I am a Chicana activist, permaculture author and educator, and interdisciplinary artist focused on the connection between physicality and creativity, with emphasis on healing self and Earth through creative expression and community interaction. I wrote Food Not Lawns; How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community (Chelsea Green 2006) and co-founded the original Food Not Lawns organization in Eugene, Oregon in 1999. I have an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College, and am certified to teach permaculture, yoga and ESL. Born in Portland, Oregon, I live a nomadic life, circling the globe in search of duende, jouissance, and snacks!
A founding member of the original chapter of Food Not Lawns, I am most well-known for my work as one of the early advocates for urban permaculture. However, my skills go beyond turning yards into gardens, and my deepest passions stem more from the need for heartfelt creative expression that drives a gardener to create beauty in the city, than from any sort of politics or desire to change the world. I believe that the only way to truly change the world is to be happy with yourself, and the only way to be happy is to pursue a life of authentic expression.
Here's a quick history:
1971. Born in Portland, Oregon to a young single mother. Grew up traveling up and down the west coast.
1987. Left home and moved into a houseful of musicians in Long Beach, California. Got involved in the local music scene, bands like Sublime, Janes Addiction, Nirvana, X, Fishbone.
1990-92. Attended Long Beach City College, worked at the ARts & Entertainment Editor for the school paper. Won awards for writing and photography.
1993. Moved to San Francisco and began working for Greenpeace USA.
1994. Transferred to the Portland Greenpeace office and got involved in local forest issues.
1996. Hitchhiked alone around Western Europe. Visited mythological sites in Greece, toured Renaissance Art in Italy, and squatted on the beach with sand sculptors in Spain.
1996. Quit Greenpeace and dove full-force into forest activism, working with Earth First!, Headwaters Forest Campaign, and the Cascadia Forest defenders.
1998. Moved to Eugene and took charge of the local chapter of Food Not Bombs. Spent the next several years as a Eugene Anarchist, organizing projects like Cascadia Free Radio, Eugene Free Skool, and Dirt Church Distribution.
1999. Founded the original chapter of Food not Lawns, focused on sharing seeds, plants and information with low-income gardeners in the WHiteaker Neighborhood in Eugene.
2001. Organized the Whiteaker Urban Sustainability Project, a permaculture certification course funded by a grant from the City of Eugene.
2002. Started the HOPE Farm, a permaculture education project on a 33-acre farm 10 miles outside of Eugene. Planted over 500 species of plants and grew them out to seed for free distribution.
2003. Traveled for two months to Peru and Ecuador, collecting rare Andean edible tubers for agricultural trials in Oregon.
2001-5. Studied Flamenco dancing and guitar with Martita Maderas and her family of Eugene Flamenco Arts Academy.
2005-7. Studied Flamenco with Laurena Marrone at Portland Flamenco Academy.
2006. Published Food Not Lawns, How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community, with Chelsea Green Publishing Company. Went on book tour with the Underscore Orchestra, Organizing seed swap events down the west coast.
2006. Graduated from Goddard college with a BA in Liberal Arts. Scholarly focus on Permaculture Education and Performing Arts,
2007-8. Year-long residency at Flamenco Romantico ranch in Santa Cruz.
2008. Wrote a novel entitled Naked Lady Soup (unpublished.)
2009-10. Traveled around Spain, settling in Granada to study Spanish and music. Started the Granada Permaculture Project.
2011. Returned to Portland and recorded two full-length albums or original music on voice and guitar, incorporating a range of talented accompanists from the Portland music scene.
2010-15. Traveled seasonally to Northern California to work as harvest manager for a mid-sized medicinal herb farm.
2012-14. Attended Goddard's MFA-IA program and began to pursue passions in Land Art, Creative Writing, and Movement-based Trauma Recovery. Graduated in September 2014 with an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts. Thesis project focused on the Heroine's Journey, an eco-feminist approach to story craft that doubles as a method for personal healing.
2014. Completed 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training with Sarah Trelease and Renee Sills at North Portland Yoga.
2015. Edible Nation Tour with Food Not Lawns
Copyright © 2015 Heather Jo Flores