Composting at Harmony Gardens

A Foundation for Healthy Food

With the intention of creating a healthier and more sustainable future by demonstrating how to create healthy compost, today’s profile of Dave Wann at Harmony Gardens aims to help humanity take a step in this direction. David Wann is an author, filmmaker, and speaker on the topic of sustainable lifestyles and designs. He has also produced 20 videos and TV programs, including the award-winning TV documentary “Designing a Great Neighborhood,” about the Holiday neighborhood in Boulder. David is president of the Sustainable Futures Society and a Fellow of the National Simplicity Forum. He worked more than a decade as a policy analyst for U.S. EPA and co-designed the cohousing neighborhood where he lives, in Golden. After 20 years of cultivating the garden here in Golden, he has become a library of knowledge when it comes to the synergies of the natural world.

Teaching the Ways of Nature

Environmental Education Workshop

In coordination with the Boulder Valley School District and Friar Farms, a Friday morning field trip for Boulder middle school students inevitably grew into something more.

Located just to the east of the city of Boulder, Friar Farms is a 40-acre farm that seeks to bring about the best of its land and of the people who experience its beauty. At Friar Farms, “We utilize organic growing methods that are sprouted from the best seed and the purest water. Developing intent that is rooted in love brings about the fullest expression of that which we grow.”

During our time with the students, we taught principals of gratitude and intention while working with seeds and cultivating a healthy soil complex. Over the course of the day, we put together compost bags, spread seeds, gathered weeds for fermented plant juices, and spent time with these majestic horses.

With the intention of opening the minds of the students to the inner workings of the natural world, we sought to gift the experience of working with the elements of nature. In doing so, we had a wonderful afternoon full of excitement and learning. Many of the kids were excited to get their hands dirty and we hope to offer this experience again in the future. Special thanks to Scott and Friar Farms for providing the space for all to learn and grow.

The Rooted Center

The Rooted Center is a truly wonderful farm, run by an equally wonderful family. Cultivated on 1 acre of earth near Boulder, Utah the high desert climate certainly provides an interesting mix of ecology as well as natural resources. In late March, we arrived for what would be a week of expansive learning in many aspects of nature and life.

“The Rooted Center is a permaculture principled homestead outside of Boulder, UT. Our interest lies not only in growing food, but also growing people, as we are constantly learning and growing ourselves. Here you will find the unique opportunity to learn small-scale farming and aquaponics coupled with opportunities to learn about Chinese Medicine, internal martial arts, Qigong and woodworking. We have our initial structures in and will be moving into building rocket mass heaters, Cobbing, earthbag building etc. this coming season.”

The primary creative energy behind the cultivation of this land is a warm human being named Sylas, who genuinely embodies the wisdom he has gathered from many years of yogic practice. To experience the energy of the land, as well as the presence of Sylas and his family truly gave our week at the farm a feeling of retreat rather than work trade. We worked on building a greenhouse, cobb benches, tended to chickens, transplanted Chinese herbs, as well as built a sprung floor for the martial arts studio.

Not only did we learn about each building process, but we were able to learn holistic healing modalities including Kung-Fu, herbal medicine, and bodywork. Early one morning, we trained our bodies in the fine art of Kung-Fu, inspiring in us a mindfulness of human movement and energetic expression.

The experience here at The Rooted Center was transformational, to say the least. Embodied teachings from nature create the foundation of intent on this 1-acre permaculture homestead. In all aspects, the acquired wisdom we walked away with contributes to a greater harmonization of mind, body, and spirit. Feeling whole, connected and extremely grateful, we left this magical place with intentions of returning in the future. Blessings to this land and those who inhabit it.

 

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A Manifesting Vision

Today, we chatted with board members of Friends of Santa Cruz about all of the potential opportunity to expand projects at the Castro Adobe. We expressed to them that we wanted to work with their vision of further preserving and demonstrating the cultural history of the site as well as the environment for the common good of all. While introducing projects and principals of permaculture, the collective consciousness within the community will grow and sustainable practices will gain traction in generations to come.

In response, they openly filled us in on their ongoing projects for 2018. Amongst those projects are the expansion of a raised bed garden, rainwater harvesting, permeable driveway, solar power, yard and kitchen waste composting, plant seed collecting, drip irrigation expansion, and composting toilets. In coordination with the building of these projects, Friends of Santa Cruz was also interested to open the projects to volunteer efforts and those who wish to learn about the building process as well as the principals being exercised. We explored existing connections to work with volunteer high school students on behalf of this idea.

We are very excited that this dream of collaboration is coming to fruition and infinitely grateful for the support of those involved. Let there be light!