Monday, July 16, 2012

wildcrafter, artist, & urban homesteader raquel smith callis

raquel on a "garden tour spree"
raquel smith callis is one of my sheroes.  she has been involved in getting our farmer's market going, our first night gallery stroll, and getting the city of provo to allow backyard chicken coops. she is a trend setter and a trend maker and helps to make provo a more environmentally and aesthetically progressive place.  

she also makes really rad textile art and paintings.  i love her blog gritty pretty, and you can see some of her artwork, textiles, garden and home projects there.  i promise you'll be inspired!

My twentieth high school reunion is this summer (Provo High School class of '92!).

It's time to reflect! 

On the glory days (ha!) but mostly I'm reflecting about butterflies.

Butterflies and their proverbial wings fluttering and innocently causing maelstroms!

You know how a short conversation can change the course of one's life even when that conversation was never intended to be consequential? There's a large cloud of those rabble-rousing butterfly wings that have changed my course countless times. One of those seemingly everyday tiny-cause-and-huge-effect occasions is coming to mind right now...

As a teenager i froze for fashion. I wore strappy shoes and very short skirts all winter and believed it was a responsible idea to cap Provo with an enormous dome providing citizens with year round climate control (73 degrees being ideal!) Then my bishop's wife told me about her daughter's discovery of environmentalism and plans for earth day. I had never heard of earth day nor environmentalism. My mind was blown! (By the way, my then bishop's daughter now blogs here.)  All these years later I love being in tune with all four seasons and plant and harvest according to the phase of the moon. Every day is earth day. Yup, my current life style is pretty different from what I imagined in high school. 

Though I still think its awesome to wear short skirts and bare feet in the winter and FEEL the weather.

What do you want GITP Readers to know about you?

I'm on a garden tour spree.  Got an aloe vera plant on your window sill?  I wanna see it!

Here are photos from a tour I went on this last week. A garden in Orem (Provo's neighbor) that uses many permaculture principles such as aquaculture, vermiculture, etc.

And here I am with my son Ezra in our garden this morning.

raquel and ezra--outside all day, every day
Are you in a tight place, and if so, what are you doing to get out of it?

Have you seen the movie Girl on the Bridge? Contortionists are sexy; tight places are a requirement. But wow, when a space opens up and you can twirl with reckless abandon? I figure that's where i'll end up as a crone, twirling in the great wide open.

What do you hope to accomplish this year?

As a mother of a toddler i have quit having expectations to accomplish much. We're outside all day everyday enjoying nature, visiting with friends, in the garden stuffing our faces with berries, chomping on fennel or out in the mountains wildcrafting.

What inspires you?

Everything! Wait. That's not true! The rampant ugliness of our sprawling built environment is very uninspiring. But then i challenge myself to change my perspective about beauty and embrace strip malls and chain link fences. But vinyl fences can go to hell (there are many negative health effects of polyvinyl chloride in its production, use, and disposal.)

What is your favorite leg wear?

In the summer: bare legs under two skirts. Two skirts are handy when you're always harvesting something; one skirt becomes an apron to gather up fruit or transport freshly laundered clothing to dry on the line. In the winter I love wearing tight corduroys under tunics.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Raquel! Great post! I just loved your garden when I came to visit a few years ago! Doing a garden tour in your own neighborhood is awesome! We had a big garden tour up here on ORcas Island - of historical farms that have great gardens - very fun. I love the two skirt thing! I haven't worn pants for four years - but two skirts would be very practical!!