Carole Coates, Gardener and Food Preservationist in North Carolina

Name:  Carole CoatesCarole Coates

Occupation: Carole Coates is a gardener and food preservationist, family archivist, essayist, poet, photographer, modern homesteader—in other words, when she retired, she got down to the real business of living.

Place of Residence: mountains of northwest North Carolina

Background and Personal History: Carole Coates  joined the 4-H club at the age of nine and promptly entered the county corn muffin baking contest, which she won, cementing her interest in all things food. Four-H was also the beginning of her gardening, cooking, food preservation, and home improvement experiences.

Many years ago, Coates and her husband decided to chuck the daily grind of office jobs, move to the mountains, and hand build their home, doing everything themselves from drawing their own plans and digging out for the foundation to plumbing, wiring, and roofing. However, they soon found it necessary to re-enter the world of employment, putting many of their dreams on hold. Having finally reached the age of retirement, Coates has reignited her passion for working with her hands, whether it’s digging in the garden, making baskets, putting up drywall, or turning sap from her maple trees into syrup.

Current Projects: blogging, home renovation, continuing the challenge of figuring out just how much of each vegetable she needs to grow to feed her family year-round. She’s also learning to use her new electric pressure cooker and air fryer.

Other Fun Facts: In a moment when she was thinking none too clearly, Coates found herself barreling down the Olympic bobsled run in Park City, Utah, an experience she will neither forget nor repeat.

Connect with Carole: You can also find Carole at Living On the Diagonal, where she blogs about her take on life, including modern homesteading, gardening lore and how-to, food preparation and preservation, as well random thoughts and reflections, personal essays, poetry, and photography.