I am a Jane of Many Trades, a woman of many interests, and that boils down to a passion for quality in everything I do. Freshly brewed hand crafted beers, organically raised farm fresh eggs and produce, cooking delicious and nutritious meals, artisanally roasted coffee... these are some of the things I enjoy most in life. I also love working with my hands outdoors, with the sounds of chickens, geese, wild birds, and other critters that live on my farm always in the background. I love to write about all of this, and working in the interactive medium of the world wide web is a wonderful way to tie all these things together. It helps me share the skills I have gained through many years of practice, and gives me quick access to an endless fount of knowledge so the joy of learning never stops!
I know a lot about sustainable living because I grew up a poor "hippie" in rural Vermont in a family that grew much of our own food and did more with less out of necessity. Doing more with less gave us a reliance on our own creativity. Growing up in an environment where our sustenance came from the land gave me a profound respect for the earth. I am reminded of that respect each and every day as I tend a small flock of chickens and geese and vegetable garden on the small farm where I live.
As I came of age this respect grew to concern as I became more aware of the devastation being wrought by our current way of life. This lead me to work with Greenpeace for seven years in the 90's, where I learned the gruesome details of the destructiveness of our ways, but also learned more about alternatives. Since that time I have devoted my energy towards promoting alternatives to a chemically intensive environmentally destructive lifestyle by focusing in the area I know and love best: beer!
Homebrewing has been an obsession of mine since 1994, when I picked up and read cover to cover the fine book The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing by Charlie Papazian while bedridden for 2 days with a horrible flu. As soon as I felt better I brewed my first batch and I've been hooked ever since. When I started brewing it was almost impossible to obtain organic brewing ingredients, which lead me to help found the organic brewing supplier Seven Bridges Cooperative. I managed the business operations for the first 15 years, and though I left that "day job" behind in 2011, I am still one of it's founding Member-Owners.
For the past year I have been writing a book about eco-friendly brewing. This has been a huge project because there are so many aspects to brewing beer in an environmentally friendly way. I have nearly completed writing the book, but it will be more than a year before it is published because of all of the other work that still has to be done. Editing, illustrations, and formatting will all have to be done before the book will be available to purchase. I think it will be worth the wait!