Life Stream Folk School

Spring Crew

Life Stream Folk School 2017

∞ A Four Elements Experience in Permaculture Living ∞

We have Postponed this program


We live in an exceptional time when the old maps are failing to guide us towards leading healthy, balanced, meaningful lives that contribute to the growth of a life affirming culture. Traditional educational models tend to prepare us for the old paradigm. When our eyes and minds are open, it is clear that new approaches are being called for to address how humanity feeds, clothes, and houses itself and stewards the resources that facilitate our survival. We know that the human and earth exploitive paradigm of modern civilization is unconscionable and threatens the possibility of our future existence; it is time to move past this. Fortunately, there are many of us that feel called to be effective change-makers, visionaries, activists and solutionaries. We wish to kindle the flames of hope that many carry– that we were born to touch lives in ways that uplift, inspire, educate and nurture.

What is the tool kit of skills, capabilities and characteristics that will best help us to serve Life? This is a question that we have held in deep inquiry for decades here at Seven Seeds Farm that had led us to develop the Life Stream Folk School. We have discovered through the pursuits of homesteading, farming, seed saving, natural history, botany, medicine making, animal care, ancestral skills, natural building, food preservation, wilderness immersion, fiber arts, permaculture, biodynamics, bee keeping, community building and group process, folk dancing, ceremony, self-awareness; that these skills can be distilled into four elements: Food, Clothing, Shelter and Culture.

Since 1998 we have hosted full season interns. While many participants are interested in farming as a life-style, others find that they are more passionate about many of the complimentary skills listed above. Hence, after considering how to make our apprenticeship program more relevant to the times that we find ourselves in, we have created the Life Stream Folk School.   This is a series of 3 seasonal residential intensives. Each 6 week session is a deep dive into hands-on mentorship in a range of skills that address Food, Clothing, Shelter and Culture, all set in the context of a mature, productive Permaculture Farm and Bioregional Seed Bank. This program will provide a poignant opportunity to slow down and hone life skills from mentors in the essential life arts that we feel represent a crucial distillation of what is needed to renew human culture.

Participants will become part of our small farm village at Seven Seeds Farm. They will live in a Yurt dormitory on the farm and participate 4 days per week in the Life Stream Folk School program. Mornings will be focused on the hands-on learning of life skills through instruction and practice; afternoons will be spent working with the farm crew tending and growing our food and seed crops. Each 6-week session will begin and end with a overnight backpacking trip and natural history study in the adjacent Klamath Siskiyou wild lands, where the final night out is a solo experience. The three days off per week will allow students time for rest, integration, practicing new skills and the flexibility to engage in other educational and social opportunities in the vibrant rural community of Williams.

 

In addition to basic homesteading skills, our residential staff and guest teachers will bring awareness to:

∞ our health, wellness and daily practices

∞ our songs, dances, stories and traditions

∞ our moral compass and sense of purpose

∞ our nutrition and contribution to kitchen magic

∞ our own unique vernacular style of self expression

∞ our sense of place, and belonging to the circle of creation

∞ our confidence that we can handle whatever life presents us with

∞ our authorship in writing a new story for humanity

 

Upon completion of the program you will feel confident to do the following:

Food:

  • Start an organic garden from seed
  • Cook your meals without fossil fuels in a solar oven
  • Tend beehives, harvest wax & honey & make beeswax candles
  • Grow flour corn and process it into tortillas

Clothing:

  • Clean, card and spin wool into yarn & learn to knit, crochet & felt
  • Make a willow basket
  • Learn brain tanning of leather and rawhide crafts

Shelter:

  • Build with round poles
  • Design and install gravity rainwater catchment systems for your home
  • Design and maintain composting toilets

Culture:

  • Learn basic wild & medicinal plant botany
  • Become a song-keeper of traditional circle songs
  • Cultivate a daily 5-element Qi Gong practice
  • Go on a solo wilderness vision quest

 

The emerging world that we help to create as we move forward in our lives will demand that each of us cultivate a remarkable level of discernment and emotional maturity. The Essentials for Life Program welcomes people who are looking to acquire the super powers that embody devotion to skill, excellence and purpose in life. Our hope and prayer is that the exposure to a diverse array of complimentary Earth skills and mentors will spark a passion for life and a desire to be in service to the Earth, the elements and all of life. We are confident that this experience will help connect participants to their purpose and stoke the fires that drive each one of us to thrive.

 

Who are we?:

   Stacey Denton commercially grows cut flowers and flower seed while raising fruits, vegetables, and herbs for home use with her grade-school daughter on their small homestead in Williams, OR. She is fascinated by the exquisite beauty and vibrant color of the natural world, and her work and hobbies reflect this admiration through her interests in floral design, spinning and dyeing natural fibers, and hiking in the wilderness. Stacey helped found, teach at, and administrate Woodland Charter School in the Applegate Valley. Being a Waldorf-methods school, Woodland holds truth, beauty, and goodness as it central principles, and these tenants guide and inspire Stacey through her life as well. She translates these principles into action through compassionate communication, facilitating group process, artistic activity (dancing, drawing, singing, cooking), and community service. Stacey also co-founded White Oak Farm and Education Center in Williams, a non-profit farm dedicated to teaching about organic agriculture and sustainable living skills. She has over a decade of experience in non-profit management and organizational design, and looks forward to sharing her skill and passion with others through the Life Stream Folk School.

Don Tipping farms at Seven Seeds Farm, a small, organic family farm in the Siskiyou Mountains of SW Oregon. We produce certified organic fruits, vegetables, seeds, herbs, wool, eggs, and lamb.  Seven Seeds helps to mentor new farmers through internships and workshops including the biennial Seed Academy. Seven Seeds has also been active in USDA Western SARE, Organic Seed Alliance and other seed initiatives to advance the development of open pollinated organic seeds.   In 2009 we began Siskiyou Seeds, a bioregional organic seed company operated from the home farm.  Don helped to found the Siskiyou Sustainable Cooperative which manages a 300 share CSA, commercial seed growing, an equipment co-op and internship curriculum among 12 cooperating farms.  He also co-founded the Family Farmers Seed Cooperative, a seed grower, marketing and distribution cooperative comprised of 10 western organic farms.