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Seeds of Sabbatical: Seasons Changing

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If you’re reading this, you know that seeds are transformation.

You know they crack open.

You know they follow the light, even if they have to wait.

You know they change, over and over, as the world around them changes.

In more ways than we’ll ever know, gardens grow us more than we grow them.

hyacinth bean plant

As we enter a significant season of shift here at Fruition, we are leaning into the care, generosity and resilience of seeds, our 400 million year old ancestors.

Since late summer 2021, we’ve been actively re-imagining Fruition, leaning toward:

~ more democratic decision-making

~ more courageous alignment of our deepest values and actions

~ greater ease and resilience in our systems

~ building capacity of our soil and staff to surround our community with adaptive abundance beyond our lifetimes 

800 x 400 sibley gouda squash

In full disclosure, I embarked in earnest with these intentions, hoping to sidestep my own burnout…

…and Friends, I didn’t make it.

As a person grieving the ravages of capitalism and committed to opening possibilities for new approaches to emerge, being the founder of a business in a capitalist world has run my deepest well dry. (For the cliff-notes distillation of my internal struggle, you’ll find it in the post script.)

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Like seeds cracked open wide, how do we keep singing? 

 I am heading into a sabbatical season of my life, wintering in Twisp Washington. I’ll be skiing in mountains, re-wilding my mythologies and rehydrating my imagination as I nourish my nervous system in sweet community and practice the self-care I dream of for us all. I’m stepping back so I can step back in more joyfully, in ways I do not yet know.

This I do know: Fruition is in better hands than ever

Though creating liberatory and visionary, adaptive capacity is work beyond our lifetimes, the many beating hearts carrying Fruition into the next season are expansive and extraordinary both in their living and in their loving. Not to mention the vast oceans of affirmation and care our wide community (yes, that’s you!) infuse us with daily and deeply:

Thank you!

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This I also know: See you in April! I cannot WAIT to be together at Fruition’s Garden Store this spring, sharing seeds as well as hands-on experiences centering the hard and soft skills of life, growth, transformation and love.  You’ll continue to hear my voice throughout the winter on social media and in our weekly emails, as well.

Friends, I am grateful to be in community with you & with us all, learning ever to sow deeper seeds and sing more courageously loving songs.

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We are the seeds.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. 

Sending love to the seeds and gardens that grow us all!

Sow Seeds & Sing Songs,

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with the care of the Fruition Crew

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Books are dear friends in our lives. Here’s what I’m reading and thanks for sharing any titles, poets, podcasts, music & anything else transformative in your life ~

See No Stranger, Valerie Kaur

The Persuaders, Anand Giridharhadas

Sacred Instructions, Sherri Mitchell

Rites and Responsibilities, Darcy Ottey

Hospicing Modernity, Vanessa Machado de Oliveira

The Body is Not an Apology, Sonya Renee Taylor

Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown

Awakening Artemis, Vanessa Chakour

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What I didn’t know ten years ago made it possible for Fruition to exist and Friends, here’s a cliff-notes version of the tectonic shifts, both past and so very present in my life:

1983: Petra is born (thanks, Mom! I love you SO much!)

Childhood: In father’s garden, saving seeds

Foundational worldview: Life is delicious & abundance surrounds us.

2002: Graduates high school, working on organic farms across the continent, saving seed in earnest. 

Foundational worldview: Small scale, decentralized agriculture is delicious & resilient.

2012: After 7 years of dreaming of starting a seed company, Fruition is co-founded with Matthew (partner in life & love & all of the above) amid tremendous affirmation in my hometown.

Foundational worldview: Decentralized seed is regionally adapted seed; how better to love the world than share seeds I love with humxns I love? 

2016-Present: Deepening awareness of cultural appropriation and white, able-bodied supremacy embedded in capitalism pairs with my awakening that in centering my voice & face as Fruition’s, we perpetuate modern boot-strapping mentality, among other oppressive narratives that separate as well as harm ourselves and each other.

Foundational worldview: Seed sold is seed commodified, concentrating resource and privilege in colonizers & colonization. Fruition may not be Monsanto, but I am nonetheless a colonizer. 

