About

The Eternal and Existential Question – Who am I? Call me Tasha (or Tasha Greer if you know a lot of Tasha’s). In short, I’m a writer and Epicurean homesteader focused on enjoyable, sustainable living.

Epicurean

The Epicurean part means that we make our homesteading choices based on evaluations of what will lead to long-term pleasure while (hopefully) causing minimal harm or even helping improve the health and well-being of my fellow global citizens, wildlife, and our shared planet.

In this complicated, interconnected, global world with extremely non-transparent supply chains, it can be hard to figure out the right thing to do. Generally though, aiming to create low-maintenance homestead routines that don’t rely on regular purchases of non-local goods makes it easier.

For example, a one-time purchase of a scythe keeps me fit when I use it. It’s quiet so my neighbors don’t have to hear me run a mower. There are no long-term environmentally-ambiguous inputs like gas and oil. And I look like the grim reaper when I use it.

That’s just one simple example. But choice by choice, we’re finding simpler ways to do the things that used to be seem so complicated, expensive, and environmentally detrimental. And we’re enjoying life a lot more!

Writer

I’ll give you a free signed copy of my book if you can guess what’s going on in this photo.

I write all sorts of stuff – fiction, how-tos, philosophical meanderings, research-based articles on new environmental or gardening information, eBooks on various subjects, and I’ve got a fw published full-length non-fiction works — Grow Your Own Spices (2021) and Weed-Free Gardening (Spring 2022).

Grow your own spices is focused on how to grow spices (not herbs) both indoors and outside and in large or small spaces. Weed-Free Gardening is about recognizing that weeds are one of nature’s tools for environmental restoration and ecosystem maintenance. If you want weeds to go away, as a gardener, you have address the underlying problem or nature will continue sending weeds to do that work. Of course, it’s also about having fun and creating a beautiful, peace-filled, non-toxic garden without a lot of work!

Additionally, I’m currently editing several novels I’ve written in the realm of ecofiction/fantasy/supernatural — but not dystopian — women’s literature. I hope to find a publishing home for those in the near future.

Just a note, if you want to support my work, please buy my books! I say that because I earn a royalty for each copy sold. However, buying books doesn’t just help writers like me earn a paycheck, it also supports all the people throughout the process like illustrators, photographers, editors, booksellers, and more. All of us win when you buy books!

Experience

Now, if you are wondering about my qualifications… I’m a hodgepodge. Or better yet, you could call me a polyculture person.

The truth is, I’ve never subscribed to the idea of being on one track – like climbing a ladder or building a career in a certain field. Instead, whatever I do – whether for fun or money – I approach with fascination and boundless curiosity and a goal of becoming extremely proficient at it. That has the happy side-effect of quickly making me someone who often gets counted as an expert even when I’ve only been in a field a short time. And it’s allowed me to enjoy success in several fields and have lots of interesting hobbies. But there are some passions that stuck with me for decades now.

I knew I was meant to write the first time I picked up a crayon. I didn’t want to color with it, I wanted to make sentences. Fine cuisine (from the ground up) has been a leading interest since I was a teenager. Herb gardening stole my heart 22 years ago, production vegetable gardening and mini-orcharding entered the picture 12 years ago, and the sort of Arcadia idea of landscape gardening (including livestock) has consumed me for the past 8 years.

For about 10 years, I was also an avid scuba diver and even interned as a divemaster for a time, which led to me becoming obsessed with coral reefs and underwater ecosystems. When I got asthma, I transferred my passion for underwater worlds to land-based ecosystems. That led to me becoming an environmentalist and making huge changes to the way I live.

I also have a degree in political science. An internship on Capitol Hill and a stint at a PAC when I was 20 helped me recognize that I was too idealistic to be happy participating in politics. But that hasn’t stopped me from doing lots of research, contemplating political philosophy, and using that as fodder for my writing.

Ultimately, those collective experiences have turned me into the Epicurean homesteader I describe myself to be today.

For the last 6 years, I’ve also been the full-time caretaker of my 81 year old dad who has global aphasia, non-functioning short-term memory, plus a history of schizophrenia and identity disorder. Let me tell you — that experience has been a constant source of new learning and expansion of my qualifications.

I also have to tell you that being able to carry a flailing, 210 pound man in full scuba gear through heavy waves to become get my scuba divemaster certification makes lugging my 150 pound dad around on his bad days, a piece of cake! You just never know how past experience might help with present challenges which is why I am constantly seeking new challenges.

