had, start in the gut. Our gut is our “second brain” and the “control panel” for all other body systems. I also learned that antibiotic use could be catastrophic for someone suffering from autoimmune disease, and not only that, it was likely antibiotic use during childhood that contributed to my disease in the first place. Grrrrr! Needless to say, I found this information alarming; however, there was no going back.

Luckily, I also learned that diet plays a huge role in autoimmune diseases. With this in mind, I decided to go cold turkey. For 18 months I eliminated all gluten, dairy, refined sugar, caffeine, alcohol, soy, corn, and all preservatives and artificial everything! I felt changes in my health almost immediately. Symptoms started subsiding and I started to have a skip in my step again. As chronic exhaustion started to fade, I became more determined. I started thinking about eating not as pleasure, but as fuel. I looked for natural medicine through vitamins and minerals and different types of healthy organic foods. I was constantly looking for things to add to my diet to help. One day THE LIGHT BULB WENT OFF! I remembered back over the years. There were little things along the way that always made me feel better - one of those was BLACKBERRIES. It didn’t matter if they were frozen, canned, fresh, or built into a sugar laden pie, they always gave me relief. What I didn’t know back then was that

blackberries are a natural antibiotic,

without the side effects of pills!!! All along my body knew, I just wasn’t listening. The idea that Mrs. Colonial’s acres are home to thousands of blackberries each season, is more evidence that this love affair between an old house and a farm girl is truly a match, or patch, made in heaven.

Blackberry and blueberry no bake cheese cake with Oreo base.

Photo from Figs & Pigs - recipe available by clicking here.

As we get deeper into the design details of this project, I’m looking forward to sharing a new, unique kitchen design element with you. I’m hoping it becomes a new trend in kitchen design and encourages others to eat their way to better health. Until then, I’m dreaming of all the amazing blackberry pies, gluten free of course, I’ll be able to bake in this beautiful La-Cornue range on the farm.

La Cornue range on Rock Haven Farm

I am so happy I decided to take my health into my own hands, and I am truly grateful for the experts I found along the way, like Dr. Izabella Wentz. I was able to eat my way to better health, and now because of my success, I am able to tackle this amazing project.

Here’s to wishing you many blackberry patches of good health!

Thanks for stopping by,

Sandy Sheldon

Before I go, if you've been watching my Instagram posts and stories you know we’re still chugging away on the ground work phase of this project. We’ve made a lot of progress but we still have a ways to go. We finally got our encroachment permit last week, AND I learned that we’re scheduled to get this project completed way sooner than I thought - April 2019?!

I'd really appreciate you sharing this by saving the pin below. THANK YOU!

A health benefit from eating blackberries on Rock Haven Farm.

Hi, I'm Sandy Sheldon -  welcome to my HUB at Rock Haven Farm - the place where I share all of my creative passions. I love having this space to virtually open my door and share, and to meet people from all over the country.


For the day-to-day you can find me on Instagram at @RockHavenFarm_


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