Present: Rowen White says, ‘150 years ago seed companies didn’t exist. In 150 years, if we do our work well, they won’t need to exist.’ Knowing the work of deep, personal growth is lifelong and the work of vast social shift is well beyond our lifetimes, how can we align our actions more deeply with our values today, in ourselves and in our organizations? How can a seed company compost commercialization and commit to the intergenerational work of Community Seed?

Present Worldview: Though I’ve been trying to live courageously into ‘love what you critique and critique what you love’ for several years, hindsight confirms I’ve been feeding the (voraciously compelling) critique wolf and burnout is real. (Researchers posit that burnout is fed by three feelings: exhaustion, cynicism, and a lack of professional efficacy. In this season of my life, I epitomize these, Loves.) How can I deepen my commitment to love and deep belonging in myself and in the world?

Future: See you in April! I cannot WAIT to be together at Garden Store this spring, sharing seeds as well as hands-on experiences centering the hard and soft skills of life, growth, transformation and love. More deeply: my work at Fruition will shift toward social network & transformation, allowing me to do more of what I love and do well: nourish embodied humxn + plant relationship.

Aspirational worldview: Abundance surrounds us. Abundance is us. Danielle Ponder sings the three word revolution: I Love Myself! Robin Wall Kimmerer: All flourishing is mutual. Leah Penniman: Demonization is colonization. Molly Costello: We have been given all the tools. We are the seeds. Mycelium in the making. Iteration is love and iterate we shall. 

Thank you for reading & joining us on the journey; sending love to you, wherever you are on your journey!

14 thoughts on “Seeds of Sabbatical: Seasons Changing

  1. You are a true legend! Thank you for all the wisdom & expertise you so compassionately shared!!

  2. All the best Petra

    Restore, renew and come back to us with some new songs

    You are the thing that is good, who made me better.

    Nature heals
    Always appreciative
    Diane Wells
    ,

  3. Petra I wish you well as you step back and refresh. As a Christian( in the fullest sense of the word) I coukd not live in this world without the hope that comes through Jesus Christ. He is our Great Redeemer. He makes all things new again and again. We live in this world for a short span of time and if our lot he one filled with hardship with Jesus directing we are given grace to follow Him in all. Eternity is forever so we endure here spreading the light of the Gospel of Peace through the unspeakable gift Jesus Christ. Rest well and Lord willing see you in April.

  4. Wow! All the best on your exciting reset, and we plan to order!

    JSBB

  5. Thank you Petra, for being the inspiration we all need. Deep examination of one’s worldview provides guidance and sheds fear. Happy wilding my friend!

  6. I wish you, Petra, and Matthew the most delicious and precious time in sabbatical. May you be happy, healthy, free from pain and suffering. May you live in peace and well-being, may you be free!

    1. Thank you!

  7. Petra and Matthew, keep warm, safe, and growing. Peace. Berna

    1. <3 <3 <3

  8. Happy Trails to you this Winter Season sweet Petra!

    May you emerge from a much needed hibernation with lessons of self -care and more than enough dreams to feed that abundant soul of yours as well as the very means to bring them to Fruition 🪺

    Fill your well and I’ll work on filling mine as well so we can help all of our fellow beings. So thankful that we are in the same orbit💫

    And to each season…
    Always,
    Carol Erb

  9. All blessings for a restful and rejuvenating sabbatical!

    Your presence in the world is a gift and has changed my life by enriching and expanding my knowledge of seed cultivation, soil fertility, and many other stewardship topics. Your teaching has extended out to enrich all those who visit our little suburban plot here at “Three Dog Farm”…people are curious, active, and engaged when they walk through the garden and see us growing ginger and corn! This in turn has fed their bodies with good and local food (pull it and eat it!) and has inspired some of my friends and students to try their hand at gardening and cultivating regionally adapted seeds. Centering your light has illuminated a path that is full of thoughtful growth. May you feel as nourished as you nourish the world.

    Your light is a gift. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for the kind words and Thank you for being the reason why we do what we do. <3

  10. Wishing you and Matthew a wonderful sabbatical! You are such a gift to so many living things and beings, that I’m so glad you’re taking time to receive yourself as a gift as well. You’re inspiring me to see and utilize winter in a new light. Thank you for always sharing your heart and words. Truly a gift! I can’t express enough how powerful they are, sweet friend. Much love to you both! Xx

  11. May love and light shine on you both in this season of growth and discovery.

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