So What Says LandPaths to Hate?

So What Says LandPaths to Hate?

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On Friday evening, August 11, I had the joy and honor of attending a dinner at LandPaths’ Bayer Farm & Community Garden in the Roseland District of Santa Rosa.  It was a celebration – ten years to the week when we first planted a handful of radishes, marigolds and broccoli starts – replete with a pop-up farm stand, salsas and sauces from across the Americas and Asia, stewed goat and salads, ‘agua fresca’ and fresh corn tortillas off the grill.  It was also ten years to the week when LandPaths’ desire to be a more diverse, inclusive, and culturally open organization turned to action, our thought became a willful and sustained commitment.  This dinner – truly reflective of the breadth of cultures and ethnicities comprising Sonoma County - was attended by well over 150 people.  We gathered in love of community through shared food and place. 

As we have all since learned, on this very same evening a torch-filled march exposing a slice of the hate and divisiveness that still exists in America took place in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The following day brought tragedy and injury to many others at the hands of hatred. The juxtaposition of the ‘great love and joy of place and community’ that took place at Bayer Farm with the harrowing and heartbreaking events in Charlottesville was as disturbing as it was revealing.  We have something to do, and personally, as a community leader, I am impelled to respond as the director of a Community Conservation organization to these events. HOW? 

It is, simply, to act from the values that underpin our work, and that we express and support in our community each and every day – healing land, knitting communities together, and nurturing a sense of belonging through shared experience, meaningful work and a common purpose.  We must continue – through such vehicles as the Bayer Farm, our field-based programs for kids and adults, through access to our nature preserves as “community hubs” to support the evolution of a fair and just community around land, acting with humility and yet boldly to heal both the land and each other, creating a healthy and whole community.  

There is a real, and, underscore, vital need  to continue to build tangible and visible ‘antipodes to the hate and intolerance’ that shook Charlottesville and the world.   In response to this hate and fear, over the next months, LandPaths will reach out to existing and new partners, to seek out opportunities to put thought into action, that our work may help bend the “arc of history toward justice.”  We ask that you consider joining us – on a monthly basis – to dine outdoors, to break bread together and celebrate the bounty of natural and agricultural beauty that is our region. Click below for events now scheduled.

Craig Anderson
Executive Director of LandPaths


Click here to join the LandPaths' Community Potluck on September 9th at Rancho Mark West.

Posted at 14:04

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