By: Lex Weinstein
My parents were never scared to use their own hands to bring their visions to life, from flipping houses to rebuilding cars, to designing and constructing the ultimate play fort for us as kids. Little did my mother know her own backyard lawn would have the potential to seed one of her biggest dreams yet; the ability to feed the immigrant families she’s been supporting for years.
My mom remembers the struggles that her parents went through as immigrants in a new country, yet “never did they let us children feel that we were food insecure,” my mom has told me. “Do we have enough to feed our family?” was the daily question that kept my grandmother up at night.
My mother now helps to provide aid for 12 immigrant families in her community, offering translation, food delivery, family support and English classes. This year was the first in many that I presented the idea of GROWING the food she delivers where her answer was simply, “okay. It’s time.”
My mother was never a gardener, but like all mothers, she exudes the noble characteristics of a true land steward, that of nurture and care. My mother has inspired my personal path of pursuing a life rooted in reciprocity, stewardship, and community. After seven years of permaculture exploration, living on farms, and recently establishing a non-profit collective of surfers for regenerative agriculture, I finally convinced my Mom to tear up a patch of her lawn and connect the dots between the land she’s on and the people she serves. As a lover of the garden and head of the property’s landscaping, it wasn’t about desire. But the unlearning of the conventional practices she was sold around chemical fertilizers and pesticides took time, and now she has cultivated the confidence to regenerate the soil in her own backyard in hopes of feeding her community. Often the food that is donated is packaged, boxed, and processed with little nutritional value. Now, she will be able to provide the highest grade, fresh, organic produce to not only the four generations of loved ones at home, but her extended family members in the community in need, who have plenty of other challenges on their plate.
Thank you to all Mothers, alive and passed, for being inherently just that – the source of all life. May you be reminded of who you are in all of your creative power, as we, your beloved offspring, cherish and honor you and the stories that brought us here, today and always.
Lex Weinstein is a Cuban-Jewish/American surfer, storyteller + spiritual ecologist.
She is the Creator and Co-founder of Sea + Soil, a non-profit collective committed to reconnecting and regenerating ecosystems and communities through education, storytelling, and earth stewardship. Lex hopes to leverage the influence of surf culture to cultivate reciprocity through the principles of Permaculture, Ecopsychology, and community care, with the ethos that for every wave we take, we must give back to the land in return, so that we may continue to enjoy the limitless gifts of Mother Nature for generations to come