One of the ways that plants build resilience is cross-pollination. Pollen is transferred from flower to flower in endless possibilities to create new genetic combinations. When left to their own yearnings flowering plants favor genetic combinations that create fertile seeds.

The primary goal of Rustbelt Roots is to cross-pollinate ideas and stories that contribute to resilient communities. So it was fitting that I turn to The Pollination Project for funding to create an educational program that supports that goal.

The Pollination Project further awarded a small grant to Ashtabula Grows! in 2020, a series of live classes recorded and available at the website.

Rustbelt Roots is a platform for stepping off into discussions and experiments and has many goals. More on that later. First more on how the money from The Pollination Project is being used.

Right now I am working on localized publications <zines> that have a focus on community resilience. I am looking for writers and illustrators to support this work (a stipend is available). Zines will be available online and in paper.

Why paper? Because I live in a community where many people don’t have access to the internet, some have a short capacity for screen time, some have only limited access, and some don’t want actually want access at all. Hundreds of the guide to storing fresh produce were distributed through the local food bank.

Part of the deal here is that some of the publications will be distributed free to those in need. Many of the publications will be about food, water, and what the heck is community resilience. To generate and cultivate ideas around resilience, I started a facebook group, join me.


resilient communities that live deeply and more sustainably


to cultivate resilience in the rustbelt


Becoming Rooted in the Rustbelt

Living in the rustbelt has its challenges. One challenge I gladly accept is the amazing opportunity to learn about building resilience in individuals and communities. Rustbelt Roots is my project to cultivate resilience in this place that I mysteriously landed, yet I find myself surrounded by relatives. An unintended coming home? A journey to the rustbelt… now sending down my roots.

Leah Wolfe, herbalist, folk artist, health educator
Trillium Center – for hands-on classes
Stick Medicine – online classes, market & musings