Doniga Markegard

Markegard Family Gras-fed | Half Moon Bay, CA

1. What was your childhood like?

I was the daughter to a single mom, so we had to get creative with eating and grew a lot of our own food. We used to go to all the farms after harvest and pick what was leftover. I remember one time when I was young, my mom made pizza for me and my friends, but with zucchini crust. My sisters and I were so embarrassed. From a young age, I had a real strong connection to plants, growing food and the importance of health.


I dropped out of high school and enrolled in Wilderness Awareness School. It took me down this path of finding my connection to nature through vision questioning. Gilbert Walking Bull, a Lakota elder coached and mentored me in Lakota spirituality and ceremonies. Then I tracked wolves in Alaska and Idaho for 7 summers to support efforts of research. That’s where I got excited about the potential of Holistic Management.

3. How do you connect with nature?

I connect with nature by listening to my animals. They will tell me if they are uncomfortable or full. There might be something lacking that causes them to be restless. Their coat, their mood, their behavior, it tells it all. 

4. What is your favorite time of day?

I love dawn. My book is called Dawn Again and I wrote it between the hours of 4am and 7am. I go before first light and take a long walk along the beach before I get chores going and the kids off to school. If I don’t consciously seek that connection on a daily basis my whole day is off.

5. Describe your favorite place in nature.

On the edge. One of my favorite edges is between forests and grasslands; I love the redwood forests that abruptly open up into expansive prairies.

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