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Map Design

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Rollins Lake + Edward Abbey + Happy Links

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{"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit." // Edward Abbey}

Happy Links:

  • Someone tweeted about Coffitivity the other day. Have you heard of it? It's a great way to add ambient sound to your work space -- whether you work from home and need a little background noise or share a cubicle and can't hang with the office chatter.
  • This collection of clever street art made me smile. I hope it does the same for you.
  • John and Sherry at Young House Love are an inspiration on so many levels, but I have to say that this post left me in awe of their grace and charm. Can you imagine having people hound you in the comment section of your blog about the state of your uterus? Umm. No. Sherry handled it with more diplomacy than anyone I have ever witnessed.

Wrap it Up:

Thanks to a busy off-blog writing schedule and a very unwelcome 48-hour flu bug, I've only posted twice in just as many weeks so I'm wrapping those up today.

  • Building a career around creative work has always appealed to me. Last week, I announced the launch of a new series aimed at shining a light on those who do it well.
  • This week, I shared the final piece of my project for Anne Ditmeyer's map design class. If you're interested in reading about the project from start to finish, you can do so herehere and here. She's teaching the class again in late May, if anyone's interested!

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I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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Farm to Fork Field Trip: Feeding Crane Farms

As I mentioned last week, I'm currently enrolled in Anne Ditmeyer's Skillshare class, Map Design: Learn to Communicate Places Beautifully.My project is a map illustrating the route(s) food takes to get from farm to fork here in Sacramento, which is just one out of hundreds of projects posted by students from around the world.

I've been working to set up field trips in an effort to better understand the ins and outs of the farm to fork process. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to tour Feeding Crane Farms, which is located just a few miles north of the central city.

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It was a beautiful day. Everyone on the team was happy to let me document the harvest and ask a ton of questions. I even had a chance to chat with General Manager Shannin Stein about the farm and the part they play in the farm to fork process.

Founded in 2011, Feeding Crane Farms has quickly become a respected source for fresh, organic produce among chefs and local foodies. The team supplies products to dozens of local restaurants and several grocery stores in the Sacramento area, they have a presence at farmers markets in the fall and summer months and will relaunch their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in the coming weeks.

According to Stein, the next several months will bring an increased focus on community partnerships, educational opportunities and events both on and off the farm. "Our goal is to really be viewed as Sacramento's farm," she said. "We are so close to town and have an opportunity to offer a place where people can come connect with farming."

Needless to say, I was very impressed by the attention to detail in their efforts to boost community engagement and cross-promotion with other small businesses. They're reaching out to unconventional partners to better serve neighborhoods in our area without much access to fresh produce and the team seems incredibly committed, not only to maintaining a sustainable business, but also to helping others do the same.

Keep your eye on Feeding Crane Farms, my friends. They're doing amazing work in the Sacramento area. If you want to learn more about the farm and get updates about future events, be sure to sign up for their newsletter on the homepage. You can also find them on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter here.

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As for my map project, I didn't get a chance to capture the delivery process to a local restaurant. However, I do know that some of that beautiful Red Russian Kale is being delivered to Corti Brothers, if any of my Sacramento friends are in the market for fresh, leafy greens.

I'm hoping to set up the restaurant portion of this field trip very soon. Stay tuned!

Your turn: Do you have a favorite small, urban farm in your community? Have you ever wondered how far your food has to travel to get to your plate?

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Northern California + Robin Williams + Happy Links

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{Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" // Robin Williams}

Happy Links: {Disclaimer: While I'm putting these under the 'happy links' header, the links below really fall under the 'links that make you think' category. Just roll with it.}

  • I am so intrigued by these photos of cities without any man-made light. Photographer Thierry Cohen did an amazing job illustrating what city dwellers are missing when they look up into the night sky.
  • This video combines cool graphics and Ira Glass's explanation of how creative endeavors (in this case, storytelling) evolve. It is the most brilliant way of describing how it feels to be elbow-deep in new creative ventures. Please watch it, if you have two minutes.
  • Speaking of the creative process, I identified BIG TIME with this recent post from former Sacramentan David Watts Barton. It's an incredibly honest post and is just one of the many reasons I admire his work.

Wrap it Up:

  • It's hard to believe that just a few short days ago, we were snowshoeing in Donner Memorial State Park. It's supposed to hit 72° in the Sacramento Valley today. Spring has arrived, my friends!
  • It looks like things are coming together for the project I'm working on in my map design class. Has anyone else signed up? Be sure to let me know and I'll find you in class.

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I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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Getting Maptastic with Skillshare

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a few posts of hand-drawn maps with the hashtag #maptastic and wondered what the heck I was working on.Well, I'm going to tell you! I recently signed up for a three-week online class via Skillshare aimed at teaching curious minds how to communicate places beautifully through map design. The class is taught by Anne Ditmeyer of Prêt à Voyager and it is AWESOME.

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There are currently 699 students enrolled from all over the world and the student projects range from embroidered maps of Portland, Oregon's bridges (!!!) to a map illustrating fun things to do and see if you have one day in Dublin, Ireland.

I'm working on mapping the route(s) food takes to get from farm to fork here in the Sacramento area. You can see my full project profile here, if you're interested.

As my Sacramento readers will tell you, we've just been named America's Farm to Fork Capital and we're pretty proud of that designation. I'm in the process of reaching out to chefs and farmers to see if I can put together a little field trip. While many of these folks are extremely busy, I've got my fingers crossed that it'll work out.

That said, one of my favorite aspects of the class is that students can go at their own pace. Even if it takes me a few more days to set up a field trip, I won't really be behind since the schedule is just a guideline. How's that for convenient?! No design skills are required and it's been amazing to see how others are approaching their projects.

There's still time to sign up and I highly recommend it. Anne has access to so many resources and her lectures and tutorials are super inspiring. At last check, new students can still use the coupon code HIGHFIVE for a discount.

So, what are you waiting for? Come design with us!

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