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Flynne Olivarez of Mariquita Medicinals at Unity Farm

The 171st recipient is Flynne Olivarez of Mariquita Medicinals @mariquitamedicinals at Unity Farm in Portland, OR. Flynne writes, “Choosing farming as a life path came as quite a surprise to me, as I spent a lot of my 20s and early 30s engaging with land tending as something ‘fun’ to do in my free time. Gardening at home was no doubt empowering and yet, I admittedly did not honor or value the complexities and vitality of this practice and life path nearly as much as I do to this day. After a couple deeply bittersweet farming experiences 3-4 years ago, I found myself tending land collectively with other BIPOC farmers in a beginning farmers of color incubator program. I truly have no idea where I'd be if I hadn't been encouraged to apply for the program by a fellow farmer and community member. Managing my own tiny spot on a shared farm and starting a small business has been undeniably challenging, humbling and beautiful. It trips me out sometimes to think about my ancestors and spirit that brought me to this place and how this feels more authentic and connective than most other work I've done in my life.

Self care takes on many forms, has many layers, and feels different for everyone. It can feel awkward at times to navigate how to care for yourself, while also staying dedicated to caring for community. Community care IS self care and self care IS community care. You can't show up for community if you're burnt out. Or, you can, but your intention, reach and magic may get drowned out through the exhaustion. In order to show up ready to give my time, energy, and service to the people, groups and community members I love and admire, I have to slow down, lay down, take baths, gaze at the moon, eat yummy food, not look at my computer or answer my phone past a certain hour, and ask for help. Mutual support, love, joy, growth and respect come from taking care of ourselves and each other.” (Cont’d in comments)


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