Character Interview: Claire Halford from Wild Mint Tea
Please tell us a little about yourself and the place where you live, specifically the Green Acres Farm. The place is a little unique. Please tell us why you and your friends, Sierra and Jo, decided to purchase the place and what you plan to do with it?
Hi, Fay. I’m Claire. It’s good to meet you. Anyone who’s interested in Green Acres Farm is a friend of mine! My friends and I have lived on this 40-acre farm for just over a year now. We’d been looking all over the Pacific Northwest for a place we could afford that had a good growing season. I didn’t expect it to be in Northern Idaho! But I love it here…at least now that we’re out of the mouse-infested trailer that was on the property and into the straw bale house we built with a lot of help from our friends and families.
Anyway, we’re passionate about local food. I mean, we’re also into the whole environmental movement, but hey, I’m a chef. For me, it’s all about food. The freshest, most flavorful, nutrient-dense, and real ingredients. That pretty much means they need to be grown organically and locally, as close to their consumers as possible.
Um, you asked what we’ll do with Green Acres Farm. Right now we’re running some events, trying to get a cash flow happening. Sierra had this brilliant idea where we’d cater weddings, like that would be an easy source of money. Somehow she sold Jo and I on this idea. Who knew our very first bride would have this ruggedly handsome brother, that I’d fall for him, and he’d be the most unsuitable guy. L
But you didn’t ask that. We want to show people we can live sustainably on the planet and teach others how to do that, too. We don’t need to be married to fulfill our dreams, though Jo immediately went out and snagged a local guy, leaving Sierra and I to run the farm day-to-day. It certainly changed our situation.
I have to admit that I usually tease and tell people that I’m so anti-green that I’m purple. You (and your friends) work hard at reducing your footprint upon the earth. I believe there are three different camps concerning environmentalism: 1) God gave us the earth, and he gave us dominion over it. That dominion comes with responsibility, and we need to take care of it; 2) we ought to take care of the world that God gives us, but some are so caught up in the movement that earth (Mother Nature) becomes its own god; and 3) the world isn’t going to end one moment before God intends it to. Prophecy tells us that in the end times all commodities will be precious. Why worry?
I’m not telling you what camp I’m in, but I’d love to know where you stand and the Biblical precept behind it.
Hmm, closest to the first option, I guess. I don’t really like the word “dominion,” though. I believe this planet is a precious gift from God to humanity, and that, in general, we’re treating the gift with a lot of disrespect.
Think if you had a kid and wanted to do something really special for her. Say you planned the best bedroom. Not only that, but a whole suite for her with her own spa-like bathroom, games area to invite her friends to, everything deluxe. No expense spared. Wouldn’t she be amazed? Delighted? I bet she’d throw her arms around you and tell you you’re the best parent EVER!
So then imagine that after a bit of time she just trashes the place. She sprays graffiti with ugly words and symbols on the walls. She chops up the furniture to build a bonfire and fills the space with toxic smoke. She fills the jetted tub with rotting garbage. She breaks up the big-screen TV for glass shards to fight the horde of stinky rats that moved in.
Meanwhile she keeps telling you how much she loves you and is thankful for your gift, but her actions don’t line up with those words, do they?
I mentioned above that I know you would be pretty content to stay at the farm and never leave. You’re pretty adamant about it, but do you think that just maybe there is a balance, that leaving the farm for, say, vacations, enjoying different scenery, and getting away from the daily grind wouldn’t be refreshing on occasion? If so, where would you most like to go?
I don’t know why everyone thinks traveling is the greatest thing. Why should I leave the farm? I have everything I need here, and it’s beautiful. Okay, I could go visit my mom and brothers, but I’d much rather they came here. I don’t really see the need to go anywhere at all.
We can’t forget about Noel. Inquiring minds want to know. Do you think he’s ready to settle down at Green Acres or could he get restless in the future? If so, would you be willing to go with him?
Who have you been talking to? It seems my private affairs are being aired here. Noel has never lived in one place for more than a month or two since he graduated from high school. His whole business and way of life revolve around moving from one tree-planting camp to the next…then booting off to the tropics in the offseason.
He’s too different from me. And besides, if he gets bored in one spot so easily, what makes me think one woman could hold him? No, it’s better not to get my hopes up. He won’t change for me. I can’t change for him.
If only he weren’t so sweet, and funny, and gentle. And…what was the question again? No, it could never work.
About Wild Mint Tea:
She’s rooted deep. He flies free.
Local-foods chef Claire Halford envisions turning Green Acres Farm into an event destination. Weddings prove trickier than she imagined when the first one comes with a ruggedly handsome brother-of-the-bride, who has everything but a fixed address. Oh, and faith in God.
Noel Kenzie loves the freedom his reforestation company affords him. Why worry about deep stuff like God and commitment when he’s in his prime? Except there’s a woman who might make it worth giving up his wings…and digging in some roots. If he dares.
The second tale in the Farm Fresh Romance series, WILD MINT TEA, finds chef Claire Halford hosting weddings at Green Acres Farm, but the first bride comes with a globe-trotting brother. Noel Kenzie’s reforestation company provides him the means to enjoy life. This is no time for him to settle down…or Claire to spread her wings.
Check out the trailer for Wild Mint Tea.
About the series:
A FARM FRESH ROMANCE. This unique farm lit series follows the adventures, romantic and otherwise, of three college graduates who move onto a reclaimed farm where they plan to take the rural area by storm with their sustainable lifestyle and focus on local foods.
Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.
Valerie writes Farm Lit where food meets faith, injecting experience laced with humor into her stories. Raspberries and Vinegar, first in her series A Farm Fresh Romance, released in August, 2013.
You can connect with Valerie at her website and blog, where you can join her newsletter list where she offers exclusive contests, giveaways, and news on upcoming releases. Her social media links are also available on her site. Please visit!