Can you believe that today is my last day at Poplar Ridge?  Hard to believe it was early May when I drove down the gravel path and through their gates for the first time.

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I have been so blessed to work in such a beautiful and serene place.  On my best days, I can walk the grounds, eat from the vines, and soak up the sunshine.

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And on days when I am down, I can visit the horses or stare across the acres and acres of green, clearing my mind.


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Hard to believe ELEVEN weeks have gone by since my first day on the farm.

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In what felt like a very short summer, I’ve learned more than I could have imagined about farming and identifying varieties of vegetables in the ground.

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I’ve explored the gardens and learned to harvest my own ingredients from the farm to the table.

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I’ve made a few animal friends…

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And some really great people friends too.

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By day, I cooked in my running shorts and gym shoes…


And at night, I got dressed up in chef whites to serve dinners of 50+ people.


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I pulled ingredients straight off the vines…

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And brought them into my gorgeous farm kitchen.

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And with them I made some pretty incredible food…


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I have never been one for transitions or change.  I tend to cling to the familiar with every muscle in my body.  Luckily I have Casey, who always pushes me to grow, and makes me less afraid to try new things.

This very weekend last year, I was driving my life across the country in a budget truck, headed towards a new home and a second chance at my career.

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[August 24, 2009 203[3].jpg]

I remember feeling so lost and scared, and when we finally got our internet hooked up at our new house, one of the first things I did was check my favorite blogs for a glimpse of something familiar.  But while I was uprooting my life that weekend, my favorite bloggers were at the first ever Healthy Living Summit, laughing, eating, and forming new friendships.  It felt so strange to me that while my life was in total chaos, somehow life had gone on outside of Charlotte.

What a difference a year can make.  For as much as I learned about food and cooking this year, I learned a lot more about myself.  I’m not scared of much anymore, and I think I can handle just about anything.  Fast forward to this year, and I’m getting ready to move again.  But this time will be different – I won’t be depressed and overwhelmed.  I will be excited and grateful that I have so many wonderful opportunities to change and explore.

But before I move again in a few short weeks, I have a few other things planned – starting with this year’s Healthy Living Summit!  I’ll be on a plane at 5pm en route to Chicago to finally “meet” so many of the bloggers that I’ve gotten to know through my computer screen.

It feels very appropriate to close the door on my last day at Poplar Ridge and head straight to the HLS, since my next step will be to continue to explore the writing opportunities and projects that blogging has brought me.

See you in the Windy City!