January 2, 2012, Dexter, Oregon -- Lost Valley Educational Center in Dexter, Oregon near Eugene, has announced their 2012 course schedule which includes the Permaculture Design Certificate Program, Forest Gardening Series, Spring Break Nicaragua, Garden Exploration Workshop, and Permaculture Passport Program.
Lost Valley Educational Center offers programs in permaculture and sustainability. Permaculture, for those that are new to the field, is a method of design that offers ways to create permanent culture by conscious, sustainable use of resources in all aspects of living. Lost Valley Educational Center courses are appropriate for all levels of students, from beginning to advanced; registration is now open and available online.
Forest Gardening – The “New” Agriculture
Forest Gardening is a new type of agriculture inspired by ancestral forms of food production, and informed by modern ecological understanding. Forest Gardening utilizes perennial plants from various locations around the world to create dynamic and productive food systems, and is currently at the forefront of the permaculture frontier, exemplifying sustainable and integrated agricultural systems over the long term.
The Lost Valley Forest Gardening Series is being offered over four, one and a half day weekend sessions , beginning the weekend of February 17th and continuing over the weekends of April 20th, August 10th and October 12th. Each weekend has a full curriculum of learning, doing, and community exploration, balancing necessary theory with introduction to practical hands-on skills. Instructors for the course include Rick Valley, Lost Valley’s Land Steward, Justin Michelson, Garden Manager, Nathaniel France, Forest Manager and Michael Adrian, Assistant Garden Manager. Discounts are available for those signing up for two or more weekend sessions.
Alternative Spring Break Nicaragua – A Very Unique Spring Break Experience Alternative Spring Break Nicaragua offers the opportunity to explore different cultures, make new friends, and soak up some tropical warmth, while providing a way to make a difference, help the world in some important way, and learn new and valuable skills including private Spanish classes.
Lost Valley’s Alternative Spring Break in Nicaragua offers students a permaculture-inspired, hands-on learning and service trip to Nicaragua, hosted by our sister community Hijos del Maiz, and includes week long courses in Permaculture Education and Deep Democracy along with a Community Service Project.
Permaculture, Deep Democracy and Community Service Classes, Projects, Spanish Instruction and Other Spring Break Nicaragua Highlights
The Permaculture Education classes included in Spring Break Nicaragua are available March 3-10, 2012 or March 10-17, 2012. Permaculture is a simple and accessible framework for thinking which helps people better recognize and learn from patterns in nature, allowing them to design healthy ecosystems and social-systems. Students will receive daily dynamic, interactive instruction on how to incorporate permaculture into their daily lives and the service project we will be implemented at Hijos del Maiz.
Deep Democracy classes will be held February 25-March 3 or March 3-10, 2012. Deep Democracy explores issues of power, both the kind of power that harms others and the kind that is life-nurturing for all. Residents of the village will share stories of Nicaragua’s history, including the violent impact of US actions on their community, and their life-affirming response to that violence. You will study and practice “Dynamic Governance” and “Worldwork”, two tools that can empower the groups you work with to function more effectively and cooperatively.
In addition to two hours of daily of instruction in one of the above themes, trip highlights also include a service project for which students will provide needed support in a sustainable service project requested by the community and a homestay. While in Nicaragua, each student will be staying with a homestay family and will receive a private room and three home-cooked meals a day (most dietary restrictions can be accommodated.) Most importantly, students will have a special opportunity to connect with their host family and learn about Nicaraguan culture, history, and daily life. There will organized evening activities certain nights, designed to engage both students and the community/ host families, and students will also receive two daily hours of private or small group lessons with a qualified and dynamic teacher from the Cerampesino Spanish School.
These three, one-week alternative Spring Break programs will be held in El Lagartillo, Nicaragua, a rural village of 200 and students will be living and working alongside the Hijos del Maiz co-op members. The community has a rich history of solidarity, international and local cooperation, and social and environmental justice work. Its history is also filled with sadness and injustice. During the Contra war of the ’80s, U.S.-funded troops killed several members of the community. Instead of fleeing their land, community members stayed and began creating international solidarity links with social justice groups around the world and formed the Hijos del Maiz cooperative. The Hijos de Maiz co-op has extended an invitation to Lost Valley Educational Center to bring interested individuals to learn from and with them and help the community in making their goals of social and environmental sustainability a reality.
Course includes airport pick-up and transfers, all meals, lodging, materials, and instruction. Airfare is not included. To learn more about Hijos del Maiz, especially the Spanish language school and community elements please visit: http://www.hijosdelmaiz.net
Permaculture Design Certificate Program -- May 21, 2012 through June 22, 2012 -- The Lost Valley Difference
The Lost Valley Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) program is designed for those with an academic, professional, or personal interest in sustainable living and design. The Lost Valley PDC follows the standard 72-hour Permaculture Design Curriculum created by the Permaculture Institute, traditionally taught in two week sessions. Lost Valley’s Spring PDC is a total of five weeks long, with the extra time in the program allowing for more in-depth study, greater time to work on design projects, a greater variety of topics, and time for greater involvement in hands-on projects and community activities. By studying at Lost Valley, students will learn permaculture while living in an ecovillage, experiencing on a day-to-day basis the connection between community and the land in a meaningful way. Lost Valley Educational Center also places a great emphasis on the role of community as part of sustainable living; concepts relevant to community living and interaction are embedded in all of the courses.
