Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Updates

Greetings all,

The garden is in full-swing and I am now officially moved out of 3 Willow Lane. The goal of the project was to create an ideal living situation for environmentally conscious college students in Amherst, MA. The house is now on it's way to being the model sustainable and educational residence that I envision. Lot's of side projects are going on including energy efficient measures (tightening the building envelope), and permaculture activities like shiitake mushroom log inoculation, backyard composting and indoor vermicomposting, rainwater catchment, and the highlight of it all - an entire yard edible forest garden (yarden).

Currently I am at Sirius Community in Shutesbury, Massachusetts. For the next 3 weeks I will be finishing co-teaching a course called Sustainable Design and Construction. 16 students from around the country have traveled to western Massachusetts to learn about green and natural building and participate in hands-on activities related to building environmentally beneficial structures. We are thinking beyond sustainability in this course and focusing our efforts on regenerating the global ecosystem that we are all a part of.

The planet is dealing with a lot of abuse right now - and a lot of it is directly related to how humans are living (but not all - mostly it stems from the lifestyles that people in "developed" countries are living). We are having some incredible discussions in this SDC course, which is set up by Living Routes - a non-profit organization that focuses on sending students abroad to ecovillages to learn about sustainability.

If you want to follow our time here at Sirius and get a glimpse of what we are doing each day, there is a course blog set up which has the following description:

"USA 2010 - Sustainable Design and Construction Course Blog
A thoughtful account of student and faculty experiences at the USA 2010 Sustainable Design and Construction course at Sirius Community located in Shutesbury, Massachusetts. One student is asked to start blogging on Day 1 (June 20, 2010) and his/her experience is read on day 2 by another student - who will pick up the story where the previous student left off. This continues throughout the course and each student and faculty member will post at least once during the course (approximately 19 entries will be written between June 21 - July 11, 2010). Get ready to take a journey with the USA 2010 SDC Group - a story told by 19 individuals who will share experiences together for 3 weeks and live in community at the beautiful Sirius Ecovillage in scenic western Massachusetts."

Today's entry by Joe features pictures from a primitive shelter building exercise. Check it out if you get a chance

I might not be posting much again this summer due to a very busy schedule. I'm here at Sirius until July 11 then immediately head to Holmes, New York to begin working with teens and raising awareness about green building and permaculture at Omega Institute Teen Camp.

That's all for tonight. Good night everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Ryan--I'm hoping to induce you to participate in an upcoming blogathon I'm hosting with some help from the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture and Mass Farmers Markets.

    Loving Local: Celebrating the Flavors of Massachusetts invites bloggers to write about SOMETHING to do with food and the state during the week of August 22-28. It's a fund raiser for Mass Farmers Markets but also just a fun, informative entity.

    I hope you will join us.

    Information may be found on my blog at http://www.ourgrandmotherskitchens.com/?p=7979 or on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Loving-Local-Celebrating-the-Flavors-of-Massachusetts/105853166136509?ref=sgm.

    Tinky for Loving Local

    Tinky "Dakota" Weisblat
    Hawley, MA