I’ve been wanting to write about our Earth Activist Training but made the mistake of actually taking a few days off, afterwards—then got swept into the vortex of a trip down to LA for meetings about The Fifth Sacred Thing movie, and workshops, and more travel….and too much time on the Freeways and not enough quiet down time on the computer to organize the pictures and get them up…and then the killer flu….
But here’s pictures! It was an amazing training—our most diverse yet, because we had a little money left over from a grant, so I decided to offer diversity scholarships to people of color who are working on environmental and food justice. The scholarships got snapped up – and then we had more awesome applicants, and more…so I sent out appeals, and so many of you responded that we were able to bring them all! Thank you!
Charles Williams and I taught the course, but we had some awesome guests–beginning with the wonderful Pandora Thomas who teaches environmental awareness in historically Black colleges around the US:
Eric Wilder, an elder of the local Kashia Pomo Nation, came and taught us about local culture and ecology:
A rainy-day hands-on project–making A-frames to find contour and digging swales on a very steep Cazadero hillside!
We began inside, then moved out when the sun came out!
Erik Ohlsen, of Permaculture Earth Artisans, a brilliant young designer and teacher, was our guest on several days. Here he shows us the best use of a swale:
Our EAT administrator, Susan Park, is handy with a pickaxe as well as a computer!
But it’s not all digging ditches! We took a field trip to Erik’s amazing model permaculture homestead in Sebastopol:
He had them literally hanging from the rafters–or at least, the trees!
And Erik demonstrates yet again that the designer is the recliner!
From his home, we went on to Erik’s new permaculture ranch and business incubator on the outskirts of Sebastopol–an ambitious and inspiring project!
The chicken ark:
Uh-oh–Carmen is pursued by a stalker!
Brandy runs the Girls2000 Program for Hunters Point Family back in San Francisco–one of the programs Earth Activist Training has helped support for many years. I was so thrilled that she was able to take the course!
Back home in the hills, we had unusually warm and balmy weather for our second week. We worked on installing an aquaponics system for our greenhouse pond:
And our final hands-on was a full day of making cob, brown-coat, natural plaster:
And then, finally–design presentation day!
All the groups did great jobs on their presentations, and all the students graduated with Permaculture Design Certificates! So that’s a little taste of the course–lots of work, lots of fun, lots of learning! We are so deeply grateful to all of you who contributed and made possible this fabulous, diverse and rich experience!