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Planning

A tree top perspective and questions asked while meandering on land allows me to time travel. Creating a sturdy framework that will allow for growth is fundamental for a healthy and full lifecycle. What allows for the mind plasticity to zoom out, see different paths into the future, and report back on what made the event, the orchard, the community space able to thrive throughout its life cycle? A deep sense of time and an ability to plan. Or just my Capricorn moon, we may never know.

As the Giving Grove Program Manager, I envisioned the entire life cycle of a food forest as a way of providing a sustainable food source and educational opportunity.

The act of pruning trees is a brilliant exercise in time travel; the cuts you make in their infancy will become the foundations to which the rest of the tree will grow. How can we ensure there are people invested in the long term care of such a space?  How can every being get the light, nutrients and support that it needs? Do they have enough room for their roots to grow? ​

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My attention to detail and strong inclination for planning was strengthened during my experience as Strategic Coordinator for Environmental Policy meetings at the Pacific Northwest Economic Region annual summit. With a policy focus on Invasive Species, Water and Forestry, I worked to create a cohesive plan for maximizing the time when so many change makers were in one room. I learned how to create short term goals in order to accomplish a long term impact. 

When creating a map, I have to find a balance between illustration and intentional blankness. As shown below, an example of this process happened while creating a map for Yesod Farm and Kitchen. What is illuminated? Where is there flow? What are the trees telling me about their quality of life?  If there were people around me, where would they naturally gather?  If I define paths of travel, will that discourage meandering? Or will it protect the saplings growing around? What information can I convey with no words at all, and invite the viewer to ask some questions for themselves?

CrowdedTableFarm

16 Acre Mixed Land Use: Crowded Table Farm and Orchard: Brownsville, Oregon

CrowdedTableOrchard

2 Acre Mixed Apple and Pear Orchard

YesodMap

16 Acre Informational Map for Yesod Farm and Kitchen: Fairview, North Carolina

WhiteStationMap

Food Forest Design: White Station High School: Memphis, Tennessee

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Observing the structure of a Compost Toilet

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