I’m a farmer, a builder, a teacher, and an artist. Picture my life and work as a colorful, hand-made crazy quilt–various pieced-together parts that tell a biography of stories: grow, connect, build, love, inhabit, move, learn.  I treasure the balance of physical, spiritual, intellectual, and creative work this life allows.  My dear friend Judy Knox often said: find out what you care about, and live a life that shows it. That’s my crazy quilt, a life, a work in progress.


Greens Goddess with giant pink rainbow chard stalks. Cooking greens thrive in Tucson’s cool season conditions, which include Fall-Winter rains and lower temperatures.

Education is important and thrilling. I’m a lifelong, self-guided student who benefits from visual, hands-on, experiential learning opportunities. Hopefully this helps make me a better teacher, something I’ve enjoyed doing since starting that career in the mid-1980’s in Tucson, AZ.  I’ve taught in private & public schools, in the water, on building sites, in garden beds, and outside cooking with the sun. My parents were my greatest teachers. They taught me many things, but their kind and patient nature is what I remember most, and their keen curiosity and constant support.

Sustainability has guided my lifestyle choices since I began evaluating them as a young adult. Living from and teaching about food production, natural building, water harvesting, self-reliance, native plants, permaculture, solar energy, and the one-of-a-kind place that is the Sonoran Desert all nurture, inform, and reward.  Deep connection to place inspires reverence; regenerative action follows.  Stewardship is the desire and choice to protect and prolong all that sustains us.  I believe love funds ongoing commitment to these principles.

Optimum health in every sense of the word is of great value to me. Rigorous work, fitness, and self-care are essential for a balanced life.  So is good food: I am because I eat.  Also, when I garden, gather, and glean nutritious local foods from my Sonoran Desert home, I am what I eat, and I am where I eat, built in part from wild, native, and cultivated seasonal foods.  I am how I eat too, strong, aware, and appreciative of the humble work it takes to grow, collect, and process these delicious, unique foods.  Healing remedies made from plants wild-crafted or grown right out the back door also forge grateful connections to home, health, and nature’s abundance.

Prolific creative expression is something my mother strongly encouraged and modeled throughout her life, and I am my mother’s daughter. I love functional and fine art, cooking, creating beautiful spaces, gardening, adventure, making things, learning, teaching.  I am my father’s daughter too.  Among other things, a never-give-up problem solving focus is a valuable trait he passed on to me, plus a strong work ethic.  Best tools in the kit, along with head, hands, and heart, which he taught me to use wisely as well.