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Waiting on Spring

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I sat down with a cup of coffee and opened my laptop to see if I had a few words in me this morning. I looked up for a moment, glanced through the window toward the back field, and wouldn't you know, it's snowing to beat the band out there. It also snowed all day Saturday. All day. March is always a tease, never sure if it's coming or going, but this year it has chosen to remain firmly planted in winter, for sure. 

And so we take to the inside. I tend our seed starts and restock our lotion and reclaim our monthly budget and dream of the day I can finally plant peas in the ground. Sugaring brings us outside, but not too much. It's been slow. I'm so glad we thought to ask my uncle if we could borrow 60 taps and buckets this years as opposed to last year's 30. As it turns out, double the taps will yield less than half the syrup our 30 taps yielded last year. Yesterday my uncle told us a local sugar maker that usually produces about 800 gallons looks to be on track for about 100. It's the way it goes, this dance with nature and all the things beyond our control. 

We're in our last few days of collecting and boiling now. In the end we'll have a few gallons which will serve us well, but a tough year for those that depend on sugaring as part of their income. 


In a few weeks we're heading up to Vermont to finally spend some time on our land after purchasing it in early January. I learned from Adam's aunt that it is zoned arctic (zone 3-4) in terms of gardening. I thought it was 4a as opposed to our 6a down here in Connecticut, which I was making mental adjustments for... but throw a 3 in there? It's going to be a wild time learning to garden in such a climate. My mother in law loved her northern Vermont garden. She said the combination of cool nights and warm sunny days helped things to practically grow inches overnight. And of course Adam's grandmother had (has) incredible gardens over the years, growing and preserving much of her own food. It's just different and there will be many things to learn. I imagine our best chance at growing those beloved Brandywine tomatoes will be in a greenhouse. But I hope tiny, quick to ripen varieties such as Sungold or Matt's Wild Cherry will produce just fine in the open garden. There is no finer late August breakfast than a few handfuls of Sungold tomatoes, enjoyed while roaming the garden rows during the day's first light. Our Vermont vegetable garden this year will be small. I just want to put a few thing in the ground and see how they manage. Although, if I have the vision for placement (it takes a while to feel out a new place), I'd like to start planting some perennial fruit trees and shrubs, as well as herbs. We'll see.


Well, the snow is still coming down. You know, the best part of spring snow is that (for the most part) you get to ignore it. It'll melt soon enough so why fuss about it? This morning I'll watch the snow fall and happily ignore the clean up. There are two gallons of syrup to finish off and a batch of lip balm to make. A quiet Monday keeping busy inside, as we wait for spring's arrival on the outside.

Whole Food Kitchen :: registration is open!

WFK 2015 postcard
I'm thrilled to open registration today for the 2015 session of Whole Food Kitchen.
Registration is now closed, thank you to everyone who joined this session! Next Whole Food Kitchen will be held in the spring of 2016.

Begins April 20, 2015

~ 4 Weeks ~

Wfk 1 Some of us need a little help getting started in the kitchen, others are looking for inspiration to rekindle their love of eating real, wholesome foods. Wherever you are on this path of healthy eating, Whole Food Kitchen will meet you there, providing recipes, practical wisdom, and wonderful resources.

This workshop is a lifestyle immersion. Surround yourself with healthy living and real food. Take the elements that work for your life, leave what you don't need. Whole Food Kitchen will teach and speak to a plant-centered diet, but is not exclusively vegan or vegetarian.

You will find my classes infused with a non-dogmatic, inclusive approach to nutrition. In life and in food, my focus is on simplicity, patience, keeping it real, and common sense. There is simply no perfect diet for every person, Whole Food Kitchen begins with a foundation of plant foods, and builds from there as it feels right to each person individually.

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A Few Changes for 2015

If you've taken this workshop in the past, please allow me a moment to share a few changes regarding how it is run.

Whole Food Kitchen is substantial body of work. So much of the information is perennial, there is no need to reinvent it each year. And yet, many of us love to have something fresh and new to look forward to... I understand this!

Moving forward, not only will all of the original Whole Food Kitchen content be included with each session, but FOUR NEW MODULES will be provided as well! It's like a workshop plus a workshop! And, I've been able to rework the delivery of the course so we can commit to less time, which also means I've been able to reduce the cost by nearly half.

