We got acquainted through volunteering at the Markham Arboretum. The fateful conversation recorded above happened during Spring Production class, a horticulture offering of Diablo Valley College. What led up to our being same time / same place was a similar sense that we had each reached the end of our careers (Kelley, concrete artist; Arti, technical project manager). We both wanted to do something we loved, which included -- in a big way -- saving the planet. Why does this matter to us?
For Arti, growing up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula meant an almost endless frolic outdoors, resulting in a love -- and need -- for nature. That relationship just deepened when she moved to California 30 years ago. And, having recently survived cancer, she got real clear that life isn't forever. Soooo, why not spend the time between now and then doing something to help the beloved but besieged environment?
Kelley, on the other hand, was raised right here in Concord, CA, during those golden years when open spaces and family farms were a lot more plentiful. As a foodie (she wishes there were a better term), she was growing increasingly alarmed by the food production "system" -- it's abuses of and indifference to the impact on people and land. Soooo, why not do something to fix it?