HSS Week 7
Coming off the mid-program break, this week was also jammed pack, but on the back-end of the week.
Classes started off with Brian teaching us about animals, aquaculture and pest management in permaculture. We specifically went over to the duck and chicken pen and discussed their inputs vs outputs, pros vs cons, and why they are the only livestock onsite. (Lost Valley previously had sheep, but they constantly escaped. Also honey bees, until a bear came through and demolished the hives.)
We also worked on the agro-forestry project later that day, where we planted nut trees and companion plants in the hugel swales, and then covered them with straw for animal protection and eventually to break down into added nutrients.
The next day we had class with Justin and discussed legal structures of various organizational models, from land trusts to cohousing developments to shared commercial kitchen spaces. I found this information to be very interesting, but most of the class didn’t feel the same.
After Justin we had two guest instructors come talk to us about the ‘One Planet Life’ initiative.
“The One Planet Life is a guide for everyone on the path towards a way of life in which we don’t act as if we had more than one planet Earth. It also represents a manifesto for a change in attitude towards land use…using measurement and verification methods – calculating ecological footprint, in all supply chains, especially food, and embracing closed loop systems.”
It seems like a simple concept, but it’s really difficult to reach. The factors that dictate ‘one planet life’ include: food, travel/mobility, structures, heat, fuel, water, waste and clothing – and the aspects/materials that go into them. For instance, I could eat all fresh food I grew myself from my garden, but I’m still tapped into the city for water or I had to use gas to drive to get the seeds originally or go to the grocery store to buy fruit to go with my veggies. The ripple effect and hidden consequences really stand out when calculating your consumption footprint.
The week capped off with another class from Justin on ‘forgiveness.’ This was definitely a class I needed because, even will all my personal growth thus far, I still held onto things that made me angry instead of embracing forgiveness.
The exercise was to go out into the forest and bring back something that resembled ourselves and a quality we wanted to forgive about ourselves. I brought back a black, hardened seed pod that symbolized how I treat myself, unkind and harsh to the whole – without acknowledging the beautiful potential and opportunity for growth within. I struggled with this concept of forgiveness on more than one level and wrote about it in my journal. Looking back at that entry, I was teetering with a lot of negative personal thoughts and comparison of my progress to other classmates.
We also closed Friday with another LEAF session, and it went better for me than the first time! The themes I took away from this second session were self-forgiveness (prompted from Justin’s class) and stepping out of my “logical head” and living from my “heart space.” Both of which were the exact opposite of how I was living – being hard on myself in every way, and thinking over feeling.
That night, I went to the sauna for the first time… NAKED! (It was liberating – and the only time I did it.)