Tribute addresses our current need for restorative hope and models of engagement at the intersection of nature and culture. Given the urgent and escalating environmental and climate change crises we are facing, this project builds on our Harvest and Chit-Chat processes, to honor everyday grassroots environmental and food justice visionaries, activists and unsung heroes in collaboration with art spaces and nonprofit groups. Our process begins with research, locating inspiring work being done in our region, then identifying and getting to know potential tributees through interviews and site visits. For each participating tributee, we create a new infused vodka-based spirit as part of this series, named to acknowledge the individual tributees personality and amplify their work.
Tribute Chit-Chats are hosted annually. In these public gatherings, we include an introduction of our tributees and their work, a tasting of the new Tribute spirits made in their honor, and an in-depth, creative conversation with attending guests. In these gatherings, we dig into big questions composed together with our tributees, to engage participants in animating a rich and diverse array of collective knowledge, experience and perspectives. At the heart of this project, we aim to seed new thinking, actions and connection to our changing planet.
Launched at the Growlery, San Francisco
Master gardener, urban farmer, educator and food justice activist. Wanda started Obsidian Farm in Berkeley California as a neighborhood permaculture model for growing and sustaining community sourced food. Here she nourishes her community through hosting community meals to uplift black culture and cooking practices. Obsidian, also inspired Hoover Hawks Victory Garden, at Hover Elementary School in Oakland, where Wanda works with kids to teach them how to grow and cook their own food. Wanda’s work is centered around Black liberation, leadership and resilience practices to address environmental issues in her local community and beyond.
SPIRIT: Obsidian Spark - made from Momsano Pepper and Mariposa plum harvested from Wanda' yard. Named for Wanda’s farm and the spark she has ignited in our community.
Environmental justice visionary, activist and regional design strategist. Carl has a long and deep history in the Environmental Justice world. He is known as one of the founders of the Environmental Justice movement on the West Coast and was the founder of Urban Habitat, an organization that confronts structural inequities impacting historically disenfranchised communities. Carl Anthony is also the author of a recently released book, The Earth, The City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race, that connects the history of slavery, community disinvestment, and environmental exploitation to better understand and address the most pressing issues of our time.
SPIRIT: Gravitational Shift - made from fig and kumquats harvested from Carl’s yard and named for the impact of his work seeding and leading the environmental justice movement in the Bay Area and beyond.
A biologist and professor at San Francisco State University, Gretchen founded and directs the Great Sunflower Project, one of the first and longest citizen science projects in the US. The Great Sunflower Project evaluates the effects of environmental shifts on pollinators in North America. It supports the development of cost-effective ways to monitor wild native bees to understand the effects of urbanization and climate change on plant and animal life. Gretchen runs the LeBuhn Lab at SFSU where she works with students to focus on the effects of human induced change on wildlands in California and beyond.
SPIRIT: Osmia Here Now - named for Gretchen’s favorite native California bee, the Osmia, which happily pollinates apples in our region. We used Some of Gretchen’s favorites - Honey Crisp and with Sierra Beauty.
Salt Point Seaweed Tessa Emmer, Catherine O'Hare, Avery Resor
Tessa, Catherine and Avery work at the intersection of ecological conservation, economic development, and climate adaptation. As a team they have backgrounds in sustainable agriculture and development, environmental biology and marine science. Together they co-created Salt Point Seaweed as a force for environmental protection, and with a determination to mitigate the detrimental impacts of climate change and industrialized food systems on the ocean ecosystems that we cherish.
SPIRIT: The Cape of Good Hope - named for the kind of energy their work brings to our community and world. Ingredients are California coastal kombu seaweed (a variety Salt Point harvests), cape gooseberries (to sweeten the briny sea) and purple shiso grown by Avery in her Oakland backyard.
Luke worked as an Attorney, and was the co-founding Director of the Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment. He was one of the pioneering activists of the Environmental Justice movement on the West along with Carl Anthony. During his life, he fostered a legacy representing low-income communities and workers throughout California fighting environmental hazards, stressing the need for community-based, community-led organizing and litigation. Luke’s work “highlighted global warming as an environmental justice issue of massive proportions that is taking a terrible toll on communities in Alaska and around the world.” Luke died while on sabbatical in Africa in 2009 but left us the important legacy of this work and the inspiration to fight for justice.
SPIRIT: Shy Albatrross - combining arctic berries and cacao nibs to honor Luke’s seminal work with the people of Kivalina, Alaska, and fortify his love of good chocolate!
Mary Crowely and Charles Hambleton
In 2009, Mary Crowley launched the Project Kaisei, through her organization Ocean Voyages Institute to focus on major ocean clean-up and to raise awareness of marine debris/ocean trash. Since then she has been growing a whole fleet of ships that are working tirelessly to clean up the plastic floating on the Pacific Ocean known as gyres. In recent years she has partnered with Charles Hambleton to create systems to help identify the locations of floating gyres, aiding clean-up efforts. The Ocean Voyages Institute has successfully removed more than 40 tons of fishing nets and consumer plastics from the area known as the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone, more commonly known as the Pacific Gyre. Mary and Charles are on the forefront of developing new strategies to support clean up, including working with island fishermen who fish for plastic. Next summer they will launch a fleet of ships working together to intensify the clean up of our beloved Pacific Ocean. We raise a glass to their tireless work!
SPIRIT: Salty Lady - named for Mary and Charles seafaring courage and for their love of lime and spice - a sailors favorite - tequila infused with fresh California limes and black Omani limes, Cubeb and Habanero peppers.