Slow Down, Reconnect, Enjoy and Learn along the SLO County Farm Trail through FARMstead Ed

Zoom, virtual, telecommuting, self-driving, robotic, remote, quantum computing, push a button, overnight, maximize, lab-grown, instant, high tech, Google, factory farms, e-commerce, data-driven, corporate, the cloud, buy now, automation, artificial reality, artificial intelligence, Alexa…stop… 

It seems like humanity is speeding ever faster away from itself, from personal hands-on experiences, and from connections we have with each other and the natural world. To make matters worse, the combination of our immediate lifestyle with the recent isolation caused by the pandemic has further compounded our collective disconnect by creating a strange time-warping effect on our psyche. What can we do? Enter Lynette Sonne, founder and “Herd Boss” of FARMstead Ed and creator of the SLO County Farm Trail map, who just might have the antidote we need.

The “COVID time warp” has been spoken about by Psychology Today, Wired, Vox, and other publications and basically refers to a warping of our senses by simultaneously having too much time while being stressed by not having enough time. Spending time without having meaningful, immersive events to mark its passing takes a toll. What’s the difference between celebrating a birthday with friends and family virtually, watching a movie at home, or playing a game on the computer? How engaged are you with each of these experiences, and how memorable are they? Also, with the ability to order just about anything at any time and receive it within hours by the press of a button or a word to Alexa, do we know where it actually comes from, what’s involved, or who even made the product?

The human experience is multisensory; we are tied to each other and the natural world by millions of bits of information coming to us through sight, sound, touch, smell, taste, and movement but one by one, we have been cutting our connections and suffering the consequences.

Meet Lynette Sonne, who, since founding FARMstead ED in 2014, has been making connections, creating awareness, and providing experiences for “tourists and townies” to learn about the importance of sustainable practices and craft through SLO Counties farms, ranches, purveyors, and partners. From Vicarious Ranch in San Miguel at the north to The Luffa Farm in Nipomo to the south, you will find 27 locations along the SLO County Farm Trail map for workshops, farm tours, tastings, “agriCULTURAL” experiences, pop-up markets, farm stays, “Table-to-Farm” dinners and much more!

Over the years, Lynette Sonne has rounded up talented, knowledgeable, and caring professionals who are excited about what they do and happy to share their passions with others. As “Herd Boss,” Lynette is talented in matchmaking FARMstead ED businesses to offer memorable experiences throughout the county. 

A typical workshop example would be the recent “Grow Your Own Beneficial Garden” held at The Educated Gardener in Santa Margarita, which included a tour, talk by Simone of The Educated Gardener and Megan from Clearwater Color about the importance of and how to attract beneficial to your garden, a hands-on take-home project and a delicious lunch by Thomas Hill Organics.

Interested in Alpacas, cheese making, or how to make goat’s milk soap? Check into the Private events available at Santa Margarita’s Giving Tree Farm.

Look for the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend Farm Trail Pop-up Market at SLO Provisions or find many more opportunities to slow down, reconnect, enjoy and learn by picking up a SLO County Farm Trail map or by visiting FARMsteadEd.com.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles