This was a really sweet and lovely year. It’s going to be the last year having Thanksgiving in my family home, by the ocean in Gualala. My mom bought the house in the late 70’s, and it’s the only family home we’ve ever had. My Aunt is our next door neighbor, and my Grandma is staying with her, so it’s a lot like my childhood, except my Gramps has passed away and my cousin and I can drink a glass of wine if we want.

I’m totally re-designing the market garden at Noyo Food Forest, with the help of an amazing group of young people- ten Americorp NCCC volunteers. I love Americorp, some of my favorite people have come into my life through that organization. Americorp team members are some of the most positive, hard working, scrappy, fun people I’ve ever gotten to work with, and I feel very lucky.


This team helped to clear out all the final, end-of-season produce from the garden so we can re-do the beds and irrigation.


They also processed the turkeys I raised this year- the first experience for all of them. Its was a really profound and sometimes difficult experience, but the birds were raised with love and care and died quickly and with respect, and that’s as much as anyone can do. The team pitched in and helped my amazing mother, veteran of many many big family dinners, prepare a local feast for 20 people. My family and the Americorp team crammed into the old house, and I felt so thankful for everyone, and the animals and plants that feed us, and the people who raise and grow them, and that I’m alive after all these months in their collective care.

1128131558I’m so thankful. After dinner we all piled onto the floor of the living room with a fire in the big cast iron wood stove, and watched Women on the Land, our dear friend’s Carmen and Laurie’s film about the history of women farmers in Mendocino. I feel so thankful to get to be here, and get to be part of the legacy of this place, and to have the elders that are here to go back to for advice and inspiration and perspective. I feel fed by this place in so many ways, physically and practically, and emotionally and spiritually. I give thanks for the food, the land that sustains it, the people that tend it, and the learning process we all take part in collectively, through the generations, to be stewards and students of this place.



One thought on “Thanksgiving

  1. Thank you Gowan for all that you do and your amazing stories. I’ve enjoyed them all. Pushon to your next big endeavor..Life is such a beautiful journey. Thanks again. Hey if you see my ole friend Amy Wall up there give her a big shout out from Terry Jenkins Bridges Zimmer from the old neighborhood on So. Davis St. in Santa Rosa.

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