Meet Jorge Catalan. I met him in Mexico, a brief encounter that has become a life long relationship. He has come to all of my courses on his path to teach my course in Latin American countries. His light and bright ways blended into my family in every way. Gracious and humble, he is always there to help me in any endeavor.
At Moringa For Life we focus on high hands, low tech. By that we mean to have our hands in contact with each phase of production from planting seeds and harvest, to packaging the products, to the face to face contact with the consumer. We believe it takes the human hand to heal the human heart. Each process is evaluated with this prospective in mind. We are mindful of having our hands involved rather than looking for mass automation and mass production.
We believe it is mass production that has taken the hands and faces out of our modern products and so has caused a disconnect from our food, our medicine our society. We no longer have the local herbalist we can go to for our health needs who knows our life, our family, our history. Our lifestyles bring us farther apart with less time to connect and enjoy simple things like breaking bread together and eating local clean harvest in season. To use a term in filming ‘to pull focus’, draws the camera lens wide to see more of the picture, we want to pull focus on the bio region we live in. This enables us to see a bigger and wider picture of our resources. This makes bio-regions more important than borders.
I sometimes jump the gun and start planting in March, much to early. I can hardly wait to see the beautiful Moringa emerge from the soil and reach to the sky. I yearn to see the beautiful color of green that captured my heart so long ago.
After years of research...
into the vitamin content of many plants, Moringa was found to have the highest value of vitamins and uses. It is called The Miracle Tree because all the parts are useful or medicinal. All of our efforts are focused on the widespread use of Moringa as a local food and medicine for humans, animals, soil and water.
Fast lives, fast food and the fast deterioration of health, family and society has been the norm. At Moringa For Life we intend to live slow, eat slow and regain our health by high touch within our family, our friends, our community, our bio region.
We had a Thanksgiving Moringa Harvest and invited some local Moringa graduates and their families to help. Each family brought a dish to share from their culture. My mother, front and center joined n the fun. She had been so much a part of the early days of hard long hours. It was a joy for her to see my students help and feel like one big family.
More than 20 years ago, when I was an organic inspector, I began looking for one plant that I could grow that would have the most amount of nutrition. I researched seed catalogs, botanical libraries, nutrition books, health books … I searched high and low. When I came across the Moringa Tree, there was virtually no information about it. There were 4 websites with information about Moringa. I bought a few seed from a catalog and planted it in my greenhouse. My life at that time was very hectic and I soon forgot about that seed. A month later when I had time again to devote to my search, I found that plants had grown out of control. The thin trees had grown up and around the top curve of the greenhouse and had come all the way back down to the ground. I was amazed how fast they had grown. The color of green was so vibrant and lush. I fell in love with that color and the beautiful graceful leaf pattern. I was hooked. From then on, I have been growing Moringa and making products out of the various parts of the tree.
It was slow going at first. I took my plants and products to my local Farmer’s Market. There I began the journey to really learn about this plant. Customers began reporting so many health benefits. In time I began to know so many people who had overcome a wider and wider variety of ailments using the Moringa products. Even though I was the only one in those days with Moringa products, I continued to expand my line and persevered through many years of being the lone voice in the darkness. I have witnessed such a large growth in this industry in the past 5 years. Most of the companies now producing Moringa products began during this time. Because there was so little information about Moringa, I have had a side mission to educate people about it. It is very rewarding work to see the part I have had in making more Moringa available in the world. I have educated most of my competitors. Some will admit it and some will deny it. No matter, what’s important is that there are many Moringa Light Workers bringing Moringa to the far corners of the world. We grow together.
It is a wonderful feeling when our children take up our line of work. I never thought it would happen to me but I have been so pleased that my daughter Sika, began working with Moringa For Life. Her life path brought her home Hers is a very spiritual path that connects her even more to the natural world and so is co-creating with that world. Her deep devotion and shared energy with plants brought her into my Moringa work.. I am so proud to say that she stands on my shoulders and leaps forward to bring healing richness and clarity to our work. Our shared vision now increases to include her focus and her presence. I have learned so much from seeing how she can so easily move through the lightness of being.
My younger daughter, Makenzie grew up in the Farmer’s Market. She was 4 years old when I began. She worked with me in the Moringa Shop and at the Farmer’s Market. She has so much depth of information when speaking to people about Moringa. She has a wisdom seldom seen in young people her age.
My oldest son, Jensen, has created the recipes for the Moringa Herb Blends. He has worked side by side with me at events talking about Moringa as well as I. He is an amazing chef with his own path but always makes time to help with my new ideas. He has moved into consulting in his field and has begun working with me on my business strategy. Now tasked to make Moringa foods for the masses, it is such a dream of dreams to work side by side with him.
My younger son, Mitchell, has worked on the farm doing heavy labor and worked in the test kitchen . Trained as a chef by his older brother, he has helped with the production side of making my products. His attention to efficiency continues to save us time and money. He has made our Moringa meals during the Moringa courses. It was a highlight of the course to see how good Moringa can taste
And my husband, Chris, by my side every step of the way. He helps in all the practical ways and lets me know when to let everyone take a break. He is our go to person when anything needs to be built or fixed. He is also the calm voice through any hectic or stressful time. He is the wind beneath my wings.
I am truly blessed with such a family. I couldn’t have done this work and accomplished this much without the constant support and help they have given me through the years.