This year I’ve been learning the ins and outs of community owned property and I’m incredibly excited to announce my latest collaboration: behold Trillium! Together with some of the founders of the Lucidity Festival, we are bringing to life a beautiful and inspiring land project outside of Ashland in southern Oregon. Trillium spans 80 acres and includes 17 existing structures spread across a scenic valley, meadows and raw wilderness. The land is nestled up against 3000 acres of old-growth forest that already includes 30+ miles of trails that weave through the pristine land. Trillium has exclusive water rights to the creek which flows through its valley until it meets the healthy Applegate river at the base of the property.
On one hand this is a perfect week for posting a response to this article …if I want to avoid ruffling any egos. Or perhaps it’s the perfect week to inspire those who stayed at home. Either way I have a mob of friends at the Burn and I bet they’re having an awesome time. Of course I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t have a *little* FOMO, especially as the week builds towards what will no doubt be an explosive climax in the dust 🙂 I love Burning Man, and it has played a huge role in throwing open the doorway of my soul over a decade ago. And while Burning Man continues to be a mind-blowing, ever-evolving experience that has the power to open the hearts and minds of of its attendees, I continue to be niggled by a nagging question: “OK, so what do we do once we ‘get it’? What comes next?” It’s a question that I know is in the hearts of many and now that Burning Man org bought nearby land it seems like they are asking the same thing.
I just watched an awesome documentary last night called “American Commune” and I can’t believe I’d never heard of “The Farm” before! As we look towards a future where communal land stewardship and regenerative living are becoming increasingly common, it’s crucial that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. How to successfully navigate decision making processes, financial frameworks and healthy social systems will be vital to the long term flourishing of these projects. I’m very grateful for the brave pioneers that paved the way. May we learn from their achievements and their mistakes so that we don’t fall into the same traps 🙂
I might be skipping the Burn but to avoid any FOMO I’ll be attending TWO awesome festivals in September! It’ll be my first time at the North American Permaculture Convergence in Hopland in mid September and then on to Symbiosis Gathering for some righteous end of summer celebrations! If you haven’t heard of Symbiosis it’s kind of like Lightning in a Bottle’s flair blended with the deep, intentional aspect of Lucidity …and all taking place on a beautiful reservoir filled with art boats and swim up stages and installations! ALL HAIL GLORIOUS WATER!
Projecting future retrospect allows us to imagine how we’ll look back on the present, from the future. And this will certainly be remembered as a historic moment! The Burning Man Project recently announced that they bought property adjacent to the Black Rock Desert where their yearly event takes place and plans to turn it into a year-round cultural experiment. While I think the name “Fly Ranch” is ripe for a rebrand, it’s extremely inspiring to see the Burning Man’s evolution as an ephemeral, week long event towards its vision of a year round, sustainable example of what the future of community might look like. The Burning Man’s Project is a non profit whose chief goal is of “amplifying and extending Burning Man culture”. With hundreds of regional events on 6 continents and now a 3600 acre oasis in the desert the reach of Burning Man’s culture continues it’s benevolent march!
I just arrived at a beautiful place in northern Thailand called the Panya Project where I’ll be undertaking a two week intensive course on permaculture design. First thing tomorrow I’ll begin learning about natural building practices, efficient water systems, alternate energy harvesting and land and soil resource management. It’s cool to already feel my RISD design skills being stoked… I’m surrounded by novel and evolving solutions to immediate challenges. It’s like living in a big hands-on puzzle! Amazingly the people that run Panya are even nicer in person than they are in this video! And as for the students, it’s a diverse group of wonderful spirits, creative problem solvers with open hearts and a desire to be part of the solution to heal our world. I’m also proud to say at least 5 of the 25 are from California! Together we’re growing the revolution, my friends
So I broke my two week juice fast with a full day fermentation workshop and it was A-MAY-ZING! I learned lots of tricks for how to make tasty kefir, creamy cheeses, whey products, multiple flavors of kombucha and tons of sauerkraut and kimchi varietals. We got to sample all the goods and my gut flora is psyched about the fresh infusion of live, healthy bacterias!
I helped build a yurt out of locally sourced materials! It’s a little different than the Mongolian yurts that I’ve helped assemble in the past, but makes up for lack in mobility with its downright tropical charm… and only took a day to assemble (besides the base, which was made with rocks & concrete)! It was a great little appetizer for next month’s 2 week permaculture design certificate course… more about that on another day!
Day 5 in the mountains of Thailand at DetoxPai and my mind feels super sharp 🙂 I’m currently researching the topic of community owned property. Do you like that topic? Me too! And I feel like the topic has coming up a lot recently on all sorts of scales in all sorts of contexts and conversations …and that is super exciting. I’ve been exploring possible scenarios and researching how the legal and financial aspect could work. There’s a few different models to consider and of course the ongoing management is also an interesting topic too:) It could be useful for all sorts of communities who want to co-own their property, from small coliving environments to larger colive/cowork spaces or even a giant village-sized projects.
When a simple Sunday adventure to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, a beautiful hillside temple just outside of Chiang Mai, gets deep! As I was descending the hundreds of steps a question formed in my mind: How can I best be of service to the world, while still remaining in service to myself? I added the latter part as it was often something I neglected to do in the past. Further consideration (during an amazing Thai massage with soul sibling Roxanne Rubysmile emoticon led me to another, possibly more focused way of asking this question: How might I best use my time, energy and unique skills to most effectively expand consciousness for myself and my species?