On My Mind: Laying the Foundation


I’m a homesteader at heart. From scratch baking and cooking is more than just my favorite afternoon activity, it’s in my blood. I grew up with parents who cultivating our property, took us fresh fruit picking as a weekend trip, and who canned tomatoes, jammed berries, and lived their lives with a ‘from scratch’ mentality. Everything, from our Christmas trees to early-summer asparagus, came from our backyard. I certainly didn’t appreciate it near enough then (what child does?) but I had the most privileged, endearing, picturesque childhood, growing up on 10 acres in rural Maryland.

Unfortunately, I have a conflict of the heart, I’m in love with New York City. The bustling nature of it, the anonymity, the midnight Chinese food, I love it all. Growing up from a town where I was always ‘one of those Shephards’ and being introverted makes NYC all the more attractive to me. Somewhere to blend in and live my life in peace, which is ironic considering the volume outside my window as I write this.

But I have a dream of passing down a shade of the childhood I had to my children. I want them to know what fresh produce looks like, I want them to know where it comes from, I want them to know that carrots have tops and don’t come precut in ‘baby’ size. I want them to learn the patience I learned of freezing fresh berries in summer so that someday, months in the future, in the depth of winter, we could have a fresh berry pie. I want them to know that food changes with the season and to respect that. I want them to live in a nourishing way.


me, far right, with my older brother and sister.


I have a dream of having a massive kitchen and lining the shelves with canned vegetables, pickles, homemade jams, and raising little ones on farmer’s markets, herb gardens, and a love for whole foods. While my current kitchen is more of a kitchen/living room/dining room I decided to start this trajectory several months ago, when I adopted breadmaking into my life. Two sourdough starters are now my pseudo-children and hopefully, a living heirloom to pass down generation to generation. Starters are made from and are a product of the wild yeast and bacteria in the air. Meaning, that my starter will have an origin story of this tiny apartment, this little five-floor walkup, this first home.

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