Happy Spring! The sugar snap peas in our garden are blossoming and the cilantro needs daily haircuts to keep it from bolting (anybody need some cilantro?!). We hope you’ve been enjoying The Almanac so far. We figured it was time for a little Terra Cultura update!
We have been busy with the nitty gritty of starting a nonprofit, laying the infrastructure for bookkeeping and fundraising, and designing the first round of marketing media & materials. We’re planning some events coming up here soon (stay tuned) to help us raise the barn and build our growing community. We’re also partnering with some local organizations to test out our program ideas. But the most exciting part is that we are officially beginning our search for the land that will house Terra Cultura.
We spent the weekend exploring the central coast region, focussing mostly on north-west San Benito county, and scoped out a handful of potential properties. The Terra Cultura co-founders have lived, worked and travelled in and around this area in the past, but there’s always more to discover. After the rainiest winter we can remember, California’s rolling hills are unusually green and festooned in orange poppies, yellow oxalis, and purple shoots of verbena.
We love the cultural heritage of towns like San Juan Bautista. While many other places are paving over their past, San Benito county seems to honor its Indigenous and Spanish history. We stopped by to pay homage to El Teatro Campesino –a powerful reminder of the lineage we find ourselves in conversation with: the marriage of art and agriculture to instigate education and change. That heritage is one of the many reasons we are looking in this area–along with its proximity to the bay area and many colleges and universities, and the county’s vision to create model green communities while preserving its agricultural past. Also, it’s just a short drive to Butano State Park, where we enjoyed a glorious hike among the redwoods.
We are aware that with every decision we make, and seed we plant, we are laying the foundation for something we hope will outlast us. The dream of the the perfect plot of land–with the forested slopes leading to loamy farmland with a babbling creek–collides with the limitations of cost, existing infrastructure and location. How does one go about choosing the land they hope to make into a home anyway–especially when that place is not meant to be a home for only one family, but for anyone seeking a home-place, hopefully for generations to come? One way is to invite a very many diverse collaborators on board to help shape what the community will become. Now that our board of directors is moving full steam ahead to make this dream happen, we thought it would be fun to introduce them:
Check back here weekly for more exciting interviews, guest blog posts and updates from Terra Cultura!