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California Dreaming

California Dreaming

I’ve been in California for about 3 weeks now, and it’s been a vortex of amazing people, inspiring farms, and tasty elixirs. Right off the plane in San Francisco, I met a girl crazy passionate about sustainable development and permaculture with extensive experience in sustainable natural building… and she just so happens to love doing promotions. She was meeting a friend out here, who is an amazing young sustainable farmer and loves fermenting and home brewing. I really couldn’t have connected with people more aligned with my own passions… talk about synchronicity.

They bought a car with another girl (the rock star of the group), and were planning to head way north to work on a farm for a little bit. They invited me to go, so I left my suitcase with a friend in San Francisco and hit the road with them. The following few weeks were beyond amazing… so many serendipities. My favorite was running into one of the winemakers I worked with everyday for 2 months in Argentina earlier this year in a small grocery store parking lot in Napa, and I just so happened to have a bottle of the organic wine we worked on in my backpack. Our car turned into a sustainable circus. We worked on the farm we set out for, did a little harvest work at a winery, but mainly stayed on the road visiting sustainable farms all around northern Cali. We touched Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, and Marin.

A couple of our favorites were Filigreen Farm in Anderson Valley, where Chris Tebbutt has built an amazing mixed biodynamic agriculture setup of vines and fruit orchards, it was incredible. He also had huge solar arrays setup that produce 100% of the farm’s energy… a true thinking farm. We also visited Paul Dolan at his biodynamic Dark Horse Farming Ranch in Ukiah, which was powerful. He has an “energy center� with his flow form, preparations, and a stunning “bug strip� of crazy flowers and vegetation that generates the biodiversity and balance in his vineyard. On our way south, we made a stop at Solar City somewhere on 101 south of Ukiah, which is a sustainable building/living community. We slept in a teepee and talked about what it takes to build sustainable communities.

Somewhere along the way we got tipped off about the Bioneers conference down in San Rafael so we trekked down there and crashed the conference for the weekend. I talked to Rebecca of the Association about heading up their booth for a day in exchange for a free pass, and she graciously accepted my offer. We got to see some amazing speakers and share even more amazing ideas, and I was able to pitch all day Sunday at the trade show.

We just kept going, drinking, laughing, breathing, seeing how these amazing farms are changing the , all while staying break even along the way. We went crazy and then sane and then crazy again. It was quite the initiation.

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