It’s been awhile since I’ve written, but folks have been asking, so I thought I would check in. I have been on a long retreat into myself, and I feel like I am only beginning to emerge; which is so counter-intuitive as winter settles in, the onset of the root time, when all things flow inward. It is a welcome change to crave conversation and comfort in the company of beloveds. To anyone reading who may feel slighted by my absence this year, I apologize...sort of. I also say, “Hey, it's really not about you right now.” I have been on a journey into the dark night of the soul, doing my work; facing my demons, and inviting them to sit down for a cup of tea, to talk things out...
I understand metal now more, what it is to be refined. SO much have I let go of; impurities if you will: unhealthy thought patterns and habits; unhealthy relationships to people, myself and reality. I had to let go of almost all of my relations for a time, to huddle into myself. My therapist put words to what I experienced best: “What do wild creatures do when they are wounded? They find a dark space and curl up and lick their wounds. They hide; they heal.” She gave me permission to go into a cocoon, and I am so grateful. And to the divine alignment of time, that I have had this experience during a pandemic that altered reality as we knew it; I feel like the whole world took a big time out while I took the biggest detour of my life! And that really helped. I had the space to rest and sink into the mire and wallow a bit without letting too many commitments “out there” go; because “out there” had ground to a halt. So I did what any reasonable person does...i got two kittens!
I went deep with the plants and the land, too. Listening, tuning in, receiving the messages I used to work so hard to hear...now flooding in, washing over me like the sea. SO many visions and dreams...dramas played out in the ethers while my corporal body lay still in a feather bed, cozy, resting, healing…I now can empathize with the mighty oak, who lives a time, and is then harvested, and thrown into the fire. The substance is burned, consumed by heat; the essence is released into the heavens, in the smoke; our dreams, hopes and prayers offered to the great mystery…
I feel lighter now, in a way...more buoyant. I know how strong I am, how big a storm I can weather. I am less afraid of the shadows and less avoidant of my fears. I have been so uncomfortable physically that I am so profoundly grateful for my abilities that remain.
One of the most unexpected outcomes of my journey with cancer is that I finally know that I am LOVED. By my family; by my friends; by my community; and finally, by my Self. I also feel the love of a profoundly benevolent and playful energy that permeates all, Who cannot be named. My heart beats out the rhythm of the love I experience in each breath and with every step, that emanates from this most majestic planet that I have the privilege and pleasure of crawling along the back of; the greatest and most generous gentle provider of all, thank you sweet Mother!
As for logistics: Invasive lobular carcinoma, Stage 2. Treatment: double mastectomy, radiation for 5 weeks (finished at the end of May), NO CHEMO (praise to the birds and the bees and all that is holy and sacred!). I spent the summer lounging in the shade, so sensitive to the heat. Acupuncture and the river are the only things that saved me. I’ve elected to use tamoxifen to work with my estrogen levels, as this allows me to enjoy the benefits of estrogen in my body without it feeding the cancer. This will also allow me to experience menopause in some years, more naturally than the other options. My final surgery is scheduled for January 31. I feel scared, but also excited to get to the next stages. The emotional charge is not as overwhelming, as this is a reconstructive focused surgery and not as mysterious. I will still have the nightmare of 6 weeks of recovery (back to T-rex arms and only 10#’s of pressure) and needing a lot of support from my family and community to get through the rest of winter.
I am still navigating a world of shitty options; I still rage at the machine of progress that keeps marching ever onward, leaving a trail of death and destruction and broken dreams and lives in its wake. I still grieve the planetary loss of an estimated 150 species a day, all so that humans can run amoc, as spoiled little Veruca Salts demanding ever more golden eggs, even as we watch our paradise crumble. Even as our own bodies express illness in sympathy with our beloved Earth. Even as the stupid-rich blast off into space, burning exorbitant amounts of energy for a cosmic joy ride, while an estimated 25,000 people per day die of starvation, half of whom are children who never get to grow up and fall in love, or live their dreams.
