Bailey is a wife, mom, entrepreneur, and gardener in Orange County California. She has an online gardening business that inspires many to get outside and grow, and will inspire you to grow as well!
Hello there! I’m Bailey Van Tassel and I somehow find myself as a gardener, a wife, a mother, and an entrepreneur. A bit of a suburban homesteader, if you will. For me, to homestead is to return to roots. To choose a handmade life that is focused on self-sufficiency at the level which you can commit.
We live in the middle of Orange County, CA – where the “Real Housewives” hail from, and that is exactly why I homestead. To try and place the actually important things in front of the rest of the noise. We live in a place where material things and status reign supreme, so it is vitally important to me that my family stays literally, physically, and emotionally grounded. The real reason I even got into homesteading was to introduce more nature to my kids. I grew up on a hobby farm up North and had acreage to roam around on, but when I had my son, we were living in a condo about 100 yards from a freeway entrance. I started gardening to reconnect us with my farm roots, and haven’t looked back since.
I bake our bread (except in Summer), cook three meals a day from scratch, garden year round, and shop from a local farm as often as possible. While I’m not as self-reliant as many of the homestead mamas that I look up to, our life simply isn’t ready for that yet. Slowly but surely we are working our way in the directions of chickens and sewing, but for now we do what we can.
With two kids and a husband in tow, life is certainly not more convenient when you’re working to run a home from scratch. But I like it that way! I think comfort and convenience are spirit dampeners. I include the kids in as much as I can, allowing me to get my things done and teach them too. When that doesn’t work, I find that waking up before the rest of the house (typically at 5am) is the only way I can fit in any extras. I’m often kneading pasta dough in between cleaning breakfast plates and making lunches, or pruning plants while I chat on the phone and let the kids play hide and seek. It’s really little five minute chunks that add up to getting “it all done”. That and a babysitter for my work hours! I have been so blessed to be able to take my gardening passion online for work, and that allows me to live my passion, inspire people, and help contribute to the family financially. I used to be a bit ashamed about having help with my kids, as I feel my work as a mother is the most important, but for our family, it’s been a big gift to have some help while my husband and I each run our businesses.
All in all, homesteading and motherhood are both about a dedication to heart-led living. To intentional living and the love of living. I am so grateful to get to do what we do and teach my kids the value of fresh pasta, and diner grown in the garden.
To leave you with a recipe, I have my homemade ravioli which I adore because of how you can sneak greens into them! I’ve snuck chard into these – a great way to use my bumper crop.
Homemade Ravioli with Chard and Three Cheeses
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup 00 flour
4 eggs separated
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese
¼ shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon cresh oregano
Mix 1 cup all purpose flour with 1 cup 00 flour and a pinch of salt. Make a well in the center and add 3 eggs and 1 egg yolk. Combine into a dough with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to help make it all smooth. Place in plastic wrap and let sit for 30 mins. Then roll out as desired.
Mix 1/4 cup ricotta, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella, a handful of chopped chard. Add in about 1 tablespoon fresh oregano to finish.
Once assembled, add your ravioli to very salty boiling water, for just about 3 mins. To top it all off I just melt butter as a topping and sprinkled more Parmesan on top.