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Paonia Farm and Home Supply, also known as Paonia’s do-it-yourself center, wants to show your project(s) with pictures to inspire our community to get started with their project.  Please come into the store and share your before, during, and after pictures of your projects, gardens, remodeling efforts, and farm animals.

Jim and Linda Link, Grand Marshals of 2016 Cherry Days Parade


This year the Paonia Cherry Days is proud to honor Jim and Linda Link as Grand Marshals.  Jim and Linda, both Colorado natives, have lived in Paonia for the past 37 years, raised their sons Matt and Mike here, and they are the owners of Paonia Farm and Home Supply and Paonia Farm and Home Organics.

The couple moved from Breckenridge, in 1979, to Paonia so they could become more “self-sufficient”,  own property and learn to farm.  Interestingly, they found Paonia on their way home from Gunnison while visiting Linda’s brother, via the Black Canyon and Highway 92.  The lush green North Fork Valley convinced them to visit a real estate office and purchase their 32 acre property all those years ago.

70th Annual Paonia Cherry Days Logo

70th Annual Paonia Cherry Days Logo

As newcomers to the Valley, they learned from Old Timers including Shorty Hunten, Robert Lund, and their neighbor Shanny Somrak.  Linda says, “Now we are the Old Timers teaching the younger people and newcomers how to garden organically.”

In 1983, the Links bought the old Paonia Farm and Home Supply store which was then located in a much smaller space that is now home to the High Country News in the 100 block of Grand Avenue near Lizzy’s.  Eventually, the Morris Department store closed and Jim and Linda bought their current building located at 206 Grand Avenue.  At that time they  expanded the store to include bedding plants and a wide assortment of gardening supplies.   Since  then they have added additional warehouse space and the Paonia Organics store.

Paonia Farm and Home Supply and the Links have been avid supporters of the community both personally and through their business through the years.  They especially enjoy promoting community events for numerous activities and events including kids’ activities, sports teams, festivals, and occasionally fund-raisers.


Fourth of July Pie


Fourth of July Pie

1 recipe Sour Cream Cookie Dough (see below)
1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces, optional
1 egg
1/2-1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 lemon, juiced or to taste (less for raspberries, more for blueberries)
6 cups fresh berries

Sour Cream Cookie Dough

In a mixing bowl beat 1/2 cup butter, softened with mixer for 30 seconds.  Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/8 tsp baking soda, and a dash of salt; beat until combined.   Add 1 egg yolk, 1/4 cup sour cream and 1 tsp vanilla beat until combined.  Beat in  2 cups of all-purpose flour.  Divide in half; wrap and chill until easy to handle.

Fruit Filling Directions:

Preheat oven to 450F. Prepare Sour Cream Cookie Dough. On well floured surface roll out half of the dough to form a 12-inch circle. Line 9-inch pie plate with dough. Trim and flute edge. Line with double thickness of foil to prevent over browning. Bake 8 minutes; carefully remove foil. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes more or until golden. Remove; sprinkle with chocolate pieces Set aside.

use assorted sized star cookie cutters

use assorted sized star cookie cutters

2.  Reduce oven to 375F. Roll remaining dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into star shapes using assorted-sized cutters. In small bowl whisk together egg and 1 Tbsp water. Arrange cutouts 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Brush cutouts with egg mixture. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. Remove; cool on wire rack.
3. For filling, in large saucepan stir together sugar, flour.  Add 4 cups of the blueberries or raspberries. Cook and stir over medium heat until just thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining berries, add lemon juice to taste.  Taste the filling and add sugar to taste if needed. Pour the filling into crust.

4. Bake about 10 minutes or just until berries are heated through, covering edge of pie with foil if necessary to prevent over browning. Remove to wire rack. Top with cookie cutouts, cool completely. Makes 8 servings.

Fourth of July Pie

Fourth of July Pie

Heat Tolerant Greens

Fresh and crisp greens for year-around salad

Fresh and crisp greens for year-around salad

Salads don’t have to end with spring! A crisp, colorful salad may be the perfect dish on a hot summer’s day, and some varieties of greens excel  despite the heat. Sowing heat-tolerant greens keeps your fridge crisper full of healthful, delicious, and diverse greens to help quench the heat.

While lettuce is known for bolting in the heat leading to bitter salads, this doesn’t have to be the case. Try any of these heat-tolerant varieties for diversity in texture, flavor, and color!

