Vanessa Tavernetti is committed to people being and feeling deeply nourished.
Her lifelong journey of profoundly understanding our connection to the Earth and where our natural resources come from began in Springfield, Illinois. It was there, while growing up surrounded by chemical-laden conventional corn and soybean fields that she developed a passion for spreading knowledge about healthier ways of relating to the Earth, especially in how our food is produced and the medicines we choose to use.
Vanessa studied at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where she received her BA in International Studies with a focus on Sustainable Development and Water Rights. She continued with her Master Studies in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies at the University of Illinois. After moving to California, Vanessa earned her teaching credential at Sonoma State University. She most recently graduated from Crystal Rose in Petaluma, California, where she attained a certificate in Intuitive Studies.
As a credentialed public school teacher, Vanessa has worked within the school system leading the school garden movement for over 15 years. She was instrumental in the creation and success of the Valley Vista Garden Program in Petaluma, California, which was a program supported by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse and the Edible Schoolyard. Vanessa also went on to be a co-founder of the Sonoma County School Garden Network. Through serving as School Garden Coordinator for the Petaluma City Schools District, and teaching at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, Sonoma State University, and the New College in Santa Rosa, California, Vanessa has supported and inspired hundreds of people around the country to sustain school garden programs through her consulting. In 2004, she was the recipient of the Jack London Teacher of the year award.
In the past 20 years, Vanessa has traveled extensively across the United States, as well as Africa, Europe, and South America. This has given her a breadth and appreciation for global sustainability practices, as well as, customs and traditional ceremonies for times of transition in ones life. She has also lived and worked on organic and biodynamic farms, and has continually lived closely and intimately with the natural world.
Through deeply connecting with the Earth, Vanessa has released different ailments and improved relationships in her life. It was the Earth that she turned to, communicated with, laugh and cried with, and strengthened her roots into to help her to better the relationship with her mother. These regular experiences lead her to have more compassion, understanding, and love towards her herself, her mother, and others, while teaching her the art of letting go.
Vanessa's resiliency is one to admire, and showed itself in her character from the moment of birth. She was born two-months premature in an emergency C-section that resulted from malnutrition in the womb. She went on to triumph over alcohol and drug addiction, deaths of close family and friends, body image issues, and surviving a car wreck that brought on a coma and a near-death experience.
One of Vanessa's intentions is for young girls to be proud, self-protective, and empowered by their ability to bring life into being. She seeks to inspire communities around the globe to honor and support young women during this important transition. Creating Mother Daughter Circles is a way to support young women's rite of passage into their menstrual cycle and coming of age. Through this support and awareness of this process from a young age, women will shift unhealthy cultural paradigms of how women relate to each other.
Vanessa has been able to share her wisdom and experiences with high-risk teenage girls through mentor programs in Chicago, North San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento. Her dedication to sustainable living, enthusiasm for life, and loving kindness towards others assists her in being a beacon for holistic and compassionate living. She has seen first hand how naturally connected children are with the Earth when given the opportunity, time, and space. She has also noticed how children and adults reveal in the opportunity to share food experiences whether it be abundance from a garden, cooking, or a meal and how much joy and satisfying fulfillment in brings to our lives.
Through people learning how to take better care of themselves and establishing peaceful relationships, Vanessa believes the Earth will be as it is intended to be. She does not believe the Earth, or anyone else has anything "wrong" with them or needs to be healed. Instead, Vanessa knows that through enlivening the connection to our selves, each other, and the Earth we create a more abundant, holistic society. Supporting a local food system, growing something to nourish ourselves and our neighbors with, having an increased awareness of what we consume, and having supportive relationships are what she sees as sign posts on the path to achieving this dream.
Vanessa currently resides in a redwood forest of Sonoma County with her husband and daughter. She can be found enjoying her time sitting with the trees, creating magical herbal remedies, playing in the ocean, dancing with the stars and moon, and singing with the wind.