Part of MMC is about bringing together our parenting community.
Feature family blog posts put the spotlight on down to earth, hardworking families in our village; Those who are living, loving, and embracing whole heartedly what it means to be local to Georgian and Kempenfelt Bay.
Lets get to know The Sweatmans, a family of 4 living in a little hollow just outside of Meaford.
Who are The Sweatmans?
The Sweatmans are … well we started as Katie and Chris, snowboard bums who love nature, adventure, a good dance party, and the snow. As we have grown together in the last decade plus, we have become many things, and have most recently taken on the role of the curators of our “adorable zoo”. It started when Chris and I got married in 2014, and then soon afterwards got our pup, Gloria. In quick succession after that (as in, less than one year!), we got pregnant, bought a house, moved from Georgetown to Meaford, and had Skye – our first baby and second addition to the zoo. When Skye was 2 months old, we adopted two tiny little kittens, one of whom is quite handicapped but wildly endearing. Then, most recently, when Skye was a year and a half, we had our second daughter, Lilli. For now, at least, the zoo is closed for business … but we are in the middle of building a chicken coop so stay tuned! ;)
What do you do as a family in your community?
While the last couple of years have been wildly busy in our home, we have worked on getting out and about into the community. Chris and Ecocultures have gotten really involved in several local eco events (fairs, garden-builds, a ‘street-feast’, and other events here and there). We also love going to local concerts, the farmer’s market, and the little street events that pop up throughout the year in the towns around us. I am still working on getting out of the house in one piece with a toddler and newborn in tow, but we have loved going to local play groups, the library, and the many awesome parks around us.
What do you both do for work in our area?
I am a high school teacher, and I work with at-risk students who have been removed from their home schools and brought to our school. However, for the last couple of years I have done less of that and more of the mommin’ life, since I am now on my second maternity leave in two years! When we moved up here, Chris and his best friend started a gardening and landscaping company called Ecocultures, which focuses on sustainable and edible landscapes. It’s really cool watching the company grow, and seeing all the people in the area get awesome delicious gardens as a result!
How did you end up living in the Meaford area?
Chris and I met at Georgian Peaks Ski Club, which is where we both taught snowboarding. Since then, we have lived in lots of places, including BC and New Zealand to follow the snow. We also lived in lots of places through the Georgian Triangle, and always knew we would come back here. We lived in the GTA for a few years as Chris went back to college to study Sustainable Energy, but once that was done we were outta there! As lovers of snow but also of some land to get our hands dirty in, we gravitated to Meaford, which is where we could be close enough to the ski hills but also afford a few acres of property.
What do you love about your home?
Our home is a quirky, 120-year old place; complete with a slightly tilty shop where we can park our cars and pretend we are capable of carpentry. What I love most about it is that we are surrounded by farm fields, so we have privacy and peace. I love the gardens we have created – flowers, veggies, and berries – and the way the get us outside and elbow-deep in dirt. I love always hearing birds and bugs. I love that Skye can run around naked, and that walking down the driveway to get the mail is a 15-minute adventure with her. I love that right now, she has learned by watching us to gently pull a flower towards her nose and sigh “mmmm”, even though she has no idea why.