*Photo by Tatiana Rose Design

  Keegan and I began the EGL Blog as a means to document our educational journey towards intentional living.  Most recently I've commandeered the blog to reflect my journey (Jenny) particularly, alongside a tightly interwoven path with my better half.  Our son, Theo, is my main source of inspiration.  Blogging provides me with a creative outlet to express emerging thoughts, reflect upon continuously building understandings of the world, share photos, and to inspire and educate the voyeuristic internet surfer (you) towards a more intentional life.

   With upbringings classically and conventionally American, a nose dive into place-based conscious living altered our perspectives on what makes life worth living.  Quickly we came to realize that studying the natural environment is a lifelong endeavor.  The learning curve proved to be steep at the beginning, and now we're more consistently beginning to better understand the interconnectedness of the world around us.  As the years have passed the blog has taken on various forms, but hopefully this aggregation of pictorial and literary journaling can provide you with insight into how we choose to live our lives.  Our aim is that by revealing the richness we strive for in this life, that you seek out your own depths into the human experience, especially those that bring you happiness.  Welcome

+All photos on this blog were taken by Keegan or myself unless stated otherwise.  Please respect the notion of copyright and if you decide to use any of our photos, give credit where it's due.


       Purpose; that, is the utterly overwhelming sensation that drives my fascination with agriculture and skill based folkloric knowledge.  The cultivation of life in it's purest form fulfills me so completely as both an individual as well as a player in the vastly connected web of life, providing me with countless reasons for understanding my place in this world.   An over-powering sense of awe at the satisfaction and beauty of growing food and sustaining life with my own two hands has revealed to me a newfound passion for gardening and farming.  The mechanization of our agricultural processes has allowed for extensive food production like never seen before, yet it robs humans of experience and understanding of the food cycle, animals of the slightest glimpse at a healthy life, and the soil of it's incredible biological diversity.  This continued industrialization has created a whole generation of American adults without any understanding of how to make jelly from the amazingly productive plum tree in your front yard, how to grow the mustard greens that go into making Grammie's delicious soup, or the nuances in quality and taste between a chicken egg from your backyard as opposed to one that has been transported over 1,000 miles.  Giant monocultures, neonicotinoids, and semi-trucks have given us more food than we can even eat, but have denied us the life experiences that create healthier bodies, more artistic and inquisitive minds, and that sense of satisfaction that makes it so much easier to sleep at night.  The ease of convenience has blinded us from the beauty of purposeful experience.
        Deep within me I hold a love and fascination for the past of greater humanity, and to what extent our yesterdays effect our tomorrows.  This inquisition lead me to achieve my B.A. in History and has morphed me into the eccentric researcher I am today.   Alongside my degree I'm also working towards my Master Gardener certification through the OSU Extension Service, adding deeper fascination and understanding to my obsession.  Implementing newfound folkloric rituals and unearthed agricultural skill sets within a landscape as richly fertile and climactically inclement as the Southern Willamette Valley seems to have made each endeavor more beautiful and easier to accomplish than the last.  Ultimately, I wouldn't be who I am today without my loving family.  They do the most impeccable job at knowing how to frustrate me in all the most beneficial ways.
      Though I may be wildly and hopelessly in love with my co-blogger, I hope that we can each bring our own individual approaches to this shared passion in order to continue to inspire and motivate each other, and therefore inspire and educate those around us.

Jenny holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Oregon, and teaches as an Adjunct Instructor for the Urban Farm course through the Department of Landscape Architecture.


One of the greatest challenges we face in the near future is adapting to the increasingly unpredictable effects of climate change and the resulting food and water insecurities. 

While the human species is uniquely gifted in its own flourishing art of survival, and has proven its tenacity in similar adaptation innumerable times (a perspective certainly biased by the surviving few that write history), the truth be told, we have never faced something so problematic. In our pacific northwest culture, these issues dominate the headlines and shape policy.

I believe that it is better to integrate a sense of responsibility and purpose into our lives by assuming a state of openness and a will to adapt, than to try to spend all our time predicting and fretting about the future, or worse yet, ignoring it all together.

"We are what we repeatedly do," Aristotle once proclaimed; "Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

Therefore, in order to be prepared for unforeseeable events, and to live up to our greatest and most unique capacities as human beings, why not make a habit of learning and practicing how to adapt and keep an open mind? Why not explore the mechanisms of plants that have proven themselves in this art for thousands, millions of years? Why not find ways of lessening (or possibly reversing) our impact on the resources that have provided us the means to be such amazing and diverse creatures?

These are the questions that I hope others visiting the Eugene Garden Lounge can ask themselves, so that they can share our discovery of the truly limitless potential that resides in our interactions with our natural environment and ourselves.

Keegan Caughlin is currently an Energy Management Student at Lane Community College, in training for Master Gardener Certification at Oregon State University, and holds a Bachelor's of Science in Philosophy, Political Science, and a minor in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Oregon.

No comments:

Post a Comment