First, an apology…
You haven’t heard from us quite as often lately. We’re sorry about that. We want to share some of our recent progress, and invite you to our Oct. 13th Open House (more below)!
As you might guess, it’s a lot of work to run a nonprofit, establish a farm, reach out to local communities, develop curriculum, fundraise, and manage a whole slew of infrastructure projects to make our land more suitable for our educational programs. Jessica, Travis, and I, along with many incredible volunteers, are juggling many roles, and making a lot of progress. We knew this land and this project would test our limits; it has. On the hardest days though, when our bodies are rag weary from shoveling countless wheelbarrows full of manure onto the crop beds, or our brains are bone tired from a marathon of grant-writing, we still feel lucky to be here stewarding this land as best we can.
An update on our progress…
We’ve been in Aromas, CA for six months now. Our decision to move here has been constantly affirmed by the kindness and enthusiasm we are met with around our project. Terra Cultura integrates ecological farming, art, education, and activism, and many of the friends we’ve made here straddle those intersections daily. We’ve worked hard to articulate, justify, and legitimize our business model, but it’s nice when people just get it.
We’ve seen two seasons. We watched the hills washed in blue lupine turn to dust as the rains retreated and the days extended. We labored alongside volunteers, who managed to keep us laughing even while hauling huge heavy logs to complete our first quarter acre of checklog terraces. We’ve watched the glee of young students digging their hands deeper into wet soil, sloshing the muck in their palms for the fun of it, before planting their first ever plant.
We’ve marked our progress in the slowly but surely improving off-grid infrastructure, in ticking off the requirements for the CDFA grant, in meetings and community events, in new friends and mentors, in newspaper clippings, and in tons and tons of compost. We’ve learned to skillfully use equiptment we hardly knew the names of a year ago. We’ve re-learned everything we thought we knew about communication and collaboration. The wet season will be very educational. We’ve learned so much already.
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A big thanks to Wallace Baine and @sanbenitomag for such a wonderful feature on Terra Cultura's early days in our new Aromas home. The piece does a wonderful job illustrating some of the many possibilities for the land that we're working tirelessly every day to make a reality. Link in bio.
There’s a lot to announce, including a call for interns, a new way to help us out, and exciting upcoming projects. But I’ll skip to the most important! We’re hosting an open house on October 13, from 1pm-5pm, and we’d really love for you to come. This is our opportunity to officially introduce ourselves to the community, share our vision, and hear from community members about how we can best serve your needs.
Come see the progress we’ve made so far on the land, plant a tree in our food forest, enjoy some local food and beverages, and be serenaded by local musicians. It should be lovely, and will be even lovelier if you can attend. Check the website for more details.