LaLa Gardens Cooperative
LaLa Gardens Cooperative is a community-owned living, learning community center in Fort Collins, Colorado. It is a one-acre residence and natural farming demonstration of permaculture, transitioning from private to cooperative ownership as a model for regenerative development. The garden features regenerative farming and gardening courses, and is a pilot project for community ownership, governance, economy and culture that is based on a Declaration of Interdependence and in part, utilizes a global regenerative currency and ecosystem. It is reflective of hyperlocalsystems of Partnerism, membership, gifting, trade and other forms of mutual support. It is developing models for applying regenerative systems to real estate, education, economy, culture as a model for any neighborhood.
Mission, Values, Vision
The purpose of LaLa Gardens Cooperative LCA is to steward a community-owned regenerative garden, community residence and learning center that is a fractal of an ecosystem supporting regenerative development. The Cooperative values and rewards caring for one another, nature, and our collective future; giving visibility to the natural process of stewarding a regenerative place, implementing and catalyzing cultural shifts towards thrivability applicable at each time, place and condition.
- To put the land into a protected status under Cooperatively owned Stewardship, by which ownership is redefined to be that of stewardship.
- To have the economy built from the function of the garden as regenerative collaborations that are of a sharing nature, so sharing-economy and also function as sanctuary for a few on site members and visitors for learning and immersion experiences.
- To have the garden be a replicable model for regenerative living.
Declaration of Interdependence
Education and Demonstration
Retreats and Therapy
Gitcoin Grant for GR14 - Join the Inoculators journey as a Regen Hero!
This Garden Gate, NFT token has all the inherent value one small acre, LaLa Gardens Cooperative can articulate in any given season. This season, the genesis season of our cooperative, brings educational offerings and boutique items that are limited and garden grown, trade-route featuring and distributed, ally supporting and fully nurtured and nurturing, describing on purchase, the pathways from where you are to where you want to be in the garden you dream of, journey to, keep in view until you are at the garden gate and through, into your garden, in concert with other gardens. May it begin here.
If the Garden Gate NFT is the What and When of Regenerative gardens as fully functioning ecological, economic, governing and distributing ecosystems, The Microbe Heroes NFT token is the Why and the How. This generative NFT project is for the gardeners, human, animal or microbial, virtual or IRL. Templates and modulus created for land-based projects require an entire menu of tools, offered from practicing gardeners and farmers to lawyers, auditors, artists and myth makers. It requires coordination of philosophizing and materialization. In a word, metamorphosis. What emerges will be brand new.
The Microbe Heroes NFT collection is an architecture that overlays the function of LaLa Gardens as a regenerative system and maps a viable path by which other gardens step from exploitative to a regenerative path to Legacy Stewardship, inclusive of the community and ecosystems from which they are born. Of the proceeds going to the LaLa Gardens Cooperative ecosystem, 60% goes to support the ongoing metamorphosis of the garden from private to cooperative, from ownership to stewardship. 40% of the proceeds go to fund the proposals we as the NFT holders submit for our own aligned projects with the feedback loops in place to nurture the garden, attending to future thrive and regenerative abundance.
LaLa Gardens Cooperative is the rooted place where we as community members and owners (onboarded in part through the NFT collections as described) not only ‘re-wild’ but discover we are wild, diverse, resilient and that together we describe an entire ecosystem by gaining the tools of stewardship, coming together to do great and small works; informed and guided by nature, as natural beings.
