My childhood was spent roaming my backyards in Upper Ojai and Matilija Canyon. Lovingly referred as free-range, my parents had only two rules; be back by dark and take the dogs. This is where my love-affair with our local ecosystem truly began. I was able to foster a relationship with our flora and fauna that makes this area of the world so unique! Ojai is one of five Mediterranean climates in the world with a blend of chaparral desert ecosystem. Our Spring is short-lived, our summers hot and blistery, our only hint of fall is through the Sycamores and few deciduous trees that live in our seasonal creeks, and winters we can see the Ceanothus blooms cover the hills in white. I learned how to make paintbrushes out of Yucca leaves and hunt for rocks striped with red iron that I could use to paint with, just like the Chumash native americans that called this valley home long before us.
Both of my parents had green thumbs and day jobs. Somehow we ended up with a couple beehives, eighty chickens, and some seasonal crops and still called ourselves hobbyists. As time went on I left home, traveled and worked, but always had the inclination to return to my roots. So here we are! Figuratively and literally planting myself in Ojai, once again. It gives me such joy to be working and providing for my community with my partner, Sean and our dog D-Bo.
As the tidally exposed sands of the equinox awash in this saline brine; there is exposure and return…..ambitiously fluttering sand crabs scurry somewhere beneath the sand, whilst, the arcane, listless, sun bleached carapaces of langostas, stranded along the highest mark of the tide during some storms past…...return.