Harvest Edition

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YOUR SENTENCE IS THE FALL Again snow on the peaks. Again yellow leaves find their way from branches into the river, drift deeper and deeper, with less and less light. Wake up from work to find summer’s passing and in resignation return to winter. If there is anticipation for everything, looking forward, why do some of us burrow like velvety moles only to emerge in the perfection of spring? Is it the way we are meant to worship, when the earth is soft and food is frequent, when everything is tender then the tenderest of us emerge in reverence? Bears did not always hibernate like bears. Blubinous balls of muscle, fur and fat. Each a small sun. Each as terrible as summer itself. But instead were more slender like wolves. Less solitaire. Roamed in packs. Were once as small as squirrels and as frequent. It is one thing to say you know winter. And another to live through winter after winter, present through squall and swale. A living ice. Ever present hunger, body itself a storm. Even the sea has its seasons of light. Even the mole will emerge and offer its tenderest parts to the coyote or hawk. Even then there is a difference between the name and the thing. To be part of the world or the world itself.



letter from the editors The beginning of anything is always a long time in the making. Although every element may be in place, your eyes haven’t yet met across a bustling cafe, you haven’t yet read the novel that shifted your brainscape, dipped your fingers in soil for the first time. So often, we see these moments of waiting for something to begin as a time of loss. The transition from fall into winter is the loss of vivid color, harvest bounty frosted over, wilted and black. What we don’t always see are the many small things that are taking root beneath the surface. Young blueberry bushes planted in November. The roots of a sapling extending deeper. The word loam refers to a nutrient rich soil— earth with the capacity for growth. We chose this name because we believe wholeheartedly in the human power to build: to grow, to sing, to cook, to make art, to create community. We find great joy from listening yo the pulse of communities near and far— connecting with the people whose passions meet the world’s hungers. It’s our intention to use this first issue to highlight individuals and initiatives that are in similar stages of early growth. These pages share ways to live consciously, aware of the ways in which we as humans are connected to one another, to our homes, to our communities, to our world.









Interview with Kate Weiner Photo Feature











Interview with Nicole Stanton Playlist by Giorgia Sage

Interview with Nicole Stanton Playlist by Jamila Woods































by Kate Weiner

by Nicole Stanton

Interview with Nicole Stanton

Editorial by Rick Hong Manayan

by Kate Weiner & Annamarie Shreeves with Kate Weiner & Chef Hayden Dudley by Nicole Stanton

by Kimora Brock

Feature by Nicole Stanton How-To with Dynamic Roots How-To with Moonshadow Goods How-To with Blendily

Poem by Sage Chodosh

table of contents


Illustrations by Emily Howe











RAW is an independent arts organization passionate about creating a platform for emerging artists to share their work. Each year, RAW Directors reach out to local talent within the organization’s sixty-some hubs to partake in monthly showcases. These “circuses of creativity” are home to underground visual artists and conceptual filmmakers and folk musicians. RAW is as much a space for creative energies to come into contact as it is an opportunity for artists to find their footing. Loam was fortunate enough to speak to Founder Heidi Luerra on RAW’s role in nurturing emerging artists and empowering alternative communities. As Heidi shares, “the lost art of human interaction is sustained through our events. We bring art to people, and people to art.”

IN WHAT WAYS CAN CREATIVITY AND SUSTAINABILITY EXIST IN SYMBIOSIS? HOW DOES RAW CREATE THE SPACE FOR ARTISTS TO GROW THEIR SKILLS AND REACH OUT TO A WIDER AUDIENCE? I think creativity emerges from either an abundance or lack. Sustainability also draws from that same inspiration. There is most definitely a culture of artists that are creating sustainable artwork with reclaimed, recycled or just sustainable products. Creativity and sustainability go hand in hand, and it’s a very affordable way for any artist to create. RAW has created the space by being the first of our kind. We host events every other month in 60 cities across the world. We have created our own platform and network of over 60,000 artists in the past 7 years. The lost art of human interaction is sustained through our events. We bring art to people, and people to art. The artists wins through tools, resources and exposure.


I was a fashion designer myself, I had very talented friends and I felt like it was an injustice that there wasn’t an approachable entity that we could go to to be seen or heard. I saw a gaping hole in the art world between “just starting out” and “making it”. There was an organic need for a stepping stone like RAW. Some place in the middle where you could gain knowledge, skills, experience and be seen. I took matters into my own hands and here we are.


The event side of our organization helped to grow the organization very organically. Rolling up our sleeves and doing work to make people move and see art! The growth has happened very organically from there.

I get emails almost every day from artists that are thankful for the opportunity and are excited for their first show. As a boss I’m also excited to watch our team flourish and grow. Fulfilling our mission is really what keeps me going. Hearing that we changed a career, a life, an outcome for a young artist keeps me getting out of bed in the morning.



Each showcase has about 45 artists. If you entered the event around 8PM you would walk into a circus of colorful creativity! You would see art displays with photographers, painters, sculptors, etc. You would also see accessories booths. Next you would see the host on stage introducing 2-3 live local bands, we’d have some performance art on stage at some point, and then 5-7 fashion shows. Simultaneously there are models posing as statues and rotating on and off platforms that are peppered around the venue. It is truly a spectacle of amazing creativity everywhere you look.

We want to have RAW on every continent. We have just launched our new agency branch of the company, FOUND. We are now connecting our artists with paying gigs. We are really excited to watch that grow! We’d like to get involved with e-commerce for our artists and perhaps try our hand at festivals soon as well.











HOW HAS OVERCOATS CHANGED SINCE LOAM LAST SPOKE TO YOU TWO? We have grown so much in the past few months. Into our sound, our identity as a band, and as people. We’re much more aware now of what we’re trying to accomplish, how we want to push the envelope with our music, what place we want to occupy in the industry today. It’s been an amazing summer of throwing ourselves into situations where we were unknown, and it’s really helped us figure out who we want to be as a band. We’re excited to keep moving forward with this knowledge in hand.

YOU WERE ON TOUR IN DUBLIN AND LONDON, RIGHT? WHILE IN DUBLIN—WHAT DID A NORMAL DAY LOOK LIKE? HOW DID YOU BALANCE WRITING, PERFORMING, AND BOOKING YOUR SHOWS? Our time in Dublin was pretty hilarious. We operated on a very strange schedule: we’d gig almost every night, stay out late getting into jam sessions or hanging out in a pub with new friends…in the morning (if you can call it that), we’d sleep till 1pm and then do emails for 3 hours, and write music the rest of the day. We had this lovely roof on our apartment building that we’d go to when it was sunny, and we’d write on the floor of our room when it wasn’t.


HAVE NEW PLACES HAD ANY IMPACT ON YOUR MUSIC? WE SPOKE A BIT ABOUT WESLEYAN’S INFLUENCE ON YOUR WRITING BACK IN THE SPRING. Dublin absolutely influenced our music. So much of the music we saw there was about telling a story and getting people to connect with it. Almost all of the songwriting we heard was totally intertwined with the art of storytelling, and how to get people to connect to an experience or event that someone else had. We think about this now when we start a song what are the details here? What story are we trying to tell? Whose story is this?

WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE GREATEST JOYS & CHALLENGES OF PURSUING OVERCOATS IN EUROPE? ANY SIGNIFICANT FAILURES/SUCCESSES? Pursuing Overcoats in Europe was such an incredible time. We got to play some of our dream venues, like Whelan’s and The Ruby Sessions, as well as some incredible festivals, like Longitude and Another Love Story, with some incredible artists. Apart from music, we also had an amazing time just exploring the cities we were in, dancing all night, finding our favorite cafes, etc. We met some brilliant people along the way.

Our biggest challenge was definitely coming to terms with being on the road for so long. We couldn’t really put down roots anywhere, which can be a hard lifestyle, and what could happen tomorrow was always unknown to us. We’ve had to really embrace the uncertainty that comes with trying to make a career out of music - not knowing where you’ll be in a month’s time, not knowing how many people will show up to your concert, not knowing what’s down the road…these are the questions that we’ve had to find peace with. As for successes, starting in October, we’re going to be working with a management team and we’re really excited. It’s been a challenging 6 months of managing ourselves and it will be amazing to have a team of talented people we can work with!

WHAT WAS IT LIKE PERFORMING FOR MAINLY STRANGERS AFTER PERFORMING IN COLLEGE FOR THE PAST YEAR? WERE THEY RECEPTIVE TO YOUR TUNES? Yikes. Definitely different to perform for strangers—at first it was scary, not knowing what people’s reactions would be. No one had to be silent while we were singing. No one had to cheer really loudly at the end of our set. No one had to wolf whistle when the sexy dancing part happened. And yet, for the most part, they did. We found that playing to strangers was a whole new joy. Connecting with people and taking them on a journey through the set—watching them re-live their own memories as they listened to our words…has been incredible. One old man at a London gig said we were a little bit “too cabaret” for his taste. Perhaps he was referring to dance moves— but other than that the reception has been great!

WHAT’S BEEN THE SUBJECT OF YOUR SONG WRITING RECENTLY? We’ve been writing about a few different things recently. We’ve been exploring anxiety and feelings of loneliness that come at night and disappear in the daylight. We’ve been writing about the contemplative moments that come after a night of staying out late —figuring out the little things that make life fulfilling to us. We’ve been watching the choices that we’re making and the choices everyone around us has been making. We’ve been writing about the problem with relying on men—in life and in the music industry. We’ve been writing about married men, affairs, lost love, fathers, our deepest friendships, and lighting candles for all the people we’ve ever loved.

WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO? We’re going to be in England for another two weeks, playing shows and continuing to write new material. In November we will be doing a tour of the Northeast (US), with stops in NY, DC, Philly, and Northampton! We’ll be announcing those dates in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned. In the longer term…we’re working on new material and hope to be recording our first full length album by spring.


welcome to the anthropocene is a collection of songs reflecting on

the nature of nature as the 21st century gets underway. The Anthropocene— a recently coined term articulating the inherent integration of humanity with the natural world and our profound affect on and manipulation of the planet and its systems, biotic and abiotic —epitomizes the prevailing social and cultural values of our time and generation. There is an inherent duality between our environment and our identities, even if this is often undermined in the face of technology and digitalization. As the Anthropocene progresses we will be forced to reckon with how we relate to issues of justice, identity, and nature in the face of global environmental catastrophe. giorgia sage

BLUE LIPS by Regina Spektor IDEAL WORLD by Girlpool TEARS FOR ANIMALS by CocoRosie BLACK BEAR by Black Bear ALL FIRES by Swan Lake WHEN I MET DEATH by Right Away, Great Captain! THE GOOD THAT WON’T COME OUT by Rilo Kiley ALL OF EVERYTHING, ERASED by Kevin Devine ANIMAL by Miike Snow GLASS HYPNOTIST by Small Leaks Sink Ships SLEEPING IN by The Postal Service THE WORLD AT LARGE by Modest Mouse ANOTHER BAG OF BONES by Kevin Devine NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON MOTHER EARTH by Neko Case




Jess Best is living in Brooklyn, working three jobs, and making her art. She may be a superwoman. The Loam ladies fell in love with Jess when listening to her debut album Gone Baby, released last year. Her music is rich in jazz and R&B sounds, with scatterings of electronic influence that hint at more experimental tunes to come. Refinery 29 recently named her one of the “8 New York Artists Who Could Be the Next Madonna.” Well, there you have it.

We have always admired of her pursuit of music in the hubbub of New York life. What we didn’t realize, until having the privilege of catching up with her, is that she is also creating spaces for other people’s art. She’s a gem of a woman, and an absolute inspiration to all of us trying to be friends, lovers, employees, and makers.

COULD YOU WALK US THROUGH A NORMAL DAY WITH YOU? WE’RE JUST TRYING TO GET A FEEL FOR HOW YOUR JOB, MUSIC, BOOKING, BEING A HUMAN, ALL FITS INTO ONE. I’m in a bit of a crazy place, where I just have a bunch of jobs. My main job is working at Madison Square Park Conservancy. We’re in the midst of planning this huge kids art festival happening the week after next, but this next week I’ll be on tour with Honey and the Sting. This job is four days a week, and one day a week I work food service at 61 Local in Brooklyn.

ISN’T THAT WHERE YOU DO SUNDAY SOUNDS? Yes! Exactly. The bar is this community space type venue, and the owner has taken me on as the music person. He’s paying me to make playlists, and I’m trying to get a music

scene going with Sunday Sounds. Sunday Sounds has been awesome, just so relaxed. It’s so great to be playing in New York, while also having the power to create a musical space that’s exactly what I want. I can give my friends, or new artists I find, a space that has a great vibe, a good turnout, but that’s also a sit down venue. I get to present the music in the way that I feel most aptly represents my friends’ music. You go to a lot of these gigs for up and coming bands where people are talking, or uninterested. People really get to know the artists that play Sunday Sounds. Honestly, I low key want to make this a full time job. I’m busting my ass to make it really work.

I KNOW YOU’VE PLAYED SUNDAY SOUNDS, BUT WHAT’S IT BEEN LIKE PERFORMING AROUND NEW YORK? When I first got to New York I was booking myself a lot. I was dragging my band around to shows that just didn’t feel good. I got burnt out of that so quickly. Since that point, I’ve had to be a lot more discerning about shows I play. I’m in a place where I want to be more intentional.

HOW HAS YOUR MUSIC FOUND A HOME IN NEW YORK CITY? I really think you can hear the city in the new music I’m making. A lot of it is being made really late at night. The new shit I write is so different. I’ll be meeting up with someone from 11:30 to 2:30 at night, or sometimes really early in the morning before work. I’m usually so protective over those hours. They are usually my alone time, and where I find my solace. Recently they’ve been exploited.


