Welcome! My name is Erin and I write Unbound Roots to help everyone, young and old, enjoy the great outdoors. I grew up in the Land of 10,000 Lakes in a very active family. My favorite activities as a child were playing soccer, swimming, taking walks in the woods at our family cabin, fishing, and exploring the North Shore of Lake Superior. Because of my love for being active, I decided to go to college to become a physical educator. I wanted to share my love for being active and keeping the body healthy with others. The year after I graduated college I married my high school sweetheart and I started my career as a physical education specialist in a local public school district. I taught in that school district for six years until the day I had my first child. During my child care leave, I decided to pursue my graduate degree in Physical Education Pedagogy. It was during this time of my life that I saw the need for more outdoor activity, the need for play, and the need for exploration. Simultaneously watching my young children grow while doing research for my graduate program (how the home environment effects child involvement in lifetime physical activities – walking, running, biking, hiking, swimming, playing, etc.), I knew that I wanted to spread our roots by spending more time outside and learning how to play again (yes, that includes me).
My husband and I live with our two children, our dog, Brook (who is named after the brook trout), and 14 chickens that free-range in the great state of Minnesota. We have perennial gardens that surround the house, and 14 raised vegetable beds that we tend to during our short growing season. We grow all of our plants from seed, and have ventured into growing everything organically, which has been challenging but rewarding at the same time. Besides gardening, we love researching and completing projects on our own.
After we moved into our current house in the winter of 2012, we built our very first, MN-hardy 7’x8′ chicken coop and run, we built a 20’x30′ deck on the back of our house, and now we are embarking on finishing our basement. Oh, and I even coaxed my husband into helping me build a floor-ceiling headboard with lights in our room. Plans coming soon! The Internet is really an amazing resource!
Aside from doing fun projects around our home, I garden for others throughout our short, Minnesota growing season. I started my small gardening business when I was in high school so that I could help those who didn’t have time to garden, could no longer garden, or just needed help starting a garden. My love for gardening has only intensified as each growing season passes and begins anew each and every spring. My favorite time of year is when the kids and I explore our yard right after the snow has melted and find the brand new sprouts poking out of the soil. I also have a passion for helping others learn to garden. I’ve heard it time and time again: “I just don’t have a green thumb.”, or “I kill every plant I touch.”, but I believe that everyone can garden. All it takes is a little knowledge and time. My hope is that novice and advanced gardeners alike can find something useful, and that maybe, just maybe, I can inspire someone to prepare and and plant their first garden.
Children spend six or more hours in school these days with many participating in after-school activities which are also organized. Many adults, men and women, work for long hours each day, and then run off to their child’s activities, or go home to take care of duties there. The aging community is in need of physical activities in order to stay strong, healthy, and independent. What better environment than the great outdoors to get that exercise in?Everyone, young and old, is in need of unstructured time. Time spent outside. Time to play. Time to plant a garden and then indulge in the fresh, delicious delicacy of homegrown fruits and vegetables. We need to make time to stop and smell the flowers. Time to feel the crunch of fall leaves under our shoes as we explore the woods in the fall. Time to enjoy the ones we love. My goal is to help others fulfill these needs by sharing the knowledge I have gained throughout my educational studies, teaching experience, and the experience I have gained as a gardener throughout the years.
Whether you’re here to start a garden, build a chicken coop, or you’re simply looking for ideas on how to get outside and get into nature, Unbound Roots is here for you! My hope for you is that you find something useful, something that will allow you to enjoy the great outdoors, something that will allow you to play, allow you to spend that special time with your loved ones, and allow your roots to spread and grow. I welcome you to share your thoughts with me. Thank you for stopping in!