Join us Saturday, April 15th for the 3rd class in our Sustainable Living Skills Class Series, “Perennial Crop Care” with Taylor Starr and Brian Geier. 9am-1pm, organic snacks provided. Cost is $40. Please pre-register by calling 541 846 0776 or emailing email@example.com
This hands-on class will explore the world of perennials. Grow food, medicine, teas, fiber, basketry materials and more every year on your homestead with a small amount of maintenance. We will explore different methods of propagation, and participants will be able to bring home cuttings and divisions of plants. Some of the plants folks will be working with and bring home include: valerian, comfrey, lemon balm, basketry willow, flowers, raspberries, strawberries, grapes and more. Learn how to integrate low maintenance and high-bearing perennials into your homestead to feed your body and fuel your soul.
White Oak Farm is offering a 7 month Natural Building Practicum in 2017 for one qualified builder. The position will provide the opportunity for an aspiring natural builder with at least one year of experience to practice their craft through the construction of a small cob/straw/light straw clay classroom as well as additional projects including plastering, solar hot water, carpentry, and more. The builder will work with the Farm staff, interns, workshop participants, volunteers and school groups to implement the projects, providing ample opportunities for creativity, leadership, skill building, and experimentation.
The Natural Building Practicum is designed to provide experience to an individual with an interest in developing their knowledge and skills for a life and career in natural building. The program requires hard work, a good attitude, the ability to live and work with others, and self-motivation. The builder will receive simple housing in their own wall tent, staple foods, farm fruits and vegetables, and access to farm facilities including kitchen, phone, internet, showers, ponds, and a sauna. There is also a monthly stipend. Responsibilities of the program include three days per week of building projects as well as one day per week working on the farm, and daily chores. All Farm residents are also expected to communicate clearly, be self-motivated, and work hard.
The program runs from April 1st to October 31, with a one month trial period. Prior experience in natural building is required for participation. To apply please send a cover letter describing your relevant experiences and interests, along with a resume and references to firstname.lastname@example.org
It assuredly is a farm; there are annual row crops, grazing animals, big compost piles. But that doesn’t mention White Oak’s epic, yet somehow immaculate, permaculture design; the irrigation system that gravity feeds the farm beds from water-catchment ponds which welcome swimmers on hot summer days; or the unbelievable plant diversity that blooms all season in the form of outrageously beautiful flowers, medicinal herbs, unusual fruits, and pollinator-feeding beneficial insects.
It’s also definitely an education center, as we’ve led a myriad of kids programs this season from preschool, to school visits, to a week-long summer farm camp. Being a part of these programs sheds light on kids who get to see food growing and who harvest their own lunch from the land for the first time. Their energy is totally transformed with awe and wonder upon experiences such as stepping into the forest for a hike or eating a healthy, fresh meal that they find they actually really like.
What I find particularly incredible is how these layers of highly functional systems and touching experiences weave together to create the White Oak enterprise. Looking at it from my perspective as an intern, I’m getting to learn about sustainable, regenerative agriculture; I’m gaining skills from teaching to homesteading to animal care, I’m getting a crash course in rural living and the resourcefulness that it necessitates, and so much more. The life I’m enjoying here only exists the way it does because of so much energy that has come before me. The buildings on the land I spend time in every day were built by folks that were part of natural building workshops who now have skills to create their own structures. The trees I’m eating delicious fruit from were cared for by interns from many previous years who can now grow their own food. The beautiful forest that I live in has been host to eco-forestry workshops, sending more forest stewards out into the world. All this energy from the past has gone into creating this ever-moving and growing place, continually fed in the present, and spreading more beauty throughout the world in the future.
So when I think about White Oak, as a farm, an education center, a petting zoo, a permaculture paradise, a rich forest, a heartful community, it seems that in all its multi-layered, multi-functional magic, this White Oak organism’s aliveness rests in the kinetic energy of what can happen when people join together to create an abundant, thriving world.