HOW IMPORTANT IS PLACE TO YOUR ART? DO YOU FEEL AS THOUGH YOU COULD MAKE MUSIC ANYWHERE? What’s keeping me in New York is my extreme attachment to the people that are in my immediate vicinity. For me, right now, my sense of place is really defined by the people in it. It feels as though I do need to be in New York, but that is very fear based. No matter where I am I’ll be making music— but there’s also a part of me that feels really fulfilled in New York by my musical life. I’ve met a lot of new people that I’ve connected with really well, and it’s constantly evolving. I have dreams of moving to New Orleans which would be a completely different experience. It’s not New York or die, but I’m not done here yet.

WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES (MAYBE FAILURES) SINCE PURSUING YOUR MUSIC FULL TIME? I guess I could think of my musical life as a mountain. I started in New York in a deep valley, but now am maybe on a hillside. I have a bit more perspective after being here for a year. The thing that I thought were failures aren’t really any more. Like, for example, this past Monday I played a secret show with these three awesome musicians. Leading up to the show we hadn’t practiced at all, we hadn’t even thought of the gig. Our group name was so stupid I’m not even going to say it. In my head I was just like, what’s even the point of doing


this gig? I was so down about it. Then we got there, and it was all improvisation. We made up songs the whole time, and had a dang blast. And I just realized, isn’t this what it’s all about? That moment totally encompassed how I’ve changed since I’ve gotten here. The goal isn’t somewhere in the future -- it’s happening now. I’m trying really hard to let moments like this past gig on Monday, to take up the space of what success feels like.

WHO DO YOU LOOK FOR FOR CAREER INSPIRATION? Sia— she’s the first person who came to mind because I just seriously admire her career path. I love that she doesn’t give a fuck, really. Her old stuff is so weird. She let’s her personality fly, even when she writes a hit for Rihanna. Her work is always creative and honest. I look to her in terms of somebody who keeps growing and pushing her own boundaries. My other inspirations come from my community of intensely creative people. They’re all working so hard —and they’re so good. I feel like having a musical community that is full of people who love to keep learning has been so valuable. They’re all craving growth and change, and we recognize that in this moment our creative friends are vital.





Jamila Woods is very much a Super Lady. Loam met Jamila while she was on tour with M&O (fka Milo & Otis). M&O’s first album The Joy and their sophomore album Almost Us are perfect companions for the upcoming winter months. Despite her superladyschedule as a musician, poet, and teaching artist, Jamila was kind enough to make us a “superladymusic” playlist. Her selection of tunes oozes her Chicago pride and soul/hip-hop inspired tastes. Listen away. nicole stanton

superladymusic is a collection of songs by some of my favorite up

and coming female musicians. These artists hail from all over the globe, although the list is admittedly a little chicago-heavy for good measure. This list considers “emerging” in a broad sense, and includes songs that innovate on our expectations of what a song should be, whether it be through blurring the line between the voice and instruments or creating a lyrical manifesto to address the social issues of our time. I hope you enjoy. jamila woods

BLOSSOM DEARIE by Ravyn Lenae HAVE MERCY by Eryn Allen Kane TAKE YOU BACK featuring Akenya & Via Rosa by Noname Gypsy WAKE UP by Daryn Alexus FINGERPRINTS by Homme TREAT ME LIKE FIRE by Lion Babe NOVACAINE by Christian LaJon LULLABY FEATURING SOFT GLASS by Chargaux HAS TO BE by Yadda Yadda HOPES UP by Drama Duo WE CAN GO BLIND by The Flavr Blue FEELING LIKE I’VE BEEN WRONG by Lorine Chia DON’T WANNA BE YOUR GIRL by Wet RIGHT NOW by Jean Deaux WHY ME by Jess Glynne FUSHIA by Highness CANDIED DAYLIGHT by Jennah Bell RACE JONES #FORMYPEOPLE #MIKEBROWN by V Bozeman







Several months ago, I tried a sample of cranberry juice from the Starvation Alley stall at a small farmers’ market in Portland. The shot of pure cold-pressed juice was tart and fresh and redolent of blustery autumn days. Eager to learn more, I reached out to Starvation Alley’s Alana Kambury—Director of “The Garnet Gospel” and a passionate advocate for sustainable businesses—to talk all things S.A. Over coffee, Alana shared photos with me from Starvation Alley’s most recent harvest. As she scrolled through images of cranberry bogs glowing red against grey October skies, of farmers wading through knee-high waters, I realized that I knew next to nothing about these tart fruits.


For most of us, cranberries conjure static Ocean Spray ads of bright red bogs and the standard Thanksgiving glob of sauce. We don’t have much of a choice: Ocean Spray controls over half of the market. The company’s dominance and lack of support for organic growers means that there is not only little room for sustainable farmers to thrive, but also for alternative products to circulate. Those of us hungry to taste a cranberry as nature intended—unsweetened and organic—would likely have to take a helluva long trip to the coastal cranberry bogs that bookend the continental U.S to find some. Enter Starvation Alley, Washington’s first certified organic cranberry bog and a committed B corporation that supports

N ALLEY fellow farmers and nourishes sustainable agriculture. As an emerging power player in the alternative agriculture movement, Starvation Alley’s team has made it its mission to share the Garnet Gospel across the Pacific Northwest (once you’ve tasted their cranberries, you’ll want to get in the choir too). Theirs is a story of the little cranberry bog that could.

After working in community gardens in Ohio, founders Jessika and Jared returned to Long Beach, WA to take over the cranberry bog adjacent to Jared’s family house. Scientific experts and local farmers were adamant that organic cranberry farming just wasn’t going to work: it wasn’t economically viable and organic practices would threaten production.


In spite of this, Jessika and Jared figured that changing the market was contingent on taking a risk. There isn’t a whole lot of literature on organic cranberry production and so many of the farm’s first few cycles were an exercise in trial and error. Five years in, Starvation Alley is still learning—and luckily, more and more farmers are eager to learn too. The transition from conventional to organic farming is by no means easy. During the three-year transition period, most farmers can expect unpredictable profits and unreliable yields. Starvation Alley is currently working with three other farmers—two in Long Beach, Washington and one in Bandon, Oregon—to share their organic growing methods. Starvation Alley is also


helping to support these farmers by buying their fruit at a premium and selling it under the brand as “Local Harvest” transitional fruit. More recently, Starvation Alley has connected with juice bars, holistic wellness centers, and restaurants to build the market for organic cranberries. At Pickathon 2015, Starvation Alley collaborated with Sean Hoard of The Commissary to create the cocktail for this sustainably minded music festival. During a humid weekend in Happy Valley, OR, the S.A. crew worked with Hoard and The New Deal distillery to serve up 75 gallons of cranberry concoctions to the crowds. Like any emerging company, Starvation Alley is a work in progress. Starvation Alley’s willingness to take risks and accept setbacks, to embrace experimentation and cultivate collaborations, is part of the 10-acre farm’s surprising beauty. This lush cranberry bog is as much the site for understanding the particulars of organic cranberry farming as it is an unconventional laboratory for generating a new approach to how we produce, consume, and connect through food. Theirs is a story that is just starting to get written.



