OUR 2014 Regenerative Living and Community Homesteading Skill Trader

OUR 2014 Regenerative Living and Community Homesteading Skill Trader

Posted on: April 13, 2014
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Date(s) - 13/04/2014 - 15/11/2014
12:00 am


Introducing OUR all-new, all-in-one Skill Trader program including social ecology, natural building, community farming, organizational structuring, dynamic governance, energy/waste systems, working with water and more…


After over a decade of some of the most well known Internship/Apprenticeship programming in North America….we are changing it up and combining all of OUR previous internships into one fully integrated learning/skill trading journey.  Bringing together portions of curriculum from past internships including  OUR Incredible Natural Building Internship, OUR Community and Permaculture Production Farming Internship, OUR Social Ecology/Community Building Internship, and OUR Kitchen Crafting Internship, we now have an amazing team of facilitators and guest teachers who can create a holistic learning experience in an all-new skill trading format. These changes comes from learning that we do not want folks to simply learn about building beautifully crafted and organic buildings, we also hope that they could understand those built environments in relation to the food systems around them, the people systems, and interplay at work in the grand design of it all, and that is what Permaculture is really about.

[Unable to jump in for the full seven months? We are still offering OUR Earth Building Extravaganza Internship in May–July 2014 (different options available) and several short programs and workshops].

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter accepting over 25 interns last year, this year we have chosen to limit our intake of skill traders. We are currently shortlisting for a small and select group of highly committed/passionate/community oriented individuals who can stretch in their learning and find a whole new meaning and lifestyle in village culture.  With a ground team of over 12 folks facilitating the learning of OUR interns you will become part of the overall process of living and learning with all that happens. Unlike other courses where materials are brought to a site, teachers are on deck, and then you have a certain period of time to learn all you can, in this internship we ask that you are part of the start to finish of understanding where resources come from, how to utilize alternative forms of economy, and that you put your hand to the ongoing attempt to find a place and way on the planet where peoples can live sustainably.

A major component of this skill trader program is to focus on how humans can live and work together in a cooperative, mutually supportive, integral and hopeful way on this planet. Each ecovillage in the world is often suggested as a small lifeboat for the future. Where there is a willingness by those ecovillages to open up to others coming into an immersed learning environment to create their own culture shift from consumerism to contribution/service leadership, from capitalism to the new economy, from fast food to slow food, from dependence or independence to interdependence, from fear to courageous hearts, we see the possibility of personal transformation actually causing global healing and possibilities.

OK…so what about the finite skills that will be nurtured in this program?  Are you ready to step into:

  • social ecology exploration; group/team building work daily–including the “Come Alive Sustainably” course co-facilitated with the Haven 
  • working with regenerative community building, creative conflict honouring skills, and communication models.
  • full permaculture design regenerative living–including OUR Permaculture Design Certification and Earth Activist Training 
  • participate in all building projects with full team of designers, earthbuilders, red seal carpenters, other trades folk, our local building inspector, OUR engineer, and creative builder artists–including OUR Earth Building Extravaganza (with cob, strawbale, earthbag, earthship design, timberframing, and some surprises, etc). This short course is facilitated by folks from OUR, from Cobworks, from Cob Cottage, and guest teachers). We will also work on a start-to-finish small building.
  • august 29_potw_flowersCommunity Farming: learning the hands-on rhythm and language of the plants/livestock/poultry and how to grow food in greenhouses, row crops, food forests, raised beds, and a variety of permaculture production methods.  The vibrant food systems and design is always being enhanced and you will get to be part of a full season of production and the building out of new spaces as well.
  • Food from the land is the nurturance at the heart of the village culture and great learning is had by jumping in with kitchen crafting and meal serving. With regular chefs/cooks, OUR team as assistance, and even some outstanding local foods guest chefs to delight OUR palette, you’ll always eat well. Crafting projects include working with dairy, fermentation, and breads.  Every year we have a large call for medical diets (gluten free, food allergies, etc.) and there is lots to learn about how to sustain a community homestead and visitors through diverse diets.
  • having access to therapeutic practitioners (deep tissue massage, accupuncture, or therapeutic yoga as an ongoing practice.
  • learning more about food as medicine and attend a few presentations from doctors and health professionals who understand alternative medicine, the use of herbs for healing, and medicinal meals.
  • Legal and Regulatory issues and frameworks in relation to sustainable land use allowances, building permits and Home Owner Protection Warranty for natural building projects, wastewater design and approval,  cooperative food systems, etc.
  • organizational development and land tenure and financing alternative community projects.
  • Creating alternative currency and local economy models.
  • learning to teach others some of what you have learned in your re-skilling and village culture journey…

Skill Trader Structure

OUR team will be fully integrating the others onsite into all of the daily tasks needed to create a regenerative lifestyle.

Who Should Take This Course

Young and older, varying abilities, family members, organizational groups…give us a proposal! This allows for the wide range of re-skilling you can bring into your own personal/family lives, work within, or for other groups in a new way, and even have new skills for starting your own community project, community farm, building project, startup of your own business, or generally become a more enriched human being who can serve the planet in an even greater way!

caesar salad_1Site Considerations: OUR Community

We are a community of about 15–20 adults and children sharing meals, space, and facilities, and actively participating in each others daily lives. This population fluctuates greatly over the year swelling up to 30–50 residents over summer and up in the hundreds for short periods of time during major events. There are other short courses, tours, guest teachers/lecturers, music camps, and even the odd wedding which might be happening while you are here onsite.

Explore our website to find out more about this beautiful and dynamic community, and catch a glimpse of what is so hard to put into words!

About OUR Farm

With years of Permaculture Design shaping the lands and processes of OUR ECOVILLAGE since 1999, most of life revolves around the interconnectivity of systems and people. OUR has almost 9 acres in food production and food security systems linking livestock, poultry, dairy, greenhouses, raised beds, orchards and row crops. We aspire to serve the most nutritious, mostly organic yummy meals while serving diverse needs of food preferences and allergies (see OUR Food Manifesto). The program is designed so all participants are integrated into community life (outside of your 40 hour a week course) through the ‘Care Schedule’, meeting facilitation, and assisting with the learning of others.

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying for this intensive program, please make the $100 payment below marked ‘application fee.’ Do not pay the tuition fee until requested to by OUR office. This one-time, non-refundable application fee allows us to spend the necessary time carefully screening applicants and making sure that we are a good fit for your learning needs and that you are a good fit for our community. Once you have made the payment, please email both registration[at]ourecovillage[dot]org and brandy[at]ourecovillage[dot]org with a brief introduction of yourself, a copy of your resume, and a vision statement (letter of intent). In your vision statement, please explain why you would like to be involved in the program, how you will pay forward your newly-gained knowledge, and any other information relevant to your desire to be involved.



Fees for this program have been set at $5100 (+the application fee).

This incredible deal includes:

PLUS! Skill traders who successfully complete the entire program and fulfill all closing requirements (clean-up, removal of personal objects, check-out, etc) receive a $1000 rebate on the program, bringing your entire cost down to $4200 inclusive–an incredible value!

If you have any questions about the booking process or wish to confirm your booking, please call us at 250.743.3067.

Cancellation and Refund Policy