Since moving to Nevada County in 2007, Aimee has immersed herself in the community through volunteering for schools, nonprofits, and teaching Nia classes.  She is the Co-Director of Sierra Harvest, a Nevada County organization that educates, inspires and connects families to fresh, local, seasonal food.  Her passion for making sure kids get the best food they possibly can is what fueled her to begin the farm-to-school program in Nevada County.  She is also a strategic business planning and marketing consultant and is a member of the CNL coaching and consulting network.  She was identified as an emerging sage leader in Nevada County making significant community contributions and is a graduate of the Nevada County Community Leadership Institute.  Her husband and three children crave all things outdoors, share a love of music and enjoy being part of the Sierra Foothills community.

JAN 5 Aimee Retzler and Radu .JPG
Radu Sava filming Ruth’s interview with Aimee Retzler

Aimee and I met over a cup of tea one afternoon at her home, while both of our kids were in school. We talked about how her sense of belonging is connected to her purpose here. Aimee’s story began with a farming family in Ohio, moved to a career with Gap in San Francisco, and continues here in Nevada County with her family. Aimee has a full schedule running food assistance programs that educate people on how to grow their own food, provide legal services and support to farmers, and bring fresh food to school lunches. I cried during our interview as she shared the stories of several people whose lives were dramatically changed, and she explained to me what Cosmic Pay is. Cosmic Pay is the payment we get from helping others when we receive payment in the form of gratitude. She learned this in her Nia practice; she describes it as something that sustains farmers despite everything they have to do to make a living from farming. It made me think about how Cosmic Pay has got to be driven by purpose. For Aimee, purposeful action and the resultant Cosmic Payment brings the community together and creates a sense of belonging.

Aimee is a featured participant of BELONGING, a community arts initiative led by Nevada County Arts Council, Artist-in-Residence Ruth Chase, generously funded in part by California Arts Council through its Artists Activating Communities Program.

To learn more about Aimee and the Sierra Harvest.