Dear Readers,

Early summer has arrived, with its electric energy and tenacious growth. Our little corner of the world is going through its dance of seasonal shifts—a spectacle both unique and breathtaking. It’s this rhythm of change that weaves us into the vibrant tapestry of our local landscape. There, we don’t just exist, we thrive, finding joy in a connection that’s deeply fulfilling, socially uplifting, and a catalyst for both ecological and economic transformation.

Supporting our local artisans and farmers nurtures a community that respects and restores the place we call home. Unlike larger corporations, local producers can more easily build regional, regenerative relationships.

Take Heidi Iverson from Honeyfolk Clothing—she’s turning seasonal wildflowers, barks, and leaves into stunning natural dyes for her fabrics, eliminating dye pollution and cultivating a waste-free business. Our spotlight on seaweed harvesting dives into the world of Heidi Herrmann from Strong Arm Farms. She’s redefining sustainability, adopting a wild-tending approach that’s all about bolstering the ecosystem’s health and encouraging the seaweed bounty for generations to come.

Our personal heritage can also be a treasure trove of inspiration, as illustrated by Christina Topham’s Spread Kitchen, where Lebanese and Mediterranean flavors tell a story of culture and connection. Meanwhile, Doug Gosling at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center’s Mother Garden Plant Nursery is reimagining our relationship with the land through a curated collection of plants chosen for their ability to flourish in our unique ecosystem.

Tapping into the diversity of cultures and specific needs of our community, Raizes Collective in Santa Rosa blends art, education, and activism into a powerful narrative. Cool Petaluma is sparking neighborhood action to abate the climate crisis, and Sonoma’s Jack London State Park is pioneering new ways to interact with visitors.

And writer Evan Wiig is back at it, digging deeper into the Future of Farming and shining a light on a pilot project that just might help make land more affordable for our farmers.

So, kick back with a cup of miso soup, courtesy of the tasty early summer recipes in Erin Masako’s column, and immerse yourself in the stories of people and places that are not only fueling our local economy but creating a more sustainable and harmonious community.

Here’s to a summer of joy, connection, and discovery,

Kary Hess

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May/June 2024 Online Edition

Story by Kary Hess

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