|6/28/22||Aryabhatta Sura||$1000||Steward Owner|
|Summer 2022||Sydney Griffith||$1500||Resident Owner|
|December 2022||Neil Takemoto||$725||Property appraisal|
|December 2022||Neil Takemoto||$725||Property appraisal|
|6/28/22||State filing fee for cooperative||$50|
The Wisdom Circle of LaLa Gardens is the advising council stewarding the regenerative self, family, community of the LaLa Gardens Cooperative and beyond. It is majority female, BIPOC, and one fourth Native American/indigenous. The members include:
Christina 'Tina' Trout
|LaLa Gardens Cooperative||Tina is the founder of LaLa Gardens, and stewarding it to become LaLa Gardens Cooperative. She had a long running farmers’ market business in support of farmers with a local sourced food-line carried by over 300 retail shops and within a farmers’ coop, as co-founder. She grows food, and is a permaculture practitioner, both in garden and social design. She is a practicing Natural Farmer, including KNF and JADAM, a sophisticated system of reinoculation with indigenous microorganisms (IMO). She utilizes observational based citizen science, ‘practicing to know’ through side-by-sides within her environments, supported through research. She has been a maker and crafter of wreaths, jewelry, art prints and a clothing line, selling them on the streets, in craft-fairs and later in stores. She is a published writer of creative non-fiction and poetry. She has learned principally it’s through observation first that we come to know Nature's systems and laws, and that it is mimicking practice which brings us into direct relationship and able responsiveness. She has observed we are a part of nature and as natural systems within ourselves, operate to our full potential in balance with Nature. As Steward, she steps into her truest self, prepared for the work at hand. The immersive work she was born to love. LinkedIn|
|Rei Yoon||Soil and Soul Organic Movement||Rei has been involved in Natural Farming since 2002, as a hub that could solve many problems of our society simultaneously, a means to rehabilitate the environment, lift people out of poverty, and properly feed them with healthy food. He quit his government job in 2012 to entirely commit to the pursuit of this goal. He was fortunate to have a group of people who wanted to do it together, and formed Sarm Society. He was gifted with a connection to the Philippines in particular, where he formed a collaboration with a local Archdiocese together with his Hawaiian brother to serve marginalized communities. He is the director of Soil and Soul Organic Movement, secretary for SARM Society of Organic Movement, and a Tai Chi martial artist. Rei calls his regenerative farming method "Ppuri - Farming for People's Power" in belief that farming has been hijacked by business to effectively alienate the farmers, that it needs to return to its root (Ppuri) of healing the land and empowering the people.|
|Marcus Grignon||Hempstead Project HEART, Menominee tribe||Marcus’ professional career includes service as an advocate in the public sector. Marcus served the Obama Administration as a staff assistant for the Small Business Administration’s Office of Native American Affairs and as an AmeriCorps member for the Santa Fe Food Policy Council and Earthcare International. He began his federal career as a legislative intern for U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow in 2009. He is an enrolled member of the Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin. He is a recipient of the 2010 Brower Youth Award from the Earth Island Institute. Marcus holds a double associates degree in Tribal Law and Sustainable Development from the College of Menominee Nation and a Bachelor's degree in Democracy and Justice Studies with a minor in First Nations from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He holds various certificates in political management, lobbying, Indigenous Entrepreneurship, and the Federal Budget Process from George Washington University, the Institute of American Indian Arts, and American University. LinkedIn|
|Christinia Eala||Lakota Grandmother, Environmental Activist & Protector of Lakota women & children||Storyteller, Water Protector, Veteran, Founder and Co-Director of her nonprofit, Tiyospaye Winyan Maka, (Extended Family of Women of the Earth). Her working career began in the field of mental health, addressing the needs of those developmentally diabled, young and elders, those Native Americans living with HIV/Aids and women in alcohol recovery programs, honoring their children to be kept with them through treatment. At 58, Christinia received her degree in psychology to continue her life of service and volunteer work in areas of Homlessness, women and children advocacy, restorative justice, and the people of Lakota Nation and the extended global community of indigenous peoples. Christina has served on the boards of the Coalition for the Homeless and the United Nations Association. These organizations provided the networks Tiyospaye Winyan Maka needed to build homes, organize food supply caravans during floods, and deliver propane in winter storms. She also partners with groups like Engineers Without Borders, The Indigenous Wisdom Center (Slim Buttes, South Dakota), Her Many Voices (Boulder, Colorado,) and Neighbor to Neighbor in Fort Collins. Find her at: Website - & facebook page - Facebook|
