Starcross is Officially Forever Wild!

Dear Folks –

We are really excited to announce that our Conservation Easement with Sonoma Land Trust is now official! This is the result of years of work and the efforts of many people who believed in the value of preserving the land for the future, protecting it from over-development or intensive agriculture.

From the Sonoma Land Trust’s newsletter:
“Starcross’s gorgeous 90-acre property along the coastal hills is central to the community’s mission of living a good and simple life at “a spiritual sanctuary for people and nature.” The community has an orchard and gardens where they grow and process organic olive oil, as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables for their food pantry and farmstead open to the community. Young volunteers interested in combining spirituality and sustainable living lend a hand with the farm operation. Beyond the farm and monastery lies more than 70 acres of wild land that the community maintains as a sanctuary for both people and wildlife. In addition to redwood and Douglas fir forest and open grassland, the property boasts locally uncommon stands of sugar pines and hybrid manzanita, and a stretch of Grasshopper Creek, a tributary of Buckeye Creek in the Gualala River watershed.”

Read the Sonoma Land Trust Press Release Here

On Feb. 20, 2019, Brother Toby signed the conservation easement.


Happy Summer, Everybody, from Sister Julie!

The bees are buzzing in the lavender and people are buzzing all over Starcross with lots of activities and projects. Here’s the latest buzz, so to speak. (Sorry, that’s really corny. My excuse is that my high school mascot was a bee. Go Zion, Illinois ZeeBees!)

We’re very concerned about IMMIGRATION ISSUES. Next week we’ll host a meeting to help our neighbors with family preparedness. These are very frightening times for some hardworking people. Unfortunately, it is essential that everyone have a plan in place for their children in the unlikely event they are detained. Starcross is a sanctuary community. We will do all we can to resist injustice. We have lawyers ready to protect the children.

The GARDEN is getting off to a vigorous start. We’re enjoying abundant beans and peas. Soon there will be enough to offer at the Food Pantry and at our Honor Produce Stand. Our volunteer crew recently grafted heirloom tomatoes.

Five-year-old DAMIEN graduated from pre-school. When introduced to someone recently, he said that he works at Starcross. What does he do there? “Oh, work stuff!”

The CONSERVATION EASEMENT with Sonoma Land Trust is proceeding well. They’ve been extremely cooperative in this effort to protect Starcross forever. When the easement is in place, it will restrict or prohibit new development or intensive agriculture, thus preserving the unique blend of forest, grassland, orchard and family farm that makes up the Starcross property. The world needs places of peace and healing.

A PUBLICATION COMMITTEE consisting of Barbara Johannes, Kate Quinones and me are working with Brother Toby to compile some new books based on his Friday Reflections. We will keep you posted. In the meantime, the popular STEPPING STONES, the new THE TAO, THE SACRED WAY, and all of Brother Toby’s books are available at www.starcross.org or on Amazon.

Our family VIOLINIST DAVID McCARROLL was here recently. Besides the Vienna Piano Trio, he participates in the Marlboro Music Festival, teaches graduate students in Salzburg and performs all over the world. David keeps in close touch by phone but we love it when he can spend some time at home at Starcross.
And for those of you living nearby a couple of reminders.

MIDSUMMER EVENSONG will be Thursday, June 21st at 4 p.m. in the Chapel. A peaceful hour of poetry, music, meditation commemorating the Summer Solstice. Join us if you can!

PUMPKIN PLANTING DAY Saturday, June 30, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Lunch is included. Dig in the dirt with us and provide some Halloween happiness. The Food Pantry families bring their kids to choose their own pumpkin from our patch.

OLIVE OIL – NO SHIPPING COST! Here’s some exciting news. Community Market in Santa Rosa and Sebastopol is now carrying Sister Julie’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil! Stock up now so you can drizzle it on your fresh vegetables and summer salads. Yum! Their motto is Food for People, Not Profit. They’ve been great to do business with and I’m proud to have our oil on their shelves. (P.S. Our marvelous organic olive oil is always available at www.starcross.org, and at our Honor Produce Stand 7 days a week, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)

May your summer be filled with peace, fun and good health.