I've been wanting to give you an update on our new lives in Asheville for months. Deadly slow computers and the work of getting settled have kept me offline much more than I used to be. I can't believe it's been 9 months since we arrived! My family and I are very happy in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
We bought an old cottage on a half acre of lawn in the funky west side of town. It's walkable to everything - library, food coop, groovy video store, pub. I'm busy digging up the grass and planting fruit trees, berries, herbs and flowers. Its amazing how water comes down from the sky fairly regularly here! We've got a couple of recycled cisterns to catch it for use when the dry spells occur (much more frequently than they used to, apparently).
We set up the Organic Armor business in an old brick tannery rehabbed into studio spaces. We are part of the growing art scene in what's called the River District and have participated in several studio tours. Not a lot of buyers for our kind of work locally, though they do appreciate it's uniqueness. The online business is growing though. We're selling more things to Europe lately.
We got rid of one car and ride bikes and walk a lot more. Rush hour lasts about 15 minutes around here. I laugh at the traffic reports. Instead of sitting in the car burning fossil fuels I'm finding time to do things like read novels and make crafts. I'm currently teaching myself how to braid a rag rug. We don't have chickens yet but we do have 2 hives of bees! I took a course in beekeeping at a local permaculture demonstration house this summer.
I learned how to can too. Here are some peaches from a farm stand and apple butter from our own backyard!
I love our neighborhood and I'm sticking to it. We've gotten involved in a community garden just a block away that started this year. I'm not pursuing any big community projects or creating networks. Asheville has already got loads of permaculture, a thriving local food movement, and pretty progressive politics. So I'm working on my own backyard, observing the local ecology, getting acclimated, building a personal community. Everyday I still marvel at the trees and mountains, listen to the songbirds and feel grateful that we are here. Sounds good, huh?