Those of you that follow our Facebook or Instagram feeds were teased with this earlier this week:

And those of you that have been following us over the years know that our favorite middle child loves to cook and bake.

In fact her favorite way of getting out of chicken wrangling is to offer to make supper while the rest of us go out and wrangle chickens. And it usually works.

She’s a busy girl, and what with softball and volleyball and workouts and cheerleading and color guard… there’s not much time left for a summer job. She’ll be a junior this fall, and with college starting to stare her in the face she was bemoaning the fact that she’s not making any money this summer. And then I was talking with a friend about pies, and I mentioned that there weren’t many pies at our farmers market, and the proverbial light bulb went off right over my head! She could (hopefully) make a little money doing something she loves, and be able to work it around her busy schedule.

So I talked to Olivia, and I talked to a couple of the market board members, and I talked to Matt’s Aunt Kathy who is a veteran farmers market pie baker… and just like that Olivia was in the pie business.

So she’s spent the last couple of days trying out pie recipes. She wanted an old-fashioned recipe, with real lard in the crust, so we pulled out the 1940’s church cookbooks that had belonged to my mother-in-law, Lola.

Lola loved making pies. Our freezer was full of pies for quite a while after she passed away. We didn’t have her pie recipe (I’m sure it was just in her head and never written down), but we figured old church cookbook recipes would be pretty close to what she used.

And so “Lola’s Homemade Pies” was born!

As excited as I am about her socking some money away for college, I’m just as excited for her to learn about having her own business. Already she’s learning about market research (by finding out what needs and gaps there are in the current farmers market offerings); product development (by testing out recipes); brand development (by choosing a name and designing business cards); and marketing (with an unexpected opportunity to be interviewed about her business by the newspaper.)

So far she has apple, cherry, peach, strawberry, blueberry and raspberry in her repertoire, in both full-size and mini pies. Made entirely from scratch, no canned pie filling! We also found some fun cake recipes in those old cookbooks that she plans to try, and probably popcorn balls – another fun treat that Lola always made us.

Look for her first offering of pies and mini pies this Friday, June 20th at the North Iowa Farmers Market, Mason City! If you want to reserve one (or more!) for us to set aside for you at market just email

3 years go:

Visit to Lime Springs

This kitten

Real food

This bird

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