Ep. 48 - Embracing the Land, Facing Colonialism and Honoring Indigenous Culture (feat. Amber of Moon Mountain)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are grateful for the opportunity to speak with Amber, one of the founders of Moon Mountain. Moon Mountain is a 40-acre biodynamic farm, wild food refuge and all-around sacred space located in the beautiful Michigan wilderness among some of the oldest mountains in the world. This compound functions as a demonstration site for regenerative agricultural practices and serves as a “hands on” medicinal plant classroom for their rural community.   

We venture to those untamed wilds of Upper Penninsula of Michigan and hold space with our gracious host Amber. Today, the combination permaculture farm and wild-food forest she manages with partner Ryan is impressive, but it was a future that she did not quite envision. In creating this sanctuary, they both had to address their centers of alienation, leaving behind some of the traditional values of modern society. They followed a lifepath that resonated most clearly with heart and mind - honoring the mystery of what it would become along the way.   

Alongside their ongoing explorations of ancient land-based practices like polyculture, agroforestry, lunar observation, crop rotations and water harvesting, Amber takes us into the deep forests of the Huron mountains to share in a rich bounty of edible mushrooms. Her work with fungi has taught her to slow down, listen to nature and understand the cycles of the environment around her.   

In exploring this deep communion with the forest and the land, those of us who are European-American run into a deep-seated anxiety. How do we develop an authentic relationship with land that was stolen? How do we acknowledge and authentically support the indigenous communities that were displaced and then dispossessed of these "wild" spaces? In a modern context, is reconciliation possible between European and non-European communities in the US given histories of systemic imbalance? Amber offers her deep work around this subject and acknowledges that her path may not be for everyone. She outlines a process of moving through our fear and anxiety, learning about and showing up to support indigenous and POC communities and expanding into stages of personal growth that will cascade into restructuring unequal systems. And while these topics can be isolating, we need to have more open conversations, face the issues and leave behind the vestiges of colonial culture.   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour (@welcome_to_mushroom_hour

Music by: Ancient Baby (https://peckthetowncrier.bandcamp.com/)   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (http://www.wyndistefano.com/)   

Episode Resources   
Moon Mountain Website: https://moonmtn.com   
Moon Mountain Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/moonmtn.mi/   
Freedom House Farm (Inspiration): https://www.facebook.com/freedomhousefarm 
Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz - Indigenous People's History of the US (Book): https://www.amazon.com/Indigenous-Peoples-History-ReVisioning-American/dp/0807057835   
Linda Black Elk (Inspiration): https://www.wisdomhub.tv/linda-black-elk   
Braiding Sweetgrass (Book): https://www.amazon.com/Braiding-Sweetgrass-Indigenous-Scientific-Knowledge/dp/1571313567   

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