May/June 2015: An Update from Brandy: Education and Outreach Coordinator + Co-op Site Liason
After 7 months of full out paperwork, accounting, and incredible spreadsheeting we have OUR full mortgage approved by Vancity with more than we could have asked for in terms of support!! Not only that we are now fully on the way to having 5 fully finished homes by the end of the year, OUR new farm partners and HearthKeepers Yuri/Luc are super excited to have their beautiful EcoNest with homespun Japanese style timberframe be outfitted with Yuri’s homeland tatami interior finishing. She will move her medical practice and he his art school onsite and new chapters will begin for us all. OUR other farm partners and Coop members are all shuffling into place and many great things continue to unfold for us all.
Further to this I have lead on the Farm Management and have fully restored OUR Food Gardens, restructured OUR other food forests and even built a whole new one out behind Freya’s House. Flowers are interspersed everywhere, sunflowers abound, and the greenhouses are getting new skins! We have a herd of goats who have sprung out many kids and are being milked, OUR milking sheep are finished lambing…and OUR beautiful momma jersey Violet (Bossy’s super sweet offspring from 2 years ago) had a stunning little heifer calf–named Yarrow. There are babies and milk everywhere, enough for OUR pigs sometimes, whole new big flock of laying hens, and baby ducks and turkeys all over the farm!
With the return home of ELKE and CM (who have moved into Freya’s House) the Homesteader Program and Natural Building Internship have been over full. Ben Garrett/Mary are back and in full swing working on the EcoNest and then an Mini EARTHSHIP in July. With that said we thought we would fill the whole farm and accepted 55 folks into OUR Permaculture Design/Earth Activist Training and fulfilled totally on the next level teaching of the importance of social permaculture and community relations. Topping out at 80 folks in OUR learning community the journey has been beyond rich and we even were able to host SIERRA ROBINSON….at 12 yrs old possibly the youngest Permaculture Design Certification certainly in Canada (and we think maybe even internationally!!). We have had the most outstanding realm of learners/teachers so far already this year–and the base of OUR team and enriched by OUR Homesteaders is beautiful and fulfilling. All as a sweeeeeet landing circle for TRENT to have brought his company home to work full time on site this month!!! After almost 4 years of being on the road working to ensure the survival/thrival of OUR ECOVILLAGE, help pay for the upkeep of OUR farming habit, and to ensure OUR mortgage…we are now finally on to some next horizons and we are able to put some exciting next projects in the mix (stay tuned and we will let more of our plans out of the bag soon!).
Three doctors in addition to Yuri are already coming onsite and looking to teach in OUR Zero Mile Meal Eatery and to have “Eat Your Words Teaching Kitchen.” OUR Healing Sanctuary has been going pretty much three days per week with deeply appreciated healing practitioners. Outstanding volunteers abound, art and music are interwoven in OUR days, a gaggle of little peoples cruise the barnyard and run free in the fields and life feels truly blissful.
For me…I am signing in for the summer happy to serve on such with an ‘attitude of gratitude’ and creating outrageous acts of beauty. Come and see all my art work in my new house. My hemoglobin has not been this high in over a decade, recovering and rebuilding my world in a new way, loving homeschooling FREYA and seeing her grow into a beautiful and delighted young girl–with all the mysteries that will befall us for this coming season.
Please come and visit. It is a joy to see the look of amazement on the faces of folks who see all the new changes OUR team has been unfolding. Sign up for OUR Community Supported Agriculture Box and stay for lunch or dinner when you pick it up the surprises will increase all the more delightfully!
Jumping into summer – blessing Brandy