A few changes... all of them for the better!

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Essential details:

  • one month immersion 
  • twelve modules 
  • beautifully designed ebooks that are easy to download
  • dozens of recipes (over 100 actually, with two dozen new recipes this year!)
  • email support as you need it
  • a private community for interactive support 
  • video cooking classes each week (all new classes have been filmed for 2015!)
  • self-paced (you do not need to be in class at any specific time)
  • virtual classroom remains open for 30 days post workshop
  • a down to earth approach to eating well
  • and more!


Do you have questions? Please visit my Frequently Asked Questions page.

Hopefully your question is answered there!

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You will learn about:

  • whole food fundamentals
  • setting up a whole food kitchen and pantry
  • menu planning and recipe organization
  • healing fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds
  • preparing whole grains and legumes
  • protein, healthy fats 
  • ideas for breakfast, the lunch box, and dinner table
  • holistic lifestyle
  • nourishing snacks 
  • special occasion treats
  • tips and resources on sourcing quality food
  • how others set up and organize their whole foods kitchens (NEW for 2015!)
  • restorative springtime cleansing (NEW for 2015!)
  • whole foods freezer cooking (NEW for 2015!)
  • soaking and sprouting legumes and grains for optimal nutrition (NEW for 2015!)
  • and more!


Whole foods, lots of inspiration, tremendous support, that is my focus.

I hope to see you in the workshop!


WFK 2015 500x500 button


Begins April 20, 2015
~ 4 Weeks ~
Registration is now closed, thank you to everyone who joined this session! Next Whole Food Kitchen will be held in the spring of 2016.



Visit my Frequently Asked Questions page for more info. Thank you!


Kind words received past workshop participants:

"This has been a wonderful journey, one I would have never been brave enough to tackle on my own. Thank you so much for your inspiration, encouragement and education through out this workshop." - Jessica

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"Thank you Heather for all of the thought and hard work you put into making this workshop so rich for us. I am so glad that I was able to be a part of it,everything from the recipes to the little pearls of wisdom have made this month seem like a truly restorative experience. The weeks flew by quickly but I feel that major changes have transpired that go beyond anything I expected." - Claire

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"Heather - Please let me echo the sentiments of many of my classmates by thanking you for the effort that you put into this workshop. This is BY FAR the best online "class" I have taken." - Joni

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"... you've been a wonderful guide and I really value and appreciate the work you put into making this workshop so complete - a perfect balance of practical knowledge and thoughtful inspiration." - Kim


Organizing My Garden Posts

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Life is spinning in so many directions at the moment. Some good, some not so good, all of it leaving me reeling for some peace. I'm in the process of finishing up details for our next Whole Food Kitchen session, but need just a few more days before I can release that.

With so much going on, and my inability to focus on work, I created a small retreat for myself yesterday. It didn't cost any money, took practically zero brain power (bliss), and I was able to sip chai and balance a few important family texts and phone calls  during the process (perhaps that last part was not very retreat-like, but you take what you can get). I felt productive yet relaxed - a little creative, even. Just what I needed, work will still be there tomorrow.

What did I do during my spontaneous mini-retreat? Well, I created a one page blog resource containing all the gardening related posts I've written since living on this property. Such an activity may not sound very zen-like, but it felt pretty good to me as I bounced between looking at garden images from the past three years, while simultaneously planning/coordinating various family details. We may still have nearly two feet of snow on the ground, but spring is definitely in the air and my urge to get out in it is insatiable. I ordered potato seed yesterday but that wasn't enough, I looked around for a little more gardening related work. Our seeds are planted in trays by the window, and the remainder of our seed packets are fairly organized. Without much else to do given the abundance of snow, I decided to take to the blog and spruce things up for springtime.


Before we head over to the new resource page, please note the my style of writing garden posts is merely to journal our way through the season. I'm not an expert gardener, and I do not offer a lot of "how to" type posts, but I hope there is still plenty of info and inspiration to be had. If nothing else, it's organized! Without further ado, welcome to our garden

welcome to our garden

This handy access button will reside over on the sidebar. Click on it anytime you'd like to visit the garden.