Using a combination of lecture, discussion, interactions with nature, hands-on projects, and community immersion, students will learn how to analyze their local environment and design holistic systems that meet the needs of people while respecting the needs of nature. While you will learn specific things about the Lost Valley site and Oregon ecology, the design methods you learn in this course will be applicable in any climate or environment. The five-week program culminates in the Permaculture Design Project; working together in groups, students will create a practical permaculture design.
Garden Exploration Workshop, May 21 – June 22, 2012
The Garden Exploration Workshop is a course designed to provide students with a hands-on introduction to permaculture gardening and land stewardship. Students will work alongside the Lost Valley Land and Garden Crew, participating in their daily activities of growing food and managing the ecological health of our land. This is not an ‘academic’ course in that it does not follow a predetermined curriculum, but rather the needs of the land and the development plans of the crew, as they work on developing the health of the soil, increasing productivity, maintaining large supplies of compost, and ensuring the health of our waterways and forest. We are creating a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), as well as developing a food production plan to meet the needs of our on-site, vegetarian kitchen.
Lost Valley has four main gardens to explore: a large production garden called the Creek Garden; a smaller production garden with a large hoop house called the Meadow Garden; the more bio-dynamic Sun Garden; and the Forest Garden food forest. In addition to the gardens, our 87 acres of land features tracts of forest and a large creek.
The first week of the course is a low-impact introductory period that gives students time to get to know each other, the community, and the site. Full and punctual participation is required, and in fact critical in this period, as this first week sets the group habits and norms for the next four, and will directly impact your ability to work together as a group. Students will spend the remaining four weeks working in each of the gardens and on the land generally. The hands-on work will alternate with occasional field trips and presentations, and extracurricular events.
Permaculture Passport Program - Three Host Locations, One Permaculture Design Certificate
The Permaculture Passport Program is a new course offering that includes yet goes beyond a Permaculture Design Certificate program at a single institution, as is the norm. The Permaculture Passport Program is a collaborative, regional, permaculture sample program lasting three weeks, from August 6th through 26th, 2012, during which students will experience different permaculture sites and principles, all within 40 minutes of Eugene. The course will comprise one week at Lost Valley Educational Center, one week at Dharmalaya, and the final week at Aprovecho. There will also be day trips from each of those hub sites to other nearby projects of note. There will be significant permaculture instruction and hands-on activities based around the strong suits of each the host sites.
The Three Eugene Area Locations; Lost Valley, Dharmalaya and Aprovecho
Lost Valley Educational Center (LVEC) is a nonprofit sustainability education center and learning community creating catalysts for joyful ecological and social regeneration. Since 1989, Lost Valley has been a place for experiential learning through our educational programs, as well as within our residential ecovillage. LVEC courses include Permaculture Design Certification, Gardening and more, and the center also offers a retreat and conference facility with a Nature Center. LVEC uses a permaculture approach to ecological design and restoration to care-take our beautiful 87 acres of gardens, meadows, forests, pond, creek, and trails located 18 miles southeast of Eugene.
Dharmalaya holistically promotes dharma in personal, ecological, and social spheres of life. Dharma is the perennial path that brings balance, harmony, and inner fulfillment. The Dharmalaya center features a comprehensive program of personal development through yoga, meditation and service, with an integrated approach to personal development. Dharmalaya is also at the heart of an emerging urban ecovillage in its Eugene neighborhood that demonstrates living with low impact on the Earth. Finally, Dharmalaya’s social vision gives importance to decentralized economics, cooperative enterprise, equity, development of human potentials, ecological protection, bioregionalism, and spiritual humanist values.
Aprovecho is a 40-acre permaculture and sustainable living education and demonstration center located outside of Cottage Grove. For 30 years, the staff, residents, volunteers, and students of Aprovecho have collaborated to create a thriving educational community showcasing rainwater catchment, natural building, fuel-efficient cookstoves, aquaponics, ponds, orchards, organic gardens, solarhot water, sustainable forest management, and more.
Lost Valley Educational Center is a nonprofit sustainability education center and home to Meadowsong Ecovillage. Since 1989, Lost Valley has been a place for experiential learning through our educational programs and offers a retreat and conference facility with Nature Center. LVEC uses a permaculture approach of ecological design and restoration to care-take 87 acres of gardens, meadows, forests, pond, creek, and trails located 18 miles southeast of Eugene, Oregon. To register for courses or for more information please visit www.lostvalley.org or call (541) 937-3351.
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