500th blog post: A dedication to Gloria Martin, my grandmother.

500 posts & 100,000+ views by over 10,000 visitors in 7 years- it seems like a dream. In a way it is because what we do here is so unique, so outside the box, that we seem to be existing in our own world of organic gardening, delicious plants, and progressive education. Peruse the search box on this site and see all the things we have done over that 7 years. All the support over the years has meant so much, Orca is truly an amazing place.

I just might owe the original inspiration for what I do to my grandmother Gloria Martin. She was a tireless supporter of women’s and human rights, a radical socialist feminist, an AMAZING gardener, and an all around rabble rouser that inspired so many people to march in the streets and create change. She was the co-creator of the progressive activist group Radical Women. She also owned a bookstore that housed the largest collection of radical literature in Seattle. We are rapidly approaching the 20th anniversary of her death and her 100th birthday.

Gloria Martin: My grandmother

Gloria Martin: My grandmother

You can buy her book Socialist Feminism: The First Decade at The New Freeway Hall bookstore just blocks from Orca. When I was 13 I saw her give a speech there at a dinner dedicated to her. She spoke of all the work we have to do as a community to keep changing, keep growing, and keep evolving. Then she waved a handkerchief in the air and yelled, “Let’s get to work!!”. The crowd cheered w/ a standing ovation and a seed was planted in my mind to be a part of that change.

The revolution: One plant at a time

The revolution: One plant at a time

The family home that had the most amazing garden ever is just blocks from Orca too- there are deep roots in this community for myself and my family. That’s why it means so much to grow food here at Orca for the people that need it. My grandmother was the most amazing harborist and plant aficionado, as well as being a radical progressive activist. It’s hard not to be sentimental after all these years- for both Orca & my grandmother. Thank you for all the support.


5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Thank you for your incredible work, Anthony. It is a treasure to all to be reminded of our roots and to continue to look back in order to understand who we are and where we will go. Thank you for introducing me to your grandmother.


  2. 3

    Anonymous said,

    What a wonderful legecy. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. 4

    tamaraguyton said,

    May I just say, Anthony, that you are the coolest of the cool! I knew that you and your family have been a part of the progressive movement in Seattle, but it is so amazing to know more details about your grandmother. A co-founder of Radical Women? Wow! Powerful blood runs through your veins! Thank you to you and your family for the work you have all done for our community. We are so lucky to have you here. (LOVE the pic of you, too – perfect!!).

  4. 5

    rhinoplasm said,

    Viola asked about her great-grandmother again, today. We read from the book on Notable American Women about her life. We were reading from the book and a flood of memories came out. More than anybody in our family, you have continued her good work. I miss her and think about her often.

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