Hello and welcome! I’m Krista Showalter Ehst and this blog shares my musings about the twists and turns, joys and struggles of pursuing a simple, sustainable life in our complicated world.
Since graduating college, my husband Tim and I have been captivated by a different kind of education: learning to grow food and to sustain the land. After a wonderful internship on a small vegetable CSA in Kentucky, we decided to give it a go on our own.
For a number of years, we raised vegetables, pigs, and chickens on Krista’s family farm in Pennsylvania and marketed them through the Community Supported Agriculture model. Eventually, a number of life factors took us down to Virginia to settle on the land where Tim grew up.
We’ve taken that move as opportunity to shift some of our focus and to give more energy to cultivating our own homestead.With our young daughter Anabel in tow, we hope to channel more of our time and effort into the things we feel passionate about: integrating our home and work life, building an off-grid home, growing as much of our food as we can, cultivating strong community with our neighbors, and slowing down the pace of our lives.
Much of this is informed by our faith tradition. Tim and I both grew up in Mennonite churches, and have been shaped by Mennonite values of pursuing peace and justice, living simply and ethically, and building strong community. After studying religion in college, I went on to receive an Mdiv. (Masters of Divinity) and to pastor a Mennonite church. So while this blog is not “religious” per se, my faith tradition certainly plays a role in my life’s story.
I’m excited about any of you who find yourself reading along with my story! This blog touches on two main facets: the practical side of planting a garden, storing roots, raising and butchering animals, cooking food, living off-grid, etc.; and the philosophical and spiritual questions that drive these practical lifestyle choices. With both facets, we often find ourselves “upside down”: getting in way over our heads with a building project or pushing to get the harvest in or teaching ourselves how to butcher; and realizing that the values we feel called to live out sometimes seem upside down compared to our culture’s expectations.
In the upside down-ness of it all; in the challenges and joys of trying to carve out a simple, sustainable life, I’m hoping you’ll glean some inspiration along the way!