I have a one track mind– I love food. I adore everything which is or can be related to food: cooking, gardening, wild foods, permaculture, homesteading, responsible consumerism, cultural revolution, wilderness ecology and so called “simple living.” Furthermore, I am blessed/cursed with a lust for learning. I can’t get enough. I like to do stuff, but I also like to read about it, think about it, talk about it and write about it.
I’ve been thinking about sustainable food and trying to figure out how to blend homesteading into a modern community life in Alaska for more than 15 years. I’ve been working on our particular piece of land for 6. I’m nowhere near my ideal of ‘feral Eden’ but I have made good progress.
I found permaculture last fall, and it was love at first sight. A cohesive subject which combines and organizes everything that I care about, everything I’ve spent my life so far learning, under one roof! With an emphasis on research and nature observation, and a mandate for well thought out design, all culminating in the physical labor of working outside to produce food. Permaculture is a pattern for everything I love.
That’s not my real job though, no. I’m a full time mama to two little firecrackers– aged 3 and 6– who bring me both frustration and joy in measures never before imagined. I wrote about the emotional journey of motherhood for someone who is used to getting serious shit done, in my blog Apron Stringz.
Last but not least, I am a wife. My Man is an ass-kicking environmental lawyer, currently working to fight genetically modified salmon and wholesale clear-cutting of the Tongass National Forest. He is extremely cerebral and although he loves wilderness and spends his life defending it, he is entirely uninterested in farming. I like to think we work two different sides of the same coin. We’re partners in the same game, even if our jobs sometimes seem unrelated.
We are a family of many and varied interests, and our lifestyle treads the edge between modern conveniences and back-to-the-land ethics. We enjoy a full bevy of digital devices, yet deeply value and delight in the natural world. We eat locally caught salmon with homegrown kale for dinner and follow it up with boxed brownies. We are passionate, complicated, hypocritical. After living much more radically in our youth, way out in the woods, now we have chosen to live right in the middle of our community and take part in a more significant way.
Trying to be a part of the way things are, while changing them from the inside, is not a “simple life,” but it suits us. We have always been edge dwellers.