  • Marvel of Four Season
  • Black Seeded Simpson
  • Oak Leaf Blend
  • Salad Bowl Blend
  • Red Sails
  • Freckles
  • Parris Island Cos
  • Rouge d’ Hiver

romaineTip: Lettuce needs light to germinate and will not sprout in temperatures over 80°F, so keep succession sowing by starting seeds indoors and transplanting them out during the heat of summer or sowing them in a cool, shady

 Mustards “cut the mustard” when it comes to summer heat. Low in calories, big on flavor and nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, K, foliate, manganese, calcium… you get the idea! As excellent raw as they are cooked! Mustards’ unique flavor intensifies as the temperature rises. Try Mizuna, Red Giant, Southern Giant Curled, and Tendergreen Mustard Spinach.

spinachSpinach, not just for spring and fall anymore! Lavewa is a heat-tolerant spinach variety that keeps savory spinach on your plate all summer long. Spinach is also easy to freeze for winter meals, so go ahead, sow a little extra.

PurslaneGolden Purslane is succulent and tangy with a lemon flavor (especially when harvested in the morning). Rich in omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin C, we aren’t taking about your average garden-variety weed here. Golden Purslane boasts a tall, easy-to-harvest habit, and has been cultivated for many centuries. Lime green leaves make it a beautiful component to mixed containers, too.

So what are you planting in your salad garden?

Fast and Easy Rhubarb Sauce

rhubarbsauceWhether you love rhubarb in pies or not, you WILL LOVE this delicious, easy-to-make rhubarb sauce on ice cream, cake, toast, or as a side dish.

What sets this rhubarb sauce apart from others you may have tried, is the addition of cinnamon, chopped candied ginger, and optional lemon juice.  I asked my rhubarb resistant friends to just humor me and take a taste.  After one tiny taste, they asked for more.

Chopping up rhubarb is as simple as slicing celery.  This recipe probably takes less than 10 minutes of hands on time.

So whether you are a rhubarb connoisseur or aficionado, find some rhubarb in your garden or from a friend and fix something new and easy.  This recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc, consumed now or canned or frozen for later.

rhubarbstalksRhubarb Sauce with Cinnamon and Ginger  (double or triple recipe)

4 cups of chopped rhubarb

1/2-1 cup sugar or honey to taste (I used 1 cup sugar)

2 Tbsp chopped candied ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

Fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste – 1 Tbsp or so (optional)

Stir cinnamon into the sugar.  Place the sliced/chopped rhubarb into a wide bottom stockpot and stir in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and candied ginger.  Allow this mixture to sit 10 or more minutes or overnight to start the juices flowing.  To make the food redder, you could add some red food color as the cinnamon will naturally darken the rhubarb.

jarsofrhubarbsauceSlowly bring up the heat and simmer the sauce 10-45 minutes depending on how soft a sauce you want.  Rhubarb has a natural pectin content so no additional thickening agent is needed.  Adjust the thickness to taste, if necessary, by adding additional water.

Hot bubbling sauce can be spooned into 1/2 pint sterilized jars and topped with two piece lids.  As the sauce cools the jars should seal.  If you have a sealing failure, just refrigerate or freeze the sauce.

This sauce is easy, inexpensive, and can make a thoughtful hostess gift throughout the summer.



Asparagus on Toast with Cream Sauce and Eggs

Asparagus on Toast with Cream Sauce. Bacon bits are optional

Asparagus on Toast with Cream Sauce. Bacon bits are optional.  Recipe is from Emma, Linda’s grandmother

A delicious recipe that is just in time for a seasonal breakfast or brunch.  With the recent rains, there is plenty of asparagus sprouting along roadsides, just be sure if you are picking wild asparagus to not trespass private property.

IngredientsAsparagus 2

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs, diced or sliced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 2 cups milk  (part cream is OK)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, optional
  • 1/3 cup bacon bits, optional
  • 4 slices bread, toasted and halved


  • Snap off the lower part of the asparagus stalks where they break easily.  In a large skillet, bring 3/4 cup of lightly salted water and asparagus to a boil. Cover and boil for 2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Keep warm and drain when ready to serve the plate.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of butter; gradually whisk in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk and continue whisking the mixture. Bring the sauce to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in optional cheese until melted, if desired.
  • Place 1 slice of toasted and halved bread on each slightly heated plate.  Top the toast with asparagus spears, followed by cream sauce, diced hard cooked egg (one per plate) and garnish with optional bacon bits.  Serve.
  • Yield: 4 servings.