Who We Are

The past few years, the area where I live, Crawford County, Ohio, has seen a wonderful explosion of younger families who are embracing the joys and challenges of living off the land. Because of them, amazing things are happening which have been embraced by our community. Farmer’s markets have been created and on-farm stores have opened. Families dedicated to growing organic produce and naturally raised meats are meeting the public’s needs for locally raised foods. And at the heart of this movement are the women.

Ohio Country Journal is my attempt to share the essence of farm life, focusing on, but not limited to, women. My goal is to bring you into our circle of friendship by inviting you to share your stories and experiences with us. You don’t have to be a full time country woman to benefit from joining us; you just have to be you.

The full-time country women featured in Ohio Country Journal are an inspiration to anyone who dares to follow her dreams, whether it is to live in the country or to bring the country life-style to their urban neighborhoods.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Mark Erlsten, on left, demonstrates to Jim the modern way to tap trees. Jim is
faithful assistant, holding camera #2 for me :)
Today, despite the weather, we are truckin' to Reynoldsburg (near Columbus) to attend Ava's 6th birthday party. The truck seems like a safer choice of rides.

Because the roads had black ice patches, and because Jim reported many cars in ditches and hugging telephone poles earlier, I did not go to a class on Adobe Lighroom that I enrolled in at Mansfield Art Center. Since today's class was the intro and I do know a little bit about Lightroom, I am hoping to catch up next Saturday.

Because I don't have pictures from the party yet, today's post is an update on yesterday's visit to Erlsten's sugar camp. Unlike the more primitive conditions that Jim's aunt and uncle worked in, the Erlsten's camp is modern. For instance, instead of putting galvanize buckets (with lids) on spiles that were driven into the trees, Mark Elrsten uses plastic piping. It is gravity fed to a holding tank, saving the time it took Lester and Freeda to go around to each tree everyday and collect the sap. They used a horse hooked up to a sled for that part of the job. Seems charming to us, but I can only imagine the hard work involved.

In the picture above, Jim reminisces with Mark about his days of helping his uncle tap trees, and what a difference a few decades make :)

As maple season progresses I'll be putting up more pics, both from the Erlstens, the Nelsons, and even pics of us when we were young parents giving our small children a living history lesson on maple syrup.

And, again, Ladies and Gentlemen,  it's Song Lyric Time,!

Truckin' by the Grateful Dead

..."Truckin', I'm a goin' home
whoa, whao baby back to where I belong"

These words seem appropriate because no matter the weather, I feel like I belong at the celebration of Ava coming into my life six years ago

Marcheta *a most loving Nana


As it turned out, we drove our car to Reynoldsburg, thanks to the wonderful job that Ohio road crews, from country to city, did to melt the ice and keep the snowdrifts at bay. There work is much appreciated!!

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