Anna May Kinney has been an environmentalist, organic gardener, and gourmet cook for over thirty years. Specializing in the region and cultural differences in the food we eat, she taught international cooking during the late 1960's and early 1970's.
Dedicated to living life in harmony with nature, she has been recycling and composting years before it became popular with the general population. She grows almost all the fruit and vegetables she eats. Living in a North American climate, it was quite a challenge to learn how to preserve enough of everything to last until the next year's harvest.
For decades she supported herself from her knowledge of food preparation. From giving cooking lessons to making and selling organic jams and jellies, bread and cakes.
When she finally found out that her many health problems were being caused by multiple sclerosis and that it would soon be impossible to continue earning a living from such hard work, she decided to follow the advice of good friends and pursue a career in writing.
Three years ago, while taking a course in writing, she submitted an article to a local newspaper. A month later she had a weekly column called Nature's Way. Here she talks about organic gardening, healthy food production, the environment, cooking, and occasionally our loving relationship with companion animals.
Everyday life was not easy living off the land and there was never enough time to grow more than a few flowers. Then five years ago, after a period of severe physical disability, she realized that we need to feed our soul as much as we need to feed our bodies, and started a huge walk- through perennial flower garden.
Her small farm is 75% mixed woods, making a lovely background setting for the colorful flower gardens. From June to September the gardens are open to the public and many people make more than one visit a year to be able to see the different flowers that are in bloom each month.
The gardens are especially designed to feed the bird population, there are many varieties of fruit bearing bushes and trees throughout the farm. Serviceberries are one of the first berries ready in the spring, ideal for feeding the young hatchlings.
There are choke cherries, nannyberries, bush cranberries, hawthorns, elderberries, wild raspberries and blackberries. Since the gardens were started the bird population has tripled. In the early morning you can see hundreds of birds jumping from one plant to another.
During the spring and summer the green house is full of tropical plants. 1999 was the first year that the fig trees produced fruit. One year Anna May grew a pineapple in a window, inside the house. While it was smaller than one you'd buy in a fruit stand, it was ever so sweet and it's beautiful fragrance filled the house for over a week.
When she was told by her doctors that she should not take on the responsibility of adopting a pet, she not only got a dog, she got four dogs. Faith was first, fourteen months later Elizabeth came to keep Faith company. Then six months later she heard about a mother, Nina and daughter Christine, Beagles who were rescued from an abusive situation and needed to stay
together. Just before Christmas 1997 they joined the family.
There were also two cats, thirteen year old Hope and four year old Sweet Charity. Each animal has a special bond with Ms. Kinney, each has it's own sweet personality, likes and dislikes.
On March 1, 2000, Hope cat passed into the next world. You can see her picture and read her story on the Saying Goodbye page. Then on May first healthy active 4 1/2 year old Faith took ill with a rare blood disease, every attempt was made to save her, but on May 8, 2000 a blood clot to the lung took her. Anna May has created Faith's Memorial where you can see a collection of pictures of this unusual animal companion and read a bit about her life.
After Faith's death the perennial garden was renamed Faith's Garden and there is an online garden tour for everyone to enjoy.
Since being surrounded by these loving animals, Anna May went from crutches around the farm and using a wheel chair for shopping to walking on her own.
After studying the healing effects of herbs and other natural remedies, she started an all natural approach to her M.S. and has had some amazing results, but she cautions, no one should do or take anything without first talking with their family doctor. What is good for one person, is not necessary good for anyone else.
Along with her other achievements, she has managed to write a cookbook. Realizing she is not the only person with vision problems, she insisted that this book be printed in extra large print and be spiral bound so that it could lie flat, making it easier for those with disabilities to use. Check it out on Anna May's Cookbook
With her weekly column, cookbook and now hopefully this web site, Anna May hopes that through her writing she can continue to support herself and maintain her independence. Please add this page to your favorites and visit often.
The following picture is one of my favorites, please be patient for it to open. Sunrise
I would really like to thank Margi Harrell for giving me permission to use the midi on this page. Please take the time to visit her website, where you could purchase a variety of CD's.