The Organic Cyclist

from seed to saddle


A Quest for Land

Tulip, at Sustainable Settings Farm and Education site

So our “Quest for Land” has somehow landed us in Northern Idaho in a town called Sandpoint , just 60 miles South of the Canadian border.   Collin Duke and I started our journey on August 31st  from Sustainable Settings in  Carbondale, ColoradoSustainable Settings , run by Brook and Rose Le Van, is the farm/education site where Collin and I first met and fell in love (awww).  I was working there as a volunteer liaison between Sustainable Settings and a Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) Course run by the Permaculture Institute.  Collin was a student in the PDC, a course I had completed last year  in Costa Rica.  Our instructor, Scott Pittman  is the founder of the Permaculture Institute.  He lives with his wife Arina and son Sasha on a Farm and Education site in  Santa Fe, New Mexico called “Lots of life in one Place”.  It is here, where we made our next stop for an educational, open house before heading back to Collin’s home town of Fort Worth, Texas.  After a few weeks stay in Ft. Worth to visit with family and to put Collin’s condo on the market, we were on our way to Montana to find our dream parcel of Land.

Biodynamic Winery – The Permaculture Design group

Our travels first brought us to Colorado Springs where we visited my dear friend from back East, Kristen and her lovely family, husband Marc and two super cool daughters, Peyton and Justine.  Xoxo.  Then a short visit for a breakfast of buckwheat pancakes with the very blue, Heather Hava.  Literally, everything she owns is blue (see above).  Heather is from our Permaculture course.  She and her husband live in Golden, Colorado where they have built a geodesic dome in their back yard.  Very Impressive.  Sorry I have no pictures.  ;(  I know!!!  

Justine, ME and Peyton

Justine, ME and Peyton

We spent several exhausting, 10 hour days viewing parcels of  land in the St Regis area of Montana.  St. Regis is just north of Missoula with a population of just a few hundred people.  The last parcel of  land we viewed in Montana happened to be in a very small town called Heron.  Here we could find no Inn, so we had to move on to the closest populated town, which was, none other than, Sandpoint, Idaho.  As soon as we arrived in Sandpoint we parked right in front of the bi-weekly Farmer’s Market.  It was love at first sight.  We talked to a vendor selling raw, goat’s cheese and after chatting for a while we decided that we had come to the right town.  He gave us the name of a realtor who walked a few properties with us the following day.  We then took root in Sandpoint, finding a temporary condo on the lake, we continued our search.   The next day as we were walking by Sotheby’s International Realty we noticed a foreclosed property at a great price. We decided to venture out  on our own, now that we had become accustomed to viewing plat maps and finding corner property markers.  The next day we called the realtor for the official plat map and info on the property…we went back and found an even better parcel and put an offer in the very next day……after several back and forth offers and counter offers….we are now under contract!!!  Whoo hoo!!!  More to come on our reasons for choosing this parcel and how we intend to use the land………..Thank you to all who encouraged us to move forth on this great adventure…You are a BIG part of the reason we are HERE!!!!   Love, Diana & Collin

Collin with Lady Liberty in Sandpoint, Idaho


View from one of our building sites


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Cobbing, tunnel chanting, tomatoes, a swim in the Ocean and a Mandolin

Life is good on Orella Ranch in Goleta Ca! Activities on the ranch during my stay included but were not limited to; children playing with the new farm puppy, Oso, singing around the bon fire, hula hooping, disco dancing, everyone stomping barefoot in a clay, mud mix used for making a natural materials cob bench, harvesting tomatoes, onions and kale from the garden and a photo shoot of one the WOOFers for an article on volunteer farming in Self Magazine. Oh yes, and how could I forget the fantastic beach and swimming accessed via a long, pitch black tunnel whilst we chanted along the way. This also included dolphin sightings everyday! Ridiculously awesome!!

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Santa Barbara Tourist Hostel

I spent the last three nights at the Santa Barbara Tourist Hostel. What a fun stay!! I met people from Russia, Ireland, England, Bulgaria, Brazil and many places across the US.

Especially entertaining were the three gentlemen from London riding from Canada to Mexico. I first spotted them riding through town with no helmets and a cardboard sign posted to their bike “Canada to Mexico” and a Mexican flag flying from the back!

The three guys from England riding from Canada to Mexico were especially entertaining! I first spotted them riding around town with their cardboard sign wearing no helmets. I later learned thT they had traded in their helmets for a place t to camp

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Bits and Pieces

So, I am still trying to perfect updating my blog on a regular basis…..I am now in Santa Barbara and enjoying a short break in a hotel on the Beach!  So lovely. 

I just arrived in Santa Barbara yesterday after a brief stay at Shepherd’s Farm in Carpenteria, where, while working the Farm stand with Sam, I met the Surfing Chef and Krista and Steve from edible Santa Barbara.

Looking to stay the next two nights at a hostel in Santa Barbara…….before heading off to the next farm, Orella Ranch in Goleta.

Santa Barbara…….Happiness is finding a whole Organic chocolate bar when you are famished and completely out of food with no decent food store in sight!!!!!!

The Surfing Chef


Catching up

Well, it has been longer than I wanted. A few technical challenges but I am back on track now…..

I am currently in Malibu at Vital Zuman farm in Malibu! Today I spent the day with my best friends from TCSD at the Malibu Triathlon!!! TCSD is the best Triathlon club in the world!!!! Congrats go out to Jonathan Lopez who podiumed two days in a row!!! Way to represent.

Thanks to Jake and Katie I had a great swim in the 58 degree h2o!!!

It was so amazing to see all of my friends today!!! What a special day on my adventure…..meeting up with the people I love! Thank you especially to Sara and Tim…you have such a great place in my heart and in my life!!!

The three Amigos….


I made it to Judy’s Homegrown!

After nine hours on the road. A stop at a bike shop for a new saddle and bike shorts. A stop for flip flops in Dana Point. A stop for a sandwich at Trader Joe’s in Newport Beach. A stop for a swim in Huntington Beach where I met Moni and Christina and also took 2 hours to have the lock sawed off of my bike after losing my key! Ugh!!! Good times though!