Life takes us in many and unexpected directions – and yet we may never stray very far from our roots. That became clear to me in our interview with writer Drew Moser from the U-M School of Kinesiology’s publication Movement Magazine. You can read his excellent article here.

Of course I’ve always cared about health and fitness and the environment. My love of competitive swimming led me to major in physical education at the University of Michigan, and my learning there deepened my understanding of the connections between environment, nutrition and health. With that grounding, so many years later, the suggestion from our architect to tackle the Living Building Challenge seemed like an obvious next step in life.

It’s logical also that we’ve tackled restoring the life on our thirty acres, mostly worn out after years of monoculture farming. That project, like the house construction, is proving to be a years-long endeavor. We knew that would be the case, so should we be surprised that we’ve already been at it for four years? The project this summer was to build berms and swales down the slope to the southeast of the house and plant those with berry bushes. In that process, we also dug a substantial pond to the southwest of the house, and so reshaped a very large section of land across that entire expanse. How gratifying it is to see the cover crop now fully established, holding and building the soil. The frogs are prolific in the new pond, attracting at least one heron who tries hard to stand his ground when the dogs charge out to say good morning. The hard work and rewards continue!

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