My name is Justyn, though many people call me the Baron. Baron is a long and silly story about a city/suburb kid moving to the rural mountains of SWV. (for another time) I'm here today to ask the community for some advice.
Background first. I'm Director/Co-Founder and Jack of all trades for The Mavis Institute, a 501(c)3 I started here in rural Appalachia to try to address some of the issues I observe every day. I've personally lived in the 3 most popular residential zones. Inner City, Suburbian, and Rural. I come from a Tech, and Family and Consumer Sciences profession. I owned many small businesses, and I love talking to people. I've taken a PDC, I'm a Master Gardener, and I've been doing aspect for permaculture for 10 years. (This isn't a job app, and I'm only a small player in this game) So, now to The Mavis Institute
Here is the info on The Mavis Institute
Our Mission is to encourage local food production and ecological awareness through hands-on permaculture and homesteading education.
We are the crossroads between Nature and Technology.
The Mavis Institute Co-Op is a year-round non-profit farm, permaculture lab/ education center; located in a small hamlet of Flat Top on the grounds of Mavis Manor/ Mavis Farmacy in Mercer County WV.
We believe quality education is key in creating a sustainable future. Our permaculture training and the shared resources (which include access to land), will help provide the opportunities to reshape communities.
Our programs give folks access to the skill sets of growing their own food, taking steps towards having self-reliance or perhaps starting their own farm-based businesses. We offer hands-on apprenticeship/ mentorship, workshops, and other outreach programs.
Together, we can be the change we wish to see in the world
We (my partner and I) have been teaching "Sustainable Gardening Classes" at the local library for over 3 years now, We also do some outreach program at the local school, and garden clubs. We work with the local state park on parky type projects.
We do this on a very small budget. (which works because it helps us relate to some of the folks in our classes coming from extreme poverty.) Most people in the community think we are strange and extreme because we don't have 9-5 day jobs nor live on the check. Right now, we are talking about trying to get access to a building in a nearby town, a building downtown in the art district to offer more classes.
Here is my question. How did you grow your education? How can I reach more people, how can I find a stronger money stream so I can reach more people? What general lessons have you learnt? What should I not do? ( I like to hear fail stories, I learn the best from how NOT to something)
I could talk longer, but I'll pause here.
All Feeback welcome. I'm on just about every Social Media (Mavis Farmacy or Mavis Institute) the website is www.mavisinstitute.xyz