After months of planning, scheming (in some cases flat-out lying – apologies), I finally announced today that I’m leaving my job as Boston editor of to spend a year working at Island Creek Oysters. My last day at DC is Feb 20th; I start at the farm on March 9.

My first glimpse of farm life came from a funny email chain started by ICO’s director of business development, Shore Gregory. He announced to the growers that I would be joining the team in a few weeks and that I’d be writing about the experience, to which grower Don Merry replied all with: What are her measurements?

I had to laugh. It was followed by a barrage of responses giving him a hard time about replying all. (My response was, “I wear a size 4, thanks for asking.”) As Shore later commented, it was classic Don Merry.

I also sent out the obligatory mass email and was bombarded with feedback, all of which was positive, but I was immediately struck by the number of inspired notes I received from women who had thought long and hard about taking a similar life risk. One email in particular stuck out:

I have to admit, when I read your email I became very jealous of you. Lately, I’ve been feeling the same – a strong urge to unplug from the grid and do something more down to earth and “real”. I’d bet you have felt this way for a while, and I think it takes a lot of guts to make the decision you’ve made. I was just talking with one of my girlfriends last week about how great it would be to check out for a while and do something similar to what you’ll be doing at Island Creek.  I just wanted to let you know that reading your email today made me feel a lot less crazy about wanting to unplug and was definitely very motivational for me. I really hope this experience is everything you hope for and more.

I’ve been planning this in my head for months and not once have I considered needing justification but this statement alone gave it to me. I’m acting on an urge that I think so many of us have felt. There’s just no good reason not to do it. Here was my other favorite response:

How freakin’ cool are you?! Color me impressed (and can I shuck with you?).Congraulations, Erin; you’re living life the way it should be lived.

Exactly what I was going for.