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Welcome to The Almanac! or Terra Cultura: An Introduction…
Written by Rachel Wohlander
January 30, 2017

Welcome! As you may know, The Almanac is the weblog of Terra Cultura. Terra Cultura is in the process of becoming a farm and education, arts and community center in the central coast region of California, with facilities for events, artist residencies, and guests. We will share what we figure out throughout the process so that our successes can be replicated and our failures avoided. Along with updates on Terra Cultura, you can expect exciting posts on stuff like:

  • Like-minded farms & organizations worldwide
  • Green architecture
  • Environmental news
  • Alternative farming methods
  • Renewable energy resources
  • Food movement updates
  • Interviews with artists, writers, musicians and scientists who are doing relevant work
  • Amazing plant-based recipes at our cooking blog: Cucina Cultura
  • Anything else you suggest & share, and we hope you will! (email: info@terracultura.org)

So what’s this Terra Cultura thing all about? Glad you asked! You can read all about its raison d’être. But here’s a little about us, the founders, and how this whole thing got started:

The dream of Terra Cultura has been long in the making. Terra Cultura co-founders and sisters, Rachel and Jessica, spent many childhood hours imagining their suburban cookie-cutter lot was a farm, their dogs, cats, hamsters, rats, fish, bunnies and birds standing in as livestock. Boxes of old arts and crafts their mother kept are full of drawings and stories of agrarian scenes and adventures. The dream began to materialize when Jessica met kindred spirit, skilled musician, and third co-founder, Travis, at University of California Santa Cruz. The two painstakingly saved their pennies to spend a year travelling the globe, living and working on organic farms and ecovillages on almost every continent. They learned a vast array of methods for growing food, water conservation and animal care. Jessica and Travis got married in 2015, with Rachel officiating the ceremony.

While Jessica and Travis were travelling, Rachel was busy learning the ins and outs of various arts organizations in New York City, where Jessica and Travis re-joined her upon their return. Rachel focused on her interdisciplinary M.F.A., collaborative strategies, performance production, directing experimental theater and writing fiction and poetry. Jessica earned her master’s in international development with a focus on sustainable agriculture which brought her to rural Colombia to develop sustainable food programs with local community members. She went on to work as a community organizer for various environmental activist organizations. Travis put his music prowess and business savvy to use for a tech-music start-up. All three collaborated on various arts, performance, music and activism projects together along with a stellar community of Brooklyn-ites.

They each continued to take every opportunity they could to travel, garden and farm. Rachel worked on an organic vegetable farm in Colombia and a sheep farm in Scotland; Jessica and Travis volunteered on farms and re-landscaped their mothers backyard with indigenous plants; Rachel, Jessica and Travis cultivated urban gardens together in NY and CA. 

Consistent throughout Travis, Jessica and Rachel’s kinship were conversations on how to address the growing environmental and social crises of the time, and the role that art might play. Terra Cultura is the culmination of their life-long desires to create a place where the environment, community and creativity can thrive. With Travis’ financial and business know-how, Jessica’s community organizing and activism skills and Rachel’s expertise in arts education, collaboration and event production, along with their collective farming and gardening experience, the pieces were in place to hit “go” on a project that would activate all their areas of interest in one project.

Enter Terra Cultura. With focused rigor and energy, they set about further stocking their wells of knowledge on regenerative farming methods, eco-friendly architecture, arts programming and education, and community building and facilitation. They have collected an indispensable team of mentors, supporters and collaborators who are helping to make their vision a reality.

You, dear reader, are very much a part of that team. We hope you will read, comment, share your ideas and projects and come visit us at Terra Cultura. We plan to begin our initial phase of programming by fall 2017. Until then, check back frequently for news of our progress and much more.

Written by Rachel Wohlander

Rachel Wohlander is a co-founder, and the executive director of culture and education at Terra Cultura. She is an interdisciplinary artist and educator with a background in performing arts and creative writing.

10 Comments

  1. Jessica Wohlander

    Yay!

    Reply
  2. Spencer Schanzer

    This is amazing you guys!!! Congratulations!!!

    Reply
    • Jessica Wohlander

      Yay!

      Reply
  3. Bonnie Vadnais

    Wishing you all success in your new venture!

    Reply
  4. Michele Learner

    What a wonderful introduction to Terra Cultura. I can’t wait to see what you create here and on site. Cheers to your beginning!!

    Reply
  5. Kristin Swift

    This is super exciting! Congrats to all of you! Looking forward to hearing the future plans!

    Reply
  6. Kirby

    Wow, a wondeful description of how TerraCultura came to be. I’m excited about watching your ongoing progress.

    Reply
  7. Connie Fox

    I am so impressed with the three of you. If anyone wants to learn how to make their dreams come true, they should model their lives after yours. Inspiration, commitment, research, clear goals, focused hard work, and fun along the way are making you model “Dream Makers.” So many people struggle with achieving their goals. Please keep in mind the process you are following in developing TC so it can be taught to others. I know your plate is full, but a book is in the making, along with, at the very least, a TED Talk. High fives and hugs all around. Beautifully written blog, Rachel!

    Reply

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