HOW TO SAVE TOMATO SEEDS Tomato seeds are just about as easy as it can get for beginning seed savers. Stephanie Syson of Basalt Food Garden is on a seed-saving mission. Saving seeds not only cost growers less money, it also allows plants to adapt to the needs of their environment, guaranteeing stronger, more fruitful plants overtime. Steph suggests that beginners start with tomato seeds. They’re the best for beginners like us for three reasons: firstly, you can harvest them for seed at the same time you harvest them for eating; secondly, they don’t easily cross pollinate, and thirdly, you only need to save seed from fruits on a couple of different plants. When choosing which fruits to harvest seeds from, be sure to choose the plumpest, healthiest looking tomatoes.

STEP ONE: Cut tomatoes open. Squeeze the pulp, juices, and seeds into a glass jar.

STEP TWO: Set the containers full of tomato aside to ferment. This will break down the jelly-like coating around the seeds, preventing it from germinating. Fermentation takes anywhere from 24 hours to 4 days, and during that time, a layer of mold may form on the top of the liquid.

STEP THREE: Viable tomato seeds will sink to the bottom of the jars. Pour the pulp off the top, and pour the remaining seeds and liquid through a kitchen strainer. Wash leftover seeds thoroughly under the faucet until clean.

STEP FOUR: Spread seeds out thinly on a flat surface. It’s best to use a coffee filter underneath the seeds to help them dry more quickly. Complete drying of the seeds will take about 4 weeks. Once the seeds are dry, plant away! We’ve saved some of the heartiest tomatoes from this season. Can’t

wait to nurture them into next summer’s salads.




Last summer when arriving in Aspen, Colorado I fell into a rag tag group of friends – the Chaco wearing, mountain climbing, have-a-field-guide-in-their-backpacks type. They lived in The Bunk House, a big brown box of a building on the edge of town, along with the local forest rangers. I soon came to learn of a community of people passionate about our natural landscape, and committed to sharing this love with whoever would listen. My mountain-savvy friends worked at Aspen Center for the Environmental Studies, and were there pursuing careers in environmental education. ACES, I have come to learn, has a tried-and-true formula for cultivating ecological literacy: a combination of breathtaking landscape and dedicated educators. I sat down with Arin Trook and Chris Cohen, directors of the educational programs at ACES, in their office at Hallam Lake. This site is an oasis in our small town. A breathtaking lake and nature preserve, just 100 yards from my office building and supermarket. I took the little dirt trail from my office to theirs, passing the ACES employee housing nestled around Hallam Lake. The ACES office was bustling— full of inquiring tourists and second graders on a field trip. The warm and welcoming energy was a delight on a cool, rainy autumn morning.


COULD YOU TALK TO ME A BIT ABOUT HOW YOUR PROGRAMS ARE ORGANIZED? ACES education programs focus on educating everyone from preschool to college aged. What is so unique is that we are a resonant part of the day-to-day lives of students in this valley. We have full-time environmental science programs in local schools, meaning from 8 to 4, Monday through Friday, we’re in classrooms cultivating what we call “ecological literacy.” Teachers work with students in the classroom, and will then take them on field programs to our different ACES sites— Hallam Lake, Toklat, Rock Bottom Ranch. You’ll see kids learning how to do water testing along our local rivers, learning forest ecology by boring into trees. We have been doing work in the schools for twenty plus years, and we’re only expanding. We’re striving to get beyond the Roaring Fork Valley, expanding the reach of a creative, hands-on education.


S OF GREEN We look for folks with a solid foundation in hands-on teaching experience. It’s especially important that they have a combination of environmental science and field research experience to account for the way we educate our kids. These jobs are competitive, probably because of our wonderful reputation. We have been here for decades, and have a caliber of environmental education and sustainability initiatives just not seen anywhere else. We also emphasize that our programs are as much about teaching environmental science as they are developing great teachers. We’re giving both students and teachers the opportunity to experience environmental education inside and outside the classroom.

WHAT IS AT THE CORE OF YOUR TRAINING FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATORS? “Stick together, know the flowers, go light.” It’s this mantra, this bit of a poem, that lies at the core of our work as educators. Sticking together, is about developing a collaborative, supportive community. Know the flowers is our way of summarizing our goals of ecological literacy. Then go light— put our teachings into practice.

HOW DO YOU SEE ACES’ WORK AS A SOLUTION TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS OF OUR TIME? We operate upon a belief that the monumental social and environmental issues of our time trace back to humans’ relationship with the natural world. If you establish an emotional and intellectual connection with the natural world at a young age, both intellectually and practically, you will know how to treat our planet. If you know it, you’ll love it.

HOW DOES PLACE FACTOR INTO ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION? DOES YOUR WORK HAVE A HOME OUTSIDE OF THE ROARING FORK VALLEY? There is nature in urban environments as well. It’s not the mountains, forests, and rivers we’re surrounded by here, but it’s the dandelions coming out of the asphalt and the patch of grass around your mailbox. While it’s definitely a pressing question for environmental educators, we believe it’s just about showing folks the natural world all around them. It is


just as important for kids in Los Angeles to know where their local watershed is, as it is for our Colorado kids to identify a cluster of elderberries. A few states westward, education initiatives in sustainability are taking root in Los Angeles, California. Grades of Green got its start in my hometown, a city that has tremendous challenges with its citizens’ environmental impact. Growing up we drove everywhere – nearly an hour to school, then another hour to friends’ homes, then another hour to our favorite Thai restaurant. The city is expansive, and there is little to no access to public transportation. Angelenos spend endless hours on the 405 or the 5, getting glimpses of California’s stunning coast line through the thick layers of smog. In Manhattan Beach, California, Grades of Green took root in the form of mothers recognizing the need for their children to be, as Arin would say, “ecologically literate.” We were lucky enough to chat with the Grades of Green folk, a crew of women making a beautiful difference in their global community.

WHAT INSPIRED GRADES OF GREEN? WAS THERE A MOMENT OR AN IMPETUS FOR RECOGNIZING THE NEED FOR A NONPROFIT SUCH AS THIS? It was a moment of identifying the need and desire for environmental education and action in schools yet recognizing the reality of shrinking budgets and limited resources, particularly in the public schools. Grades of Green was founded in 2009 by four moms who wanted to bring creative, handson environmental education programs to our students. They started in their local school, Grand View Elementary in Manhattan Beach. Grand View Elementary became Grades of Green’s pilot school where the original Grades of Green Activities were tested and approved by parents, educators, and


most importantly, students. Since its work at Grand View, Grades of Green now works in schools across 39 states.

