I believe in the importance of cultivating our connections to the earth and to each other. There is great joy and power in being mindful of where our food and medicine come from, exploring the world with all our senses, and sharing this nourishment with others — generation to generation, neighbor to neighbor, hand to hand. I hope you’ll join me in discovering and celebrating the wonder of nature, culture, food, and herbs.
My interest in nature, culture, and food began at an early age. One of the most meaningful experiences of my childhood, and the seed of my commitment to this work, was helping to lead tangerine meditations with Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. Growing up in his community, I learned to be mindful of my food, seeing in every bite the interconnections between eater, farmer, plant, animal, soil, and sun.
My parents, too, were important guides as I witnessed their work as healers and nourishers — my father an acupuncturist, gardener, and chef; my mother a teacher, storyteller, poet, and occasional cook for farm labor leader César Chávez. At the table and on the streets of my hometown in San Antonio, Texas, Mr. Chávez impressed upon me the power of social justice and community organizing.
As a teenager I became active in the animal rights movement. From this, I learned lessons in organizing and communication, but I also discovered what isn’t so helpful: alienating people, polarizing groups, and failing to honor a diversity of viewpoints. Small, sustainable steps are often more effective than absolutes. I’m still a vegetarian (since age 5!) but I’m probably the least dogmatic one you’ll ever meet.
These early experiences with organizing and food intersect with my learning and expertise in the arts and publishing world as an adult. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Art History with a focus on the History of the Book and Print Culture (Hampshire College) and a masters in Library and Information Science (San Jose State University). In addition to my background as an editor (print and online), I have been blogging since 1998, both personally and professionally. I have also worked as an art librarian, archivist, and financial analyst – all the while honing my skills as a cook and wildcrafter.
Mindful living and connection to the earth are now the foundations of my work as a writer, teacher, and consultant. I feel privileged to be a part of a growing community committed to making the world a better place.
A few other tidbits:
• When I’m not behind the computer or in the kitchen, you’re likely to find me organizing food swaps, studying herbalism, and exploring the mountains, canyons, beaches, and deserts of Southern California.
• I live in a little 1929 apartment in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles with my partner Gregory and our two cats, Eames and Eero.
• I am particularly fond of the earth’s often overlooked wonders: lichens, fungi, bugs, and slugs.
• I am a walking, bus-riding, non-car-driving Angelena. It can be done!
• My favorite flavor is elderflower.