Last year on December 26th we learned that our friend Tricia McCauley was missing. Tricia was not the type to blow off a dinner party and miss a flight and so we knew something was wrong. After days of searching, posting on social media, and reaching out to her friends Tricia's brother contacted me to tell me the news. Tricia's body was found. She was gone. Someone had taken her life.
I won't go into the details of what happened. I have replayed the possible scene so many times in my head and the truth is that we will never know exactly what happened to Tricia during those hours of her abduction. All I know is that my friend who was an incredible herbalist, yoga teacher, actor, and community leader was brutally taken from us and my world will never be the same again.
Shortly after we heard the news Adam and I went out to our local diner where we often go to regroup and reflect. It was through tears and shuddering that I said, "let's complete our community garden and make it a memorial to Tricia and her work." Tricia had taught at Sky House and led our herbal apprentices in an Urban Herbal Farming course at The Common Good City Farm in DC. At the farm she taught people how to grow and harvest herbs and used the harvests to make medicines and teas that she would sell at discounted rates to clients, local tea houses, and fairs. Tricia was helping me brainstorm my own ideas for a similar model that we could use for our student herbal clinic. It seemed like a perfect way to honor her work and to make plant medicines accessible to more people.
After a long winter and a hectic spring relocating our studio we have finally completed phase one of the garden. Tricia's friend from her early acting days, John Benoit, reached out to lend his skills as a landscape designer and did an amazing job helping us design garden in phases so we can slowly build into it.
We are now designing Tricia's memorial bench and getting our plans together to plant.
We are so grateful to everyone who donated to our kickstarter to get this first phase of the garden completed. If you would like to be a part of this next phase here are some options for helping us.
Ways to Contribute:
- Donate seedlings, cuttings, or transplants (you can drop these off at the garden in Bowie or leave them in the apothecary at Sky House). Full sun herbs like lavendar, mints, calendula, vervain, geraniums, comfrey, roses, and others would be greatly appreciated!
- Donate your time and help us get the plants in the ground! We are looking for folks on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings. Sign up here:
https://www.volunteersignup.org/QBQ3X and we will be in touch with dates.
- Live far away? Send us a gift card for Behnke's, Willow Oak Herb Farm, or donate via PayPal and we add your name to the list of contributors!
We are hoping to have the first phase of the herb garden completed by the fall. After that we will work on creating peripherial beds. With the help of the sun, moon, stars, and rain we should be able to harvest our first batch of herbs for our student clinic in the spring of 2018.
A big thanks to everyone for your contiuned support. I can't help but imagine Tricia being the first person to sign up to help and arriving with her arms full of green "volunteers".
Here we go Tricia, we are doing as you said. We are "planting more plants" :)