This past year during my husband’s sabbatical, our family had the opportunity to live in a friend's certified Passive house in rural Wisconsin. With 18 inch thick walls, the house required only a hair dryer to heat the entire house on the coldest days of winter. There were a thousand things to love about this eco home: the entirely edible landscaping, (cabbages are my new favourite flower), the outdoor shower and indoor swingset, the Finnish sauna with matching chicken coop in the back yard. But our favourite place to be was the cozy Scandinavian stuga. To get to the stuga, which was the main hanging out area with a fireplace, you had to first go outside.
Something about having to go outside made you completely forget why you wanted to go be a couch potato in the first place. In that moment between the two buildings, you passed the cat, the herbs, the wood pile, the laundry rack (one of several). You could hear the hens and they could hear you so they usually began calling to you to bring them some bolted lettuce. Up to this point in my life, I had no idea what bolted lettuce was. (Don`t ask me how I grew up on a dairy farm without catching this one.) Bolted lettuce is what you call lettuce that is past its prime and has gone to seed and the hens love it. So I would scratch the kitty behind his ears, gather an armful of greens for the hens, gather the eggs from the coop, realize the coop needed mucking out and grab the pitchfork from the shed, filling the wheel barrow with straw while I was at it. As I passed the garden I would rescue a few over ripe tomatoes and bring them inside with the eggs, grabbing the compost bucket and bringing it back to the hens……
Usually about an hour had passed before I finally made it into the stuga where I could then sit and watch all of this beauty from the heart of it. My goal for Stone Soup Crafts is to help families find that magical place between the house and the stuga, where the natural world calls you outside to pull a few weeds from the garden or let the wind dry your laundry. That place, where nature and creativity and daily work all intersect, is the sweet spot of homemaking.