Crystal Stevens, Missouri Forest Alliance Cofounder
Name: Crystal Stevens
Occupation: Farmer, Writer, Artist, Mother, Wife
Place of Residence: Godfrey, Ill.
Background and Personal History: Crystal Stevens was born in Denver, Colo. She became vegetarian at age 13 and started cooking using organic and natural ingredients the same year. Crystal traveled the United States in the summers during her high school years with the help and loving support of her parents. She was inspired by her Eco-Act Instructors and her journalism instructor. Crystal and her best friend, Colleen, journeyed on a summer-long adventure to the beautiful western United States, where she knew she had to make an impact on others regarding the devastating rate wilderness is disappearing.
Crystal cofounded the Missouri Forest Alliance with her friend and long-time environmental activist, Jim Scheff. She worked as a teacher assistant, integrating art and nature into the curriculum where she could. In her free time, Crystal travels, creates art, does yoga and a cooks a lot. She completed the Master Materia Medica Program from Australasian College of Herbal Studies. In 2004, Crystal became a Licensed Massage Therapist at The Healing Arts Center and worked for a nonprofit organization, Living By Design, treating low-income patients with incurable diseases where she gave Nutritional Counseling, Massage and Alternative Energy Work.
Crystal is married to Wood Block Artist, Eric Stevens. Eric is also the Executive Farmer at La Vista CSA Farm. Crystal is the assistant head-farmer at La Vista CSA Farm, where she manages the greenhouse, designs and updates the website, writes for the newsletter and handles communication between shareholders and the farm. She has found most of her inspiration from her husband and children and in the beauty of the Natural World. Having grown up in the city, Crystal finds it refreshing and rejuvenating to live on a protected plot of land on the beautiful bluffs of the Mighty Mississippi, a major life vein of Mother Earth. She hosts Luna Circles with the phases of the moon, where women gather to release, renew, and inspire each other around the fire through song, dance and story.
Crystal is most drawn to documenting her life on the farm through journal entries, photography, and illustrations. She feels that the creative process of the mind, heart and spirit is a vital element to the human experience. She loves to integrate art and creativity into all of her endeavors: relationships, mothering, farming, writing and cooking; and believes that creativity is essential to happiness.
Current Projects: Crystal’s book, Grow Create Inspire will be out in the Fall of 2016 under New Society Publishers. She is currently working on her second and third books. In addition to blogging for MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Crystal contributes to Permaculture Magazine, Grit magazine, The Healthy Planet Magazine and FEAST magazine. She also writes the weekly newsletter for La Vista CSA Farm.
Crystal has co-illustrated a book with Eric Stevens, written by their friend Kelley Johnson-Powers titled Semore the Bird Tells All that He Heard. She has also illustrated two other children’s books.
Other Fun Facts: Crystal's passions include: art, photography, all aspects of nature, food as medicine, medicinal herbs, gardening and farming, cooking with whole foods they grow with their children, creating value-added products, traveling, hiking, canoeing, camping, and consistently being an advocate and a voice for Mother Earth.
More Places to Find Crystal on the Web:La Vista Ecological Learning Center