The genius of my partner


My wife is an educator, maker and artist. She uses plants, landscapes, ceramics, paint, and spaces to create new value that didn’t exist before. She is a pioneer in outdoor learn-scapes, helps kids connect food to wellness, and has transformed family dining habits across Los Angeles. What she touches turns green and becomes art. 

Here is an example of something creative she did just for fun. This is a succulent vertical garden made from discarded materials. To me, it is living art and just beautiful: 

She always has a next generation of seedlings ready for new projects for use at home, school, or in the community in some way: 

A few years ago, she ripped out our front lawn, designed an outdoor living room, and a garden that wrapped around it. The primary feature is a berm that holds water for drier periods, planted with beautiful native plants. Our water bill dropped by 75%, the usage of our front yard went up, and we now have a beautiful space that pollinators enjoy: 

Did I mention she planted a 55-tree orchard at the Be Well Retreat – Kings Canyon? Well, she did. She built wire cages for all the trees to protect them against gophers (which was much needed), created a one-of-a-kind-in-north-america responsive drip system that only gives out water when the plants need it, and somehow did it all with gravity. There is typically hundreds plumbing parts in shopping bags following her around in a wheelbarrow. With those parts, some glue, and lots of intelligence and grit, it all comes together and works: 

She is often covered in dirt, but this is probably the dirtiest I have ever seen her after a day of planting in the fresh dirt: ​

I often think of myself as an execution expert, taking Kerri’s visionary ideas and helping to ship them, which makes us great partners. She also inspires me to be more creative and find opportunities to new things from old things like this roof for the bunkhouse that I made out of lodgepole pine, rusted steel, and some pine and cedar that I milled from our land. My creations tend to be more engineer-ey and not as organic as Kerri’s projects (in methodology, that is). This project, though, reminded me of building forts when growing up and using whatever leftover wood I could find and just making it work using hand tools to shape things to fit: 

​I love this picture of Kerri as it captures her spirit well – wild, strong, and beautiful. The landscapes she creates share similar qualities and represent her creativity and intelligence in unique ways. ​


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