MY JOURNEY HERE
My husband and I started our first garden in our tiny backyard in the Sunset District of San Francisco in 1994. It began as a practice to gain independence from the 9-5 system, save money, eat healthier and be physical outdoors.
The local natural food store had John Jeavons’ book How To Grow More Vegetables (http://www.johnjeavons.info/) on the biointensive method. We bought it and began using this intensive method of gardening for small spaces as our guide. It can be used on a very small scale, conserves resources, builds soil and uses no mechanized tools.
We were hooked! Our vegetables were doing beautifully, even in the foggy summers along the coast.
We also volunteered as garden help at Green Gulch Farm and Zen Center, just over the Golden Gate bridge near Muir Woods once a week. There we got to see a much larger scale operation using similar methods as well as enjoy a delicious lunch.
During this time, we also started our adventures into backpacking in wild places throughout the state. As young naturalists we wanted a closer relationship with nature and thought this would be the way. While it was amazing, we wanted something more; deeper.
Through research and exposure to writers and ideas, our practice quickly developed into one of learning our connection and impact in all we do. After a friend shared Tom Brown, Jr.’s first book The Tracker with us, we devoured the whole series and when he brought his Standard Class to California we signed up. I went on to take many classes over a 16 year period with Tom and his amazing teachers.
After 8 years of city living in San Francisco we decided it was time to move to the country if we were ever going to fulfill our dream of living on our own land. We moved to the tiny town of Willits, CA and rented a cabin 5 miles from town on 134 acres filled with redwoods, douglas fir, oaks, and more.
Willits happened to also be where Ecology Action is located, John Jeavons’ demonstration site and education center. I started working in the natural food store on main street and who should be a regular customer but John Jeavons himself! I soon acquired a position at Ecology Action as a helper/maintenance staff and got to see the level at which his method could be applied and benefit so many around the world.
I also began a nine month Yerba Woman herbal apprenticeship with Donna D’Terra and fifteen other awesome women on her land, in the hills outside Willits. This combination of wilderness camping/backpacking, survival skills, soil building, intensive food growing and herbal medicine making brought together so many aspects of connection that I had been looking for, and all were doable, even on a small scale, within the 1st world paradigm.
Seventeen years later I enjoy the opportunity to practice various aspects of these skills on my own land with my husband, deepening my love and understanding of our interconnectedness with all things.
In 2012, I discovered the beautiful, female centered teachings of Lynn Andrews (http://lynnandrews.com/). Jeff brought home a copy of her first book Medicine Woman from our local book sale. This book tells of her first few years apprenticing to two Native American shaman women and Jeff thought I might enjoy it. Well he was right! I read the entire twelve book series of her shamanic training under Agnes Whistling Elk and Ruby Plenty Chiefs in just a few months. In 2013 I began her four-year shamanic studies apprenticeship called The Mystery School and graduated in 2016, receiving my ordination into the International Assembly of Spiritual Healers and Earth Stewards Congregation. This has helped bring balance to all my previous practices and helped me see that this female energy is what we and the world need for wholeness.
I offer my classes for women only; because women need space to feel, be and express themselves and learn skills to empower themselves. Now is the time to reclaim our power like never before in herstory!