My husband and I are urban transplants, now proud ruralites living in an agricultural zone. This change of residence is a dream come true for us. To the north, south, east and west of our home we look out on cornfields and rippling waves of wheat. In every direction we see historic barns that mark family farms. In short, we’re in heaven.

For many years we were content living near our town’s centre. My husband has a talent for flower gardening and I have a passion for growing food. My foray into vegetable gardening began with a set of modest raised beds against the wooden fence. The vision soon expanded to cultivated gardens that spanned the width of our yard. I was able to preserve enough produce for enjoying periodically over the winter. In the end, our restricted growing space prohibited us generating the amount of food we hoped for.

When we found ourselves yearning for a slower pace of life and more garden space, a move to the country was the obvious choice. Our new surroundings are peaceful and conducive to this writer’s creative days.

Since moving here last fall, my husband has built a new chicken coop which houses four hens. Together we’ve dug and planted 16 vegetable beds measuring by 15 feet. We are growing leeks, brussels sprouts, snap peas, bush beans and pole beans, black beans and fava beans, kale, spaghetti and butternut squash, cucumber, beets, radishes, parsnips, carrots, garlic, and bok choy; yellow and green zucchini; three varieties of pepper, potato, and eggplant; four types of onion; and nine species of tomato.

I thoroughly enjoy the hours dedicated to caring for the gardens and now preserving the food. The work of harvesting, fermenting and canning produce grounds me. I feel an even stronger connection to the women I write about in my literary historical novels. These are tasks that traditionally fell to them.

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I love the company of curious people. Our conversations leave me feeling lighter and joyful. New ideas tumble inside my head after we part ways. In correlation to curiosity, they are introspective and keenly interested in other people’s view points. Ideas, humanity, and the natural world light them up. They extend the pleasure of their discoveries to others. Upon reflection, in detailing attributes of an interesting companion, I’ve also described a writer.
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 The Last Hoffman  is a poignant family drama featuring a multilayered cast of tightly woven characters in a fractured northern community. It will restore your belief in second chances.

“The environmental component is relevant to our times, the struggle to be heard over greed and ignorance and other people’s agendas is real. (…) This book would lend itself to be made into a movie.” ~ Canadian Author Association