Come along. Join us on a journey, a grand adventure of discovery - in words, pictures and on-the-ground - as we get to know the wilds of Northern California - as home. Learn the wildflowers, wild places, wildlife - and wild crafts - as we explore the region. Our approach, which we call “placecraft”, combines ‘habitat repair’ with ‘wild tending, wild crafts, art, story-telling and celebrations’. We’ll be seeking, and experimenting with, ways to live - and thrive - in relative harmony - with the wild.
As we ‘explore, tend and restore’ we’ll also make foods, tools, toys and other things with the bulbs, leaves, sticks, fibers and seeds - gifted by the various wild plants we’ve tended. And we’ll be celebrating our relationships with these plants, their places, the crafts and the seasons - in stories, songs, feasts and celebrations - with some of these recorded and posted as entries in the PLACECRAFT Journal - which will be launched soon (July 2019) on Patreon.
Each season, our guides and other members will share some of what they’ve been seeing, learning, creating and celebrating in a wide variety of posts. A photo-essay, for example, might record an adventure tending creekside willows, repairing some of the creek bank with bigger willow branches (that will take root), and then making baskets with willow withes that have cured for a season. Character in a story might tend a wild ‘salad patch’, reseed with bunch-grasses, and then gather a wild salad for a community festival, with a link to join a real ‘stewardship and salad’ adventure. A video-post might convey some of the care involved in tending a mountainside medicine plant and its’ habitat and the process of making an ointment from some of the leaves, along with a link to upcoming herbal workshops. A song might simply celebrate relationships with elderberry.
Hi! We’re Dave Self and Susan Maxwell. We’re the creators, editors and administrators of the Journal and we’ll be two of your ‘guides’ on this adventure. We’ve been restoring habitats and leading "nature / culture" programs for many years. Our favorite projects might be termed "gourmet stewardship" 0r 'stewardship and craft' - and combined habitat repair and wild tending with kids and other volunteers - who then helped assemble, prepare and share wild salads, wild teas, parmesan salsify, wild marshmallows or other tasty wild foods and feasts. In this way we taught stewardship ecology while also nurturing personal attachments to the plants and place that may last lifetimes. After 45 years of this work, we’ve got lots of stories to share - about the natural history, ecology, wild flavors, wild crafts and ways to restore, sustain and celebrate wild plants, places and people too.
Other ‘guides’ will include ethno-botanists, birders, basket weavers, spoon-carvers, poets, story-tellers, herbalists, acorn gourmets, fiber-artists, trackers, native plant gardeners, permaculturists, musicians, photographers, environmental educators, fire-ecologists, song-writers and many others (maybe you too!), who’ve been reestablishing their own relationships with wild plants, animals and habitats that are mutually sustainable.
Join us, and together - in our stories, picture, poems and other posts - and on-the-ground - we'll be restor(y)ing, sustaining and celebrating wild plants, places - and people - every season. And in these ways, thru the years, we may learn to really live here - at home with the wild plants, animals and people, as Native folks have been doing for centuries.
For the master weavers, the children’s children and all our wild kin - let’s begin!
Join the PLACECRAFT email list (below), and we'll let you know when the Journal is up on Patreon.