Agua Dulce Tour
I started my day at Agua Dulce Farm in Austin, Texas, to check out what a fully-functional aquaponics farm looks like and functions within a semi-urban setting.
“Agua Dulce Farm is a certified-Organic urban farm located in the heart of Austin, Texas, just 5 miles from downtown. We specialize in intensive Organic vegetable farming, using the most most sustainable and productive methods available. Part of what makes us so unique is our use of aquaponics.” — Agua Dulce Farms Webpage
Agua Dulce Farm serves a number of fine restaurants and vendors in Austin and beyond!
Community Gardens – Aquaponics 101
The Community Gardens in Bastrop, Texas, really caught me off-guard because it was cooler than I expected, and that was even before I went through the free Aquaponics 101 class with Tyagaraja Welchthe (a.k.a Tyaga), resident permaculture and aquaponics practitioner, and owner of Sustainable Humane Earth in this business complex.
“At Community Gardens we have partnered with local business to provide quality local products and services to the community! We are an indoor/outdoor market place. We have a plant nursery, boutique, sustainable living systems such as aquaponics and a chicken coop. We also have a custom pool company, Landscape and custom home professionals to help with all your indoor and outdoor home needs! We want Community Gardens to be a unique and hands on experience for the entire family. We will be hosting many classes and events that will engage everyone from the smallest to the oldest and everyone in between. We look forward to serving you the next time you come by.” — Community Gardens Webpage
Texas A&M Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning
Since I stepped back from the marketing field and stepped into the world of communal living, sustainability and permaculture – I’ve considered going back to school for a higher education related to these topics so I can better share them with others (while making a living).
So I contacted Shannon S. Van Zandt at the department of Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning within the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University, and we scheduled a day to meet with faculty members, Eric Bardenhagen and Galen D. Newman, so I could learn more about the programs and which would be best for me! (Many, many thanks to everyone!)
My final stop of the day was at the Roots Cooperative in Austin, Texas, for their open house and ‘meet and greet’ for those interested in upcoming available rooms.
“We are one of the 8 community cooperative here in Austin Texas. Our focus is on environmental sustainability and community building. We are governed through consensus process and highly value communication. Roots was founded by 10 activists out of the Occupy movement and takes a strong political and social stance for equality by gaining awareness of societal generated oppression and creating a new standard for non-hierarchical relationships.” – Fellowship of Intentional Communities Webpage
This is a view of the rental house turned underground cohousing community, which includes a couple of trailers for additional housing space. It’s tucked into an older neighborhood that is slowly being updated and gentrified with newer homes — a consistent trend in Austin.
The School of Permaculture
My experience with the School of Permaculture (SOP) started before I left for Lost Valley Education and Event Center in Oregon, where I earned my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) and Ecovillage Design Education Certificate (EDE) as part of LV’s Holistic Sustainability Semester (HSS) program. (See past blog posts)
I officially met Nicholas Burtner and his wife, Kristi Burtner, at their suburban home demonstration site in Plano, Texas, for one of their free ‘Intro to Permaculture’ classes — which was the Friday before the start of their in-person PDC class weekend from Saturday to Sunday at the Plano Environmental Education Center.
City of the Sun Pt. 1 & Mexico Bike Adventure – Summary:
- Who: Sheila Bjeletich; Juan Rascon
- What: Left the state of Arizona; Arrived at City of the Sun in Columbus, New Mexico; Biked across the Mexico border into Palomas to visit a host family and nonprofit; Biked back across the US border after the Mexico tour
- When: Saturday, April 7
- Where: Columbus, NM; Palomas, MX
Planning my Eco-Inspired Road Trip Blog Post
My Travel Story:
Leaving Arizona, I spent the day driving through the desert into New Mexico on my way to the City of the Sun in Columbus, New Mexico, with the aim of getting there in the middle of the afternoon so we could go into Mexico and checkout the nonprofit projects my host was involved with.
I arrived at the City of the Sun, which initially looked like a mobile home park up front – but as I drove towards the back of the community, there were less manufactured mobile homes and more alternative architecture structures, tiny homes and creative compounds.