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the Turtle Family
Our mission is to celebrate the connection between personal health and wild lands.

We manifest this goal through promoting and practicing sustainable practices. A few examples of our work include growing and preparing local, wild and living food for the community, driving a vegetable oil-run vehicle, utilizing solar dehydrators, using a bicycle powered blender and wheatgrass juicer and educating about the great value of wild foods and wild lands in the school systems.

Meet Katrina

Katrina Blair began studying wild plants in her teens when she camped out alone for a summer with the intention of eating primarily wild foods. She later wrote The Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants of the San Juan Mountains for her senior project at Colorado College. In 1997 she completed a MA at John F Kennedy University in Orinda, CA in Holistic Health Education. She founded Turtle Lake Refuge in 1998, a non-profit, whose mission is to celebrate the connection between personal health and wild lands. She teaches sustainable living practices, permaculture and wild edible and medicinal plant classes locally and internationally. She is the author of a book titled Local Wild Life- Turtle Lake Refuges Recipes for Living Deep published in 2009 that focuses on the uses and recipes of the local wild abundance.  Her latest book is "The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival" published in 2014 by Chelsea Green.

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Meet Kelly

Raised in the Northeast, spending many years on the southern West Coast, Kelly followed a still small voice to Santa Fe where she happened upon a glorious plant walk with a tremendously charismatic woman named Katrina Blair at a small festival. It was a revelation--so many edible plants, even in that dry area!

After attending Turtle Lake Refuge's Wild Permaculture Retreat the following year, she knew in her heart to move to Durango and learn more about wild plants!

She's held various beloved jobs:  nursing home/elder/differently-abled care, health food co-ops & cafes, and many ecstatic years in childcare and preschool teaching.

Kelly absolutely adores co-creating in community at Turtle! Other passions include foraging, yoga, meditation, eating living food, singing, dancing, growing microgreens and riding a bicycle daily. She is deeply grateful for the opportunity to share work and love with so many shining soul

Meet Michael

Michael moved to Durango in 2011 to live with his grandparents. He studied engineering at Fort Lewis but became overwhelmed and was living a very unhealthy lifestyle. He began to get into mushroom foraging and spending more time in the wild. 

Michael first heard of Turtle Lake Refuge from a friend and started going for the lunches. He began volunteering at the farm and cafe as well. He fell in love with the community here and was thrilled to be offered a job growing micro-greens and brewing kombucha. During his time here he has learned a lot about wild medicinal and edible plants. He has incorporated these teachings to help improve his own life. 

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