Blog : Oregon

A big yes for the yes people. Jackson County successfully bans GMOs.

A big yes for the yes people. Jackson County successfully bans GMOs.

It was my absolute pleasure to be part of the jubilant crowd celebrating the passing of Measure 15-119 to ban (a list of) GM crops from being cultivated in Jackson County. I fully admire the building and execution of this campaign (which you can read more about here) and its absolute success was a fitting conclusion to the effort.

Volunteers, farmers, community members really rallied together to send out a clear, factual, positive message and the people listened. With a 66% majority for accepting the measure, Our Family Farms Coalition and Jackson County really showed how sheer will and good organisation can win against big corporations throwing a lot of money at the cause (like $1million). Community really is key.

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The office is looking a little different these days…

The office is looking a little different these days…

Please excuse the skipping of a couple of episodes in this travel series but I thought I’d come up to speed first and then fill in the gaps (which would be the Adelaide and Hawaii sections) rather than keep running on delayed action.

With Hawaii ending up mostly an exploration-filled three weeks of very much alternative tourism, I’m currently living on a community close to Ashland, Oregon in the US. Being here is a world of difference from what I’ve experienced over the last few months, partly because I have never lived in community, partly because this feels a little more like work (yet not quite the usual) and partly because I’m in the US with all the culture shock associated to it.

My accent is apparently exotic, most people have no idea where Malta is (pronouncing that in American might possibly help, still trying to master that) and getting around within town needs a car let alone getting there in the first place. Culture differences aside, being here is an absolutely enriching, eye-opening experience.

So far the first two weeks (that was fast!) been about settling into this beautiful space overlooked by the snowy Dutchman’s Peak (I’ve not yet explored this mountain but this guy has), immersing ourselves into community life and the shared responsibilities that brings with it, getting used to our new living space and also getting our heads around the more formal voluntary work we’re doing here, which is is helping this community put together their vision, values and objectives and eventually translating those into a brand identity and marketing collateral but more on that later.

For the moment though, here’s a roundup of what we’ve been up to around here:

Dutchman's peak
Our not so ordinary meditation and breakfast view with Dutchman’s snowy peak in the distance.
Easter egg dying with Ocean, a little 8 year old who is wise well beyond her years.
Easter egg dyeing with Ocean, a little 8 year old who is wise well beyond her years.
Our not so humble abode: The White House (no Obamas in sight though)
Our not so humble abode: The White House (no Obamas in sight though)
Gayle, her adopted and colour coordinated skateboard and Isis, the temporary White House companion
Gayle, her adopted and colour coordinated skateboard and Isis, the temporary White House companion
Chèvre and fresh bread at the farmers' market. The US has not been diet-friendly so far.
Chèvre and fresh bread at the farmers’ market. The US has not been diet-friendly so far.
More farmers' market fun, this time with Ryan and Eden, two of the founders of the community we're staying on.
More farmers’ market fun, this time with Ryan and Eden, two of the founders of the community we’re staying on.
The front of the common building which houses a dangerously yummy bakery and common areas.
The front of the common building which houses a dangerously yummy bakery and common areas.
Don't feed the Murphs :)
Don’t feed the Murphs 🙂