The time has come for Jessica, Travis, and I to say our goodbyes to San Diego, as we pack up for our move north to Aromas, Ca—Terra Cultura’s new found home. All three of us have lived in San Diego before, Jessica and I grew up here, and we are very lucky that this gentle city has been a revolving door for incubating ideas, then sending us on our way to manifest them. San Diego has more small farms (under 10 acres) than any other county in the nation, and has been an excellent place to plan Terra Cultura. The timing was fortuitous as well. Jessica, Travis, and I converged in San Diego, from Oakland and NYC respectively, just as the San Diego New Farmer’s Guild was taking form. Terra Cultura could not exist without our incredibly supportive families, and our San Diego community. Thank you. Barbara Wohlander-Learner deserves a very special thank you, for opening her home to all three of us and our dogs, and for her huge-hearted love and unconditional support.
We have learned a great deal from the innovative and resourceful farmers of this dry border city. Wild Willow’s model of a nonprofit teaching farm has been a constant inspiration to us, and the people there are eager to share their seemingly endless wealth of knowledge. Leichtag Foundation and Coastal Roots Farm opened their doors to us, giving us a residency in their Barn 8 art space, allowing us to test out curriculum ideas and educational pilot programs that bridge art, agriculture, sustainable living, and community-building. Bread and Salt hosted our first fundraiser in their beautiful bread factory turned art space.
Our friends at San Diego Farm Animal Rescue gave us loads of advice on running a nonprofit and let us hang out a lot with their horses and pigs. We spent weekends at many inspiring permaculture sites around the county with our Permaculture Design Course through the San Diego Sustainable Living Institute. We learned about growing hops at Nopalito Farm, raising goats at Whispering Sage Farm, organic orchard care at Rancho Shiraz, chicken care at Three Sons Farm, and programming for kids at Olivewood Gardens.
In our short time in San Diego, we became a nonprofit, received our first few grants, grew our mailing list to 500 people, reached 8,500 readers through our blog, worked beside beloved Terra Cultura volunteers and artists-in-residence, and received a remarkable outpouring of support. We’ve made friends with farmers, artists, activists, educators, and advisors that we intend to keep close, despite the fact that we’ll now be a six-hour drive away (only six hours!). We hope that we can continue to find ways to support and collaborate with the members of our San Diego community.
And we hope all of you will visit Terra Cultura very soon. San Diego, we will miss your purple jacaranda trees and Dr. Seussian landscapes. We’ll miss Balboa Park, and Station Tavern, and The Casbah, and Joshua Tree, and the Penasquitos Preserve. San Diego, thanks for having our backs in this time of intense learning and planning—I’m sure we’ll see you again soon.