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Keeping it simple

Amanda Roberson

FRISCO – Caroline Foley devotes one to two hours every day to her garden at her French Creek home. Leeks, onions, turnips, broccoli and asparagus are among the delicacies she cultivates, using energy from a solar pod her husband built from fiberglass. She also grows medicinal plants, including California poppy, lavender, sage, and mint, which she makes into a salve.Gardening is more than a hobby for Foley; it’s a way of practicing her sustainable living philosophy.”I want to live off the land, away from the big city, big environment,” said Foley, 30. “I don’t need a lot of money to live, or a lot of things.”Foley and her husband landed in Summit County while on their honeymoon four years ago. The newlyweds had sold everything they owned and bought an RV. En route to California from Canada, they stopped here to visit friends and decided to stay.”I love the people here,” she said. “I like the local businesses, the snowboarding, the hiking and gardening.”Foley got her first job at Pika Bagel Bakery & Cafe on Frisco’s Main Street four years ago.She now works at Alpine Natural Foods, a job she enjoys because of the people she encounters daily.”People come in asking advice about all kinds of things,” said Foley. “Now it’s allergies, in the winter people are always sick and looking for alternative remedies. It’s good to know I’ve helped someone in their life, especially when it comes to health.”As with gardening, Foley has a philosophy behind the medical advice she gives.”I believe in healing, not curing. People need something to make their body work.”Foley, who is a piano teacher, has been passionate about music since she was 5. She currently accompanies high school and middle school choruses.Her students are one of the things keeping Foley in Summit County, at least until next Christmas.She and her husband talk of moving to Jamaica, where they can better practice sustainable living. Along with a few other couples, they plan to purchase land to live on, rely on solar power, and grow their own food.Jamaica will also be home to their children.”I don’t want my kids to have to depend on technology, on things other than the land,” said Foley.Embracing a communal lifestyle, Foley and the two other women want to create a home school environment for the children.She also plans to barter within the community to get what her family needs. She might trade music lessons for organic oranges, for example.”I want to utilize all people and try to involve everyone in the community,” she said.”I love my students and my job here, but in Jamaica I can live more the way I want to live.”


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