Samantha was born in the Hill Country of Vernon County. She has deep roots in the Driftless region of Wisconsin. Her mother’s ancestors settled in nearby towns and villages after coming from the “old country” of Bohemia in the Czech Republic in the 1850s. They became homesteaders, growing their own food and farming the land for many generations. Even now many of her ancestors’ farmland belong to Amish families, who carry on the old traditions.
Both of Samantha’s parents grew up during the Great Depression and out of necessity learned to be more self-sufficient throughout their lives. Their families typically grew large gardens and preserved the annual bounty. They foraged the woods and prairies for wild fruits and vegetables. They also practiced frugality and very little went to waste. Old clothing was made into rugs and quilts. Furniture was repaired and refinished to be of use for the next generation.
Len grew up on the South Side of Chicago and his father and grandfather worked for many years in the stock yards. His mother emigrated from Poland at the age of 16 with the promise of what life in a new land could bring. His family valued hard work and the belief in making the world a better place for your children. They often made decisions that required courage and a vision for the future.
These same values are embodied at the Green Apple Inn Bed and Breakfast. Our purpose is to leave a lighter footprint on the Earth and to make the world a better place for future generations.
Samantha and Len’s journey together toward living a more sustainable lifestyle began more than 20 years ago. Four guiding principles (based on the Natural Step) are their cornerstone:
- Avoid substances extracted from the Earth’s crust.
- Reduce economic dependence on persistent substances.
- Do not take more from the biosphere than what can be replenished naturally.
- Avoid creating conditions that undermine the ability of others to meet their needs.
They use these principles daily to guide their choices for everything from renovating their home to choosing furniture to the food they eat and serve. They strive to live a lifestyle that is simple, sustainable and satisfying.