Carol Winn, Bread-baking, Beekeeping ‘Home Insteader’ – Biographies – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

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Carol Winn, Bread-baking, Beekeeping ‘Home Insteader’

Name:   Carol Winn

Occupation:  Homemaker/Healthy Gardens Project

Place of Residence: Columbiaville, Michigan

Background and Personal History:  The most important part of Carol’s life has been her family. She has been married 32 years. She figures that since her husband has counted how many weeks he has until the couple starts “home insteading,” Carol can count how many years, months, and days that she has invested in this adventure called marriage. Carol’s two daughters are wonderful people and she’s always honored when her husband says “that apple didn’t fall far from the tree” (She thinks he means it as a compliment).

Carol’s life has been filled with many experiences which include being a homemaker, serving on her local school board for 12 years (yes, the whole time her poor daughters were attending school), many volunteer responsibilities, and the last few years working for her intermediate school district in a school garden/greenhouse/4R’s program. She and her husband have lived on a small farm for the last 22 years. She raises chickens for eggs, tends bees for pollination and honey and has a small herd of cats — for the fun of it.

Carol grows a vegetable/fruit garden, pumpkin patch and a honeybee/butterfly garden. In 2014, she is going to begin haying the acreage after 20 years of corn/soybean crop rotation by another commodity farmer. As she begins her “home insteading,” she’ll be spending more time doing some of her favorite things: reading, writing, baking, gardening, creating and hopefully sharing all she has learned in her life with the people that cross her path, and learn from those who have already travelled on the path before her.

Current Projects: Perfecting her bread recipes is an ongoing project. Carol was blessed to have had the opportunity to teach her summer program students how to bake bread. One young man exclaimed “What happened to my bread?” upon seeing how his mound of dough had doubled in size after the first rising. He then exclaimed, “That is so cool!”  Carol hopes to get a chance to do more baking with after-school students this fall.

Also, she continues work on her bee stories. The principal from her local elementary school read one of her stories to several classes in the school. Students were given the opportunity to offer feedback and Carol’s excited to get busy on taking some of their suggestions into consideration as she incorporates revisions.

Other Fun Facts: The written word inspires Carol. It inspires her to grow in many ways, depending on the book. Health books always encourage her to take better care of herself. Recipe books aren’t always as good for her — she’s been known to grow from those, too. Reading has always been one of her favorite hobbies. She is still giving book reports.  Friends get a big smile on their faces as soon as Carol says “I’ve been reading this book…” They know what is coming: an animated verbal barrage of information.

You see, Carol likes informational, inspirational, and self-help books. Of course, the self-help books become the friend-help books because she just HAS to share her newfound information.

She has also written a couple of children’s stories about beekeeping. They have been shared in  beekeeping presentations given at a garden center and also at a nature center. Someday, she will turn them over to an illustrator to see what they can do with her imagination.