HOW DO YOU GET KIDS INSPIRED TO CARE ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES? Any student across the globe can register with our webbased program on the Grades of Green website to gain access and unlock toolkits to over 40 Grades of Green initiatives. Whether a student’s environmental passion is energy reduction, water conservation, waste reduction, you name it – we have a Grades of Green initiative and toolkit to help the student start greening and creating change across their school and broader community. In Southern California, we do on-site educating. One of these on-site programs is the Youth Corps Eco-Leadership Program. The Grades of Green Youth Corps is a committed group of selected students actively caring for the environment by creating and implementing a yearlong Green Project in their school community. These total rock stars receive regular guidance and leadership training from passionate Grades of Green staff and a supportive peer network of fellow Youth Corps students. Members become inspired to help the environment and empowered when they see their actions spark change. From banning Styrofoam to starting school-wide waste reduction programs, the awesome Grades of Green Youth Corps students are making huge impacts in their communities.

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE BENEFITS (ECONOMIC, CULTURAL, ETC.) FOR SCHOOLS THAT HAVE IMPLEMENTED GRADES OF GREEN PROGRAMMING? The primary benefit for schools that join the Grades of Green program is creating a school-wide culture of caring for the

environment. Entire school populations become inspired to care for the environment and empowered to create change. Environmental protection becomes truly something that is second nature to students and communities. While inspiring students is our primary goal, schools receive additional benefits when they join the program. Implementing the Grades of Green Activities helps decrease a school’s environmental impact, and can save money for the school and parents as well. For example, Grades of Green’s Trash Free Lunches activity helps schools divert waste, which then leads to decreased waste hauler pick-ups and less bags of trash produced - one of our schools in Los Angeles is projected to decrease their annual waste hauler fees by nearly $17,000 a year. In addition, when a student packs a trash-free lunch everyday, parents save an average of $213 per year.

WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR MOST SUCCESSFUL PROGRAMS? WHAT ARE THOSE THINGS THAT THE KIDS ARE MOST INSPIRED BY? One of our most successful programs is our Trash Free Lunch Challenge. Grades of Green’s Trash Free Lunch Challenge is a year long competition where Los Angeles schools challenge each other to see which school can reduce the most lunchtime waste. Through educational assemblies, personalized eco-starter kits, waste reduction plans, and Grades of Green staff available to personally guide each school, Grades of Green helps create an environment where ev-

ery school wins. Participating schools ask students to reduce trash by bringing reusable lunch containers and using lunchtime sorting stations; forming habits that will protect the environment for years to come. Over the past two years, participating schools have decreased lunchtime trash by an average of 70%. Collectively, schools will divert thousands of bags of trash destined for landfills this year alone.

WHERE DO YOU SEE GRADES OF GREEN GROWING FROM HERE? We’re so proud of the great and green work of our 250,000+ Grades of Green students across the globe. These kids are creating change that affects entire communities, cities and beyond. At Grades of Green, our next big goal is to reach 5 million students. 5 million students is the estimated “tipping point” of the number of students needed to create an ecomindset shift in the next generation. ACES and Grades of Green both see environmental education as a necessity— a solution to the problems our planet faces. These problems often seem unapproachable, and too tremendous to face with optimism. How beautiful, though, that the next, emerging generation of global citizens is our hope. Loam is so grateful for programs like ACES and Grades of Green that are helping to cultivate ecologically conscious citizens, with an eye toward a sustainable way of life.





As my socialist papa tells me, “the mall is where the revolution goes to die.” It’s not that deriving happiness from what we wear or the things we treasure is in and of itself bad: fashion can be a source of creative expression (rare bird of paradise, Iris Apfel and the vibrant designer Duro Olowu embody this notion with particular chutzpah). And most of us possess some object(s) in our lives that bring us real joy: a favorite fall coat, a beloved family heirloom, a beautifully bound book of poetry plucked from the $1.00 bin at a flea market. What is environmentally unsound is when we buy from a place of scarcity, of anxiety, of boredom. When we seek replacements rather than repairing. When we shill out for a nice shirtdress even though what we are really craving is a sweet summer day. Consumption can be a numbing, soulless experience (see: malls). And the fashion industry alone consumes 33 trillion gallons of oil. Investing in fast fashion is a vote for climate, social, and economic injustice. And man oh man, I do not want our society’s penchant for the threads that dissolve within a month to be the downfall of civilization. So when you do choose to consume, consume wisely and from a place of genuine appreciation. Scour for secondhand and embrace sustainably made products. Buy (much) less and buy (much) better and with a keen commitment to ensuring that whatever business you are giving money to has equitable labor conditions and eco-friendly practices. A litany of disposable goods won’t mean a fraction as much as the hand-knit sweater you buy for a friend because she just moved from warm L.A. to blustery N.Y. The most environmentally friendly option will always be working with what you have. Embracing products that are made with a minimal environmental impact and that help to maintain a culture of handiwork, however, can work in tandem with a sustainable lifestyle. The truest kind of conscious consumerism acknowledges that we can’t buy our way out of environmental and social ails: consumption isn’t a cure-all. Living with less can open us up to the kind of luscious experiences—to connect, to explore, to collaborate—that you won’t ever find in a very shiny and very sad mall. For our Slow Fashion Editorial, model Hilda Vargas and photographer Rick Manayan take us on a tour of a gorgeous homestead in upstate NY. Hilda’s thrifted wardrobe works well with an olive green clutch from the close to zero-waste factory Campos Bags. We hope these photos will inspire you to think differently about how you buy and to what end. And we hope as well that these snapshots serve as a powerful reminder that the sweetest things can’t be bought. Because the best part of this editorial wasn’t playing with clothes; it was sharing a loaf of rosemary bread with Hilda and Rick as chickens clucked at our heels and the sun shone golden.





During the month of September, Loam collaborated with the Atlanta-based Fort Negrita on our Work With What You Have Project. Our goal is to encourage a culture that privileges cultivating experience over mindless consumption. Living zero waste is as much a daily practice as it is a life philosophy: how can we do more with less? How can we create environmentally sound communities? And how can we treat the bodies of water and horizons of soil that nurture us with the same compassion and concern that we extend to the people we love most in our lives? Embracing a zero waste lifestyle will require reframing sacrifices as swaps. You won’t always do “right” and that’s okay—making a big change sometimes means taking two steps forward and one step back. You will give up some things and gain others. Trust that learning to work with what you have will make room for new lives and loves to grow. We have it within ourselves to do better. And because we need a little help along the way, we’re grateful to Anamarie Shreeves of Fort Negrita for guiding us through the basic building blocks of zero waste living. It takes Anamarie six months to fill a 32-ounce Mason Jar. She knows what’s up. Listen, learn, do.