Thank you for stopping by!

Welcome to Our Garden

Over the last few years I've been writing more and more about gardening. This page will serve as a gathering spot for all of those posts. Prior to living here, we lived on a quarter acre of very shady land in the city. Since moving to this four acre rural property (which is actually where I grew up), we've devoted much of our time to developing vegetable, fruit, flower and herb gardens.

I don't write about gardening in a "how to" type of format, as I am very much a student myself. But there can still be much to learn from, and by inspired by, when we observe the experience of another home gardener - I certainly am. Have a look around, and I'll be sure to add new posts to this index as they are written. Enjoy!

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2015 Garden (fancy banner coming soon)


In the Garden :: June 17 - I've decided once a week is a little much, I'll do updates every two weeks. Growth and progress should be more notable this way, plus, I'm just awfully busy outside this time of year and can't quite commit to weekly blogging about the garden. Things are looking good out there right now, come on by!

In the Garden :: June 4 - Today marks the first of hopefully many weekly garden updates for the season. We were experiencing quite a drought, but early in the week it starting raining and continued for three straight days. Much needed and greatly appreciated.


Season Opener - After the most intense winter that most anyone alive today can remember, we finally got into the garden. Nothing feels quite as good as that first long and sore weekend in the soil.

  2014 garden banner


  • Still Harvesting - I still have one small section fenced off from the busy chickens as kale, spinach, beets, leeks, calendula and lettuce are still growing and being harvested.
  • Garden Visit :: October 7 - Care to take a grey and drizzly autumn stroll through the garden?


  • Pretend CSA 2014 - Earlier in the summer I mentioned that we'd attempt to gift my aunt and uncle a "pretend CSA basket" each week, for the duration of our growing season, as a thank you for their generous help with our first year sugaring. Here is a photo journal of those baskets.
  • Garden Visit :: September 8 - I wasn't able to keep up with my garden posts too well this year. I already know that my lack of posting this summer will prove disappointing next year as I try to recall the story of this year’s garden.


  • Garden Visit :: July 15 - Every year, mid-July, I wake up and it seems the entire garden is taken over by weeds. We spent about 15 hours in here this weekend getting things back into shape, pulling bolted lettuce and peas that are finished. Compost was added and late summer/fall crops were planted. Now the food growing plants can have the nutritive soil all to themselves and the air flow is much improved.


  • Garden Visit :: June 24 - Keeping up with the garden a few rows at a time has given me such peace of mind. The only way to stay on top of it is to get out there for 30-60 minutes each day and tend a few rows.
  • Garden Visit :: June 11 - At this point, so many things have been planted. I'm holding off on rutabaga, parsnips, a second (third?) bed of carrots, and a few other things. Once space frees up from the radishes and the first three beds of peas we'll have room for those things.


  • It's Been Quite an Education - Sometimes when people learn that we rent this home, and that it is likely not our forever place, they think we're a little crazy for the amount of work we put into developing our gardens and the land in general. But the way we see it, the years spent here are ones we'll never get back. This property is primed for gardening and maple sugaring - and the education we are receiving as a result of our efforts holds value far greater than the loss of walking away from a few dozen garden beds - when and if the time comes.
  • On the Other Side of the Weekend - In addition to what I've already planted, over the last week I've added beets, leeks, broccoli, and a few lettuce starts that I picked up at our food co-op.


2013 garden banner


  • This Week In My Garden :: August 22 - Everyday there is something to harvest, tie up, pull back, thin, or mulch. And probably water, too. I'm experimenting this year with not actually watering the garden (aside from early seeds), and depending solely on the rainfall. This week has really been the first where I've started wishing (on behalf of my tomato plants) for rainfall.
  • This Week In My Garden :: August 15 - Things are good. So much bounty, and so much tending. The weather has been beautiful for the last several days and it's been such a pleasure to spend time among the rows.
  • Where the Ladies Live - I suppose we can squeeze this post into the gardening section. Lots of photos and such of our chicken coop, and a few words on how it was built.
  • This Week In My Garden :: August 1 - This week our garden is producing lots of vegetables, and lots of pests! 