|Monica Gutierrez||Hopi, Santa Clara Tribe||Monica's professional is a landscape ecologist in the public sector, serving as a National Parks intern at Gulf Islands National Seashore, a student leader at the Institute of American Indian Arts’ campus design, and worker at the Green Bay Botanical Gardens. She is an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe in Arizona. She is the recipient of the National Professional Agricultural Student Organization’s Landscape Design/Nursery Development and Ornamental Horticulture Specialist 2nd place in the categories of team and individual. Currently, she owns a small business, Autumn Storm Composting, which diverts green waste from the kitchens of local restaurants with the help of her two Netherland Dwarf rabbits. Monica holds a double associates degree in Fine Arts for Photography from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Landscape Horticulture from the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She holds various certificates in Integrated Pest Management, Greenhouse Production, and Sustainability from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and the City of Santa Fe.|
|Rasika Lasantha||Sri Lanka Agriculture Department||Rasika is an agriculture consultant and armature artist from southern Sri Lanka, working in the government Agriculture Department as a Development Officer (Agriculture Consultant) since 2013. He advises individual farmers, farm societies, farm managers, and other agricultural entrepreneurs, government and private institutes, on all agriculture procedures, including crop selection and post-harvesting technologies related to their agriculture products. He also trains people in the floriculture and landscaping sectors, and developed and implemented a comprehensive landscaping course to train newcomers. As a part-time landscape designer, he has developed and implemented numerous landscaping projects for public and private venues. He strongly believes that the entire global agriculture sector should be reformed radically, utilizing resources like art, music, philosophy from thousands of years back. He grows fruits, vegetables, green leaves, yams like crops and medicinal plants, applying sustainable methods to keep it natural as an alternative to so-called popular growing methods, not only as an agriculturist but also as an artist, musician, and social activist. LinkedIn|
|Regen Living DHO||Neil has a 30-year vocation in regenerative development. He is co-founder of Regen Living, a decentralized organization developing prototype regenerative buildings and neighborhoods (catalyst hubs), and global ecosystems that enable any neighborhood to co-create their own using their own currency. He is a steward of the Regen Civics Alliance, supporting 13 place-based pilot projects in regenerative development around the world. He is a member of the Burning Man Diversity Forum, developing a new standard of racial inclusion and catalyzing a global multicultural neighborhood for persons of color at Burning Man 2022. As co-founder of CSPM Group, he developed the practice of crowdsourced placemaking (CSPM) that integrates mutualistic community organizing with triple-bottom-line placemaking. This included onboarding 10,000 residents in the revitalization of several downtowns with developers, investors and municipalities. He is the founder of Collective Impact Lab, a crowdsourced placemaking news site featuring over 1700 entries dating back to 2003. In 1997 he founded the National Town Builders Association, the only business trade group of Smart Growth/New Urbanism real estate developers that thrives today. Prior to that, he founded a national nonprofit educational clearinghouse for the New Urbanism field. LinkedIn|
Dr Leah Gibbons
|Regenerative Living Institute||Dr. Leah Gibbons is a cultural creative and regenerative catalyst supporting shifts to thrivability in individuals, communities, and beyond. Leah contributes expertise in regenerative development and design, community development, ecological design, sustainability, planning, integrated design, holistic health, coaching, consulting, education, spiritual practices, research, and science-practice and science-spirituality integration. Leah holds a PhD in Sustainability from Arizona State University; MS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee; BS in Biology and Anthropology from Vanderbilt University; and Certifications in Regenerative Development and Design, Ecological Design, Sustainable Community Design, Permaculture Design, Holistic Health, Integrative Nutrition, Coaching, Wetland Delineation, and Prescribed Burn. She is also trained in energy medicine, functional medicine, herbology, and consciousness medicine. Leah is the Director and Founder of Regenerative Living Institute (ReLI), a 501(c)3 working to create regenerative individuals, communities, cities, and regions through living-learning laboratories. She is also of Director and Founder of Koru Collaborative, a regenerative development, design, and consulting firm. She is also a spiritual facilitator and guide at Shamanic Church, a spiritual organization devoted to helping people connect deeply to their true nature as spiritual beings. LinkedIn|
