Just this morning I was looking out the large windows of my cousin Elise’s strawbale house as drifts of snow whirled through the conifer forest. Seven months ago, Elise and her husband Jeff partnered with Regina Manian to form TerraVita Springs, a community-based working and educational farm located on 166 acres nestled in the heart of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, in the mountains of Ashland, Oregon.
They walked me through the land, which was of course breath-taking. I was thrilled it was snowing, they had enough of it. Elise showed me all the fabulous work on the buildings that employed regenerative design (such as live edge on beams, branches found onsite for posts and stair railings, composting toilets, and recycled jeans for insulation) carefully chosen seedlings growing in the 33 foot geodesic dome for summer farmers markets and restaurants, chicken coop and future sites such as mushroom cultivation and land restoration projects.
I was so happy for them that in one afternoon we organized and wrote all the copy for their new website. I was privileged to learn firsthand the reasoning behind why and how they planned to launch “programs and workshops that inspire, support and empower others to live a conscious eco-based lifestyle in harmony with the natural world.”
It was so cool to hear TerravVta Springs is located on one of the most bio-diverse ecosystems in North America and the responsibility they felt to restore the land environmental and social responsibility and build community in the process.
How could I not give back?