  • This Week In My Garden :: July 25 - The heart of the garden season. So much is doing great... but the winter squash? That is difficult to grow, for me. I thought it was root rot, it turned out to be vine borers.
  • This Week In My Garden :: July 18 - The garden is doing well, but the gardener has been sidelined with a severe case of poison ivy.
  • The Garden Porch - This Garden Porch has quickly become a favorite space. One so simple and practical, filling a need and pulled together with random pieces already on hand. This summer, despite the heat, has just gotten a whole lot better.
  • This Week In My Garden :: July 11 - I feel like this year I've been on top of the garden and weeds more than in year's past but when I look at these photos it doesn't look like it at all! We'll keep plugging along and getting the work done... the garden has truly become my favorite place to be this summer, even if the extreme heat and humidity means I can only stand it for 20 minutes at a time.
  • This Week In My Garden :: July 4 - In general we have given our plants plenty of space this year and I think that is paying off right now because the weather has been so rainy and humid. I'm not sure the garden would be holding up as well as it seems to be if things were closer together. 



  • Raised Strawberry Bed - Continue to move our gardening efforts to the back field, we took down a large ash tree allowing for more sunlight, and established the first raised strawberry bed.


2012 garden banner


  • Counting the Hours of Sunlight - Such a great thing to do if you're not exactly sure how much direct sun your garden gets each day. Read about my simple method in this post.
  • There Will Be No Tomato Sauce This Year - Our first year gardening here, and our first experience with late blight. It swoops in overnight and takes out the whole crop. Such a sad thing to wake up to... but we carry on.
  • Potato Harvest - At the time of this writing (3/15), that first year was the best we've seen for potatoes. We only put a few pounds of seed in the ground and were nicely rewarded.
  • Putting Summer into the Freezer - Tackling basil (pesto recipe!), roasted tomatoes, and green beans.
  • Simple Garden Meals - What is better than walking out into the garden and harvesting a bit of this and that for an easy, nourishing meal.



  • Expanding the Garden - When I was a young girl, our vegetable garden was in the "back field," as we called it. In later years, my parents moved the garden to the side of the garage, close to the house. This post shares the beginning of our garden expansion and return to the back field.
  • Checking in on the Garden - I love a June Garden. Few if any pests, still plenty of moisture, so much green! We harvest peas, greens and radishes with abundance in June.


  • Welcome - The very first peek into our garden on this property. Prior to our moving here, my parents maintained a small garden that dad added a great deal of fertility to. It was a great plot for us to start with.

If Not Full Time, What Then?

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Your words of support and encouragement on my last post have meant the world to us, thank you for being so generous! It feels good to finally share our news, mostly because my writing has been incredibly blocked for months now by keeping this one aspect of our life secret when truly, it is the most exciting thing we have going on. Writing around the story of our land has been a challenge, but now I hope to find myself writing through it more and more.

Because I’m an idea person, perhaps a logical place to start writing is by sketching out the big picture. What do we see for ourselves on this land? I shared in my last post that we've retired the idea (for now) of living in Vermont full time. I suppose that begs the question, if not full time, what then?

We are not fancy people. A "weekend home" is far above our means. Instead, what we're going for is one cost of living divided between two places. That may sound a little unusual, but I'm sure crazier ideas have found their way into the world.

Adam and I are both 42 years old. As Ben said in our recent interview, “We’re not old by any means – I’m 43 and Penny is 47 – but we’re old enough that we can imagine being old.” I get this!! At our age, it’s time to get on with this thing called life and stop waiting for “someday” or “the perfect time.” Like most couples, early in our relationship we felt like our whole lives were ahead of us, there was no rush. Back then I couldn’t imagine being a senior citizen! Now I know for certain that I’ll wake up someday soon and our mailbox will be filled with notices from AARP.

It’s time to start crafting the life we are meant to live.

