GROWING FOOD AND FLOWERS IN THE LEHIGH VALLEY & BEYOND
Sienna Mae Heath
My growing experience has been evolving for the past 10+ years. It began with a hyacinth. Then, a basil sprout. And finally, a rogue pumpkin vine out of my compost coaxed me to grow my own vegetables. Seven years later, I’ve re-rooted in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where I have planted five gardens over the past five years.
Growing food and flowers, I planted an urban garden at a coworking office and developed four areas at the East 40 community garden.
At the East 40, I paired companions such as potatoes and alyssum in my container garden alongside the shed of the Center for Clay and Fire. In the ground, I established several plots:
1) a raised bed of dahlias, sage and mint at times companioned with brassica
2) adjacent to that bed, The Three Sisters of Indian corn, squash, and string beans set apart from cantaloupe, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and nasturtium
3) also adjacent, sunflowers and zinnias landscaped with stones from the East 40’s ceramics kiln
4) nearby, a pollinator patch of Queen Anne’s lace, yarrow, rudbeckia, echinacea, salvia, and chamomile to attract the bees from the hive on site
Yearly, I start seedlings under a grow light and harden them off in the courtyard of my Southside apartment building. TrueLeaf Market has invited me to join their affiliate program and share my experience using their products in my window garden on social media (@thesovereigngardener).
In 2023, I’m creating a tea garden of Tulsi basil, chamomile, cornflower, lavender, sage, chrysanthemum, yarrow, calendula, rose hips, morning glory, strawberry leaves, blueberry leaves, and raspberry leaves with lemon mint and peppermint
– pairing the teas with ceramic mugs made by my father Walter Heath and mother Bahereh Khodadoost at their home. We will plant fruits and vegetables as well, while I’ll continue to tend to the cowork garden, grow with friends in
the Lehigh Valley, and begin volunteering at a local farm.
POETRY, PODCASTS, and MUSINGS ON THE WORLD
“Above all the displays of bravery and declarations of independence, there is something that much more precious — hope.”
– Sienna Mae Heath
The Hero’s Journey
My poetry and podcasts for Free the People explore embodying art as a way of being, posing the question: What motivates someone to step out as an individual?
Interview Series with Dissidents and Whistleblowers
Host Sienna Mae Heath continues the conversation started in Kibbe on Liberty | Ep 207 to explore Matt’s origin story: the song lyrics and hero’s journey novel that inspired him to start Free the People. Matt and Sienna discuss how artists can lead by inspiration, not force. They reflect on Sienna’s upbringing with a family of artists and examples of art vs. authoritarianism around the world, including in Sienna’s mother’s native country of Iran where poets & musicians are targeted by the Islamic regime.
Film/Poem: The Trampled Woman
This poem is dedicated to Candice Sero who was trampled by police on horses in Ottawa on the evening of February 18, 2022 at the Freedom Convoy, which sought to defeat the vaccine mandates across Canada and inspired unifying protests around the world. Candace “Candy” Sero is reportedly a Mohawk elder who has lived in the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in Hastings County, Ontario. She survived the incident while suffering from a broken clavicle. It has been brought to attention that she was holding a white shawl, resembling a white flag on her walking assist device—a symbol of peace.
Poetry and Music
For the New World
The Time Before
A poem on choosing to be wronged when righteous – remembering a time before birthing into this shift of ages.
Nothing But Light
Nothing but Light: Honoring the Storied Shadows of Recovery, my spoken word show live from IceHouse Tonight with Gary Lader on accordian and piano.