Giving Back To Your Community Can Be Easy and Fun (image)

Giving Back To Your Community Can Be Easy and Fun

Submitted by Clark & Barbara Hockabout, owners of Lodestar Gardens Learning Center

WISDOM – Exercising sound judgement; reflect great understanding of people and situations. Considerate of multiple perspectives and forms of intelligence. Wisdom in groups is demonstrated by insight, good sense, clarity, objectivity and discernment rooted in deep caring and compassion.

—Peter Senge Collective Wisdom

Our favorite adjective to describe most of the people who live in our area year-round is grit. By grit, I mean after living here for more than two decades, I find most folks who live in the high deserts of northern Arizona to be resourceful, independent, and have a great deal of common sense.

Most of us treasure our rural context—the privacy and independence that comes wrapped up in this pristine environment. My husband and I came here twenty years ago. We lived in town and outside of town working first as a teacher and a realtor and then as small direct farmers. Talking to hundreds of people at the markets over the years, we learned much about our surrounding communities.

Our definition of grit also includes those qualities that a new wave of residents and homesteaders brings to our area—passion, curiosity, energy, and a strong desire to live a more authentic lifestyle. We have also met many volunteers committed to organizations that support our community needs. We feel we are part of a collection of small communities with vibrant and diverse populations who have much to offer each other—stories, information, time, resources, and wisdom. There is no better time than now to empower our communities with our collective wisdom. At Lodestar Learning Center we offer a free venue in which to share with each other.

2017 Winter Farmers Market @ Lodestar

During the blustery winter season, rain, snow, or shine, every Saturday, the Lodestar Shop and Loft houses local vendors of art and fresh produce, simmering homemade garden vegetable soup & ancient grain bread for a healthy, inexpensive lunch with coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

Free noontime presentations are given by local speakers who share strategies for living a fulfilling self-reliant lifestyle. Here are some of the presentation topics planned for the 15 weeks of winter market January 21 – April 29: native medicinal & culinary plants, alternative food preservation techniques, herbal essences and oils, local birds, bees, pain management techniques, diabetes education, solar energy strategies, fire and emergency preparedness, extending the growing season, creating food villages, astrophotography, ceramics, and applying permaculture principles to your property.

There is no fee for local growers and artists who wish to vend their wares. Following the noontime presentation there is a free tour of our off-grid, small-scale farm and we will explain the application of permaculture principles used in our alternative energy, water and food producing systems. You can see what is currently growing in the greenhouses; you are welcome to purchase some of this fresh produce.

Our goal at Lodestar is to support healthy living and local food interests. Living off grid and dependent on solar and wind energy, we have phrase here on the farm, “Your energy output is only as strong as your weakest battery.” We know that one of the easiest ways we can help strengthen our communities is to offer first-hand, tried-and-true information straight from our neighbors’ experiences. We have a lot to offer each other.

The purpose of the winter farmers market is to keep learning and keep the conversation about local food going all year long. Meeting members of your surrounding communities is an additional incentive for your panoramic drive up to the top of our hill with a view of Porter Mt. to the south and Mesa Rondo to the north.

If you wish give back to your community by sharing your passion, stories, experiences, or wisdom with us, contact us: (928) 587-1660. Request a map or find out more about Lodestar Gardens Learning Center: or call: (928) 587-1405. Subscribe to our Lodestar Happenings newsletter and learn what is happening week by week at the winter market.

On Facebook: Lodestar Gardens Learning Center.