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So Canadian eh? : Heather Cameron

January 21, 2013


This week we have the ever-so-talented and creative

Heather Cameron from A Day In The Country and Missing Goat Farm

Photo: Kim Christie

She is


As a design magazine junkie, I not only appreciate the designers and photographers behind the fabulous spreads we drool over, but the stylists as well! A fabulous stylist is the piece in puzzle that creates a story with a scene that gets captured on film {I guess, now it is digital, but I like the sound of "film"}
Heather Cameron is known to most as a sought-after stylist, whose work has been seen in Canadian House and Home, Style at Home,  and Canadian Living to name a few. But her talent does not stop there! She is also the owner of an organic blueberry farm in South Surrey, called Missing Goat, the creator of gourmet jams, photographer,  blogger and now can add cookbook author to the list!

Her blog is such a treat to read, her photos capture the beauty that surrounds her farm, her words tell us her story and adventures of farming, homemaking, jams, design and mothering. One of these days I need to pop into her farm when it is open for business in the summer! From her photos and blog, it sounds like a perfect country spot to enjoy the bits of farm life and fresh fruit the season brings!
And I can't wait to read her cookbook!

Country Living | photo: Miki Duisterhof

Country Living | photo: Janis Nicolay

Photo: Heather Cameron 

 Photo: Janis Nicolay

 Photo: Heather Cameron

 Photo: Heather Cameron

Photo: Heather Cameron

 Photo: Heather Cameron

The soon-to-be-released cookbook!



Tell my readers a bit about yourself? How did you come to work in the world of design? Were you always creative?

Fourteen years ago, I bought a little farm with my husband and Mom.  I was working as a wedding florist, and wanted to promote the business, so I invited Victoria magazine up for tea and pie.  To my surprise they came.  They spent two days shooting here and suggested I become a stylist.  I had no idea that was even a real job!
Once I found out that making things look pretty was a career, I jumped in.

Your work has been featured in several publications, how did you get your “break” per se?

Ten or eleven years ago, Steven Sabados was leaving the House and Home magazine as he was going off to do TV shows.  At that same moment, I was contacting House and Home asking about DIY ideas I could produce for them.  The timing was perfect.   I produced DIY segments and then slipped into styling jobs.

What are some simple and effective styling tips you can share that can give a great impact to a space?

Some of the best things I have ever found have been out in my yard.  Tall flowering branches, sticks or even pretty weeds can make a huge impact.  I have giant 6 foot ferns growing along my fence and use them all summer.  You can't buy them from a store, and I guarantee you your neighbor won't have them on their table!
I'm also big on bold shots of color.  My whole house is white and I use color through art accessories. 

Where are your go-to sources for your work?

Australian, British and European magazines.  They are less formal and just plain fun.

How would you describe your design style?

Modern. Eclectic Country.

You also run a blueberry farm with your husband? What made you delve into the world of farming? And why the name “Missing Goat”?

The farm simply came with the house we liked.  It was never the plan, but is now my dream life.  It was always something I wanted...a little farm.  But I never had much time to focus on it with all the magazine work.  When the industry took a dive a few years ago, with many other businesses, I turned to the farm.  We certified it organic, launched a line of organic jams and became a full time farmer - sort of!  Did not see that coming.  I still do the odd magazine job, but only if it's really fun and I get to work with great people. 
Missing Goat - well, it took me ten years to come up with a name for our farm, and it just hit me one day.  I wanted it to be random - something that had nothing to do with anything.  It's the best name I've ever come up with.  People love it.
We even had a elderly man bring us a goat he found last summer.  He thought our sign was an advertisement for our missing goat.  We didn't take the goat!

What have you enjoyed about farming? Not enjoyed?

I love it all.  From Spring to fall we have food all over this farm.  I love being organic.  I can't imagine any other way of growing food.  Love teaching my daughter all about gardening, growing food and caring for our chickens.  I have the most spoiled chickens ever - and for that, they give us the most beautiful eggs.
What I don't like is pruning the blueberries in the winter and fertilizing them with the organic fish fertilizer we use.  It stinks!  I make my husband do it.

You have also delved into the gourmet food business with your specialty jams. Do you do all the cooking and baking at your place? Do you create your own recipes? Any disasters?

I've always made jams, canned peaches, tomatoes apple sauce....  The jams are my own.  They have been tweaked over the many years and it was a chef I met who suggested I put black pepper in my strawberry jam.
I have my own small commercial kitchen for preparing all the jams.  I'm just getting ready to expand the business as it's really taking off, so I'm hoping to find someone else to come on board and help with the cooking.  I can't do it all anymore. 

Any plans on a cookbook?

Oh yes.  Cico books (Ryland, Peters and Small) offered me a book contract last spring.  The book comes out this March.  I spent the last 6 months writing and photographing the whole thing.  It's was overwhelming but lots of fun.  I'm so very lucky.
It's called Farm Fresh Recipes from the Missing Goat Farm.

How would you describe your typical day?

Probably very much like most moms - except I have chickens and jam in mine. 
Get up at 6, get my girl ready for school, take out the dog, take care of the chickens, get the girl to school, hit the kitchen and make jam for 4-5 hours.  Get on the computer if I can, play with the dog, volunteer at the school, try to work in play dates, have an awesome after school snack ready, start on dinner, collapse at 8pm on the couch, try to answer emails or do a blog post in the evening.

What plans do you have or ambitions for your blog, business and farm?

Well, the cookbook is coming out this spring, the jam is going to be featured in the BC booth at the San Francisco Fancy Food Show end of January - so I may or may not begin to sell in the US.  I'm expanding the jam business - I've been trying to keep it small, but that's just not working, so I'm tired of fighting it.  The farm may change as the jam line grows but we have a great young couple to run that for us.
My blog - I have a few ideas that I'd like to inject - but really, I just want to try to post regularly. 
Oh - this is fun - I'm working with some awesome friends to create a video on how to make pie from scratch.  That is the big project right now. 


I am so glad to have finally been able to get to know you a bit better Heather! I can't wait to get my hands on your cookbook and a jar of your strawberry jam with pepper!

XO Barbara

10 comments:

  1. I've always love Heather's work. Her styling does not look contrived,is simple and fresh. That cookbook is going to be in my kitchen!

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  2. Countless times I've landed over at Heather's blog to check on her chickens; the stories she's told about them are so engaging and entertaining! And her photography is lovely too! I've been wanting to try her Missing Goat products too... let me know when you're headed to the farm and I'll come with you!
    Victoria

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  3. I've been reading Heather's blog for years. Her wonderful photos and storytelling keeps me coming back. I'd secretly love to live on a farm with a few chickens too. ;) Okay, bloggers field trip to Missing Goat Farm! I want to go too!

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  4. Wow, what an amazing lady. It really sounds like she's living her dream life.

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  5. Heather is my looong time friend. I'm so proud of her! We've worked on so many shoots together, over the years, and I knew she's eventually do a book. Go H!
    Lovely interview, Barbara!

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  6. I have been a long-time follower of Heather's blog and am so excited for her cookbook to come out. Her blog is always amazing, with great photos, fun ideas and she will even talk about the "disasters". I love her little girl, the dog, the chickens...it is everything a great blog should be!!

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  7. I love Heather's blog too and I'm glad to be her "American friend"...although we have never meet but who knows maybe one day we will!

    Rita

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  8. How can you not love her blog! Goodness, those pics, and that dream lifestyle and such a beautiful mix!!

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  9. What an inspiration! Great interview... thanks so much for giving me a chance to get to know Heather better :-)

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  10. Heather is the bomb! A total inspiration and a nice person and kool mom!

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