Tag Archive: Vermont

July 6, 2011

Re-Entering the Land

Writing this post from beautiful Knoll Farm in Vermont’s Mad River Valley where we are offering Whole Measures for the first time with the Center for Whole Communities as host.  Knoll Farm is something to experience, a 400 acre working organic farm and retreat center with stunning views that speaks to the power of place as a foundation for our agency in the world.  Much of what the Center for Whole Communities stands for is the bridging of boundaries, between people and the rest of the natural world, between cultures, between experiences and perspectives.  And this site bespeaks a profound love for the diversity of land and community that sustains us all.  We hope that this is just the first of many offerings at this unique and mundane (very much of the world) spot.

In a little book that is on the table in my yurt entitled Entering the Land: A History of Knoll Farm, co-founder Peter Forbes writes, “We are lucky have such a place as a teacher.  In spite of all the pressures that might have made its history obscure and irretrievable, Knoll Farm remains a testament to the story of the past.  Similarly, it sets a promising stage for the story of the future.  How will this story read?  What role will humans play in it? . . .  The answers to these questions are in the land, for the land is the root of our well being.  It is time to listen, to sink our hearts in the soil and make it familiar again.”

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September 17, 2010

The Power of Potlucks

potluck

|Photo by UU-Jackson|http://www.flickr.com/photos/9240679@N04/2876693936/in/photostream|

This post comes courtesy of IISC friend Beth Tener of New Directions Collaborative.  You can find the original post here.

One of the most inspiring speeches we heard at the Slow Money National Gathering was from Tom Stearns, President of High Mowing Organic Seeds. His company is based in Hardwick, a small town in northern Vermont, which was featured in The New York Times article entitled “Uniting Around Food to Save an Ailing Town”. Remarkably, over the last three years, the local area has added 150 new jobs to an existing 500 jobs, spread across many small companies, all associated with the local food economy.

One of the key ways this came about was through strong locally-based business networks. Read More

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June 4, 2010

A Picture's Worth

“If you bring the appropriate people together in
constructive ways with good information, they will create
authentic visions and strategies to address the shared
concerns of their organization or community.”

—David Chrislip

Clearly I am no Chris Jordan.  Thankfully, along with the talented and committed Mr. Jordan, there is a group of conscientious elementary school students in Grafton, VT who have taken it upon themselves to create the kind of display captured in my home movie above that conveys in a visceral what our reliance upon plastic bags means in this country.  The students strung together 2,662 bags, enough to ring two large fields.  This is the number of bags that Americans are calculated to dispose of each second.

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June 4, 2010

A Picture’s Worth

“If you bring the appropriate people together in
constructive ways with good information, they will create
authentic visions and strategies to address the shared
concerns of their organization or community.”

—David Chrislip

Clearly I am no Chris Jordan.  Thankfully, along with the talented and committed Mr. Jordan, there is a group of conscientious elementary school students in Grafton, VT who have taken it upon themselves to create the kind of display captured in my home movie above that conveys in a visceral what our reliance upon plastic bags means in this country.  The students strung together 2,662 bags, enough to ring two large fields.  This is the number of bags that Americans are calculated to dispose of each second.

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September 3, 2009

Wholeness and Reciprocal Transformation

knoll-farm

Source

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit with staff of a few unique organizations in central Vermont, including a conversation with Peter Forbes at the Center for Whole Communities in Fayston.  What Peter, his wife Helen Whybrow, and their colleagues have created at Knoll Farm, a working organic farm, is truly inspiring, not just for the beauty of the land it occupies and the amazing views that are afforded of the surrounding mountains of Mad River Valley, but also because of the thoughtful attention that has been given to every detail of the Center and the programs that it offers.

The Center for Whole Communities is focused on reconnecting people to land, to one another, and to community as a way of healing the divisions that exist between those who are working for social justice and environmental conservation.  To this end they have created a setting and experiences that carefully tend to this mission of reconnection, from immersing people in the landscape, to engaging them in dialogue and storytelling, to grounding them in creative expression and contemplative practice. Read More

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July 2, 2009

Mind Over Laundry

In her analysis of leverage points to intervene in a system, the late Donella Meadows highlighted mindsets as one of the most fundamental levels on which to focus if one is hoping to make deep and long-lasting change. The case for this is well made in a recent article in Mass Audubon’s Sanctuary Magazine.

Katherine Scott writes in “The Wind in the Wash” about the lost art of the clothesline in America, largely obscured by the now ubiquitous clothes dryer. In this day and age, notes Scott, many children haven’t the remotest idea of what a clothespin is. She is not simply waxing nostalgic, but making an important point about the way we think.

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