Saturday, January 30, 2010

UMass Permaculture Class Visits Sirius Community

It's been a good transition back from Milwaukee to Amherst. The worms are happy and well fed, the house is looking great and gearing up for an eventful (planting) spring and I've begun teaching the first UMass permaculture class.

The course is currently over-enrolled by 3 (only 25 students can officially sign up, but 28 is OK) and because of this, I'm having to turn people away, which is difficult for me. This class should continue to run each semester (I'm going to try, believe me) and I believe permaculture is a subject that should be taught more regularly at academic there are so many young people looking to make this world a better place. Permaculture, a very broad term, incorporates this entire way of living - beyond sustainable - to regenerating the land and our planet.

This coming week I am taking the class to Sirius Community - an educational and sustainable ecovillage in Shutesbury, Massachusetts. We will be leaving UMass campus at 1:30 and arriving in Shutesbury a little before 2:00. Class will be held from 2:00 - 4:00 and then we will split up into groups and begin cooking dinner. There will be over 30 of us from UMass (including me, my TA Sam Billings, and former students of Sirius) and close to 20 others from the community. Our class split up into groups of approximately 5 students and each group took one of the following dishes (see event flyer below!)

After dinner, I will be showing the movie "FRESH" (description on the flyer.) If you would like to attend and are not in the class / coming to dinner, please e-mail me at:

More updates to come!

Join Us for HK Dinner on Feb. 3rd

A Fresh Feast
Cooked by the UMass Permaculture Students
The Menu
About the Chef
Other Exciting Events - Sparkle Yoga & The movie "Fresh"
Just for Fun
Partners of HK Dinners

Dear Friends,

This coming HK Meal on February 3rd is a special meal by Ryan Harb and UMass students in the permaculture course. Ryan received his PDC at Sirius in July 2009. He is now teaching permaculture at UMass and would like to give his students a glimpse of community living at the Sirius.

We hope you will be there to enjoy the scrumptious feast followed by the movie "Fresh" and also to welcome Ryan and UMass students to our community.

The Meal begins at 6:00pm
Sirius Community Center
72 Baker Rd.

$9-10/adult; kids under 13 eat at 1/2-age (rounded down)
(Please let us know if you would like to volunteer for cleaning or childcare in lieu of paying for the meal)

RSVP by Monday evening.

Please note that in case you cannot make it to the meal after RSVPing, please inform me in order to avoid a personal loss to the cook or any wastage.

In community,

Shalini Bahl Milne, PhD
Founder iAM Business Consulting
218 Baker Road
Amherst, MA 01002

The Menu

(25 UMass students are breaking into groups of 4 - 5 and each group is taking on one of the following dishes. Complete ingredients list may be subject to slight change!)

  • Fresh salad with a medley of vegetables.
  • Hugh Stew, but not made by Hugh!
  • Rice, bean and vegetable deliciousness.
  • Stirfry with tamari, fresh vegetables and a variety of spices!
  • Multiple freshly baked whole wheat breads (a banana loaf, cinnamon raisin, walnut, and more!)
  • Dessert (you will be delightfully surprised!)

Smaller, sampling, side dishes may include:
  • South Moroccan Vege Tahini
  • Squash soup concoction
  • Brazilian Black bean soup

About the Cooks

The UMass permaculture course is similar to the PDC course offered at Sirius during the summer. There are 28 students enrolled and the course is taught by Ryan Harb who received his PDC at Sirius in July, 2009. The course focuses on the ethics of permaculture: people care, earth care, and resource share, and it will culminate with the design and implementation of a permaculture edible forest garden at a single-family home in Amherst, MA. It is important to develop a strong sense of community before undertaking a huge project such as this. I can't think of a better local place to learn about community than at Sirius.

After HK Dinner

The movie "FRESH" will be shown upstairs in the Octagon, starting at 7:45pm.

FRESH Synopsis

FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur's 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan's book, The Omnivore's Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy.

FRESH Details
Total running time: 72 minutes
Production Year: 2009
Produced and Directed by: Ana Sofia Joanes

Partners of HK Dinners

Dagen Julty
Daniel Greenberg
Mara Kaplan Hahn
Shalini Bahl Milne
Sirius Community
Come and join us for a wonder-full evening of celebration in community. RSVP

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