Cofounder, Member since 2005 Dandelion
I was born and raised in central MO. Growing up, I lived in a passive solar house designed by my mom. We rarely used the electric heater or the A/C. In the winter we heated with our wood stove and in the summer we turned on the fans. We had fruit trees and berry bushes and grape vines in our yard, and most of our veggies were grown in my mom’s garden. We kept chickens off and on during my childhood. Growing up I helped harvest and preserve the fruit and vegetables and butcher animals for our meat. All in all, I would say that I was more connected to my food growing up than almost anyone else I have known; though for me it was normal, and I took much of it for granted.
After high school, I studied accounting and spanish at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. I decided that when I graduated I wanted to get out of Missouri. So, in June of 2002 I moved to San Antonio, TX to get away for awhile. I lived for a couple of months in a house with three catholic nuns (amazing ladies) until I got a job and saved up enough money for an apartment. I worked as a staff accountant in a small CPA firm. My boss and the people I worked with were all incredibly wonderful people. But I came to the realization that I did not want to work full time at a job for the best years of my life.
Living in a huge sprawling city of over a million people made me realize how much I really do not like living in the city. There are of course some good points (like the amazing Thai Restaurant down the street from our apartment) but overall, I am a country girl at heart, and Missouri is my homeland.
In August 2004 I started traveling with my then partner in a search to find a place to call home, and also just for fun. We made a stop at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, where we met Chad and Alyson who were living there at the time. We then went to Costa Rica for not quite four months and then came back to MO. During our travels I began to realize what I was searching for. I felt ready to find a piece of land and work to live as sustainably and as gently as we could on our little corner of the Earth. These ideals and philosophy for living off the land are quite closely aligned with those of Chad and Alyson. They invited us to join them in founding a community based on these ideals and we jumped at the chance.
We moved to Rutledge in March 2005 and Red Earth Farms was born. With the financial aid of Aron Heintz, an investor who cared a lot about helping our little community get started, we purchased 76 acres of land.
I’m currently a member of Dandelion, an income sharing sub-community of Red Earth Farms caretaking eight acres of land, sculpting it into a little permaculture paradise (well, we try). I work one day a week for the Fellowship for Intentional Community, publisher of Communities magazine, a quarterly journal for which I occasionally write (click to see some of my articles). My daughter Nina keeps me busy as do the gardens and the orchards and the ultimate frisbee games.