Coming to the conclusion that we’ll maintain a residence in Connecticut was not easy. After all, we’ve spent twenty years plotting our departure. Did you know Connecticut is one of the leading states in the nation for “residents wanting to leave the sate?” Taxes are crippling, jobs scarce, and if you’re outdoor adventure loving people like us... well, Connecticut is tiny (and waterways are not clean). It’s hard to get a full day hike in around here without crossing a main road or private property, let alone multi-day backpacking trips. “Wilderness” and “Connecticut” do not exactly go together. Speaking of wilderness, beside the large swath of family land in Vermont lies an 8,000 acre, wild and free as can be state forest. And of course more land, lakes and mountains beyond that. The White Mountains are also a short car ride away, so much of that range will be available to us for day hikes and beyond. (I know! Pinch me!)

(To be clear, we are naturally grateful for life in general, no matter the location. Even more so when it is filled with health and happiness.)

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We’ll keep a few roots in Connecticut, but look forward to planting our deepest roots up north. More than just a weekend getaway, we see ourselves sharing time between the two places. It won’t happen overnight, but that is currently the vision. In the coming years, it is likely that Adam will be able to structure his work week so only 3-4 days need to be spent in the office, allowing for more flexible living. My work is independent of geographic location, so there may be times when I’m up north building gardens, writing workshops and creating recipes while breathing in that green mountain air; just waiting for Adam to join me on the days he isn’t in the office. After nearly 20 years of marriage, we continue to mature as a couple and as individuals. No longer do I feel like my life will end if we are apart for a couple of nights each week. In fact, two years ago he took a break from full time law practice to be the full time homeschool parent while I worked more. It was great for a lot of reasons, but in the end, we were together all the time and I really missed missing him. We were always together! Together is good, but solitude is also good. And solitude can feel elusive when you’re together 24/7. I love time together as well as time apart, and I especially love the anticipation of being together again. Oh! And I really love the hour before he comes home in the evening... waiting, excited to see him and catch up on our days. I missed that when we were always together. So, we’ll float between Connecticut and Vermont, with perhaps me spending a couple more nights a week up north than Adam. Of course, none of this is in stone, but it feels like it might work out in such a way.

And Emily? It’s hard to believe how much change is on the horizon for our family, she will be 18 in less than one year! We are about to enter a new chapter of living - less hands on parenting, more freedom and independence for all. College, travel, new adventures... who knows! Still lots of facilitating and support on the parenting front, but it will not look the same as during her younger years. My biggest job over the next several years will be learning to go with the flow. To be open to change rather then resist it. Virgo that I am, order, predictability, and structure are places of comfort. Adam can roll with anything - I intend to study his ways and learn as much as I can from him. He is definitely the family guru in this department.

Our plan for the Connecticut leg of this journey is to do it as inexpensively as possible. As mentioned above, the goal is one cost of living divided between two places. That is really the most realistic way for us to pull off dual living (however "dual living" may look in the end). Our Connecticut roots might remain planted here in the home we currently live, or somewhere else entirely. All of that remains to be seen... which sounds so very “go with the flow” of me! 


I guess if I could sum up my current vision for Vermont, it would be to slowly and carefully create a sanctuary deep in the woods. A homestead that does not feel of this century, and perhaps not even of the last century. A place that if a stranger happened upon it, they would feel certain Tasha Tudor or Ma Ingalls once lived there. A place to exhale, to work hard, and to be born again. Only time will tell how closely we arrive to fulfilling this vision, and I’m sure it will evolve along the way. All I know is how ready we are to get on with this life... there’s been enough dreaming, it’s time to start living.

A Piece of Vermont

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Real estate listing photos from the property Adam grew up on. This is where I fell in love with Vermont. Not a bad view for washing dishes, right? (I'm not linking to the actual listing for privacy reasons... this is the only property on the ridge of family land that is no longer owned by someone in the family.)

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We left Connecticut in the late afternoon, heading north. It was my first time going to his family home and I was excited to connect with the place I'd heard of only through stories and memories shared. At some point in the trip I fell asleep, lying across the bench seat of the old Ford pickup with my head resting on Adam's lap. As we got closer, nighttime at this point, he gave me a little nudge to wake up, to see the stars. My eyes opened. Without sitting up, I looked through the windshield toward the sky and looking back at me were the brightest, biggest stars I had ever seen. I felt like I was floating among them! Sparkly, glittery stars filling the pure black night sky. They just don't make stars like that in Connecticut. I was a goner. That was nearly 25 years ago. 