|Regen Living DHO||Letty has a 15-year expertise in impact entrepreneurship and mission driven organizations. Initially as a founder, she led startups in the purpose-driven work and gamification verticals under global networks such as Explorer and The Founder Institute, where she also became a mentor. Her passion for technological development benefiting humanity led her to consult for the XPrize Foundation in the affordable housing roadmap, and for Bridge for Billions and other social innovation-led platform organizations within the Impact Hub brand internationally. She is now focused on ReFi, Token Engineering and blockchain applications for growing intentionally conscious communities and on the ground regenerative developments. Before that, she was a licensed lawyer in the Madrid Bar Association advising in corporate and labor law, and later a research consultant in a big media company in London, where she gained a MA in European and International Studies at King’s College London. She also completed the first accredited executive programme in Cryptoassets and Blockchain from the London School of Economics. As a certified Yoga Teacher and avid traveler, she has explored many of the world's spiritual traditions both in practice and in ancient knowledge. LinkedIn|
|Meg Rivers||Bloom Network||Meg is a 20+ year software trainer and platforms instructional designer building a social media platform to facilitate regenerative culture building via Bloom Network, an international community of people and projects working toward regenerative cultures. She is the acting CIO of Bloom and supports the amazing work done at Lala Gardens because regenerative culture and garden education are some of the most important tools towards evolving humanity's future. LinkedIn|
|Elizabeth Herald||Watershed Wisdom Councils||Elizabeth has worked in media production for 30 years in freelance media production at every level. She intentionally chose this as her profession believing that modern media is the one of most powerful methods by which humans are learning and communicating, and holds great potential for teaching a regenerative human culture on Earth. Over her lifetime, Elizabeth has opened gradually to the subtle vibrations and the inner teachings of our Living Source Water. She offers the Watershed Wisdom Councils Concept as an emerging whole systems model for connecting, organizing and mentoring local Water Stewards towards implementing a thriving regenerative human culture on Earth. As a faithful Water Steward she invites us to reconsider our relationship within our Living Source Water as whole, sacred and essential; remembering to cherish Water as if All Life depends on it, because undeniably... it does! LinkedIn|
|Joe McGinn||Hawaii Natural Farming||Joe was born & raised on the island of Oʻahu – his family has agricultural roots that extend to Maui & Hawai`i island. As a Certified Korean Natural Farming (KNF) Instructor, Joe is an active community member promoting and sharing best practices for regenerative, local food production, celebration! He is a Native Hawaiian father of four young children, a member of the Screen Actors Guild & American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), and an avid bodysurfer & Hawaiian (pakini bass) musician. His interests include indigenous micro-organisms (IMO), beneficial bacteria, beneficial fungi, odorless pig pens and chicken coops with feed production on-site; USDA certified organic, USDA GAP & GHP; entrepreneurship; and small, family farm start-ups. LinkedIn|
|Dujon Dom Blondel||Cultivating Classics||Dujon is the founder of Cultivating Classics and has been practicing and teaching regenerative agriculture for 5+ years with most of his life spent in the soil, starting with his grandparents on their farm in Dominica to teaching workshops and tending cannabis in Northern California. He has spent time with Master Cho and his family in Hawaii, and has worked with Chris Trump, Jason Reisland, Cheryl Mendiola, and Preston Smith. He has obtained multiple certifications in the methodology, practice, and education of KNF and JADAM. He is a certified Soil-Steward and has completed multiple classes under Chris Trump. He has worked alongside Preston Smith to create KNF intensives across the PNW and continues to cultivate those learning spaces in North Carolina where he currently lives. He weaves his understanding of energetic, vibration, microbial networking, and health into his work and brings a new perspective on what it is to tend to the soil. He is driven to make this information as accessible as possible and continues to infuse all he creates with the intention to heal our planet, our bodies and our minds. He looks forward to helping develop LaLa Gardens as a hub for community, a space that educates, and grows food and medicine to tend to a village of people. LinkedIn|
