Welcome to Hearthwilde! This is a space where I explore the underpinnings of nature in our lives.
As a society we seem to be speeding along at breakneck speed trying our best to escape nature’s influence.
Whether through eating artificial food-like substances, denying ourselves the sleep and motion our bodies need, or choosing to ignore that our health and happiness is intrinsically dependent on the health and happiness of other species of animals and plants – we seem to be propelling ourselves further and further away from the natural world that we depend on.
And, sorry for the doom and gloom, but we are about to render ourselves extinct in the process.
Rather than trying to shuck off the natural world, I think we would do better – much better – to embrace it.
If that sounds good to you, you have come to the right place.
I want to assist or inspire you – in small ways or larger ones – to cultivate the nature connections that will make your life more meaningful, healthier, and more satisfying.
Why do I think I am well-placed to offer this guidance? Because I’ve cultivated better nature connections for myself, and continue to do so!
My life has changed dramatically from one where I wasn’t really at home with myself, to one where I am at home not just with nature but also with my nature.
I spent 14 years living a busy, city life in Paris, France, where I never got to sink my fingers into the soil, would be drawn like a magnet to any dogs I encountered on the street, and where I constantly longed for time among plants and trees.
Now I live on a small farm in Northeastern Utah with my husband, Chad, a passel of pets, three donkeys, and two sheep.
Together, we grow and preserve hundreds of pounds of food for ourselves every year, go hiking in the nearby mountains or desert for fun, grow native plants for our local wildlife (and our own pleasure), and enjoy simple but extravagantly rewarding entertainment, such as the visits of birds to our bird feeders, glorious sunsets, or watching out cats play.
While all of this sounds delightful, I also have a damaged gut microbiome which has given me multiple food chemical intolerances, so my interest in the human microbiome has become part of my struggle to regain my health.
As someone whose identity was braided with culinary creativity, growing as much and as many foods as possible, and foraging, adjusting to eating a vastly reduced diet has been pretty brutal. This just makes me all the more determined to heal myself.
I have a BA in Liberal Studies from UNCG, a certificate in Permaculture Design from the Permaculture Education Center, a Landscape for Life certificate offered through the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden, as well as a Certificate in Native Plant Studies from the UNCC Botanical Gardens.
I’m also certified as a Building Biology Environmental Consultant, and worked for several years offering environmental home inspections and guidance. And in 2015, I took a week long class on fermentation and wild foods led by the inimitable fermentation guru, Sandor Katz.
I’m a lifelong learner, so am constantly seeking to expand my knowledge on sustainable gardening and farming strategies, as well as issues of gut health.
I don’t know who you are unless you leave me a note in the comments section! For those of you who take the time to do so, thank you! I welcome these notes and they keep me motivated.
Thanks for joining me here, and with all sincerity, I wish you happiness and healing as you make yourself at home with nature.
– Kristina, May 29, 2022.