A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO LIVING ZERO WASTE EXAMINE YOUR TRASH. Take note of what you throw into the trash the most, and begin to make sustainable alternatives. Swap water bottles for reusable glass jars, plastic bags for cloth totes. REFUSE. The moment you buy something, it’s your responsibility to dispose of it properly, no matter if you’re disposing of it today or in two decades. Since most of us already own more than we need, figure out if you can borrow, rent or go without before buying. Refusal can also mean opting out of unwanted junk mail, asking for water without a straw and declining individually-wrapped treats. USE IT TO THE BONE. Be sure to get great use out of your belongings before responsibly disposing. Can you patch up those socks or turn that damaged pot into decor? DO IT GOOD. When you must dispose of something, do it responsibly. Search for opportunities to support closed-looped processes. For instance, Terracycle accepts items like writing utensils and unwanted plastic toys to be recycled into new goods. Research material-specific recyclers in your area as well, such as a textile recycler for unwanted underwear and paint recyclers for old paint cans. SHOP AROUND. Choose to buy from companies with closedlooped processes. These companies avoid synthetic materials, offer lifetime warranty and repairs, reduce manufacture waste, promise durability and pay fair wages.




PUMPKIN RISOTTO KATE WEINER This recipe comes courtesy of my mama. Risotto takes some attention because you have to keep stirring the rice, checking to see if the liquid is absorbed. It’s a great dish to make when you have casual company and everybody just wants to hang around the kitchen sipping wine and making the salad while the risotto is cooking.

5 to 7 cups vegetable broth 2 tbs olive oil 4 tbs butter 1 small onion, minced 2 cups long grain or arborio rice ¾ cups freshly grated Parmesan 1 cup roasted pumpkin, mashed ½ bunch parsley, minced salt and pepper to taste

1 Bring the broth to a simmer in pan and turn oven to 400ºF in preparation for roasting the pumpkin.

2 As broth heats up, cut pumpkin into small quarters and roast with olive oil and salt until tender.

3 Soften onion in butter and olive oil. 4 Add the rice, turn the heat to medium high, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring well.

5 Add the broth 1 cup at a time, and continue cooking, over medium heat. The idea here is to wait until all the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, before adding more broth. This process will take about 20 minutes or so. It’s possible that you’ll use up all the broth and the rice will still be too crunchy. No worries; just add more.

6 When the rice is al dente, stir in the Parmesan to melt, then the pumpkin and parsley. Serve warm.


ROASTED PARSNIP, APPLE,AND BEET MEDLEY KATE WEINER This is a messy, sumptuous, sunset-colored medley for the melancholy last few days of fall. It’s super simple to make and is good for when you’re craving a little spice and whole lotta veggies.

2 parsnips 2 small beets 4 medium-sized green apples 1 tbsp minced ginger ½ tbsp cinnamon ½ tbsp. nutmeg 1 tbsp olive oil Dash of Himalayan pink salt

1 Heat oven to 375ºF. Cut parsnips, beets, and apples into thin slivers and toss with olive oil, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and Himalayan pink salt on baking sheet.

2 Roast for thirty-five to forty minutes, until apples are tender and the parsnips have a nice golden crisp.


CREAMY VEGAN CARROT-GINGER SOUP HUMBLE PLUM & CHEF HAYDEN DUDLEY This quick and simple vegan soup is a welcomed conclusion to any fall day, enjoy warm or cold, and with a nice crusty bread. Adjust garlic, ginger and curry amounts to taste, this recipe is mild. Remember to source local, organic ingredients for maximum love. Makes approx. 4 servings.

3-4 large carrots 1 large onion 2-3 stalks of celery 1 apple, peeled/cored 1 Tbs fresh garlic 1 Tbs fresh ginger 1 1/2 tsp. curry powder 1 qt. vegetable broth 14 oz. can coconut milk ¼ Cup coconut oil ¼ Cup shredded coconut (unsweetened) ¼ Cup chopped parsley Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 Chop carrots, onion and celery into quarter/nickel sized pieces; keep separate and set aside. Mince garlic and ginger.

2 Heat coconut oil in a large skillet. Caramelize onions on medium-high heat until soft and slightly browned (not blackened). Add garlic and ginger and sauté another 2-3 minutes.

3 Combine carrots, celery, apple, curry and vegetable broth in a medium sized stockpot and simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes, until carrots are soft. Add onion, garlic and ginger mixture, then puree with blender until even consistency. Return to heat and stir in coconut milk until well combined. Let simmer on low heat for ~15 minutes. 4 Toast shredded coconut on cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown. Garnish each bowl with chopped parsley and coconut before serving. Season generously with sea salt and pepper.


THE HUMBLE PLU WORDS BY NICOLE STANTON Gosh, their lemonade has some heart. I met the men of the Humble Plum at Carbondale’s Mountain Fair— a small town, Colorado fair complete with wood splitting competitions and fire dancers. Their purple booth, menu scrawled in chalk, tapestry-draped tables, and a crew of friends bustling in the kitchen. I had their mint beet lemonade and was hooked, coming back three times over Mountain Fair weekend. Their whole menu was dang intriguing, though. “Elevated Elixirs” served alongside raw goji berry chocolate and “Mountain Mac.” After Mountain Fair I discovered that the Humble Plum crew makes and serves their exceptional, locally sourced food out of an up-fitted Blue Bird school bus, painted purple.

ter, the co-founder of Humble Plum, was in an entrepreneurial course where he and a friend came up with an idea for a web-based community tool to access the local food network. He describes it as a “where can I get this” kind of site— but for all locally sourced products. Peter has his eyes and ears and heart aimed toward his community always, it seems. At the start of our interview he just gushed about the Roaring Fork Valley, a community he and I now share. Since moving here last summer, he’s been in awe of how everyone is super engaged. “People read the local paper, and are interested in starting dialogues about community issues— it’s just awesome.”

The project started four years ago, at the University of Michigan. At its conception, the Humble Plum was far from a large purple bus operating out of a small mountain community. Pe-

After the web idea took root, Peter and his friends realized it needed to be about human to human connection. They landed on the idea of a mobile option —an empty, mobile



container with the ability to use food to bring people together wherever it goes. “We imagined hosting dinners in the middle of the woods, really connecting people to their place. To be honest we sold ourselves the vision before we had the money,” Peter admits. The money came soon, though, when their class decided to fully sponsor the start of Humble Plum Kitchens. The university gave them the space, they snagged a Blue Bird bus off Craigslist, and off they went. Peter and his friends built the bus in the summer of 2013. “There couldn’t be anything too extreme, and it was all pretty bootleg. We asked Blue Bird for the plans of the bus interior, and spent a ton of time thinking out the design. In a space that small, you have to be intentional with every inch of the space —ceiling, floor, all of it.” Since landing in Carbondale, the Humble Plum has been honoting to working community

events. Peter is keen on honoring to the bus’ original intention, and they’re doing a dang good job at it. Humble Plum Kitchen is now a staple of the Roaring Fork Valley food scene, an icon, I’d say. Peter, and the head chef Hayden, are drawn to Carbondale in particular because of its access to local, organic agriculture. “It’s all just right there.” Some of Peter’s good friends grow most of their food, and he continually emphasized how much of a community production this project really is. Their popularity thus far has been all word of mouth. Peter, Hayden, the “workhorse” Chad, and the totally positive response of the Roaring Fork Valley community has brought the Humble Plum great success, and will be the key to its growth moving forward. I am most certainly excited to see their big purple bus around town this winter, serving up Hayden’s carrot-ginger soup — yum!