|Harold Davis III||Indigenous Council of Five Nations Longhouse Confederacy in Kahnewake||Harold works alongside the Traditional Kanienkahaka Council in Kahnawake through the historical Two Row Wampum dialogue. We focus on matrilineal protocols and heritage in commons based system design for open source blockchain & web3 innovations. We are also focused on extending accessibility to digital fabrication tools & skills to local & regional communities with an emphasis on Native modes of regenerative design shaping the innovation of local production, fabrication & distribution. We’ve also developed tooling alongside Harvard & Oxford’s open source Metagov research group; merging the worlds of digital communities and Native modes of bottom up organization with our open source development in PolicyKit & Clarity smart contracts in the Stacks community. Local data commons on the ground that speak to regenerative material archiving, full lifecycle prosumption and humane machine innovations is just the surface of what aligns us with LaLa gardens efforts of returning to the innovation lab that is our ceremonial garden. Skennen Kowa, Great Peace to you. Learn more about Harold here|
|Sydney Harvey Griffith||Regen Garden, Permatours||Syd is LaLa Garden's Alchemist in Residence, Event Producer, & Community Manager. Sydney is a community organizer and event producer focused on bringing people together through events that foster opportunities for people to practice their art, share resources, build community, and acquire the skills to survive and thrive, including regenerative gardening, food production and natural building.This calling guided her to apply for a Seeds cryptocurrency grant - awarded to her to co-found Permatours, a learn-by-doing permaculture-action and sustainable construction tour across the northeast of the U.S. Contributors of Permatours’ are rewarded Seeds, which they can use to buy products and services from each other. Permatours has accomplished 40 projects and is expanding internationally. Sydney also builds Web3-based infrastructure to reward regeneratively-principled, nature-aligned and culturally coherent causes, creatives, & their supporters. At LaLa Gardens, Sydney supports with member development, Web3 integration, strategic partnerships, and event production.|
|Storyteller, Social-Emotional Learning Coach||In this dynamic Universe, I identify as a Storyteller, Social-Emotional Learning Coach, and Steward of Indigenous Science; residing deep in the South on the Bayous of Louisiana, here on the lands where the Chicmatchi tribes were the original stewards of this land. A descendant of the Yoruba tribes of Benin & Nigeria, I come from a long lineage of Storytellers and Medicine Women who have long used the generative Ancestral Healing praxis of restorative storytelling in community well-circles to cultivate healing from suffering. I guide people through a journey of Emotional Recovery, which is about using the wisdom of our emotions to help guide us to seeing more clearly the story of our mental and emotional patterns that we hold on to in order to keep us safe from harm-real & perceived. Working with individuals and in community, together we integrate the story of our whole human experience in order to see ourselves as holistic human beings, and to be able to see the humanity in others in order to build together the world we deserve, which is rooted in love, justice, & belonging. LinkedIn|
As an established permaculture designed project, both as a site and social design. This is a Natural Farm utilizing indigenous technologies to restore the ecosystem as well as cultivate nutrient dense foods and medicines while preserving the garden into it's natural succession. We utilize inter-species systems and IMO (Indigenous Micro Organisms) technologies to build soil and increase diversity. We have water systems through catchment to hold and store water. We are a membership model open to a small number of artists residencies and short term immersion courses. We have community outreach through ignition of 'Trade Routes.' The industries that emerge through the function of an increasingly diverse and robust garden are utilizing a point system towards skill acquisition and shared economy. We are feet in the Soil, head in the Cloud (so offer a rooted model (sandbox) for web3 projects aligned with regenerative systems to keep things 'grounded' in real place and time, seasonal and living data responsive).
