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HIVE - MIND, a memoir by Gabrielle Myers
Hive-Mind recounts Gabrielle's experiences on a small organic farm in California's Sacramento Valley during the growing season of 2006, as she apprenticed with a female farmer who took her life as the season drew to a close. The memoir begins with Gabrielle's first day on the farm, right after she left her job at an internationally known farm-to-table restaurant, with the intention of taking a long break between cooking full-time and starting graduate school.
Hive-Mind asks what reasons we give ourselves for our sustenance, while considering how this care of the self and our community can be maintained regardless of life’s challenges and simultaneously compromised through alcohol and drug addiction, romantic loss, and a loved one’s death. Farmer’s decision to take her life after a failed romance runs counter to my embrace of life after a brief affair that didn’t work out as she had hoped. The farm’s acres reflect the divergent answers they each came up with in reply to what they both felt as tragic loss.
Gabrielle is an Associate Professor of English, writer, and chef living in the Sacramento Valley of California. For over a decade, she worked as a cook and chef for San Francisco Bay area restaurants and catering companies. During the growing season of 2006, she apprenticed under Laura Trent, farmer and owner of Tip Top Produce, an organic farm that specialized in supplying Bay Area farmers’ markets and fine-dining restaurants with heirloom vegetables. Gabrielle, an Associate Professor of English at San Joaquin Delta College, went to graduate school in her early thirties to earn an M.A. in English from the University of California at Davis and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Saint Mary’s College of California.