Sometimes I sit outside during the witching hours, pondering these things and conversing with the moon, as sleep often eludes me. Why do we buy into this shit? I awoke in a paradise filled with chaos and I do not agree to these terms. Sometimes I scream “I dissent!” at the top of my lungs, but only the screech owls and the neighbor’s dog seem to hear. I do not agree with the corporate bureaucracy that governs this country. I do not consent to capitalism. I work to disrupt these systems every chance I get. I want to live in a just world where we each have an equal opportunity to realize our dreams; not just those born into wealth and power. A world where the rights of the salamanders and bloodroot are considered as much as my own.
And so I keep on doing what I do: growing food and conversing with the flowers; feeding the bees; listening to the soil share it’s divine secrets; cavorting in moonlight; organizing joyful rebellions and celebrations of freedom; and dance, dance, dancing!
Here is my playlist that got me through radiation and the early days: Boo Bee Jams
Here is the playlist for the Gala, my Full Moon Music:
Thanks to everyone who has supported in any way: by bringing food; by helping out around my farmstead; by not taking my silence personally; by donating to the Gofundme campaign; by sending cards and sweet handmade gifts; by lighting candles and praying for me; to all the seen and unseen forces that conspired to bring me to this exact point in time-I thank you.
If you feel moved, please donate HERE!
Hey Beloveds, I've been getting quite a few inquiry emails, so I guess it's time for another update. It helps me tremendously to catch everyone up at once, as individual updates are emotionally exhausting. So thanks for reading this, and then treating me like a "normal" person when we see each other! ...here goes:
“It’s my birthday. It’s strange to have your birthday in the middle of a crisis. And, well, suffice it to say that my life has become stranger than I could possibly imagine! Indeed, sometimes I scarcely recognize what my life has become…”
This was the beginning of a very long sad update that I started writing 2 days before my birthday (April . But then, something miraculous happened...I went to the beach! For those who don’t know me well, I love the beach; I feel like I am part otter and frolicking in the waves is one of my happiest places, where I feel most at home in my own skin. SO, I’ve scrapped the previous post (it still exists for anyone who is seeking a good cathartic cry-DM me! But I’ll spare the rest of you happy souls!) and instead am writing from a much more optimistic and grounded perspective. Riding my bike, eating the shrimps, frolicking, frolicking, frolicking...i feel like my soul finally returned to this sacred ol’ meat bag and decided to stay awhile longer.
I am still struggling with this thing called reality. I do not have to undergo CHEMO, which I am endlessly grateful for. Today however, Monday April 19 at 2:00 pm EST, I will receive my first of 25 radiation treatments. Five days a week for 5 weeks I am consenting to receive a very specific and well aimed beam of radiation. My doctors say it will take my recurrence chances from +25% to <10%...so please don’t send me messages telling me I am making a mistake. I feel confident that I am doing the best I can with the tools we have available. Your prayers and support are what I seek.
Infact, every weekday from Monday, April 19 through Friday May 21, I invite you to light a candle and be with me in prayer from wherever you are, however you can. My appointments are all in the afternoon, between 1:30 and 3 PM EST. The song Radiate Me from COPPERWOMAN (https://open.spotify.com/track/0J5sE7PTsxuRbNFrnAhePu...) is my theme song for this time.
And if I am slow in getting back to you, or don’t at all, please don’t take it personally. I am doing all that I can right now to keep my life in some semblance of order and functionality; to connect with my kids & loved ones; to grow the garden...speaking of which, if anyone wants to come and be my garden buddy, I am challenged in that realm! Between not yet having full upper body strength, and not being able to be in the sun (too much radiation..oh, the irony!), the classic REM song, “Gardening at Night” (https://open.spotify.com/track/4z80LOrUJonngRGzzrfjnD...) is becoming a way of life for me-ha! So, if you’ve got some spare time and want to put your digits in the dirt, holla! I’ve got weeds (with an S) for days!
Other than that, each day is a journey. I cry. I laugh. I am humbled to the point of feeling like a different human than the one I was a few months ago. And often, it's very good. Overall, I am still dwelling in my Peaceful Life, (Guts & Lorine Chia) (https://open.spotify.com/track/1oqcT3rKnuyGf7gcQU8IXx...) and I wish the same for each of you. love.Love.LOVE!
If you are able, please donate here. Thanks.
“The days aren't discarded or collected, they are bees that burned with sweetness or maddened the sting..."
