We Are Still Wild Oral History
with Kelly Moody
Kelly and I met on the shorelines of Point Reyes, CA; my favorite place on earth. She graciously offered to meet me at the hostel, tucked in the rolling hills of the national park, and spend a few days exploring the trails and recording her oral history.
I was initially drawn to Kelly's online presence through her truck camper. It's small, it's cute, it looks like pure freedom. As someone who often daydreams of hitting the road and living the vagabond life, I figured I could learn a thing or two by watching what Kelly does. Instead, through her insight and transparency about life on the road, I've grown more and more hesitant to move away from a grounded living space. A grounded home.
What I have gained through this initial curiosity is a great friend, collaborator and fellow Aquarian reflection.
Since our first meeting - which Kelly so eloquently describes in her blog post about the privilege of finding peace - we dreamed and schemed up many possibilities of working together, a few of which have already come to life. I first created a video introduction for her Ground Shots project. More recently, and much more excitedly, Kelly brought me on the team to produce and edit her Ground Shots podcast. Kelly's interview style is full of respect, knowledge and grace. So rare in the podcast world, especially navigating such a difficult terrain of content. This podcast is going to be so special. SO special and important. It’s an absolute dream project for me, and I feel so grateful that we met and I now get to shine light on her brilliance and the people-places-thoughts she chooses to shine light on too.
A dream collaborator and a dream friend. Can't ask for anything better out of this little oral history project of mine.
From Kelly's website:
Kelly Moody is an artist, writer, traveler, naturalist, farmer and herbalist. She is also the main curator behind of sedge and salt, which gathers ideas about how we engage the land through creative work, plant based medicine and ethnobotanical research.
Kelly grew up in southern Virginia, a small town in the Piedmont near the border of North Carolina in tobacco and muscadine country. She went to her grandma's house daily as a child, where fresh biscuits and iced tea were a regular necessity. Her other grandma was a determined plant lady who started a nursery business on the outskirts of their small rural town, which remained open for almost 50 years. Kelly grew up hiding with her sister in the tropical greenhouses and taking craft classes in the small nursery workshop. These experiences of being on the family farm, working with plants and creating followed Kelly into her adulthood.
Much of the past decade she has spent living in different places and studying plants, ecology and craft, writing about the land, growing food and herbs, or honoring her wanderlust by traveling cross country in various incarnations.
She received a B. A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies in 2009 from Christopher Newport University in Virginia. For over a decade she has studied herbal medicine, ecology and botany with teachers like Rebecca Golden, Paul Strauss, Chip Carrol, Luke Learningdeer, Marc Williams among many others. She apprenticed with Rebecca Golden in Brattleboro, VT of Earth Angel Herbals in 2010 and interned with the United Plant Savers at the Goldenseal Sanctuary in Rutland, Ohio in 2012. She apprenticed with Juliet Blankespoor and attended the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine in Asheville, NC in 2013. She helped manage the gardens and vegetable CSA at Dancing Springs Farm outside of Asheville, NC from 2014-2016. She studied book arts and paper making at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and with elder medieval bookbinder Jim Croft in rural Idaho. She has attended a handful of artist residencies and workshops including most recently Signal Fire's Wide Open Studios in 2017. Her teaching over the years has included classes on hide tanning, plant ID, wild foods, medicine making, natural dyes, nutrition and gardening.