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Vermont has been my home ever since. We've hiked countless miles, pitched tents and carried backpacks. We've seen concerts, paddled canoes, sampled our way through beer factories, and supported farmers. All the while, there has been one sole purpose to our visit - to feel connected to place. Clean air, clean water, clean trails... what may be scarce in Connecticut, is abundant in Vermont. We even moved there for a short time after we were married. But being a young couple, still working on college and "career" building, it was limiting. And so we returned to Connecticut with a promise to be back. On the morning of our departure, after packing the moving truck, the last thing we did was hike up the local mountain for a final look at the valley below. Dotted with green trees, mountains in the distance, winding rivers, and old New England homes, it was my idea of perfection. That was nearly 20 years ago.

We've been trying to get back ever since. 

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If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you'll remember the many false starts we experienced in doing so. We looked all over the state... content with just about any location... just get us there. But over and over, things fell through. To name a few, there was the contract that didn't work out; a hurricane seriously damaging a village just one week after our visit to look at properties; both of our cars dying (kaput) one week after a resumed land search in which we found a couple of serious contenders (nothing like replacing two cars at once to drain the savings); arriving to see a cabin that had been listed forever only to have the realtor tell us it went under deposit that very morning. 

We never gave up on the dream. Logic would have told us to back burner the whole thing, but I don't exactly specialize in logic. Although to be clear, there were plenty of moments in which we fully recognized the absurdity of it all and noted that surely the universe had other plans for us. Then we'd put our hands over our ears and say la la la la la... I'm not listening! Because we are very mature. 

As much as I'd be happy with an acre of land just over the Vermont border, my deepest connection to the state has always been felt in the Northeast Kingdom, where Adam grew up. The place where I became smitten with the stars and mountains and rolling farmland and dirt roads and set-apart feeling. Man, I love that place.

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This past summer Adam was about to click "purchase" on a four day getaway for my birthday to some funky, woodsy place in Vermont. He literally had filled out all the information, debit card number was entered, etc. We were one step away from purchasing something that wasn't exactly cheap, and would be completely over with nothing to show for it in four days time. I asked him to "WAIT! Hang on! Don't click purchase!

What if we took the money we were about to spend on this trip and pool it with the small savings we'd been rebuilding since replacing two cars at once... could we buy a little something? Just one acre would be fine! A place to pitch a tent and call our own... is there a way? He did not click "purchase." We closed the vacation website, then hit up realtor.com once again, searching for anything cheap. And north. The further north the better. Oh, and cheap. Did I mention cheap?

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Before I go any further, I'll share that our plans for Vermont have changed a bit over this past year. No longer do we see ourselves living there full time, at this point. Last spring Adam accepted an offer of partnership at the law firm he's worked at for five years. Let me tell you, the number one factor in our decision making when considering the position was indeed the commitment to Connecticut residency. That was a hard one. If you are in our age demographic, you likely understand what it means to be over-educated and under-employed. For him to get an opportunity like this is a rarity in today's job market. To get another opportunity for something similar, especially in rural Vermont, is unlikely. Furthermore, he really likes his job and the people he works with. All of these things would be hard to duplicate. And let's not forget, those six figure student loans (as much regret as we may have about acquiring them) do not pay themselves. Solid, secure employment matters. It's not the only thing that matters, but it does matter. Deciding to stay in Connecticut and accept this position was not an easy decision, but it was absolutely the right one.

So, while I may have spent a couple decades dreaming about life in Vermont, I have since tempered that dream with the needs of my partner. We're in this together.

Anyway, back to relator.com and our search for the cheapest yet most amazing piece of land in the Northeast Kingdom. 

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We found a property in the very town Adam grew up in. It seemed too cheap. The pictures looked pretty good, but I know how we can use our cameras to create the best angle. We called Adam's aunt to ask if she knew of the property and of course she did ("small town" is an understatement). She told us it was a rough piece of land that was basically one very steep incline and would be difficult to use.

Then the heavens opened and she mentioned that she and her husband might like to sell us some of their land. They are retired now and do not use the entire property any longer. To sell some, keeping it within the family, and maybe support a little snowbird dream of their own could be a win-win for all. It basically took us all of two seconds to say YES!!