It’s hard to believe that one month could be so damn long. It feels like centuries ago, that I slipped into the darkness, releasing my dear sister’s hand, tears streaming down my cheeks as I entered the depths of the unknown. And I awoke to an altered body, an altered mind, an altered heart, an altered soul. The days have grown longer and warmer; the birds are celebrating the return of the sun; the flowers are bravely pushing up and out into this new day. I long to be like the tulips, who don’t fear the cold nights or the crazy temperature fluctuations of spring; they just poke their little heads out and persistently make a flower...a beautiful bounty of color and smells.
I watch the honey bees foraging from flower to flower, knowing what to do, and doing it without hesitation, and I am so jealous. Their lives are just as endangered as mine; and yet, they don’t lay in bed until noon, weeping over their situation. They just get on with life, doing what they came here to do. I have spent the greater part of my life feeling much like the bees: I wake up early & bounce out of bed with excitement and determination about what I get to do that day. I have loved most of my life, living it the way I feel called to do, even when that puts me on the outside of the majority...which is where most of my time seems to land.
Lately, however, I feel lost; like a bee who awoke to find no hive and no flowers. I remember one time some folks moved their hives from where I used to live; they tried to get all of the bees, but inevitably a few dozen were tardy in their return. They buzzed around the spot where their hive had been for days, smelling the familiarity of their kin, but to no avail. I wept with those bees, feeling deep empathy, for I too have been separated abruptly from my home a time or two. Now, I feel separated from myself, my life, my purpose. It is all so incredibly disorienting...like getting tossed by the biggest wave imaginable…and not knowing which way is up.
" Still Another Day" ― Pablo Neruda,
They say acceptance will come, but that is hard for me to imagine right now. The grief is so huge, so complete, so overwhelming. Some folks say things like, “Hey, you just got to suck it up and get over it, you’ve got to keep going, for your kids.” I know this is true; but it's so damn difficult. At times I feel like all of this is too much: the surgery, the radiation, the chemo…maybe taking my ovaries because I have hormone driven breast cancer…the next year of my life stretches out before me, like a conveyor belt that winds through a twisted and demented circus. “Step right up folks, over here we have the Build-A-Boob workshop, will you be having nipples today, or not? And over there is the Poison Station, where we will fill you with chemicals to keep you alive...over yonder we have the Ovary Removal Tent…” and on and on it goes….I feel like all my femininity is being stripped away from me, my breasts, my hair, my estrogen makers...my life....
"In the River Styx..."
And while I am so incredibly grateful for all of the delicious and nourishing foods and gifts we have been receiving, I am also exhausted by people. Each person wants a story, to hear first hand what I am experiencing, to search deep in my eyes to find the trauma, and it is so incredibly exhausting. I miss just having normal conversations. I miss having the energy to fight for the oppressed, for the beings whose voices are being drowned out by the roar of the progress machine...but now my voice has shifted. I feel like another casualty to modernity. You see, I don’t have the genetic disposition to cancer. Mine comes from without, not within. They say prevention is the cure; and I agree. But prevention means dealing with the reality that we are poisoning our planet: the water, the air, the soil. There were 68,000 cases of breast cancer in 1970. There were 268,600 new cases in 2019. What does our future as a species look like? We hold the entire web of life in our fingers, and yet still we march on, relentlessly pushing the carrying capacity of this planet, devouring resources as we strive for bigger, faster, more...when is it enough?
"Waves of Rage"
And so this is my update. I am deeply grieving, experiencing all the stages and rages. I am overwhelmed. I feel lost in a sea of options that all suck. I feel frustrated over my limited mobility. I feel heartbroken over the path of treatment that stretches out before me. In short, I want my life back, and yet that is not possible. So, if I don’t return your call or email, please don’t take it personally. It’s all I can do to breathe right now. And please, unless you have personal experience walking on this road, don’t give me your advice or horror stories about radiation and chemo, or botched reconstruction...because I know this all sucks. I know they are poisons; but Rick Simpson oil, kombucha and cold showers are not going to cure me.