- What is your legal structure? What type of or combination of legal entities will your project use to protect the land and the members? LaLa Gardens is an LLC that includes the land as a direct beneficiary and participant. The aim is to liberate this one acre showcase garden from all financial burdens, past, present, and future, while establishing agency for the land itself, with its stewards serving as legal representatives in human affairs. Our vision for a principle based 'garden-governance' model is here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xzhfFLhV1XT6EH1i7BEA9nh_ZrsBuWo7C-7dzkJNzbY/edit?usp=sharing Other models contemplated and possible are sociocracy or holocracy. Also proposed: A membership model that is hands-on immersion experiences with a POAP badge system that leads into micro-equity or other Stewardship models.
- How are you integrating with the local community in your area? Deeply rooted locally, and through the various 'Trade-Routes' as we are referring to them. Communities that are in active participation and communication in NM, CO, WY, SD, WI, Northern CA and OR.
- How many people does your project need to maintain or run the property, and are there limits to growth or how many people can live on the land? How many people are currently involved in your project? 5 people on site to maintain the property is ideal, with room for 2-3 guests. Currently have 5 residents, 1 primary steward, 1 retired elder, 3 artists in residence. We also host and attend public work day events with our fellow permaculture guild and local farmers. It would make sense that as we grow, we secure additional housing nearby, and at other sites along the trade route, for both worker housing and hospitality. Here are modules we offer and communities we are directly involved with:
Modules and Templates:
- Poop is Poetry (closing the poop loop)
- Natural Farming: Immersions(short and long term), Consultations, Products, Spa events, Mini-Festivals and Online Curriculum.
- Community Cleanse
- Our Marketplace (feeding 20 families)
- Communities serviced:
- Dragonfly Earth Medicine (DemPure Certification)
- Bloom Network
- NoCo Permaculture Guild
- Natural Farming and Permaculture Communities in WY, NM, CO, SD, WI, OR and BC, Canada. (S. Korea and Uganda via Rei Yoon, Hawaii, and elsewhere)
- Residents of LaLa Gardens including 81 year old mother, 2 artists in residence, local neighbors and an ever increasing diversity of creatures.
- Communities of Crestone, MOM DHO, SEEDS, Kernel.
- Rebel Earth, Red Cloud and Re-Member (WY/SD Native Am. founded or servicing)
- Communities serviced:
- LaLa Gardens LLC: Producing templates and models to be practiced and shared. Repeated and scaled.
- Potential Web3 alignments: • Bloom Network • Orgo.Earth • Hypha Tools • Harmony • Many within Kernel…
- What level of experience do you have budgeting for and actualizing a place-based/regenerative development? Do you need support designing plans and / or itemizing costs? Our local permaculture guild is quite skillful and resourceful. We created the following proposal for a festival client: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/10nuE2dcRQt6vZENP710G1Mnt_wTzRyGOh7ENhjmZKiA/edit?usp=sharing Always open to feedback and assistance. Generally start small, simple, and with what is in abundance. Would be open to assistance in creating budgets for hospitality, education, traveling events, and the integration of web3 tools into our model.
- May 18, 2022: LaLa Gardens and Regen Living DHO begin work to transition ownership from private to cooperative, develop a local currency, establish LaLa as an international model for regenerative development.
- June 25, 2022: Covenant for transfer of ownership from private (Tina) to LLC to cooperative signed by LLC members.
- June 28, 2022: LaLa Gardens Cooperative LCA PBC is filed as Limited Cooperative Association Public Benefit Corporation with the State of Colorado.
- June 28, 2022: Tides Foundation grants $25,000 to Centre for Peaceful Solutions to train LaLa Gardens Wisdom Circle in regenerative governance and communications.
- July 19, 2022: LaLa Gardens Cooperative LCA BPC Bylaws are signed and enacted
- August 4, 2022: Investment, ownership, membership and residency opened to the general public.
- December, 2022: The loan secured by agreement with Regen Living is lost. Lala Gardens Cooperative is actively seeking new loan or investment.
