mossbetweentoes – adventures in homesteading, with brief forays into politics, geekery, parenting, crafting, and design

About this Blog

The photograph in the header was taken more than 10 years ago. Those are my feet, in the most delicious moss, outside our family's summer cabin in East Brookfield, MA. Every year, it was the first thing I would do when we arrived out there: run out into the field, take off my shoes, and walk on nature's most magnificent carpet.

mossbetweentoes has been my blog over the years. In college, there was a lot of navel gazing. Afterwards, a place for my online portfolio of graphic design. Now, the blog's purpose and the domain's origin have finally intersected as I begin this newest incarnation: a blog about our family's attempt to live more sustainably, more authentically, with respect for our land and our wallets.

It all started when I considered stopping being a vegetarian. I had originally shunned meat because I felt like eating vegetarian was better for the planet. But then I started to realize... eating out of season produce, exotic grains and proteins, and highly processed soy-based meat substitutes was probably WORSE for the planet than eating a traditional diet that included locally-sourced grass-fed meat. I read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" and "The Omnivore's Dilemma" to help inform my choices.

It continued with soap and toiletries. I didn't like what was available in stores, and I knew I could figure out how to make something better - better for my skin and better for the planet. After becoming a stay-at-home mom I was craving something to do, a "hobby," something to give me purpose. In addition to soap making, I rediscovered knitting. But still, even with these crafts - and although I did love being home with my kids - I still longed for a career! My whole adult life I had been a "feminist" - which meant I was supposed to do what men could do! I attached a lot of my self-worth to my ability to have a job and to earn money.

I had never intended to be a stay-at-home mom. I had wanted to return to work after my first-born turned one. But when the time came, I couldn't bear to have someone else do the nurturing. This phase of my life came unexpectedly, and I am still learning to feel comfortable here. But one thing I have learned is that homemakers (both male and female) play a very important role in steering us away from a consumer culture that is draining our wallets and our planet's resources. And additionally, there is a pure joy obtained when building something by hand, cooking from scratch, and being self-reliant. Chris and I have noticed that even among our most casual acquaintances, that there is a longing to MAKE something instead of plugging away at a computer all day. Hobbies like wood-working, fiber arts, and keeping backyard poultry seem to be enjoying a resurgence around here. We are not alone.

Blogging about our adventures in homesteading seemed like the natural next step. I know that when I am undertaking a new DIY project I turn to the Internet. When I find someone else's story, someone's recipe, someone's photos, I am extremely grateful to these strangers who have documented their experiences. I hope to be able to give back by documenting my endeavors in the same manner.

Thanks for joining me!

- Hillary