Mandy tells us how to freeze herbs so we can make them last a bit longer. Her cat Joel, known as Holy Joely to the family, even offers an advice column. In order to get to know Mandy better Let's take a Nature Walk with Greenview Acres.
01. Welcome to Nature Center Magazine. We are all anxious to learn a
little bit about you. Tell us what your blog is all about.
Hello! Thanks for allowing me the chance to chat with you. Greenview Acres’ focus is self-sustainability in maybe less-than-ideal circumstances. It is also a lot of fun. For instance, I now live in an apartment complex and have no personal space to garden. This is less-than-ideal. I get emails from readers who are in the same situation, or have gardening space but not the financial ability to take homesteading as far as they’d like. Greenview Acres also aims to keep money saving tips in mind. After all, I learned most of the things I share on the site during a time when money was scarce and I was desperate for ways to keep afloat. I believe there is something useful for everyone at Greenview Acres no matter the individual situation or background.
02. Everyone has their own unique story about what gave them the idea to
start blogging. What is yours?
You know, Greenview Acres started out as a way to express myself during a bit of a chaotic time in my life. In the beginning I had no intentions of developing it into the business it is now. I was moving back home to Ohio after a few difficult and very fun years in Massachusetts. Now, since my parents had a gigantic back yard and I had a love of gardening I was really looking forward to getting my hands in the dirt. Also, since writing is a talent I’ve always loved, I figured I would chronicle my adventures in my parents’ back yard to serve as a bit of release during my transition home. Greenview Acres grew rapidly after the site launched to include recipes and kitchen tips, DIY projects, and even an advice column offered by my kitten. Even bigger than the site were the social networking outlets for Greenview Acres. For something that started out as a fun project, it sure became big quickly! The website has been up for seven months now and I am already working on my first Greenview Acres book. It has been a whirlwind! And I am still getting used to how to manage it all.
03. What do you enjoy about nature and what benefits do you derive from it?
As big and vast as nature is, my absolute favorite things to watch are leaves. Yes, of course the changing colors in autumn is wonderful. But I really enjoy tracking the growth of leaves on young plants. I swear when my seedlings get their first true leaves I feel so proud of them! And then to watch as the leaves get bigger and become more plentiful it is like watching a new miracle every day. And from observing this year after year I gain a renewed sense of how fast life goes, how precious and remarkable life is, and especially how connected everything on the planted is truly.
04. Each of us has our own way of being with nature. Some people hike,
some take pictures, and some climb trees. How do you experience nature?
I would love to be able to be still and relax, however that does not come easily to me. I would love to be able to say that my way of being with nature is simply sitting and enjoying it; taking in the sounds and the sights and the smells. However since I am not that zen, I choose to take walks in the woods. I can still see the sights, smell the smells, and hear the sounds. Then after an exhilarating long walk my body feels energized from the exercise and my soul feels rejuvenated from my time with nature.
05. Tell us about the most exciting or scary nature related thing that
ever happened to you.
When I was 18 and just a few weeks out of high school, I ventured up to Saco, Maine to work at a summer camp on the Atlantic. It wasn’t my first time at the ocean but it would be my first time spending a long amount of time with it. My very first night at the camp my friend and I decided to take a walk in the low tide and admire the ocean, the moon, and the night sky. It was vast and all encompassing. The darkness of the water and the atmosphere went on as long far as the eye could see and beyond. The experience was breath-taking. As my friend and I were walking we looked down to see these tiny speckles of light in the low tide. The water was not merely reflecting the constellations above us; it was providing its own stars. The camp naturalist later told us that we were walking through a kind of plankton that usually live miles beneath the ocean’s surface but travel way up to eat and mate some nights. These plankton have bioluminescence ability- giving off the feeling of walking through stars. It was the most magical night on the ocean in my life and it set the tone for a fantastic summer.
06. If you were to take us on a nature tour of your area where would you
take us first? Describe what we would see.
Ohio has this wonderful network of nature preserves called the Metroparks. My apartment complex lies right on the edge of one. They are fantastic because there are a variety of trails to explore from paved walking and biking trails, hilly trails for hiking, and rocky trails for horseback riding. They run along main roads and side streets, through the woods and next to ponds, and they go on for miles. I never get tired of exploring in the Metroparks. During a hike you would see the incredible deciduous forest of Northeast Ohio and everything goes along with it. Also, you would see a friendly community of people picnicking, bike-riding, and fishing in the streams. I suppose it is something of a natural social network and that is why I love it so much.
07. If you could visit any nature spot in the world, what would it be?
Tell us why.
This is a hard one. I would go to so many beautiful places if given the chance. However, above all of them, I have always longed to go to the Redwood Forest in California. Even just thinking about it leaves me speechless. I imagine being in the presence of those tress would be something of a religious experience. It’s a bit of the opposite of my awe of new leaves on seedlings. Thoughts of these centuries-old trees remind me of how ever-lasting existence can be, however, it keeps the same realization of the intricate interconnectedness of the web of life. Truly inspiring.
08. Each blogger has gained their own insight into writing a blog. What
have you learned that you would like to share with other bloggers?
Think BIG. If it is a blogging business you’d like to develop, remember that dreams are supposed to be unattainable. Also be consistent in your posting. (Which I acknowledge that I fail at. Routinely). Write often and enjoy what you write about. The beauty of blogging is that it is not formal. Make it your own. And lastly, it is important to write in your own voice.
09. Where can our readers find you? Give us the name and a link to your
blog. If you have more than one to share, we would all like that too.
You can find me at www.GreenviewAcres.com! Also you can find me on Facebook and Twitter with the Greenview Acres name as well. I can be contacted directly at Mandy@GreenviewAcres.com. And don’t forget to keep your eye out for the first Greenview Acres book, which should be released by mid November.
10. Is there anything we have not discussed that you would like to add?
I feel like we covered so much! I really enjoyed this interview. I would just like to add that I so love hearing from my readers and it’s the readers that really drive me to write. It is cliché, I know, but without the people who read and comment and create the community, Greenview Acres would not be anywhere near as fabulous as it is today. I look forward to expanding the brand and growing as a writer. Thank you to everyone who gives me the opportunity to voice my passions!
Mandy, we had a good time on our nature walk with you. I am certain many of the readers of Nature Center Magazine will visit you to gain a bit of knowledge or maybe just to visit the tree for a little advice.
Do you write a nature related blog and you'd like to be interviewed by Nature Center Magazine? Click the link and let us know who you are and that you'd like to be featured in a Nature Walk: Interview Me.