LaLa Gardens was established in 2004
to be a living laboratory of regenerative lifestyle.
Christina Trout is "a rebel who lives long enough to discover laws which are a joy to follow steps into a role more akin to diplomacy perhaps and within a garden, a Natural Garden, an emergent archetype STEWARD is born. I was born to this, have prepared for this without a plan or map and yet arrive with all the tools I need for the work of reciprocity; the new practice of diplomacy or bridging between agents of change, diverstiy and complexity regardless of system. All systems find their roots in Nature and Natural Law is informing all her systems of imbalances to be mended, attended to and celebrated. When I made the conscious decision to only speak and express truth in my life, I became an entrepreneur. I knew I couldn’t work for anyone else.
I’ve lied in every resume I’ve submitted. My first waitressing job listed a fictional work history and I was short of being 21 (serving alcohol) by a few months but I knew I could figure it out and waiting tables was the perfect job for a traveler like me. I’d recently quit the military 2 years in of a 6 year commitment and I was in no mood to sign up for anything again, had been challenged by the commanding officer who signed my discharge to send him a post card when I found the freedom I was looking for. I have wanted to send one many times in my life since then and yet, this freedom has evolved to include forgiveness of myself for being so far out of any box as to be a challenge to understand, to play with...at times to like.
Putting this bio together brought me face to face with the fact that I avoid becoming visible as a whole truth on paper. I have thought I don’t look good on paper. It’s hard to admit to the number of jobs I have quit or been fired from. I think I have been fired from nearly every job I have ever held. I can see you dear reader be- beginning to draw away. I would. And this vulnerability in becoming visible in this way, standing still and solid in my announcement of stewardship of this one acre, this difficult garden, this freedom oriented life carved from a lot of ‘no’s. stepping into visibility asking for a ‘yes’ from myself and others. For support, for collaboration, for trust.
And here I am, so prepared for what is and what’s to come, I’m humbled by the perfection and the weight of agency; the subsequent challenge redefining everything including responsibility to response+ability. Yes, I am responsible for everything I’ve done, every thing that’s happening within my life including this crisis of ‘ownership’ or failing contractual/mortgage obligation to a bank. I am responsive+able as Steward, visioning to redefine according to living systems principles. Why do I see myself as prepared?
Behind every no I’ve uttered has been a yes, a deeper attendance to the world I was born into, the one I celebrated as a child in mountains and streams, in animals I loved, in plants, color, writing, music and freedom to be in active love with these places and beings. I’m a nature girl and I never grew up. The tools I’ve gathered are ones to do with loving nature.
A list of things I've said yes to:
I designed, hand-printed and sewed clothing, selling them on the streets, in craft-fairs and later in stores. I am a published writer of creative non-fiction and poetry. I had a long running farmers’ market business in support of farmers with a local sourced food-line carried by over 300 retail shops and within a farmers’ coop we formed. I have made many things including wreaths, jewelry and art prints. I grow food. I am a permaculture practitioner in things to do with the garden and social design. I am a Natural Farmer, practicing JADAM, a sophisticated system of reinoculation with indigenous micro organisms (IMO). I can dive deeply into observational based citizen science, having practiced to know within my own environments. I have learned principly it’s through observation first we come to know Nature's systems and laws, and that it is mimicking practice which brings us into direct relationship and able responsiveness. I have observed we are a part of nature and as natural systems within ourselves, operate to our full potential in balance with Nature. As Steward, I step into my truest self, prepared for the work at hand. The work I was born to love."
The LaLa name
LaLa came from a late evening conversation in the garden with a visitor who said, “I don’t know what it is about this place, but I don’t want to leave. It’s like being in LaLa Land.” Christina Trout, "What that quality is, I suppose as Steward to this place, is it’s wildness, it’s rewilding, it’s being allowed succession by which its garden voice, its earth voice is emerging... voiced by those in the garden from microbe to creature, from plant to human… to community. LaLa speaks to the young in us, the wild and the natural."