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.”