HEALTH & WELLNESS Loam’s resident health and wellness columnist Kimora Brock is a plantbased powerhouse. We’re lucky to have this actress, yogi, and earth advocate on our team. And so to celebrate Kimora’s emerging success—she recently moved to L.A. to pursue her passion for performance—we’ve compiled her sage take on ways we can nourish both ourselves and the ecosystems that we are part of.

ON PRACTICING YOGA The practice of yoga gives us so much more than feel-good endorphins. With diligent practice, yoga keeps the arteries and muscles elastic, the joints mobile, our internal glands in tip-top shape, and our body in proper alignment. As you pursue a yoga practice that feels right for you, embrace that there might be moments of physical discomfort or uncertainty. Accepting that you are in a state of deep learning about your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self can be a beautiful kind of healing.

ON GRATITUDE Practicing gratitude is about shifting your focus to the abundance of good things already happening in your life. Write down three things you are grateful for every day and you’ll learn to better appreciate the big and small moments of grace.

ON THE POWER OF CLEANSING It’s important to apply the cleansing that we exercise at a physical level to our mind, body, and spirit as well. Toxemia is a health condition that is defined as blood poisoning from the presence of bacterial toxins in the blood. The word toxemia can also be used, however, to describe the presence of toxic substances in the body, such as toxic thinking, toxic emotions, and toxic behaviors.

BELOW ARE SOME WAYS THAT WE CAN CLEAN OUT THESE TOXICITIES To heal your body, eat primarily fresh, whole foods, exercise and get outside. Enjoy everything the natural world has to offer and work to protect it because you are part of it. To heal your mind, gravitate away from negative self-talk and toward channeling powerful, beautiful, inspiring and loving thoughts. You may struggle with this one and that’s okay. It is a process that thrives on self-forgiveness. To heal your spirit, forgive and send love to anyone and everyone who ever hurt you in any manner, no matter how big or small. Learn from these past experiences and evolve. And always love, appreciate, honor, and respect this life you’ve been given.




Since the arrival of autumn I’ve started each morning with a

experts in more fields than one. Around our small table lit-

spoonful of deep red syrup, sweet with elderberry and honey.

tered with fire cider ingredients and dried Moringa seeds, I

Elder-Boost syrup, made by Dynamic Roots, is stewed with

was doused with knowledge about herbalism, motherhood,

Astragalus root and Rose Hips, both promising to ward off

teaching, medicine, community building, and on it goes.

the illness that so often comes with the change of seasons. Products like this totally luscious syrup intrigue me. What a thought. Keep the illnesses that weaken my body at bay, instead of waiting for the inevitable with antibiotics in one hand and ibuprofen in the other. In Loam’s recent interview with Dynamic Roots, the maker of my new favorite remedy, they emphasized the importance of, yes, this preventative medicine I find so enticing. However, the brilliant women behind this herbal product line have a mission profound in its breadth and thoughtfulness. I sat down with two of the three Dynamic Roots team members on a cloudy September day in a nook of the Basalt Library. We met just a block away from the Basalt Food Garden, where I first learned of Dynamic Roots. Stephanie, a co-founder of Dynamic Roots, also runs the food garden. It became instantly clear that both Stephanie and Dawne are


Dynamic Roots is a female-run, herbal product line who also operate a Community Sustained Herbalism (CSH) founded in 2013. They are one of the twelve CSHs around the country. CSHs are modeled after the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model— one that supports herbalists before and through the growing season. Dynamic Roots’ customers sign up for an herbal share that is anywhere from one season to a year in length. Every season the three Dynamic Roots women pack up boxes full of six seasonal remedies, herbal elixirs, salves, and lip balms. All the products are made with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, hand-grown and handcrafted by the Dynamic Roots women. They can package an astounding 200 of these boxes, four times a year. Oh, and between the three of them they are mothers, community activists, gardeners, radio show hosts, and now business women. Before Dynamic Roots grew into its current size and shape, it started with teaching, still a key component to their work. Steph and Dawne met each other while working at a local


permaculture greenhouse. “Finding each other was the perfect balance,” says Steph. “We both were committed to the idea of teaching people to take control of their health. We started teaching community workshops, and our combination of knowledge sets was the catalyst for starting an herb company.” Their goal was and still is the empowerment of their community to be responsible for their own health. Their work is founded on principles of which I knew little. I eventually got up the courage to ask what “bioregional herbalism” was— a term endlessly peppered throughout our conversation. Dawne explained it beautifully, “Well, it’s the idea that sickness and health originate in the same place. One’s health is therefore closely linked to the natural resources available in their local area.” In the Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado, for example, both plants and humans must adapt to drought, cold winters, and extreme sunshine. Thus, how logical it seems that the very mechanisms that keep plants vital could be used for human vitality. Our mechanisms for survival may not just be in our technologically advanced solutions, but in local, plant-based prevention. Another limb of their philosophy is “biodynamic growing.” Steph helped me out with this one. The idea itself is sourced from the founder of the Waldorf education, Rudolf Steiner. Biodynamic growing is a farming practice that treats

the whole farm as one living organism. All pieces of the farm are connected, each feeding one another, ideally becoming a closed loop, meaning that the farm produces its own means for survival. The farmer, as well, becomes a part of this loop— nurturing growth and in turn being nurtured by the fruits of their labor. Biodynamic growers also operate on the lunar cycle, using a Biodynamic calendar like Maria Thun or Stella Natura calendar to forecast the most optimal planting and harvesting times. What was so moving about Stephanie and Dawne is that they insist on making their knowledge accessible to their community. Dawne explained how medicinal security and empowerment are all tied into their mission to educate. Their workshop, “Seed to Skin,” is intended to give people the tools to grow their own resources, make their own remedies, and tend to their own bodies— closing the loop. Dynamic Roots is achieving just what their name suggests. They have found an innovative model for connecting people to their local environments, both physically and spiritually. Dynamic Roots finds its roots in the traditions of Western Herbalism, while exploring the ever-changing relationship between humans and the natural world.



recipe adapted from dynamic roots seed to skin workshops. WHAT YOU’LL NEED 1 medium organic onion, chopped 10 cloves of organic garlic, crushed or chopped 2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon Several sprigs of fresh organic Rosemary or 2 tbsp of dried rosemary leaves (or other herbs) 1 tbsp organic turmeric powder (or fresh turmeric) 1/4 tsp organic cayenne powder (or fresh cayenne) Organic apple cider vinegar Raw local honey to taste

