The son of two wandering Buddhists, I spent my first 9 years traveling through North America learning about the world outside of a classroom. After finishing high-school in Toronto I packed my bag and travelled through the developed world for a year before starting in the Biology program at the University of Victoria. Two years of labs and lab reports and I needed to stretch my legs, so I went wandering again, this time through Central America.
Traveling through the developing world brought me face to face with the inequality that exists between humans. After arriving back in Canada I watched a Ted Talk called “Obesity + Hunger = 1 Global Food Issue“, which explained that there are 1 billion people suffering from malnutrition, and another billion people struggling with obesity. How was it possible that so many people suffer from too much unhealthy food while an equally large number don’t have enough food to live healthy lives? In my innocent ignorance I reasoned that if all the people with too much food just gave the extra to those who were lacking then this whole problem would be solved!
I spent my last two years at university learning about all of the ways our food system, social inequality and environmental destruction are intimately intertwined. I graduated with a psychology degree and my head full of the world’s problems. I was tired of studying and desperate for solutions. So I headed to South America in search of this thing I had heard of called ‘sustainable agriculture’. At a farm called Sacred Suenos, high up in the Andes, I came across a positively radical Canadian named Yves who was devoting his life to the regeneration of a beat up piece of land using Permaculture to help support the local community and ecosystem. Within the first few moments of hearing about the Permaculture design concept I knew I had found my life’s calling.
In Permaculture design I saw the most logical and pragmatic approach to solving the intertwined crises our planet is facing. Unfortunately I didn’t yet have the knowledge or skills to be effective. The long years I had spent in school had shoved a lot of information into my head but had failed to provide any real world skills, or even a way of integrating the information I did have in useful ways. So I decided to get a real education. I started by reading as many books on the different aspects of cultural and ecological regeneration as I could get my hands on. After my head was full of useful information, I turned to the practical skills necessary to apply that information in the world. Volunteering on farms, living in communities, installing gardens in backyards and balconies, and taking courses all helped me gain enough of the practical, hands on skills to feel like I could live the life I wanted to.
It turned out that my family shared my vision for and so we decided to team up and find land to create a Permaculture education center on. Three and a half years of searching and waiting, and just as we were about to give up, the land found us.
We moved onto the property with a vague vision, a rough plan for how to manifest it, and very soft hands. Now as we enter our fifth season living together on the land, the vision is clear, the plan is in place, and our hands have toughened up as we are slowly beginning to understand what it means to live in community and tend the earth together.
Primary interests: Social (Diversity & Cohesion, Lifelong Education); Culture (Vision & Purpose, Mindfulness & Self Reflection, Nature Connection, Defend & Protect); Integral Design (Whole Systems Thinking, Contextualised Design); Ecology (Water Cycles, Ecosystem Restoration, Green Building, Renewable Energy & Transport, Seeds, Food & Soil, Zero Waste); Economy (Sharing & Collaboration, Social Entrepreneurship)
Site content by Nick Jones
Yearning for a life aligned with the earth, we stepped out of mainstream society and into the forest to re-learn what it means to live in harmony with each other and the land. Our vision is to live in balance with the earth and at peace with ourselves and each other. Our primary goal is to learn how to live with the land in ways that provide for our needs while increasing the health, resilience, and function of the surrounding ecosystem and human community. Our secondary goal is to … Read more