Permaculture. Sustainable Food Production. Natural Building. Education. Community.

A Message from Brandy (October 2014)

How did it become Fall? I never expected to find myself ‘falling’ at this point…and after the last 10 months will never still expect to ‘fall’.  I am wanting to connect with so many folks–to find a way to fully express my “ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE”!  

After all this time of finding ways of being on a healing journey…I am BACK in so many ways.  And YET…not yet.  In terms of being OUR Executive Director–I do not want to fulfill this role again at this time. For 15 years I have volunteered, in service, with a personal commitment that I will not be paid for the roles I fulfill ‘in service to a common good’. I feel complete with my last chapter as ED and now I want to find ways to serve that are some what connected…but not entirely related to managing this incredible space. With this in mind I want to thank RICK JUILLISON for replacing me while I have been on medical leave since March.31 My greatest wish is to be your Education and Outreach Coordinator for OUR ECOVILLAGE and as of October 1st agreed to take that role for 10 hours per week.

Stone Soup Victoria was beyond wonderful!  Scott Kelly, Satiya Channer, Shylene Schlackl, Kat Zimmer, Chef Laura Moore, Chef Shirley Lang, Jana McLaughlin, Michael Waters, Will Weigler, Ocian Flo, Andrew….and all others who cooked, organized, provided the generous Silent Auction items, and, and, and….community at its finest. The Stone Soup metaphor is brilliant and Will Weigler is a storyteller magician to lead this with hopefully many more connecting Stone Soup evenings to come. THANK YOU TO ALL!

My other project is to continue to coordinate the next stage of OUR Zero Mile Meal Eatery teaching space. With a number of incredible chefs who have worked on the design, we are also working with Stream of Consciousness (Jason Guille) to have livestream equipment, and next begin putting all of the finishing trim on new doors/windows, bathroom finishing etc etc. OUR project has been the proud recipient of a Permaculture Project Grant Award from LUSH Natural Products, with funds to be matched by some other sponsors, and to bring OUR incredible destination concept permie food/accommodation services space to a whole new level! We have three doctors who wish to start teaching “Sustainable Well-being” programs, especially with a “Food as Medicine” focus. We are hoping to interview an amazing Zero Mile Meal Eatery and events manager this week and next to find an incredible “Food as Medicine Chef”….if you have any referrals please send those folks to the Village to start interviewing!

Next year is shaping up to be outstanding. OUR beloved Elke Cole and partner CM are back for the season to support the running of OUR school onsite. We already have approved 6 Homesteaders for 2015 who will be with us from March 28th–November 1st.  These are folks who will fully step forward to work with OUR team and will have access to all OUR permaculture and natural building courses as part of their experience time over 7 months. It is challenging to know that by September 2014 we already filled all of the program spots so are considering if we could indeed take on a few more folks….knowing that February/March is a rush on applications and so many wonderous and talented folks will continue to apply…stay tuned. The EarthBuilding Extravaganza is also set out by Elke to support as many learners in various ways as possible as well. Lots of delicious little courses are coming down the pipe too!

As I look at my best ways to be back within OUR team…I spend most of my time attempting to assist OUR ECOVILLAGE Cooperative to obtain a mortgage and to move towards final steps of transferring the title of the lands and projects to this commonshare ownership model.  It has been almost 5.5 years since OUR begin applying for a mortgage for OUR E/V Coop…and it has caused much impact to many of the people who wished to be longer term communitarians, created an inability to develop past a certain point, and has had an obvious effect on myself, Trent and our family. My fullest commitment is to work with every possibility for OUR E/V Coop to be onsite. There is now a request for some new Coop Board members who can work with the transition process and paperwork, to take on the next few months within the process….at that point HearthKeepers will step up to take on the Board responsibilities. This feels surreal at the moment after so much hard work by so many of us…

Facing the last year has been a lesson in priorities. Relationship is number one; with myself and my health, with my children, Trent, family and friends….especially all of those who I live with. Some aspects of helping so many folks has been re-channeled in directions where well-being is fully supported for myself and my family. I have a deep desire for OUR to become more family oriented and to have more kids in my life so to this end have began to start to circle up with some other families who are Homeschooling–and Freya is taking a break for the semester from the Sunrise Waldorf School. It is exciting to Homeschool and a real shift in energy to have everything I do become a learning opportunity for Freya as well….which means much of my computer work is now going to happen after she goes to bed!  Come on by for some kitchen crafting (ways to determine measuring, fractions, and some interesting math skills), gardening and food systems (think science education to leadership skill building), and so much more that you could jump in on with us if you are interested.

AND THE BIG DRUM ROLL is–I could do no less than invite you and all of your family and friends to OUR HARVEST FESTIVAL….a free event for all of you/us! Lots of different folks are bringing together their talents, their fun, and some sweeeeet surprises! You will want to be in time for dinner with OUR ‘Pie Co-opitition’ for a fun dessert time…and your pie might be the one which changes everyone’s night.

Looking forward to what is next…..and hoping for personal connections with each of you.

In community,


Permaculture. Sustainable Food Production. Natural Building. Education. Community.