Monday, March 17, 2014

the sisterhood - julie letowski

'sisterhood - a bond between two or more women, not always related by blood. they always tell the truth, honor each other, and love each other deeply, like sisters.'

each january, i start fresh by making a vision board. compiling images and words that inspire me. sometimes things to work towards, but more often, things in my subconscious that seem to pour out onto the page. year after year i find a common theme repeating itself- images of chickens and goats and pigs and sprawling gardens, sunshine soaked land, and makeshift greenhouses. all reiterating this small hidden desire to have a farm someday. our own little homestead.

years ago i came across julie's blog. i initially fell in love with her sweet little family as, like us, she too had a son with wild and beautiful long blonde hair. but i soon came to understand that there were many more reasons i kept coming back to her little space on the web. firstly, she is a beautiful writer. clever, witty, and eloquently stated, but also authentic- so truthful and real. she is an amazing photographer- capturing the simple beauty of farm life in photos that leave your heart full to the brim every time. she shares amazing recipes (homemade herbal cough syrup and these amazing little cookbooks she published last year), but more importantly, she is proof that if you have a dream and want it bad enough, you can make it happen. the life julie and her family lead is by no means a simple one. it's busy, full of dedication and hardwork, and often times, heartache, but its also so very beautiful. rewarding, honest, soul-filling, and their direct contribution to the world becoming a better place. so for now, i live vicariously through julie's dreamy images and stories. she is my true inspiration, a living vision board if you will, and i am grateful to have her in my sisterhood. xo

name, occupation, location:
name: Julie
occupation: Mama, Farmer, Writer
location: Mid Coast Maine

something that makes your heart happy

What makes me most happy lately is seeing the way individually and as a family we're taking steps towards the life we want to lead, and finally realizing that it's a process not an immediate decision to assume the image I imagined homesteaders to have. Let me elaborate- when we first started our farming journey it felt like at times we had to do it all- we had to raise all of our food, make all of our own bread and yogurt and kefir and so on, and knit all of our woolens- which you should read that as I had to do all of those things because my husband still works off farm and has his farm plate quite full without me tossing knitting and fermenting on top! So, because we knew so little about all of these things we were taking on there was incredible stress, failure after failure, and just a general feeling of mediocrity. It took me a while but I did eventually realize that focusing on doing one thing well at a time lends itself much better to reaching these goals we are striving towards. Now I am making all of our own bread, I am making water kefir and kombucha, the majority of my son's winter wear I did hand knit and I am (so far) quite successfully implementing biodynamics into our upcoming growing season...but I didn't try to do all of those things in one week. I gave myself time and room- to learn, to fail, to figure it out. It's much more manageable that way and I can actually see signs of progress vs. constant obstacles, which is extremely happy heart making.

your all time favourite recipe
Asking my favorite recipe is like asking me to pick a favorite child. (Or at least I imagine that's what it would feel like as I only have one child!) Instead, I'll share a favorite cookbook because it has many of the recipes we keep in heavy rotation around here. It's called Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets by Deborah Madison. I feel like everyone has heard of her Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone but no one talks about Local Flavors! It's organized seasonally and it's just so approachable, even for the beginning cook. There is a white bean, kale, and leek dish that you serve on crusty bread from that book and it is a much beloved staple in our house! Also- I'm super into Jim Lahey's no knead bread right now from his cookbook My Bread, although his method is widely discussed and can be found via a quick google!

your all time favourite photograph
Ooohh, all time favorite? As someone that takes pictures all day every day the pressure of that question is enough to kill! Haha, right now I'm loving a picture I took of my son, Gus, last summer. The sun was setting and he was hot and sticky from the day and he's pulling up the timothy grass. Right now- with the never ending ice and snow it's just the sort of thing I could spend hours staring at.

something in your home that you adore

Hmm.. Well what I really love is my home in general. I moved 11 times in the 9 years before we moved onto our farm last year and, as I'm sure you can imagine, I lacked a solid feeling of home. After a little more than a year of being here I'm really starting to feel like this place is mine and it's just such a unique house- I love it so much! From the old cookstove to the huge windows in every room that make gray winters tolerable to the wide pumpkin pine floors in our living room- this place is just so special. I feel very, very fortunate to live my life within these walls.

something on your wish list
A greenhouse. A really big, really sturdy, really affordable greenhouse!

something totally random about yourself
My husband and I moved in together on our first date! And here we are 7 years, 3 states, 2 weddings, and 1 kid later!

how people can connect with you
grab a cup of tea and spend some time digging around Julie's amazing website CINNAMON GIRL, peek her beautiful photos on instagram - @homesweethomestead, or drop her an email -

thank you so much, julie! it was so so lovely to spend the morning poking around your archives and getting so so excited for the upcoming growing season!

the sisterhood is a regular feature post intended to highlight inspiring women in this world. near or far, real life friends, internet buds, or beauties that have connecting through this blog. members of my sisterhood doing great things and worthy of a bit of our admiration, love and attention. if you are interested in joining, please get in touch!