To settle on family land, where aunts, uncles, cousins and Adam's grandmother all have properties connected across the north ridge, is the perfect ending to pretty much the only dream I've had for my entire adult life. Vermont is my bucket list. 

I've been keeping this on the down low for months and months. We had an agreement and shook hands and said "let's do this" way back in September. Then, before we could sign on the dotted line, we had to demonstrate all the patience in the world as the deal passed through town zoning, then we waited for the surveyor, etc. It was all fine, and there were no major surprises, it was just a slow process. They don't feel the need to rush things up there.

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After years of almost making something happen, then having it not work out, we decided to keep our lips sealed until we were indeed the proud owners. (Well, Adam's lips are always sealed, it was me that decided to keep quiet.) I can finally share that we now call a piece of Vermont our own!! Twenty acres of mixed woods with a gentle slope, southeastern exposure, and a fresh water spring. For now, it's the perfect place to pitch a tent, stare at the sky, and sob like a baby over the good fortune of it all. Who knows, someday soon there might even be a cozy cabin, soup simmering on a wood cookstove, with quilts, books, knitting, and foraging baskets piled all around.

Over the last several months we've made quite a few visits to the land that would become ours, and of course I spent some of that time with camera in hand. All of the pictures in this post (pictures from Adam's boyhood property aside), were taken on our land, or on the road the property is located.

Our land! Twenty acres! In Vermont!

Dreams are good, friends. Never giving up on them? Well, that's even better. xo

Starting to Get Ready


I think we're just going to leave the ladder and snow shovel on the deck, until Memorial Day. Roofs do not shovel themselves!


Another weekend, another storm. Are you tired of hearing this from those of us in the northeast? This weekend brought the extra excitement of climbing onto the roof and dealing with ice dams. Good thing, as we are expecting another storm tomorrow. So I'm just going to go ahead and plant seeds, gather our sugaring supplies, and maybe even buy some tulips for the dining room table. 

I'm nearly ready for spring. I'll take another storm or two without complaint, but then I'll set my clocks ahead and enjoy the high-in-the-sky sun right along with you. As much as I love winter, I know well enough to appreciate the ushering in of our next season, as well. And let's be honest, this winter turned out to be one for the record books so I certainly was not left wanting for more. Winter 2015 gave us all she could and then some. Barely a day of dingy brown snow on the roadsides before another storm swept in and cleaned it all up with a fresh covering. The whole season has been so classic New England that I don't think folks will forget it for decades to come.


And the cold! Our winter food storage is mostly in the garage. It's insulated, but unheated. The veggies stay cold, hovering just above freezing which is perfect, and the insulation keeps things from actually freezing. I have squash, beets, cabbage, carrots, and a few other things storing without issue. Granted, if we were having one of those winters where the temperature fluctuated greatly, rising into the forties or even low fifties on some days, our veggies would not be storing as well as they are. But this year, it's working out just fine. 

During a visit with a friend this weekend, she told me that her refrigerator broke. Instead of running out to buy a new fridge, she's just been using coolers and the great outdoors instead. She freezes ice in jugs outside, places them in the coolers to keep things cold in the house. Frozen goods just stay outside on the north side of the house. It made me think of Ben's set up for the winter months using a vintage ice box and running a pvc pipe from it, through the wall, to the icy outdoors. Well, to his uninsulated porch, but basically the outdoors. (He goes into more detail about it in his book, The Nourishing Homestead.)  I'd love to get to that point one day. Although truthfully, aside from the freedom and cost savings that comes from unplugging your refrigerator for several months out of the year, how great would it be to have such a beautiful piece in your kitchen? Much nicer than a metal box. 


This week I'm putting the finishing touches on my next session of Whole Food Kitchen  and should have registration open early next week. The workshop will actually begin in late April. I'm so excited for this workshop! Whole Food Kitchen didn't run at all in 2014, so it's been a long time since I've offered it. There have been some significant changes to how the workshop is structured and I look forward to sharing those details with you.

Before I settle in to my work though, I'm going to plant some seeds. Because even though our three foot high kale cage is entirely buried in snow (!!!), summer is indeed coming. Around here, we are slowly starting to get ready.