gather and grow

Homegrown, hand-spun living in the city

I’m Mari, the maker and writer behind Gather and Grow.

My greatest passion is learning skills that enable us to meet human needs while moving away from consumerist culture and the use of fossil fuels — and sharing those skills with others. This has led me to such pleasures as eating home-grown, foraged, or otherwise locally sourced food; making stuff from scratch; connecting with inspiring communities near and far; and engaging my creativity and problem-solving skills daily.

My journey has taken me from my native Finland to India, New England, California, Oregon, and South Carolina. While living in South Carolina, I taught urban homesteading classes at the Columbia Homestead Alliance, and in Spring 2015 co-facilitated the city’s first Permaculture Design Course. In the fall of 2015, I also launched a small pilot line of naturally dyed wool yarns.

For three and a half years, Gather and Grow was my outlet, a space to explore these passions while maintaining a demanding day job as a university professor and researcher. In Spring 2016, I left my position to pursue a regenerative livelihood in ecological landscape design and climate resilience education. I wrote about that transition here. I’m currently enrolled in the Ecological Landscaper Immersion training at the Permaculture Skills Center in northern California. While I will still be posting from time to time, it will be less frequent — I want to focus on fully living my dream now and spend less time writing about it! But a new, exciting enterprise is on the horizon, and if you subscribe to Gather and Grow, you will be among the first to know…

maristuartportrait-6Love and peace,

signature for blog



Photo credit: Emily McCravy

8 thoughts on “ABOUT

  1. Riia says:

    Mari, love you, your thoughts and actions of heart. And love this blog as well.

    1. Mari says:

      Thank you sister! So glad I can share all this with you.

  2. I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award, you can find out more here:

  3. Mari, I have commented before after finding dyeing inspiration (with fennel). I came back today and am reminded how wonderful your space is. Thank you for all you do, all you share.
    Oh, and by the way…the fennel turned out great. I plied a single with another single dyed with sheep sorrel. My son was the lucky recipient of a vest.
    xo Jules

    1. Mari says:

      Hi Jules, Thanks for your sweet words. And yay for successful dyeing experiments! I think I will finally knit my fennel yarn as well this year (now that it’s spun) and make something warm for my baby for the fall.

  4. Laura g says:

    I just came across this blog and already have learnt lots of useful things about small scale gardening! I also strongly agree with your ‘about me’ words and i an starting to embrace simpler and regenerative way of living! keep up the great blogs!

  5. Ola Helsing says:

    Hi Mari
    I just wanted to let you know that Im really excited about making a hat with the yarn i just bought from you. I love that it was made with human hands and plants that you picked!!! I will definately send you a picture when i’m done (no matter how wonky it looks).

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