Grow, Create, Inspire
Crystal Stevens was born in Colorado, partly raised in California and then transplanted to St. Louis, Missouri, where she spent her formative years as an activist and gardener in her community. Raised by a carpenter/artist father and a teacher/renaissance woman mother, Stevens grew up with an appreciation for the simple things in life- good food and good company.
She learned early the importance of a hard work ethic and a positive attitude. Her father was a collector of Mother Earth News Magazines and her mother spent a great deal of time teaching her how to sew and garden. Stevens began cooking healthy meals for her family at age 13 because her mom had to waitress as a second job to make ends meet. Stevens fell in love with cooking with fresh ingredients at a young age, which sculpted her path as a gardener, organic advocate and eventually an herbalist. Stevens has been on the permaculture path since age 17 where she first learned the term in 2000 at Punta Mona, an 80 acre off the grid permaculture education center in Costa Rica. She fell in love with the big picture perspective and has since been modeling her life’s work after all that is encompassed through permaculture, integrating earth stewardship, soil health, clean water and air, social justice, and wellness accessibility.
Upon returning home from Punta Mona, Stevens co-founded the Missouri Forest alliance with activist Jim Scheff. Together, they prevented hundreds of acres of old growth forests from being clearcut and stopped several hundreds of acres of public land from being open to off road vehicles. Also upon her return, Stevens began her journey to becoming an herbalist and energy practitioner.
Stevens is an Author, an Artist/Art Teacher, a Folk Herbalist, a Regenerative Farmer, and a Permaculturist. Her award-winning book, Grow Create Inspire was published by New Society Publishers in the fall of 2016. Her second book, Worms at Work was released by the same publisher in the spring of 2017. She will soon release her third book about Edible Landscaping. She is also working on a Farm to Table Cookbook which discusses food waste and food accessibility with her friend Erica Cunningham of Food Church. Stevens speaks at conferences and Mother Earth News Fairs across the United States. Stevens contributes to the Mother Earth News Blog, Permaculture Magazine North America, Overgrow the System, Taproot Magazine, Grit, The Healthy Planet Magazine, and has contributed in the past to elephant journal, Feast Magazine, and Permaculture Magazine.
She has been teaching a Resilient Living workshop series for over a decade. She organized the Confluence Herbal Summit, the first small herbal conference of its kind in Western Illinois. She and her husband have been farming together for a decade. They spent 7 years managing an organic farm and CSA on the bluffs of the Mississippi River in Godfrey, IL.
She is currently the Garden Manager and her husband, Eric Stevens, is the Farm Manager at EarthDance Organic Farm School in Ferguson, MO. They have two children and live on a 10-acre permaculture inspired micro farm along the rolling hills of the Mississippi River near St. Louis MO. Follow Crystals adventures at www.growcreateinspire.com and on social media, @growcreateinspire
Visit EarthDance Organic Farm School at www.earthdancefarms.org and @earthdancefarms on Instagram.
Want to learn more about her work? Watch this video and follow her on social media @growcreateinspire
- Growing and preserving your own food is an important component in the Home System. Here is an article on the age-old art of hot water bath canning.
- Some additional methods of preserving the harvest.
- Here is an article on Probiotics, with easy recipes for lacto fermented vegetables and sauerkraut.
- Here is an article on botanical tea blends.
- Here is an article on DIY Herb and fruit infused waters using fresh homegrown herbs infused in water in mason jars. Within the Home System, it is important to reduce plastic consumption and learn everyday tips and tricks to become more self reliant.
- Learn how guild planting is an important tool to utilize in the Home System.