DIRECTIONS Prepare all of your roots, fruits, and herbs and place them in a quart sized jar. If you’ve never grated fresh horseradish, be prepared for a powerful sinus opening experience! Use a piece of natural parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal. Shake well! Store in a dark, cool place for one month and remember to shake daily. After one month, use cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquid goodness as you can from the pulp while straining. Next comes the honey! Add 1/4 cup of honey and stir until incorporated. Taste your cider and add another 1/4 cup until you reach the desired sweetness. PHOTOS BY STEPH SYSON


MOONSHADOW GOODS HOW TO: ONION SKIN DYE BATH Adriana Moreno of Moonshadow Goods embodies Loam’s belief that creativity and sustainability can exist in symbiosis. Her gorgeous quilts, naturally dyed linens, and repurposed vintage finds are proof positive that we can work with what we have to craft something that’s both beautiful and lasting. As Adriana tells me, her handmade goods are produced with as little waste as possible. She might use scraps from an old project toward quilting a lovely new blanket. In this way, Adriana’s innovative melding of vintage materials with handmade textiles doesn’t just serve the scrapbook aesthetics of Moonshadow; it’s respectful of the earth and by extension, us. “I try not to throw things out,” Adriana says. “If there is a hole in my jeans, I’ll patch it up. And if it gets another hole, I’ll patch that one up too,” she laughs. By transforming preexisting materials into an object that is designed to last, Adriana’s production process is a pointed challenge to our throwaway culture. Part of exercising compassion to our environment is recognizing that we’ve already been given so much. Working with what we have can be as rejuvenating as it is resourceful— and that’s something we can all do in the here and now. Herewith, Adriana’s recipe for an onion skin dye that will help you give a material that would otherwise be discarded new life.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED Plenty of onion skins, the more the better! (Every trip to the local market is an opportunity to gather some onion skins. Be prepared to get some weird looks and questions on what you’ll be doing with them.) Natural fabric or fibers (i.e.. cotton, silk, wool, felt, wool yarn). Large pot. Stainless steel is preferred. I would recommend a pot that you don’t use for cooking food. Strainer. Heat source (i.e., stove, hot plate, propane stove). Wooden spoon. Bucket for rinsing. Gloves are optional.










1 Fill your pot with the onion skins, then add enough water to

submerge the skins. Leave some room for your fabric.

2 Boil the skins uncovered for 1 hour. Stir a few times throughout the hour. 3 I like to let the onion skins soak/steep over night. This step is

not necessary but allows for a more concentrated dye bath. 4 Optional step: Make fun patterns by folding,

wrapping and tying fabrics in different ways.

5 Next, soak your natural fabric in clean warm water for at least

45 minutes. (I like to soak my fibers for about 2 hours.) Soaking your fabric will allow the fibers to open up and dye evenly. 6 Strain the onion skins from the bath.

7 Add your pre wet fabric to the bath. With the fabric in the bath,

bring it back to a boil for 1 hour. Keep an eye on the bath and make sure to release any air bubbles from within the fabric.

8 Once again, let the fabric soak/steep in the dye bath over night. Letting

the fabric soak in the dye bath over night will yield more saturated colors 9 The next day, remove your fabric from the dye bath and rinse with cold water until the water runs clean. Three to four rinses should do.

10 Your used onion skins can be put into a compost or mixed into soil. I’ll

also use the dye bath and rinsing water to feed outdoor plants, ensuring nothing goes to waste. Then hang your newly dyed fabric to dry and voila!


BLENDILY Blendily is a “seed-to-skin” care company that is

skin care has turned Blendily into far more than a pur-

translating the farm-to-table movement to body care.

veyor of beauty products. Blendily is a site for educa-

Founder Ivy Chuang whips up seasonal goodies in-

tion and connection, for meditation and self-care. And

spired by what’s growing in the local community. She

by reworking commonplace herbs and familiar plants

adds new products on a weekly basis, changing up the

into luscious lip balms and healing blends, Ivy reminds

menu as soil conditions shift and the seasons change.

us that our food has multiple uses beyond alimentary

Blendily’s fresh conceit is a challenge to “green beauty”


companies that have failed to focus on the carbon impact of producing certain natural goods (many of the

Below, Ivy shares with us a recipe for one of Blendily’s

organic roses in essential oils, for example, are flown in

best selling bath salts for the winter season— crafted

thousands of miles from Bulgaria). By sourcing from Or-

with a little help and a lotta love from her daughter

egon’s natural bounty, Ivy helps promote Portland’s lo-


cal economy and keep Blendily’s carbon footprint tiny. Her honest approach to environmental stewardship and


EUREKA EUCALYPTUS BATH SALTS As far as DIY skincare products go, bath salts are likely one of the simplest to make. It’s relatively quick and easy enough of an activity to involve even a toddler with limited attention span. EQUIPMENT 4 8oz containers, 2 16 oz containers, or 1 single 32oz container Knife & Cutting Board Mixing Bowl & Spatula Tablespoon INGREDIENTS 28oz Epsom Salt 4oz Bentonite Clay 5ml Organic Essential Oil 1 handful Eucalyptus Leaves 1 handful Rosemary Sprigs 1 handful of Horehound Leaves 1 handful of Borage Leaves 1 handful of Sage Leaves INSTRUCTIONS 1 Measure out the Epsom Salt and set aside in a mixing bowl. 2 Strip Herbs from tough stems/stalks and crush the leaves in the hands. 3 Gather the herbs together to finely chop them. Steps 2 and 3 can be done simultaneously. One person can strip herbs and crush, while the other person chops. 4 Combine all the herbs with the Epsom salt and mix together. 5 Add the 5ml essential oil slowly to the mixture, stirring well throughout. 6 Transfer the salt mixture to the jars and close tightly. 7 Gift or enjoy you salts! The mixture can be dissolved into a bath, 2-3 tablespoons per bath. This is a blend that really opens up airways!


an excerpt from field guide : oquossoc , maine


When the waves fell back, and the stars leaked from the dark sky like secrets from a tight mouth, we’d spill our cloths on the wet hill and run our bodies down its grass, to the lake below, a shadow as dark as the sky. Sometimes, I jumped quickly, the water crashing my feet, thighs, waist, shoulders, eyes. It felt like calm ice, and as my head unfolded into the air I screamed in enchantment, a sign to the others that I had resurfaced safely. One by one our bodies would collide with the water, scream after scream, water surrounding us like masks. It was only us in the night’s black dome—no boats’ lights shone, our parents’ voices muddled with the light of the stars, I felt as if we lived alone beside the moon. But there were other times—I don’t know why—I wouldn’t jump quickly. I would hesitate, my feet planted on the wooden planks of the dock, my finger nails gripped into my bare thighs, my cousins screams echoing like secrets I wasn’t supposed to be hearing. When I finally crashed into the water, everything went black and I wished I could see what I knew was there. It felt like trying, but never brushing the moon— that shaken surface, those white dips; instead, only glimpses of that ever leaning light.





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