I am going to continue to do all that I can to stay alive. I have spent my adult life fighting for causes and underdogs...now I am the underdog, and I’m all out of fight. Maybe that is the grand lesson in all of this, to let go...I sure have wanted to run away lately (a dip in the healing waters of Lourdes, perhaps!?!) But I can’t outrun this one. And so I turn and face my fears, and stand in the ebb and flow of this ocean of grief, giving praise to the life I have gotten to experience so far, and pouring love into my children, my people, the land, the flowers, the bees. I wish I could give you all a happier report. It’s spring after all, and folks are all aflutter with the rising metaphorical sap of life; who wants to read sad ramblings from a broken heart? But I gotta keep it real. Bee well, friends…
And if you feel so moved, thank you:
"Lash Yourself to the Mast & Hang On..."
Hey friends! I’m back from my brief journey into the underworld, and wanted to take a moment to check in... Tuesday went as well as it possibly could; the folks at Mission Hospital were so incredible; I have a phobia of hospitals, and have embraced the old school mentality that they are the place where people go to die...not the best mindset to walk in with, I know! But I no longer feel that way. I felt so cared for from the moment we entered the space.
The nurses were incredible: Margaret, the sturdy older woman who wheeled me away in tears from Madison, and read over me as I went in and reemerged from the underworld, the words I had written out, blessings for me on my brief trip through Hades in the operating room, calling me back to my body. She even looked away as I hid the prayer mala in my hand that my platonic hubby Devin put around my neck ceremonially the night before (I won’t tell you too much about Shabooty, the chicken who was involved in that ceremony; but it was profoundly beautiful to be initiated in such a deep way); that mala was what called me back to my body while swimming in the murky depths of the River Styx, after being under for 5 hours.
Upon awakening, I asked what time it was; the nurse responded “It’s 4:20, honey.” I giggled. She giggled, too, understanding the humor. This was my first reawakening experience: laughter. I was then brought to my 9th story penthouse, facing west at 5:30 PM, the room flooded with a glorious sunset and a million dollar view of the mountains in all their glory, bathed in golden delicious light, my bed covered in the blankets that were so lovingly crafted for me by friends, woven with prayers of healing, and flowers from my beloveds, and the face of my dear sweet sister wifey, without whom I do not know how I would have gotten through this all. One of the nurses was moved to tears by the palatable love that emanated from the energy in the room.
I could go on and on with my experiences: nurse Taylor, who sang Lizzo with us, let me burn a candle for an hour to reconnect with fire, let Maddie stay an extra hour (while we re-pierced my nose cuz it had started to close up after removing my hoop for 12 hours!); the 2 Hannah’s who were competent rays of sunshine and care, and let me jailbreak ever so briefly to see my mom & kids downstairs! And the lovely woman who found me a tea bag, (because I am apparently the only person in the hospital who doesn’t drink coffee!).
I came home Wednesday afternoon, and was greeted by delicious food from beloved friends, more beautiful flowers...and I have been bathed in love since then: foot rubs and crosswords books, more flowers & amazing food, including individually bedazzled sandwiches! Chocolate, neck rubs...so much love!
I cannot speak enough to the tender loving care that Madison has poured out upon me. Getting up at 3 am to give me meds; caring for my body with such skill and grace: dressing my wounds, charting my meds, cleaning my drains, managing food, fire, kids, farm...even creating an elaborate system to allow me to bathe off the sterility of the hospital, and reinhabit my own flora, my body, my self. I am forever indebted to her.
The pain is real; the grief is real. The incredible frustration over my physical limitations is so fucking real (two weeks of T-Rex arms...and a lot of PT after that…). But so are the simple pleasures: finally pooping! My children’s relieved smiles when I got home. My cat purring in my lap right now as I type. The many colors of flowers; the lengthening daylight. The road to recovery is long and arduous. I am grateful to my friend and therapist who is helping me navigate this time of transformation with more grace than I could possibly muster on my own. I am also working through years of hurt with my father, and he is calling me now regularly, and we are mending and making a relationship that feels authentic and safe.
As for the logistics: things went well. The operation was a success. Reconstruction has begun. We are waiting pathology reports to determine if the lymph is clear; to determine if radiation/chemo will be recommended…to determine the next steps. Physical therapy and rest...so much rest.
