for the most part, my family is from brooklyn, new york, where kids still know how to play kick the can and a stoop is an evening parlor from early spring to mid autumn. my grandparents and great grandparents took boats from ireland and italy to ellis island and settled across the bridge. we went to their brownstones in clinton hill every sunday for a long time. at heart, i am a salt-marsh girl. living at sea level feels comfortable.  it is completely normal to eat hot bowls of borscht on the boardwalk in brighton beach in the heat of august or marvel over small patches of finely trimmed greens surrounded by cast iron gates and slate sidewalks.

but i am in love with a farm in alabama.

it is not near the sea, or even in new york state.  it's in a gorgeous valley in the north alabama mountains, three hours from our home in the city of atlanta. my husband grew up on this farm, as did his father.  sometimes i wonder if in some ways, over the last 13 years, i did too.