Hi! I’m Christine. I’m a permaculturist, urban homesteader, herbalist, and Earth-caretaker trying to live authentically and sustainably. I’m not all the way there yet, but I’m driven by my connection to the Earth and I try to keep that in mind with all that I do. I want to help others do that, too. I believe that our psychological and physiological health, as well as a decent future for the planet, depend on our ability to remember and re-establish a meaningful connection with the land.
Currently, I’m working part-time as a Conservation Ecology Field Assistant and I am trying to develop additional routes of exchanging my energy with others. My partner and I have some big dreams for the future in making our unique methods of exchanging energy (i.e. “working”) a reality. Ideally, we’d like to create an educational permaculture & holistic health center where people come to learn about homesteading and permaculture skills, health, herbalism, and to just relax and have a good time by staying in a healing, beautiful environment. This new direction is quite a breakthrough — you can read about my decision to follow my dreams in this post: Fears, Risks, and Following Our Dreams.
Before this shift, I worked as an applied animal behaviorist at a zoo. I really enjoyed my experiences and what I learned there, but I found myself being critical of zoos and seeing them as a mirror of our culture at large. In particular, I observed this in two primary ways: 1) Similarities between human and animal behavior in conditions of “captivity” (e.g. similar health conditions & abnormal behaviors ); and 2) That the zoo may reinforce a “dominator” worldview — that we are outside of and can control/manipulate nature and animals rather than coexisting with and understanding ourselves as part of nature. It is important to note that zoos are supporting good conservation work in wild places and they could potentially serve as a venue to teach people about sustainability and conservation. However, I’m just not sure my holistic view of sustainability can be taught in the zoo (for numerous reasons too elaborate to go into here) and so I am happy to be taking a different direction with my life.
I spend a lot of my time thinking about/doing: gardening, permaculture, herbalism, preserving food, crafty stuff, reducing my impact, earth-based spirituality, yoga, cycling, nourishing myself and others, fantasizing about a better future for all beings, and more.
My more traditional list of qualifications includes: M.S. in Biology from Case Western Reserve University (reached PhD Candidacy before my life shift); B.A. in Psychology from the College of Wooster; and a PDC from Midwest Permaculture. I’m currently working on a certificate in herbalism with Rosemary Gladstar, and I’ve taken numerous courses in herbalism through the Wise Woman University (Susun Weed’s project). You can see more on my LinkedIn profile.
Read more about me in my interview on Backyard Farming Connection.
Let’s Exchange Energy…
I would love to share my skills and talents with you in exchange for monetary resources or bartering of other goods and services (including learning opportunities!). I am located in Cleveland, Ohio, but will discuss traveling. Here are some things I can offer:
- Wild Plant Walks – get a group together and learn to identify useful edible and medicinal plants close to your home
- Introduction to Homemade Medicines – learn the basics of home medicine making. We will cover making infusions, tinctures, salves, and oils in your own home!
- Permaculture design consultation/brainstorming for urban and suburban landscapes
- Introduction to permaculture lecture – covering the ethics, principles, and basic examples of permaculture systems
- Freelance articles about local plants as food/medicine, local foods, cooking, earth-based spirituality, the psychological importance of nature, permaculture, and other topics discussed in this blog
- Made-to-order herbal medicines
- I’m also available to help with hands-on activities like helping to create/design kitchen gardens in your home or workplace, and installing permaculture designs
- Also — visit Light Footsteps on Etsy for homemade herbal products, tea blends, and handcrafted goodies. Additionally, my art is on RedBubble.
Something else you’re interested in? Let me know!
I am also open to sponsorship on this site from like-minded small businesses, blogs, nonprofits, etc.
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org