Watershed’s Amy East writes, “My brain, bless its little heart, is probably (and maybe optimistically) described as organized chaos at any given moment. Where my husband thrives in an environment that’s as close to sterile as possible, my office (house?) currently has piles of somewhat related materials scattered throughout. And I know where everything is so that, when I need it, I can find it. It drives my husband nuts. I wouldn’t say I run on pure chaos, because pure chaos has me in this particular place and time, but I also fight structure. I’m complicated, what can I say?”

WSV’s Amy East writes, “Having a garden, doesn’t matter how big or small, means living in tune with the seasons. For me, it means focusing less on man-made constructs of time and more on the natural cycle of the earth. Growing food not only feeds your body, but (in my oh so humble opinion) feeds your soul by connecting you to nature. And so, while it can be overwhelming and no short amount of work, I love the bounty of food that each late summer brings with it. I love putting up as much as I can before the frost returns, and feeding my family with homegrown produce through the cold months.”

WSV’s Amy East writes, “With the first dumped feeders and somewhat pillaged barn, I got the traps back out this spring. And despite the first two catches going smoothly, I walked to the barn several days ago to be met with a scattering of chicken feathers outside the barn door. Not good. I’ll spare you the details, dear reader, but suffice it to say that it was carnage. As of this writing, I’ve lost eight chickens and we’ve dispatched additional two raccoons, and it’s not over yet. We’ve upped security measures and changed tactics, yet the ringleader is still at-large.”

WSV’s Amy East writes, “Two years ago when we bought our place in beautiful Cass County, I dove into the county’s and my own family’s history, discovering that my ties to the area went deeper than I’d known. There is a richness to the county’s intertwined Potawatomi, European, and African American history that I’d never learned in school, or maybe never appreciated.

“Earlier this year, the Cass County Board of Commissioners saw fit to appoint me to the Historical Commission. As part of the publications committee, I’ll be editing and updating books that share our history with anyone who cares to read about it. Will there be an opportunity for more archaeology, maybe here at home? I’d like to think so, I hope so. There are many, many questions to be answered and stories to be told. Give me a couple years and we’ll see what I can do.”

WSV’s Amy East writes about a new addition she plans to make to her garden this year. “This year I’m trying amaranth, and since the ‘approximate seed count’ in the bag is 1,200, I won’t be growing just two or three. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what I’m getting myself into with this adventure. And it will be an adventure. There will be the anticipation of planting, excitement as new sprouts poke up out of the ground, frustration of trying to determine weeds from plants, swear words flying in anger as my chickens inevitably discover the plants, and, always, the uncertainty of when to harvest and how to best preserve and cook it.”