I garden and have been learning how to forage. I have always wanted to know as much as I can about as much as I can, and so I think learning how to forage is less about surviving in the woods and more about being able to recognize plants and learn what they can do. I love walking through a park and being able to identify everything from what plants can treat insect bites to which ones make a good salad.

Pictured: what plants make a good salad (counter-clockwise from bottom): violets, dandelions, chives, chickweed.

Pictured: what plants make a good salad (counter-clockwise from bottom): violets, dandelions, chives, chickweed.

I love homebrewing! Part of brewing for me is getting to research other methods and recipes used outside of the abbeys of Belgium. Belgian monks get a lot of credit for brewing beer for centuries, but Finnish women have been brewing beer for even longer with less acknowledgment. Tupulisahti, or 'strong beer' is traditionally brewed with juniper instead of hops, so I've actually been able to combine foraging with homebrewing by finding wild juniper to brew this very old, very unusual Finnish beer.

Pictured: not Sahti, but a Single Malt and Single Hop beer (a SMaSH) that went a bit awry when I ran out of both the malt and hop I planned on using and I had to fill in with other bits. Hence, not a SMaSH, but a MISH-SMaSH

Pictured: not Sahti, but a Single Malt and Single Hop beer (a SMaSH) that went a bit awry when I ran out of both the malt and hop I planned on using and I had to fill in with other bits. Hence, not a SMaSH, but a MISH-SMaSH

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the light of my life, my 70 pound crybaby dog. I have a lot of affection for animals. Growing up, I had hamsters and guinea pigs and rabbits, and when I started dating my now-fiance, I inherited a dog. He's a 3ish-year-old staffie rescue named Marston, and he occupies a lot of my time. I bake him treats from scratch, I buy him 'indestructible' toys, I clean up said toys 2 days later when he's turned them to plastic shrapnel. His favorite activity is running full speed through the woods, where he gets so happy he bounds like a deer. It's great exercise for me, and it's the only way I can get him actually tired.

Acceptable nicknames include but are not limited to: Big Chunk, Pig, WooWoo, Bubba, and PeePeePantsCrybaby.

Acceptable nicknames include but are not limited to: Big Chunk, Pig, WooWoo, Bubba, and PeePeePantsCrybaby.