When does a story begin?  People ask how Locoal became a business and where the ideas came from.  This story begins with Petey, sustainability vigilante and founder of Locoal Charcoal Company.  

In 2014, Petey identified his future homestead when he plopped his finger on a map and said “I’m going to live here.”  The neglected property sat just outside the fast-paced life of Austin, on eight old growth acres on the Lower Colorado River.  Using internet sleuthing, Petey tracked down the owner of the property, made a handshake deal, and on November 8th, 2014, he made his first dream come true.  

The previous owners were both researchers and held PhDs in Anthropology.  Dr. Judy Josserand finished her PhD in 1967 in deciphering the MixTec Dialect history, a central American language.  A few years later, she and her husband purchased the property. They chose the property due to Native Americans employing the land to run their cattle across the river and into the plains every Spring.  Perched at the top of the riverbed sits an old growth pecan tree, estimated to be 200 years old. The roots show after decades of river erosion, but they hold back the riverbank against annual floods. It is easy to picture local tribes meeting there, sitting on the river’s edge watching the annual cattle drive.  

Under this tree is where Dr. Josserand deciphered the Mayan and Olmec hieroglyphs.  Under this tree is a special place. Under this tree dreams have been created, visualized and completed.  Under this tree is where Petey began chasing his next dreams.

Flash forward to November 9th, 2015.  Petey was unexpectedly laid off from a startup and without a plan B, he went home to his home.  He wandered out to this tree, sat down and with just the sound of the breeze through the leaves, Petey had his first meditation session under the tree.  

He asked, “Hey pecan tree,” said like pee-can, “ what’s your favorite band?”  

It responded, “The Almond Brothers!”  

Being a sucker for puns, and a fan of the Allmaun Brothers, Petey quickly thought of the lyrics, “Crossroads seem to come and go,” as a great description of this magical spot beneath this old pecan tree.  These lyrics come from the song “Melissa.”

“Melissa!” Petey said.  “Your name must be Melissa!”  This world works in mysterious ways.

After a few meditation sessions under Melissa, Petey finally had to ask.  “What am I supposed to do next?”

Melissa replied, “Biochar.”

“Bio-what?” Petey thought.  Melissa replied, “Biochar.” And Petey heard his calling.

————–Check in next week to learn more about the story of Locoal————

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