Jane Gripper: From Sydney to Carmel – The Happy Homesteader – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

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Jane Gripper – From Sydney to Carmel and Back Again

Name: Jane Gripper

Occupation: Is that a trick question?  

Location: Carmel , Indiana 

Background: When did I get a background? I have enjoyed spending the 24 years since leaving college, educating children, both other people’s and my own.Healthy food, healthy Earth and healthy outdoor living are driving forces in my life, and these themes tend to flavourall that I do. 

Personal History: I was born in Sydney, Australia, a girl with a rural heart, in a suburban world. When I left home, it seemed only natural that I move to the country to teach. 

It was after I got married and moved to an isolated country property that I really understood the term “slow living,” and the importance of “community,” It was there in Charlton, Victoria, that I “broke my teeth” on rich organic red soil enriched with sheep manure, and created my first veggie garden – best broccoli I have ever grown! 

It was here too, with many hours alone, and no neighborswithin “cooee,” that I learned the art of slow cooking, and cryptic crossword puzzles.  

There have been many homes since then, with various sized yards (some only a few square feet), and in every home, I have always maintained an organic vegetable garden, and close community contact. 

12 years ago, we bought our own propertyin Kangaroo Valley, Australia. Our children ran wild and free (mostly wild), and attended the local school. 

Three years ago, my husband was offered a transfer to Indiana, we left behind a substantial organic veggie garden, goats, horses, chooks (Aussie chickens), a much loved and close knit community, and a fairly sustainable lifestyle, to move into a rented house in the suburb of Carmel Indiana. 

Current Projects: Moving to Carmel has been an eye-opening experience for me.Many of our neighbors come to our house to view what “those crazy Aussies are up to now.” They have been amazed to see chooks, outside clothes lines, organic veggie gardens, energy saving lights, rain water barrels, recycling and even (shock horror) home cooked meals! It has been an honor and a pleasure to share these simple lifestyle choices with our wonderful neighbours. 

In order to deepen my knowledge ofenvironmental education, I am currently working on gaining a masters in Environmental Education. 

Other fun Facts: I love black jelly beans, running and reading.