OAC
Organic Artisans Collective
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Welcome, Artisans

Our Beginnings

Small Beginnings

The morning sun crested over the mountains before 6:00, signaling that it was time to milk the goats before the scorching heat set in.  Stillness was gently broken as I whisked eggs and started coffee.  As breakfast baked, I grabbed the milk pale and set out to the barn.  The girls heard the clanging of the pale as I trudged down the hill and they came running for their daily bucket of grain as I milked them.  

My mind wandered to the neglected but beloved blog.  It had been months since I last wrote anything and I desperately missed it.  I feel like I lose a bit of myself when it’s been a while since I’ve had a creative outlet; manly writing for me. There seemed to be absolutely no space in my day to sit and jot any kind of thought down.  The only idea I came up with was cutting things out of my life to make room for writing.  Forsaking an autumn garden and drying up the goats was the only solution I could think of.  Sure, there are days I would love a break from daily milking, and that unrelenting late-summer heat made gardening miserable anytime past noon, but the thought of letting those daily rhythms go for a whole season dropped a sorrowful lump in my throat.

As I continued to milk, looking mournfully out at the garden, a still, small Voice encouraged me to think bigger instead of smaller for a solution.  Bigger felt overwhelming until I moved from the perspective of “me” to “we.”  What if there was a way to enfold more people into the daily gardening and milking, so it would change to just a few days a week for me?  What if there are folks out there who loved to garden and appreciated being connected to their food source but have no outlet for it?  Could this possibly be a win-win situation for all?

It became apparent that I needed to write a mission statement of sorts.  Why do I do what I do?  Why do I want to bring others in to this lifestyle outside of just needing help?  I realized I had all the answers in my head but never wrote them out.  Penning those hidden thoughts felt like relieving a dam that was about to burst.  Words came pouring out faster than I could write.  It felt amazing to have clear, written thoughts about gardening and keeping small livestock (some would call it “homesteading”).  It only felt right to share these thoughts with anyone who might be interested in joining me.  I wasn’t just looking for workers, but partners; fellow souls who saw the beauty and poetry of living closely with creation.

I didn’t know what else to call this new idea except an internship.  Pushing through fears of being seen as pretentious or easy to mock, I set up an online application, honestly hoping at least one person would respond.  Milking and gardening times during the summer are only in the early morning, there would be no pay except all-access to the garden veggies and some fresh milk.  I assumed only college-aged people would be available, but would they want to get up at the crack of dawn to milk goats and garden?  To my surprise, I received dozens of applications.  It brought tears to my eyes as I read everyone’s reasons as to why they wanted to join me.  There were two that particularly stuck out; partly because I already knew them, and also because they were moms of four and five children who both said they “knew” I wouldn’t choose them because they weren't young and energetic, but when they read the mission statement, they felt something come alive in them that they hadn’t felt for a long time.  I completely identified with this, and realized that my dream was to first partner with fellow moms in similar life seasons.  All three of us have many kids.  We have all homeschooled or currently homeschool.  We feel love toward creation and appreciate good food.  We all long for closer community who live a similar lifestyle that nurtures creation, and not just take from it or ignore it altogether.  

Our first meeting was a Friday morning brunch in my kitchen.  The excitement and expectancy was palpable; and I knew I wasn’t the only one there with those feelings.  I teared up several times realizing that this lifestyle choice of mine would no longer be lonely or isolated.  There were three of us, and the possibilities of these three tired moms who started dreaming again were endless.

We have been gardening and milking together for eight months now.  Lauren and Kathryn are quick learners and I can’t say how amazing it feels to have two capable friends who love their time in the garden and with the animals as much as I do.  For the first time, I was able to go on a family vacation and come home to nothing dead; not one animal or plant.  It was amazing!  We have laughed at how sore our arms get when we start milking, cussed at gophers who ate the roots of our precious Brussel sprouts, and cried when one of the goats miscarried last month.  We share the triumphs and struggles of parenting teens and toddlers as we pull weeds from the garden bed.

We all realized our dreams don’t end with us.  We hope that others, as Lauren so brilliantly coined our mantra could, “Reconnect Community and Creation.”  There are disjoined people all over the world who love to live this way, whether they are practicing it in their daily life or dream of it one day.  How could we make a safe place for Organic Artisan communities to form and gather?  How can we make a place where we can all be inspired by one another’s thoughts and creations?  The more we think on this, the more possibilities come pouring in.

This space is the epicenter of what’s to come from our little neck of the woods.  There will be invitations for local folks to join in garden parties, lavish farm-to-table dinners, and so much more.  We are working on resources for people all over the world to connect with others in their area and to find quality, sustainable food and goods.  We will have opportunities for you to share your thoughts, dreams, gardens, kitchens, and workshop happenings here in the blog section, as well as an online store where we will offer our hand-picked, non-toxic, sustainable favorites used in our own homes and gardens.

This space is dedicated to the artists of the everyday.  Those who recognize the beauty all around them, from the billowy steam rising from porridge bowls in the morning, to the wonder of patiently planting a tiny seed that will, in time, bare pounds of gorgeous, nourishing fruit.  It’s for the craftsmen and women who’s workshop might be their garage, spare room, or apartment balcony, where they pour into their dreams that become offerings to humanity.  For the artisan bread makers who know that the difference between Wonder Bread and their bread is time, love, and a whole lot less ingredients.  Organic Artisans have many different focuses; all unique and needed for us each to sustain an intentional, beautiful, fulfilling life. We don’t have to do it all, we just get to focus on our passions as offerings to ourselves, families, and communities.  If we can all steward our dreams into becoming a reality in some little or grand way, it will make this world a better place, and we will all benefit from each other.

What is Organic Arts?

By definition, organic means, “denoting a relation between elements of something such that they fit together harmoniously as necessary parts of a whole.”  We acknowledge that, inasmuch as the western culture would like to compartmentalize every area of life (we learn at school, exercise at the gym, worship in church…), everything we do and say releases a reaction into all realms of our lives.  Slowing down to enjoy a sunset can inspire poetry that has been cultivating deep within our hearts.  Caring for creation is an act of worship.  The garden is our grocery store, gym, and tanning salon.  Organic Arts is appreciating humble beginnings, savoring the process, and celebrating around the harvest table, spiritually, emotionally, and physically in unity.  Organic Arts, in our opinion, consists of intentional living, creativity, and community.

Intentional Living

Intentional living is thoughtful.  It is not a lifestyle driven by convenience, but looks beyond itself and into the lives of others, as well.  How can our choices better ourselves, our families and friends, our community, our land, and the world?  Intentional living is a life rich in experiences, memories, dreams, expression, and fulfillment.  Everything has a deeper purpose and richer beauty.

Creativity

In every day, every meal, every housecleaning, every interaction with young and old, people and plants, birds and beasts, trees and seeds, creativity is waiting to be released.  Creatives are alert and looking, finding beauty and learning how to partner with it in their unique ways.  Activating the creative inside everyone we touch is our goal.

Community

As a community of organic artisans, we unlock each other’s dreams, encourage in times of growth and pruning, support one another, and create a safe place to grow and just be.  This is a community reconnecting to creation through work parties, harvest celebrations, farm-to-table dinners, and so much more.  If you would like to be involved in any way, whether you are local or on the other side of the globe, we would like to keep in touch with you by joining our newsletter so you'll be among the first to know about opportunities with us..