Some folks have tried to tell me what a blessing cancer is; fuck that, and fuck cancer. It is not a blessing. It is a manifestation of the wounds and sickness that we bratty humans are inflicting upon our great mother, Earth. But the ways in which we show up for each other and validate our human experience, and love one another; these are the blessings. And the way that grief is a crack in the dark corners of my being, that upon opening, let in healing rays of the sun's warming light to find the hidden thorns festering in the shadows of my heart, offering the opportunity to pluck them out, and allow healing to begin; this is a blessing. Discovering that I really am not alone, but deeply held and supported...that is a blessing. Thank you family, community, spirit for the many blessings that are raining down upon me. I know that I am truly held; truly seen; truly valuable. I know that I am truly loved.
Keep up your prayers; donate when you can; local friends, reach out for the Meal Train link...keep sending love...you all are my strength...love & gratitude. M
Wow...on the edge of the precipice...on the eve of a journey i cannot fathom…
I am filled with more feelings than words can express. Sometimes floating at the surface, like a tethered buoy in a vast storm, being tossed to and fro. Sometimes sunken way down into the depths and darkness of my soul…But always surrounded by the vast network of support and incredible LOVE that my family and community have showered upon me, like spring rain in the desert after a long dry winter…
Thank you. Such small and humble words to try and encompass the scope of gratitude; tears pour down my cheeks as I type these words; tears of fear and pain, grief and sadness. But also tears of profound love and gratitude. As I navigate these emotions, so much work undone has arisen in my soul, offering me the opportunity to go deeper into myself, my wounds, my emotional healing, than I ever imagined possible. Death is a powerful teacher, as it comes close, illuminating how brilliantly beautiful this life is. How profound the depths of love. How powerful the desire to continue.
Fierce is an adjective that has often been used to describe me; yet, now I feel so vulnerable, raw and tender. But I am also fierce; and I am summonsing all that strength and power to face this challenge. I profoundly want to continue to serve this beautiful planet, my children, my community. And so, I will fight and surrender. I will push through, and rest. I will be soft and flexible, like water; and hard and steadfast, like stone. I will call upon all the fire of love that burns fierce in my heart, as I do all I can to survive. And I am so grateful for all of your prayers and love to help carry me through.
Folks are asking how to help, so here are a few ways:
Please join in remotely from where you are at 5:45 PM as a small group of friends and family gather to have a blessing and fire ceremony for me tonight, Feb 8. It will go until 7. Please light a candle, say your prayers, chant your mantras and sing your songs to the Great Mystery, to hold me and guide me through this journey.
Tomorrow, Feb 9, I go into the hospital at 6:30 am. At 9 the surgery begins, and I will offer my beautiful breasts, which have nourished my 4 children and brought me abundant joy, as a prayer for the healing of our species, to recognize that our ways upon the Earth are poisoning our home, our relatives, our selves. It will be about a 4 hour process; I invoke you to please light candles and make prayers during that time, and throughout the next 24 hours. It will be the voices of you all that call my spirit back to myself in these realms.
Please join the Meal Train. I will not be able to do anything for a couple of weeks, and Madison and Devin and my children will be responsible for my care, as well as the care of our little farm. So please help support the healing process by signing up to bring delicious food to nurture our nest through this transformative time.
If you can, please donate to the GoFundMe campaign. This entire process is costly, and I will be out of work for months.
Again, I thank you all. The words of love and encouragement, the financial support, the beautiful handmade gifts and love offerings, have filled my soul with such profound validation and purpose. I thank you, forever and into the great beyond, I sing a song of gratitude in my heart for each of you….i love you.
"To These Hills, I Thee Wed..." or "Product of Insomnia"
Well, I really didn’t think that 2021 could be more challenging than last year, but the reality is settling in for me that this is going to be the hardest year of my life. February 9 is D-Day for my sacred boobees, and I am feeling such a tumultuous mix of emotions: incredible grief over the loss of my breasts; gratitude that I have a good chance at survival; depression over the steepness of the hill I now must climb; incredible fear that there’s more cancer lurking behind hidden doors in the chambers of my physical form; doubt, anger, frustration with the healthcare system...the world. I feel the culmination of our modern consumptive capitalistic culture that has enslaved all of life and spews out toxins where beauty and simplicity were; i feel the glyphosates accumulating, the echoes of DDT...so many pesticides mimic estrogen in the body...and now I have estrogen driven breast cancer, and I am meeting more and more women, who--like me--are “too young” for this shit; but here we are...feeling betrayed by our own bodies; when really it's our culture that has betrayed us. Is it any wonder that patriarchy has played out for thousands of years, and the end result is women’s boobs being colonized by this invader, then chopped off?
