Elizabeth’s connection to the earth began in her childhood. She was five years old when she first told her grandmother “I want to be an Earth Doctor when I grow up”. Raised on a small organic family farm in rural Oregon, and unschooled, she spent her days learning and growing along with her family’s goats, chickens, ducks, vegetable gardens, and fruit trees. This curiosity-driven educational model continues to influence how she moves through the world as a life-learner constantly following her passions.
At fifteen she began attending community college part-time, exploring her broad range of interests with classes in creative writing, journalism, dance, literature, photography, history and foreign language. At nineteen she began traveling and spent the next five years alternately working summers in Denali National Park, Alaska and traveling in the winters all over the US, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Mexico and Central America.
These years of exploration exposed her to a diverse range of environments and cultures. She connected deeply with the wilderness of Alaska and the National Parks of America and a love of outdoor adventure was born. She also spent a lot of time volunteering with World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) and was introduced to many more facets of organic, ecological, and biodynamic gardening and elements of permaculture design. During this time her love of dance and creative movement expression evolved into a passion for yoga. The holistic approach to a physical practice as well as the spiritual and philosophical teachings of yoga appealed to her, and gave voice to many of her core spiritual beliefs. While traveling in France she met her “guru” and had the unique opportunity to live and study with him, and upon returning to the states that fall she completed a Yoga Teacher Training Program through It’s Yoga San Francisco.
The next year she took a Permaculture Design Course at Lost Valley Education Center and, as with yoga, she felt as though Permaculture gave her a language for something she had known intrinsically her entire life. She was amazed to find a whole community of people who spoke this language and saw and felt things the way she did. She reconnected with her childhood vision of being an Earth Doctor, and saw that Permaculture offered a huge piece of the puzzle of how to do that. Since then she has continued seeking answers to that puzzle, following a spiral path of education and life experience, studying natural building, intentional community development, and sustainable farming and land use.
She originally came to Ashland in 2011, just to visit her mother who had recently moved here, and despite other plans she quickly fell in love with the land and the community in Southern Oregon and decided to stay.
Squawking Hawk Acres is an answer to a life-long dream to own property and be a steward of the land, and was born from years of visualization and manifestation. After years of traveling it is an incredible journey for her to be putting down roots and connecting deeply to one geographic place.
In addition to being the Visionary Leader of Squawking Hawk Acres she is also an educator for Rogue Valley Farm to School, where she is grateful for the opportunity to connect children to the land and their food in a real, direct way. She serves on the Board of Directors for Rogue Farm Corps, a young farmer and rancher training organization. She is a co-coordinator for Neighborhood Harvest, a community organization which harvests fruit and nuts which would otherwise go to waste from trees around Ashland. In 2016 she completed a bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Community Development through Prescott College. You can view the eportfolio documenting her degree path journey here.