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…
Photo credit: Emily McCravy