Crystal Stevens, Missouri Forest Alliance Cofounder
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 and Crystal co-managed La Vista CSA Farm from 2010-2016. They currently are starting a small permaculture inspired farm, Thrive Forest & Field. They host a Resilient Living Workshop Series with topics ranging from Permaculture, Vermiculture, Medicinal Herbs, Home Apothecary, Seed Saving, Composting, Healthy Cooking, Food as Medicine, Ethical Foraging, Gardening 101, Gardening with Children, Cooking with Kids, Mushroom Inoculation, Maple Sugaring, Natural Household Cleaners, Fermentation 101, Botanical Illustration, Nature Journaling and more. Follow their journey at Grow Create Inspire, find them on Facebook at Grow Create Inspire and follow them on Instagram @growcreateinspire.
Crystal 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 also an Art Teacher and hosts Art and Garden Summer Camps for kids.
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 was released in the Fall of 2016 under New Society Publishers. Her second book, Worms at Work will be released spring of 2017. Crystal is also working on a Seasonal Eating Cookbook which covers homegrown produce and ethically foraged ingredients. In addition to blogging for MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Crystal contributes to Permaculture Magazine, Grit magazine, The Healthy Planet Magazine and FEAST magazine. Crystal is the Publicist for Emmy Award Winning Film Maker, Greg Kiger for his Company, What 2 Eat
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. They are working on several more Children’s Books together. 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.
Connect with Crystal:La Vista Ecological Learning Center