Spring intentions

Being still in Yosemite~ march 2013

A conscious effort to tap into my spirituality/spirit this spring...
I haven't yet started meditating as much as I'd like. With the renewal of spring and longer days, it's so easy to see my intended purpose with new eyes. My perception is geared in honoring the here and now and finding love and forgiveness within myself. I'm still trying to reintegrate back into self and find balance in my busy, busy schedule. Perhaps, I'll venture out into a spiritual retreat this summer. If it's meant to be, I'll be lead there. The universe always conspires to make things happen.

Crossing paths. Travel more - overcome fear~
Intertwined in all of this is that I've started hosting couchsurfers, particularly Europeans. It's been a blessing to meet these travelers -- who I've learned so much from. So many European stereotypes and notions disproven haha! I've come to a realization that I need to travel abroad soon. On traveling in general, I plan on visiting Oregon in the summer. It will be beautiful. I desire to experience more wilderness.

I am experiencing instances where I feel compelled to photograph again. I am going to feel it out.  Santa Cruz in the spring is such a blessing and I am so grateful to be living here.

Most of all, I want to be receptive and open to new and exciting possibilities!


Establishing Connection

Since my move to Santa Cruz last fall, I've set the intention to intern at as many local farms as I can during the two years that I'll be at UCSC.  Last quarter, I interned for 3 months at the 25 acre farm at The Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) where I got to work closely alongside the apprentices learning ecological horticulture with an emphasis on small-scale crop production.  It was a great learning experience where I made lasting connections to the land and people.  The majority of the apprentices were all empowering young women with a passion for local food and community and activism in food justice.  It is so inspiring to see these women work so hard and passionately in a line of work that is traditionally male-dominated.  My intern supervisor and farm manager, Christof, also provided me and my fellow interns with a wealth of knowledge and in-depth answers to our continual curiosity.

Passing the time outside amongst the beautiful oak woodland and redwood landscape and being part of a collaborative effort growing food that fosters community is what I love about going to school here.  I am so grateful for this beauty that I am witness to everyday.  It is a continual process of learning and gaining life-long experiential knowledge; it is also about developing a deeper connection to the bioregion and creating an intimate relationship with our food that surpasses all theoretical knowledge about food systems.  Having awareness and substantial theoretical knowledge about sustainable food systems doesn't mean anything until you get in the soil and experience for yourself what it is like to grow food from seed to harvest in a wholesome and ecological manner.


Bioregional Swap

I had the opportunity of participating in a bioregional swap through Mary's blog, terrallectualism. I was so happy when I was paired up with Jenny who lives in the Appalachian town of Mars Hill, North Carolina just a few miles away from Burnsville, the town that I had WWOOF'ed at two summers ago. I fell in love with Appalachia during my time WWOOF'ing there and have since missed the lush flora and fauna of that bioregion. So it was great to hear that Jenny would be sending me goodies from that area!

Here are my goodies from my bioregional swap package:

(clockwise starting from the top: 3 books on herbs and sustainable/natural living, dried monarda, a beautiful purple notebook made with hand-crafted paper, a little wooden pot, handmade pot holder, an awesome apron, and a hand-dyed tablecloth in blue and white)

Thank you, Jenny! <3

Your swap package will be ready in about a week or so! Here is a little peak of what's to come:

Last days of summer

Herbal Day

Dessa, Ha, and I recently started this tradition of Herbal Fridays. We gather together every Friday and make herbal medicine or healing foods. So far, we've made lacto-fermented ginger beer and herbal capsules (alfalfa leaf, red clover blossoms, neem, and feverfew). In December, when I travel back down to SoCal for winter break, we are coming together again and making healing salves and herbal candies, and perhaps we'll also start some tinctures and infused oils!

1 week fermentation of ginger syrup + ginger bug

encapsulating powdered neem

powdering dried herbs in the vitamix

finished herbal capsules~