School of Permaculture

The School of Permaculture

School of Permaculture LogoMy 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.

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EarthX Expo 2018

EarthX Expo 2018 – Day 1 & 2 Summary

After my eco-inspired road trip, I had a hard time getting involved with sustainability initiatives in the Dallas Metroplex area compared to my time in Oregon. However, during Earth Day weekend, April 20-22 (with Earth Day on April 22), Dallas hosted its annual EarthX Expo, and I was excited to attend for my second year in a row!

“The festival, formerly called Earth Day Texas, is the world’s largest environmental festival, having drawn as many as 130,000 people. The main festival costs $5 and runs from Friday through Sunday at Fair Park.

But there are also two weeks’ worth of events, including a film festival and professional conferences that aren’t open to the public.

The three-day expo draws the general public with a tiny house village, a petting zoo, goat yoga, a scuba diving pool and about 1,000 exhibitors. At the same time, the festival is hosting conferences to discuss sustainability initiatives in the oil and gas industry and the E-Capital Summit to link investors with clean technology startups.” – Dallas Morning News Article

Last year in 2017, I went to EarthX for networking purposes and to drum up new business for the marketing agency I was working at. And the experience was more than inspiring getting to talk with hundreds of vendors/exhibitors, touring the tiny house community, watching some award-winning documentaries, and seeing cutting-edge sustainability initiatives and technologies!

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Eco-Road Trip – Hummingbird Community

Hummingbird Community – Summary:

  • Who: Rich Ruster
  • What: Visited and toured the Hummingbird Community
  • When: Monday, April 9
  • Where: Cleveland, NM

Quick Resources:

My Route:

Planning my Eco-Inspired Road Trip Blog Post

 

My Travel Story:

I left the Commons on the Alameda that morning and drove into the high mountains of New Mexico to visit the Hummingbird Community, also known as the Hummingbird Transformational Living Center.

“Nestled in a valley among the Aspens, Cottonwoods, and Ponderosa Pines in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico, rests a 500-acre ranch that is home to a 20-person residential Hummingbird Community.

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Eco-Road Trip – The Canelo Project

The Canelo Project – Summary:

  • Who: Bill Steen
  • What: Got lost without GPS/Cell reception; Visited the natural buildings of the Canelo Project community
  • When: Friday, April 6
  • Where: Elgin, AZ

Quick Resources:

My Route:

Planning my Eco-Inspired Road Trip Blog Post

 

My Travel Story:

After leaving Avalon Organic Gardens & Ecovillage, I spent the day driving to The Canelo Project in Elgin, AZ. While it was a beautiful countryside of grassy plains and desert parries with mountain ranges dotting the horizon – I had no cell phone reception to call or search for my GPS location – so I spent several hours lost in the area, going down wrong roads, waiting for free-range cows to cross the road, and circling back to high hills to get one or two cell bars to make calls.

I finally find the right road a few hours later, much to the exasperation of my host, and this was another destination with a long road seemingly to nowhere – passing camping grounds, a ranger station and over several cow pastures.

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Eco-Road Trip – Avalon Organic Gardens & Ecovillage

Avalon Organic Gardens & Ecovillage – Summary:

  • Who: TaliSeen JahRing
  • What: Toured and had lunch at the Avalon Organic Gardens & Ecovillage
  • When: Friday, April 6
  • Where: Tumacacori, AZ

Quick Resources:

My Route:

Planning my Eco-Inspired Road Trip Blog Post

 

My Travel Story:

I started the day with a personal tour led by TaliSeen JahRing, the Farm Manager of Avalon Organic Gardens & Ecovillage (AOGE), an impressive ecovillage model with stacks of sustainability initiatives and green projects, built on a strong Christian foundation, spiritual exploration, vocational learning and training, and organic permaculture practices.

On my way to AOGE, I pulled over at a rest stop to take a phone call, and came across this rock – which really set the tone for the day!

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Eco-Road Trip – Wind Spirit Community

Wind Spirit Community – Summary:

  • Who: “Don”
  • What: Visited the Wind Spirit Community
  • When: Thursday, April 5
  • Where: Winkelman, AZ

Quick Resources:

My Route:

Planning my Eco-Inspired Road Trip Blog Post

 

My Travel Story:

My second stop of the day after The Bee Oasis was after a long drive through the desert canyons and mining towns to Wind Spirit Community (WSC) in Winkelman, AZ. (This was another community with a long road seemingly to nowhere, but I pushed on and finally made it without any GPS navigation.)

A picture from my drive to Wind Spirit Community, which resembles the general terrain I was driving through.

I stopped in a mining town rest-stop and took a picture of the old refinery factory on the hillside.

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