Thursday, June 19, 2008

Early Morning Shift

Nothing has gotten me out of my funk faster than the early morning breakfast shift. Something about waking up with the sun, getting the coffee going, and preparing simple yet satisfying food to fuel the bodies and minds of my friends, teammates, and the good folks who are here taking the Permaculture course. In about a half hour Wade will walk in, followed by Kurt, as they lovingly offer help, share remembered dreams, and bless me with childish laughter at dawn. By 6 am the coffee and hot water are ready, a simple snack is out on the table, and I stroll the house with a bell ringing to awake those in their slumber, imagining myself in an ashram and we are about do do our morning prayers. No prayers on these mornings, just smiles, soft conversation, and excitement for the 6:30 class. The participants leave and I remain in the kitchen, I prepare something warm and wholesome... either something simple like grits or oats, or I use the New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook for a special something, like scrambled tofu, or zucchini pancakes.

I find I am nourished in the kitchen as I prepare nourishment for others. It is a good break from my ball and chain we call the office.... And this is one great value of living in community- the opportunity to be involved in different projects/responsibilities as part of my work, of my offering to the shared effort.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Brother Martin on Sonnenchien

Our friend Brother Martin recently wrote a great description of the goings on at the recent Sonnenscien Green Power festival in Hohenwald TN. Check it out! SOUNDS OF SONNENSCHIEN

Sonnenscien and Brother Martin

Our friend Brother Martin recently wrote a great description of the goings on at the recent Sonnenscien Green Power festival in Hohenwald TN. Check it out! SOUNDS OF SONNENSCHIEN

Monday, June 9, 2008

Living Well in the Age Of Global Weirding

With all the news of food shortages, peak oil and climate change swirling around the media...the question begins to form: how can we survive all the craziness?

Well this weekend in Hohenwald Tennessee at he Second Annual Sonnenchien Green Power Festival, we got a sneak peak on how to survive, and indeed live well in this age of global weirding. (for a quick discussion on the scene in Hohenwald this weekend check out my personal blog

Three keynote speakers with radically simple and practical solutions gave us their expertise on how to weave together the possibilities to create localized, decentralized, resilient and sustainable communities. Albert Bates, David Blume and Catherine Fitts gave three distinct angles on how to empower communities to self organize to create sustainable solutions.
The topics covered really spanned the range from economic development, to energy and food security and community decision making and democracy.

Albert gave a talk on Transition Towns a system for self organized solution oriented change to prepare for energy decent in a post-petroleum world. Albert Explores these ideas in his latest book: The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook with humor and zest.

David spoke about the truth about the food vs fuel myth being bounced around, pointing out that food is a natural by=product of a well designed energy farm. His book Alcohol Can Be A Gas provides a detailed description on how to create small decentralized energy farms to power our communities and generate food and healthy ecosystems.

Catherine Fitts gave us a wake up call about the nature of our economy and the siphoning of capital out of local communities and into the hands of large transnational corporations. This pattern is one of the keys to re-localizing and re-democratizing our lives...she offers advice on how to invest in sustainable and ethical ventures and navigate the falling doller at

The combination of these three powerful ideas and speakers is a detailed map that can empower any community to chart a course towards sustainability and local health and well being.

Check out The Gaiapoiesis blog for a follow up to Living Well in the Age of Global Warming

Friday, June 6, 2008

Paddling the Buffalo

With so much to do and learn here at the Ecovillage it is some times hard to rip ourselves away from The Farm...

There is so much going on out in the world, and one of the central tenets of permaculture design is to spend time in nature gathering inspiration from the environment. The first step in being able to observe nature is to GET OUT IN IT!!

So in that vein we took a day canoe trip down the Buffalo River...getting swept down stream by a gentle current and gazing in awe at the lush green of the Tennessee hills.

The Buffalo river, according tot he locals, is one of the cleanest rivers in the country. This is due in part because of the efforts of the Swan Conservation Trust, and of course our friendly neighbors the Amish who have been living off the land and stewarding their corner of creation for quite some time now.