Since 2012, for the most part I put my heart and soul into my music career.  I’ve spent hours on social media, trying to do what I’m “supposed” to do in order to grow my business.  And for awhile this seemed like the right thing to do.  But in January, I kept feeling that change was coming, or at least was needed.

After months of fighting it, I finally decided that my focus needed to be more on our farm, and on the on-line Christian community that we are trying to start up called terce.  I’m not sure if it’s giving up on a dream or just altering it to fit our reality as a family.  Either way, since making the decision to take a chill pill concerning my career, as opposed to the normal dose of caffeinated stress, I feel a LOT more peace.

I’m not giving up on “Erisa Rei”, just slowing it down.  I’ll probably do music all of my life.  I enjoy the creation of it.  I even enjoy the business side in some ways.  I don’t like the industry push that seemed to be always over my head.  I just want to relax and enjoy life, instead of constantly trying to sell myself.

So, after years of dedication to that, it’s time to dedicate time for other things I’ve always wanted to do, such as have a farm/cooking blog.  I also want to continue focusing on terce., and my daughter, Lilly Kopp’s music.

A quick summation of me:  I grew up on a farm in the Heartland of IL.  Right next door was my grandparents’ Standardbred horse farm.  We raised our own food in our garden, as well as our own animals.  I grew up watching my parents and grandparents and great-grandparents plant their own gardens and can the produce.  They also are all really great cooks, especially the women of the family.  When we moved to a small town when I was 10, it was my wish to someday move back to the country.  I missed it terribly.

In 2008, my husband and I bought a farm in TN, south of Nashville.  One thing after another prevented us from having success with our garden and orchard, mainly the excess deer population who would decimate every plant in my garden to stumps.  In 2014, we decided to move back to the house we still owned in IL.  Finally, last September we purchased the farm that we live in now in central IL.

It’s a tiny farmette on 2.47 acres.  Our house at 1800-1900 sq. ft. is small compared to some people’s, but we’re used to smaller homes.  I forgot to mention that we are a family of 7.  So, going from 1100 sq ft. to where we are now, seems spacious.  In addition to our 1930’s bungalow, we also have a corn crib converted to chicken coops, a pole barn that we plan on converting to a greenhouse, a good sized barn, a machine shed and a garden shed.  We also have a tiny silo, which might prove useful someday.

At our new Laughing Thyme Farm, we have already had much more success than we did in TN.  Our garden, despite the drought, is doing very well.  We put in an orchard already this spring.  The farmette already had strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries started. We’ve already canned a lot of jam and berries from the plants.  There is also a couple of pear trees and an apple tree.  In March, we bought a mixed assortment of laying chickens.  We started with 30, and are now down to 28.  We’ve got at least 2 roosters, and maybe a third.  In a couple of weeks, we’ll be getting our meat chicks.

I’ll tell you all more about that later, and about the farm.  This is just an introduction to our farm, and me, the main writer of the blog.

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