Merging my passions of nature, gardening, art, design, food security, and environmental education.
This summer along with countless hours of working with the Emmaus Arts Commission to implement and raise awareness for public art works, environmental art, and community engagement— I have volunteered at Rodale's experimental organic farm, and I have also jumped feet first into course work and training for garden education and implementation.
I mentioned earlier that I was able to secure a spot in the Oregon State University's School Garden Coordinator Certification program through their Professional (development) and Continuing Education department. Happily, I have completed the six-week course finishing all my modules and meeting live each week for an hour of discussions, questions, concerns, and problem-solving. The course was very cohesive, detailed, and sparked a joy of community outreach that I needed to make it through this summer. I have gained more insight and preparation for writing grants, preparing and communicating with school districts and communities in preparation for creating gardens for children, and I will soon have actual documentation of my hard work and dedication. I feel like the world is very concerned with certifications, degrees, education, schooling, training, and all forms of institutional learning. So, though I took this program to strengthen my own individual approach to grant writing and creating a children's garden, it is also satisfying to receive a certification for this process. I am hoping that means it will be easier to approach the right people when it comes time to install some new edible gardens for children in my community.
Along with this six-week course at Oregon State University, I was also enrolled in the Gardenary Consulting and Coaching certification program which ran for 12 weeks. The Gardenary Garden Coach Society coursework integrates written work, over 100 modules, videos, live calls, Q&As, and a Facebook forum. I have been reading, listening, writing, creating, implementing, designing, drawing, researching, and consulting since starting the program. It was basically, what I normally do every day but this had one focused goal. Both courses ended up culminating in the same week and the feeling of relief I have after such a long summer of intense farming, gardening, and learning—phew, I am tired. I am looking forward to taking a week off, mostly unplugged, to reset, soak in the material I have learned, set and maintain positive intentions for the future, and also take a few minutes to breathe, cry, and experience all the feels of having two family members pass away since July.
Now, I have only a few small steps remaining in order to complete my requirements for my garden coach and consultant certification. After my current short break from life, I will be offering consultations in person and online, working on my garden e-books, and compiling my garden photo catalogues from photos I have taken in my own garden since 2016. We have hundreds of flowers, trees, herbs, vegetables, fruits, and vegetation. It has been quite a task to document each one, identify each plant, and research the medical and topical uses of each. Surprisingly, nearly all vegetation in our yard has many uses and is either edible, medicinal, or has other useful properties. Over the summer, I took a short pause from my Herbal Academy courses in order to complete my two garden certification programs, but the Herbal Academy knowledge will definitely come in handy while I continue to document and identify our plants and flowers. Thank goodness I have my Materia Medica, Intro and Intermediate Herbal Studies books, Wildcrafting, and my full library of Rodale Publishing, Storey Publishing, Chelsea Green Publishing, and other plant id and botany-esque illustrated literature. Over the next 12 weeks, I plan on offering consultations, creating some new kitchen gardens, installing some gardens, and diving head first into my book collection to identify all the plants that I can possibly identify.
Short entry this week as I transition from one phase of my life into another. Now to research, review, and absorb! I'll be back as soon as I take some time to care for my children, and myself.
Remember to plant a seed every day— a seed of joy, commitment, hope, love, laughter, or flowers.
Plant. Grow. Eat. Soil. Repeat.
Thank you for joining me this week as I embark on this new journey. If you would ever like to collaborate, discuss, or ask questions, feel free to reach out at info@thefindingplace-LV.com
You can also find me on Instagram at @thefindingplaceLV
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