Prior to these experiences, I was an intellectual law firm manager in Washington, DC. Before and concurrently with that, I worked in hospitality at the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua Maui, helped open and run a pastry shop in El Gouna Egypt, and started a chocolate shop. I spent many years immersed in the French and Belgian culinary scene in the US with regular vacations to France. For a short time, I even worked in S.P.A.C.E. and learned all about how to create and organize department stores!

I’ve also done a bit of traveling, skiing, climbing, hiking, crafting, exploring, reading, and met lots of fascinating people. All of this has made me a person of interest… er, I mean a person with a lot of interests! But since I most recently wrote two gardening books, let me give you a bit more detail on what qualified me to write those books.

Gardening Experience

I’ve been gardening for fun for over 20 years. For the last 8 years, I’ve been doing it on about 1.5 acres (okay maybe more like 2 acres now). I grow a large variety of edible and medicinal plants in a lot of different ways (see gallery above).

Much of my gardening is about soil regeneration. I’ve used targeted applications of organic matter and flocks of ducks, chickens, pigs, and herds of goats for soil improvement. I’ve also strategically encouraged plants other people might call weeds to grow in places not yet ready for more cultivated plants to grow.

Once I improve the soil in an area, then I turn it into a garden “room”. I’ve made 5 rooms so far – The Main Potager (3400 square feet), the Simplestead Test/Play Garden (700 square feet), the Espalier Garden (1200 square feet), the Edible Landscaped Dining Room (2000 square feet), and the Bamboo garden (600 square feet). We also have a mini-vineyard for homemade wine and a few mini orchard areas plus some ponds.

I know some people think of gardening at this scale as as work. But for me this is my playground. I spend a lot more time cooking meals using our garden harvests or hanging out in our garden rooms than I ever do on garden chores.

I also love to create abundant, natural, and forageable habitats to beautify our landscape and nourish the local wildlife (like the handsome beast below).

Oh, and did I mention I have a greenhouse? It’s my winter paradise, full of citrus, spices, annual vegetables, a water fountain, and a wood-fired hot tub. It’s the reason I never need to take a vacation from homesteading life because we created our own little exotic escape right here at home.

I also keep ducks, dairy goats, ducks, chickens, ducks, a pet turkey, DUCKS, worms, and (occasionally) pigs. Oh, did I mention I keep ducks?

Yes – I love ducks. They have a way of winning your heart with their sideways glance. Really, I don’t think you can trust a person who doesn’t WANT those nosy busy bodies digging around in the backyard. Makes you wonder what not-so-dark and loamy secrets they’ve got buried there!

Seriously, though, ducks have been the best form of livestock I’ve worked with for building our soil fertility. I love my other animals for their personalities and the fun of keeping them, but ducks are my all-time best garden helpers. Someday I hope to write a book about Ducks and Gardening too.

To serve my local community, I’m also an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer. I teach classes related to edible landscaping, vegetable/herb/spice gardening, and organic gardening both online and at public events.

Social Media

For the record, I created this website so I could WRITE about my Epicurean homesteading experience. Writing is my medium and my profession.

So, I’m not a social media guru who collects followers like grains of sand on a beach with my incredible marketing savvy. It’d be awesome if I was. But the truth is: 1) I’m wary of a life moderated by algorithms, 2) I can’t abide word limits shorter than essay length, and 3) I just haven’t put in the time to understand how to have my posts show up in your social media.

That said, I’ve discovered that it’s really fun to use video and photography to capture happenings in the gardens, goat udder comparisons, deeply meaningful chats with my ducks and chickens about our philosophical beliefs, or whatever slice of life/homesteading self-entertainment strikes my fancy.

So, you can also follow me Instagram @exploresimplestead for periodic peaks at our normal, non-polished life here on our Epicurean homestead. That way you’ll be able to see for yourself, and as my chickens and ducks will loudly tell you in so many of my posts, that I’m totally flocked up!

But wait… there’s more!

Last but not least — I’m not alone here on my homestead. I share my life with an incredibly fascinating man, also a writer, named Matt Miles. Living here with Matt, making Epicurean decisions together, is the best part of my homesteading life.

If you read this far, I feel like you know me already. Now, please send me an email at exploresimplestead@gmail.com to tell me a bit about you! Just an FYI – I’m part of the slow email movement (like slow food, only for email). So, it might take me a few days to get back to you.


Welcome New Friends!

Let’s Simplestead Together!