There’s no place like home.
When the world is plunged into uncertainty and strife I reflect on the importance of focusing locally. When we pull together as communities we grow stronger and more resilient. In these divisive times it is more important than ever to greet your neighbor, volunteer locally, buy your holiday gifts at the corner store. In our own back yards we can have a great impact on the world around us. The Grange School of Adaptive Agriculture (p. 9) does just that by cultivating the next generation of farmers in the face of an aging agrarian population and uncertain climate future.
This issue also celebrates some groundbreaking women. Heather Sears captains her own boat out of Noyo Harbor (p. 26), catching and selling wild caught fish for regional restaurants and grocery stores. Janelle Weaver, owner and chef at the Bewildered Pig, strengthens our food system through her deep commitment to local farms and food (p. 5). Owner and head chef at Saucy, Cynthia Ariosta, is exploring a surprising new food source (p. 18). And Isabel Quiroz travels to crime-torn communities in Mexico to teach farming in order to cultivate peace (p. 13). These pioneers are engaging in ideas, projects, and professions that heal our communities and challenge us to discover our own opportunities for making things better.
I find solace and inspiration in the pages of Word of Mouth. Here in Mendocino County there are brave individuals doing great things. Make a commitment to shop at home this holiday season, whether your home is here or elsewhere—county residents can find some ideas in our Give It or Live It holiday gift guide (p. 20). Your support will make the season brighter for your friends and neighbors. An uncertain future can be brightened by focusing locally with our activism, our work, and our love.
Holly Madrigal, Publisher
Photo: A student at Grange School of Adaptive Agriculture holds a hen from her poultry project