This blog started shortly after I discovered potatoes had plant parts. I was riding with my parents on our long trek from North Carolina to Kansas (and back) one summer, listening to Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle via cd. Kingsolver mentioned someone she knew who didn't realize potatoes could "come up."

This was when I had my moment.

Okay, I graduated from college. I believe that I am fairly intelligent (despite the trail of spelling errors I leave behind me. Sorry folks... and Jeff Gundy). However, I just had never given much thought to potatoes. I am sure if I would've sat down and thought about it, I would have reasonably come to the conclusions that, yes, potatoes plants have a part that shoot out of the ground.

I use this example a lot because it was just one moment (of many) that have motivated me to keep seeking ways to "return to the land."

This blog also started around the time the last part of my Grandpa Yoder's farm land was being sold off to strangers. I couldn't help but feel so disconnected from my ancestors who farmed in rural Pennsylvania and lived simply. How was it that in three generations the knowledge of potato plant parts was completely lost?

When I say "returning to the land" here, I don't mean in a literal sense. I know it is impractical and impossible for everyone to make a great migration out to the rural parts of the world and farm. Instead, I mean "returning" in the sense of regaining knowledge that has been pushed to the side or forgotten, (i,e. the joy of homemade bread baking in the oven or the best time to plant my tomatoes in the ground).

I do this not because I long for some type of deep connection with my Amish ancestors (okay maybe a little but), but rather because I believe we live on a planet with limited resources, living a lifestyle that will not sustain us.

Thus, another point of this blog is to focus on the environment, to challenge myself to be a better steward of the world God created, and to widen my imagination when it comes to what it means to live simply and green.

I do not do this because I am some "crazy hippy." I do this because I love to write. I love to cook. I love to garden. I love to can. I do this because I want my niece and nephews' great-great grandchildren to have a fighting chance on a livable planet. I do this because I believe that caring about the environment is ultimately about caring for people. I love this earth, but I love the people who live here even more.

More importantly, this is a space for grace. I am not perfect. But I am discovering that really isn't too important. What is important is whether I am going to be the type of person who sits back and does nothing, or the person who has gumption and tries, even if it looks foolish.

I whole-heartily choose the latter. I hope you do too.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me

- Anna j.
(Photo by Amy Sharp Does Photography)