I feel unseen in a world based on monetary advancement. Like Rachel Carson, in “Silent Spring,” I have been talking about regenerative agriculture, organic farming, and the need to nurture our planet for my entire adult life. We are intrinsically interwoven with our home...when will people finally realize that as we poison our Earth, so we poison ourselves, and all of life? I ache with disease, as the planet does. This level of empathy is overwhelming at times, and I am amazed at how many tears one woman can shed for all the things being lost…
And, I am so grateful for the outpouring of support. I have been cultivating community for more than 20 years now, and it truly feels like I am at the center of a great big monster pile, like in “Where the Wild Things Are.” I don’t know what I would do without y’all...really! I feel so held and supported, so that in the times that i need to let go and sink to the bottom, I can; because my children and I are held, like a mature forest, full of ready and willing nurse trees, who stand guard and send energy and resources to the member of that community who needs it..we are so strong together!
And I am so grateful to the other survivors I have come in contact with, who are able to put their fists in the air with me and shout “Fuck Cancer!” with tears streaming down our faces. You see, everyone tells me what a blessing cancer can be, and what beautiful gifts will come from it; these are mostly well intentioned folks who have not had cancer. The women I am meeting, all too young for this shit, like myself, are able to say “Bullshit! This sucks!” It’s unfair and unnatural. But the blessings do sneak in. The acute sparkle of frost at sunrise; the feel of my child's arms around me in a hug; the endless notes of encouragement and gratitude i have received that validate my efforts to help orchestrate a midcourse correction for our species, seemingly intent on destroying itself and so much beauty and life with it.
What did I come here to do? What did you come here to do? What do my ancestors ask of me? What is broken that I can mend? What is still whole that I can protect? What can I let go of? What can I hold on to?
Please donate as you can, and share, cuz not only does cancer suck, it is expensive AF, too...love! https://www.gofundme.com/f/marissas-healing-fund
Tell those you love not only that you love them; but WHY you love them, HOW you love them!...loud and often, with great detail!
Hello Friends! Wow, what a whirlwind...it is all so overwhelming, and interesting how much we can adapt to so fast; what was shocking two weeks ago is now becoming normal...
And the love...what a tidal wave of love y'all have hit me with! I have received so many notes and letters about how my family and I have effected so many people's lives, and I am deeply humbled and so moved. I have often felt like I spend most of my time alone in the woods, playing in the dirt with kids...unseen and having little impact on the greater whole. But the flood of memories that folks have shared with me are amazing, all the moments that touched another soul and helped them remember that we are connected and here for a purpose: to be magical, to be wild...to be free.
And it has deeply landed with me that it isn't until the cold hand of death slides up our spines and comes whispering in our ears that we take the time to say these things to each other. And so I ask you to please tell those you love not only that you love them, but WHY you love them, HOW you love them!...loud and often, with great detail! Remember your favorite memories with friends, family, lovers... and then share those stories! This has been the greatest blessing to me, and I want you all to have this feeling...without the cancer!
SO keep it coming...I am collecting all of the stories, memories, prayers and wisdom that folks send me into a book to reread again and again when I am feeling blue. Thank you all so much; I can't believe we are almost half way to our goal in a few short days! And if you have the means to donate, I thank you; and also please share this fundraiser where you can. Thanks for ensuring that I keep bee-ing me, and cross-pollinating in all the realms that i do!!! Big love, m
Good Morning Friends & Family Far and Wide,
I'm sorry to those of you who should have heard this directly from me, but I am overwhelmed right now. I have been diagnosed with breast cancer. I am going to fight this with all of the ferocity, humility and prayer that my soul can muster, but i need help. Here is a link to the Gofundme campaign that my beloved sister-wifey, Madison Moore has created on my behalf. If you have ever been touched in a good way by my presence in this body on this planet this time around, please take a moment to send me a message and let me know how...these are priceless to me as i navigate fear, pain, grief and so much more. And if you have the financial means to lend support, i thank you...turns out cancer is really f@!*ing expensive! I love you deeply, fellow species, even in all our bumbling ways...yours, m
What do we do when all our Spring Social Events are cancelled?
