While other teenage girls were shopping for clothes or agonizing over who was going to ask them to prom, I was dressing in hand-me-down flannel and poring over books on composting manure, skinning rabbits, and building outhouses. My first homesteading endeavor–a vegetable garden in my parents’ backyard–was a disaster. I only tilled once, didn’t know how to use a hoe, and watched in dismay as the perennial grasses came in thick and mean. But, fifteen years later, I’ve grown over 45 kinds of vegetables, fruits, and herbs–on two continents–and I’m glad to share a little of what I’ve learned along the way, not only about gardening but also about getting all that delicious produce to the table in a form that will tempt even the pickiest of eaters. (You know who you are!)
My adventures in animal raising are only just beginning. Several years ago, I was confronted with the horrors that are industrial animal production. I know that most farmers are just trying to make a living (one of the nicest men I know runs a concentration camp for pigs), but honestly, we’ve got to do a heck of a lot better. I was vegan for four years but gave it up after developing increasingly acute symptoms of hypoglycemia. Now my goal is to produce as many of my own animal-derived foods as possible. So far, I’ve raised laying hens and some broiler chickens (as well as one nasty-tasting rooster), but I hope to expand soon into dairy–likely by way of goats.
While you’ll find that I often mention France in this blog (et y file une phrase de français de temps à autre), I am currently cottage farming in Virginia, right on the border between USDA Zones 7a and 7b. When I’m not digging, hoeing, cooking, or canning, I’m most likely madly scribbling sentences in a notebook or typing furiously on my laptop. You can find some of my non-garden-related writing on my other blog as well as on Salon.com and Felicity Huffman’s site What The Flicka. I am currently seeking representation for my memoir The Supreme Victory of the Heart, about how my French fiancé’s announcement that God might want him to marry a woman from his past led me to some life-changing spiritual discoveries. If you like stories about love, destiny, and synchronicity, this memoir is for you!
If you want to get in touch with me, feel free to leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.