I want to start by saying THANK-YOU for every single message of support and enthusiasm you leave on Gather’s blog and social media pages. Five years ago Gather began with a sole (soul) mission – to celebrate the old ways of honouring and living in harmony with the earth. And today I’m filled with such joy, gratitude and hope that our message resonates with so many of you – and it makes all the energy & love poured into Gather so worthwhile.
By far two most consistent requests Gather receives are for a cookbook and online workshops – so I’m going to do my very best to bring them to you. But Gather is still a passion project and these new projects will require oodles of additional time and monetary resources. So we’re asking for a little help to bring these projects (and others!) into reality.
Remember, Gather does not sell products to generate income – we are an educational resource. We want people to get outdoors, harvest plants themselves and experience the benefits of interacting with nature directly. As ecologist David Suzuki points out “many of us lack a meaningful, regular connection with the natural environment…and those who “know and love nature work harder to protect it.” That’s why through our website, educational events and seasonal celebrations, we seek to enhance personal and planetary well-being by uniting people in biophilia—the love of nature!
So in order to keep growing and improving, (while keeping advertising off the blog pages!) Gather is launching a Patreon account for those who would like to help support the work we do. Patreon, takes the tradition of being “a patron of the arts” and combines it with crowdfunding i.e. Kickstarter or Indiegogo. But insteading of funding a specific project with one lump sum, Patreon allows “patrons” to donate small amounts of money on a monthly basis to support the work of people they enjoy and believe in. Those who donate are usually rewarded with Patreon Rewards as a gesture of thanks for their contribution. See the Patreon Reward sidebar at right, and remember your pledges will be made in American dollars! (If you are interesting in donating directly please go to the PayPal button)
So here’s the plan. Along with writing more Gather blog posts, sharing more recipes, and making more videos, your patronage will support the following projects.
- A series of e-cookbooks featuring everything from wild condiments to the magical herstory of food (told in seasonal recipes!). I’m hoping that by reaching my funding goal I can have the first seasonal edition of “WILD! Condiments” ready this spring. Patrons will receive advances pages and have free digital access to all editions as they are published.
- A hardcopy children’s book that tells the enchanting and forgotten story of the Deer Mother & Winter Solstice. The tale of the Deer Mother is the most popular post on Gather with over a quarter million shares and the video has been shared over 325,000 times since its debut last December. It’s my goal to have this book ready for distribution next winter.
- A series of “how to” video workshops covering everything from the basics of ethical harvesting to cooking with wild plants and herbs, to interviews with fascinating forgers, herbalists, permaculturists, wild food artists, medicine & wise women whose work, stories and knowledge needs to be shared.
- A series of local educational ancestral food walks as part of Gather’s larger Community Supported Foraging Plan.
All this requires a huge commitment of time, equipment upgrading (like a real professional camera not my phone!) video editing software, technical support…and well, you can see how it all starts to add up. And while I may not be able to accomplish it all this year, I promise your patronage will eventually help bring these dreams into reality!
But before I get too carried away – I promise to start at square one – updating the Gather website. Over the years it has grown so large it needs to be streamlined and reorganized (i.e. recipes sorted into categories) to make the site more easily navigable. So ideally, not being a webmaster, I’m hoping to use patron funds to get a little professional help!
So let’s just say your patronage will help Gather serve you better, and bring you even more wild food, herbal recipes and magical inspiration! And please let me know if there something else you’d like as a Patreon Reward. I’m happy to develop new directions (and most probably will) as we go along! But please understand that I won’t have the time & resources to launch my Patreon Rewards until I reach my baseline funding goal of $1,000.
So take a think and see if you’d like to contribute. for those who can’t afford to I completely understand, but just sharing this page would help a lot!
Again, I want to thank-you for just being there! I am filled with gratitude that there are so many of you who care so deeply about reconnecting with the food, seasonal cycles and healing wisdom of our mother, the earth. May many blessings find you and your loved ones in the next year!