North American Tea Tour Begins! – Friday Harbor, WA

Farewell Tea Toast!
Farewell Tea Toast!

Yep, it’s really happening – 2 or more years of traveling the land without an itinerary serving free tea and being of service. And it all began today, Spring Equinox, at Brickworks in Friday Harbor, WA.

Too many folks to fit all inside the bus.
Too many folks to fit all inside the bus.

Why a free TeaPotLuck? I view our life as a giant potluck, where we all have a thing or two to bring to the table. If each of us brings whatever it is we are compelled to bring or what we have in abundance, then we all walk away from the table with a well rounded meal. If I bring a salad and you brings salmon, and someone else brings bread, we are all fed well and have a good time. It is my firm belief that we all have something to contribute in this way in life.

My contribution to this potluck of life (among other things) is tea, a meeting space, and an openness to share knowledge.

For our going away teapotluck, people swarmed with tea, honey, milk alternatives, cookies, biscotti, bread, olives, cheese, crackers, hummus, bitters, sipping vinegar, cinnamon rolls. Almost everyone who came brought gifts.

Many folks, old and young, and in between.
Many folks, old and young, and in between.

In using the Brickworks space (which was created and run by the San Juan Ag Guild), we focused on local goods, encouraging people to bring locally grown and made items… We were lucking in having teas made from local and organic herbs from Amanda and Isla Botanica, bitters and sipping vinegar made from locally grown and wild-craft plants and honey from Kari’s Island Elixers, biscotti made by local Federico Farms, Chinese medicinal teas from local Chinese herbalist Amber, some herbs from Aunde at Celtic Herbcraft, and cookies, muffins, and bread from Mark at Bakery San Juan. This is in addition to many other gifts for the road like mugs, instant organic oatmeal, dish towels, sugar, and much more.

The forecast threatened us with rain and gusts of wind up to 50 MPH. The morning showed us some hope with sunny blue skies. By the time we set up, it didn’t seem like it was going to get too crazy. We set out rugs, cushions, and tables, but just as we were about to start serving the wind picked up and the rain started. I set up a giant tarp, but it was like a giant parachute and it was moving the picnic tables it was tied to, so we took it down (after I got a significant smack in the face). We moved the rugs and cushions out of the rain and much of the teapotluck was inside the bus. Fortunately the weather was reasonably mellow, so people weren’t too scared to come out to the event.

Abigail and Ally

Many faces showed up. Friends of old and new. My middle school computer teacher came by to say hello, see the bus, and take a couple photos. A buddy who I used to skateboard with when I was 13 was doing some wiring inside Brickworks and came by… It was fun to see his perspective of the bus and project. There were parents, who are friends, and love me like I’m their own (and who I love the same way back!), teachers, community activists, farmers, natural health practitioners, students, tinkerers, builders, bakers, and so many more came. People were curious about the vegetable oil system and I showed them my centrifuge/filtering setup. Probably 50 people came throughout the day. So much love was shared with Edna and I, which I now carry on to bring to the next town and onward!

Many people were asking where we are going, when we’re leaving the island, etc. The best answer really is I don’t know. I think this weekend will bring us to Orcas, then Lopez early next week, and within the next 6 months down to Northern California to meet my brother’s new baby boy (due any minute now). Other than that, plans are minimal, and I hope to keep them that way! This way we can accept many offers, offer many offers, go where we feel, and find true, uninhibited connections with people and places along the way. Yay!

Many good conversations!
Many good conversations!
Amber and Tico
Amber and Tico
Many, many folks inside all day.
Many folks inside all day.






Special thanks to Ally for helping organize this event, Amanda for bringing such fabulous teas from Isla Botanica, Elaine from Sweet Earth Farm for helping coordinate and chipping in, the Ag Guild for letting us use the space even though it’s not done, and everyone else who was part of this event!

Thank you everyone!!! We are all in this potluck of life together.


5 responses to “North American Tea Tour Begins! – Friday Harbor, WA”

  1. What a delightful idea! I look forward to reading more about it.

  2. Hey did I miss a veggie conversion post somewhere? Seeing Edna was super inspiring when I saw it in Arcata and convinced me to put in some long overdue work on my bus. I remember you mentioning that you had some plans for the VO and I’d love to see what you ended up working out!

    1. You did not miss the post! I am actually working on 5 (or so) part veggie conversion series of posts (tank building, oil collection, cleaning and dewatering, and the clean oil system/running veg). Keep your eye on the blog. It will start being posted in a month or so probably… Yay!

      1. Hooray!

  3. […] This is the moment when I take the time to reflect on a dream I once had – a dream that I worked towards, with the help of many people, for many years, and just this month completed. This dream was to travel the country, from coast to coast, serving free tea to anyone and everyone as a way to cultivate community and inspire sharing. Often when we accomplish an idea or dream, we quickly move to the next one without taking adequate time to consider the impact. That is what this winter is for: reflecting on accomplishing a personal goal – the North American Free Tea Tour.  […]

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