Share plants, of course!
With this mysterious virus now hanging out with us, all of the gatherings that bring WILDERLANDIANS out of the woodwork to hang out, tell stories, craft, sing, dance, share mead and music around the fire and commune with one another are cancelled. Earthskills Rendezvous and Firefly Gathering have become such reunion-like events for our family and community, that we've been feeling a bit blue, its true.
So to the garden we go, with our heavy hearts and shovels in hand, and there we find so much joy and healing! To kneel down humbly and plunge one's hands deep down into the humus and wriggling wealth of life; to turn the soil and smell the rich dark complexity of the Earth. This is to know peace.
As I worked in the warm sunshine, removing the winter blankets of deep leafy mulch, discovering here and there the emerging signs of long summer days to come, (sitting by the river, sippin' on a shandy with a friend...sigh), I was again amazed at the proliferation of life already so well established beneath the deep leafy bedding. I realized that I have such abundance of medicine and food to share. After just three short years of tending our own little corner of WILDERLANDIA, the plant faeries have blessed us abundantly and the gardens are so happy!
And so we humbly offer you the following plant list to ponder. Please email us at:
to inquire about purchasing plants and shipping or pick-ups.
People ask me “Why fermentation?” Of all the many hobbies and passions I have, why has this strange phenomena captured my attention...and my heart!?! The answer is, I don't exactly know; sometimes I feel as though the bacteria chose me, and not the other way around. I was going about my business, homesteading, re-wilding, raising children and goats alike and fleeing the insanities of modernity when one day I found myself holding a copy of “Wild Fermentation” by Sandor Elix Katz in my hands, while one of my best friends was experimenting with letting his food sit out on the counter to “culture.” I was skeptical, to say the least. So I picked up the book and started thumbing through it, ready to shoot holes in the ideas of whatever knuckle-head had convinced my homie to rot his food a bit before eating it; I teased Raymond that he was making high grade compost for himself; but as I looked further & further into the book, I became more & more intrigued. Meanwhile, Susan Weed's recipe for Dandelion Wine caught my eye, and so in the spring of 2007, I made my first batch of home-made hooch, picking thousands of little dandy petals and mixing them with sugar, water and ginger, unknowingly opening a can of worms from which I now can never escape...nor do I want to!
Many moons later, I find myself more deeply immersed in the forest, more satisfied with my off-grid lifestyle, and more humbly grateful than ever to the many cultures and the amazing plethora of fermented beings whom I share my home and life with.
Fermentation is older than written history, older than written language, & some say older even than spoken thought itself. Our ancient ancestors knew (as chimps & elephants know,) that when a fruit fell to the forest floor and spent a little time there, its effects were delightful! Some speculate that even before people knew how to keep fire, they knew the magic of fermented honey water; found in wild hives where rain water had found its way, bringing with it oxygen, and thus awakening the sleeping yeasts.
Humans today rely heavily on chemical preservatives, electrical appliances and massive and complex storage and distribution systems to get their food. These systems are taking an unfathomable toll on our planet and our souls. We view food as fuel, rather than the nourishing life energy that it is and fill our bellies with dead disembodied food. The effects of this insanity are readily apparent all around us; in the quality of our air and drinking water; the treatment of the plants and animals which we feed upon; the degradation of our soils and ecosystems; and the deep unhappiness in our hearts and vast emptiness in our eyes.
Here in Wilderlandia, we are co-creating an alternative reality to the current paradigm. Viewing ourselves not separate from, but inextricably woven into the very fabric of life, we seek to harmonize with our local ecosystems and the larger biosphere of which we are a part. Food is one of the fundamental ways in which we seek to impart change, reviving the cultural traditions of our ancestors and reclaiming the relationship so imperative to our survival; for we truly are what we eat.
An avid & sometimes obsessed & sometimes nomadic & always wild fermenter & culture shifter...find her scampering in a forest near you!