A beautiful day with Marin in the parsnip patch at one of the amazingly abundant vegetable gardens at White Crow Farm (Kootenays, B.C.)!
Capturing Leah and Peaches at work in the garden at White Crow Farm, Kootenays, B.C.
In 2008 I attended the Linnaea Ecological Garden Programme on Cortes Island BC. I was part of a student learning community guided by Linnaea’s amazing and highly experienced farm stewards and the fauna and flora of the land. We focused on organic farming techniques and permaculture. During this eight month Permaculture Design Course, we worked as design teams with an on-island client/land assessment practicum. It was a wonderful year! 85% of Linnaea graduates continue on to focus on food production, policy and education, as well as permaculture design and teaching, and more.
To hear an interview with Deconstructing Dinner’s Jon Steinman and the 2008 Garden Students, please visit: http://www.kootenaycoopradio.com/deconstructingdinner/112609.htm
I had an hour and a half to pull off “The Last Supper?” The Linnaea garden program was in its sixth month and I knew that if I didn’t act soon, I would miss my chance to do an art project with the garden students and farm stewards. We all agreed on a date and time. I asked everyone to wear white knowing that probably only half would. Perfect. We had fourteen instead of thirteen bodies because baby Melina joined us. Zuzannah was amazing as Jesus. She was the only one who prepped for the shoot gleaning inspiration on-line; that she looks pregnant with the planet was one of those beautiful Momma Gaia coincidences. I have about 20 amazing shots where everyone is in a different pose. The only instruction I gave was to please not look directly at the camera.
The intention was to reclaim the Last Supper biblical motif as a cosmological alternative to our contemporary North American pro-consumerism worldview- with a humble offering of community, natural food systems and our precious, beautiful Earth.
Much of the inspiration came from one of the best films I have seen: Khadak http://www.khadak.com/at the 2007 Vancouver International Film Festival. Focused on Mongolia, the film features a Last Supper scene that is hauntingly beautiful, and which represents to me, a counter-cultural statement to the dominant Euro-centric and colonial worldview that enforces violence, alienation and displacement. The movie tells the fictional story of a young man forceably removed from his animals and nomadic, ancestral way of life to a mining town; contextualized within the true story of a people forced to destroy the very landscape that physically and spiritually sustained generations of Mongolians. The protagonist undergoes a painful journey away from his animals into a love story that ends tragically in a mental asylum. The movie shows the mental illness that developed amongst people cut off from their animals and land- cultural and spiritual genocide for an animist-centred people.
What’s on and around the table?
Ms. Chicken and baby Melina were incredibly patient. Cayenne the horse was a last addition, galloped from one end of the farm to the other. There were three (approximately four hundred pound) baby cows that had tried to take the table out and we had to keep an eye on their location. The sun magically came out from behind the clouds and hid again moments after we wrapped. Folks collectively decorated the table with farm fresh zucchini’s, tomatoes, wheat husks, eggs and milk. The lego tower, old typewriter, 1970’s TV, colonial globe and empty oil barrels juxtapose modernity with the surrounding ecological and local, organic food perspective- a much older way of being in the world (eating and growing local) that has existed for centuries pre-industrialization. Half of the people at the table are looking off in the direction of the sun, as if waiting, looking and contemplating the future. I ask the viewer to contemplate their relationship to food and worldview.
To hear the 2008 Linnaea Garden Students, check out Deconstructing Dinner:http://www.cjly.net/deconstructingdinner/112609.htm
Vancouver Urban Permaculture Design Certificate Course with:
Dent & Innes
Learn How to Grow Your Own Food & Permaculture Design in the City!
Downtown Eastside / Strathcona
Coast Salish Territories, Vancouver, BC, Canada
In association with SOLEFood Farm
72-Hour course work + hands-on organic gardening & urban farming techniques
Facilitators/Educators: Sara Dent and Erin Innes
Course Schedule: Introductory Weekend April 8: 6-9pm, 9 & 10: 10am-5pm
10am-5pm: April 30, May 21, June 25, July 23, August 13, 27, September 24
Wrap Weekend October 21: 6-9pm, 22 & 23: 10am-5pm
Cost: $225 Introductory Weekend, $900 – $1,100 Full Course
Sliding Scale / Scholarships Potentially Available / Payment Plans Possible
Dive into the fundamentals of ecological design theory and practice and earn your internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate. From growing food and creating healthy soil to building community capacity and re-visioning the urban environment, this 72-hour course will give you the skills and experience you need to live abundantly in our changing times and be a regenerative force for the planet and your community.
As a learning community, we will look at all aspects of urban gardening, from garden designing, plant propagation, composting, seed saving, to starting the winter garden and more. We will study the design philosophy of permaculture and its application within an urban setting. The DTES will be our classroom, from SOLEFood Farm, to Cottonwood Gardens and in between. Guest teachers will demo: bee keeping, aquaponics, backyard chickens, and more.
The permaculture topics this course will cover include:
Permaculture Ethics & Principles
Observation & Site Analysis
Natural Cycles & Pattern Recognition
Mapping & Design Exercises
Trees & Food Forests
Soil Building & Ecology
Plants, Propagation & Planting Strategies
Eco-Building & Appropriate Technology
Aquaculture, Water Harvesting, Management & Conservation
Urban Permaculture & Social Ecology
What is PERMACULTURE?
Permaculture is the ancient art of studying Natures principles and applying her gardening techniques through systems design to human habitats. In a natural ecological system there is no waste and no external inputs. In cities, we have the opportunity to put these ideas into practice to create more sustainable living environments that are less dependent on fossil fuels for food production and energy. The term permaculture was coined by Bill Mollison of the Australia Permaculture Research Institute (PRI). This course will follow Mollisons curriculum, with a focus on permaculture applications within an urban environment.
About the teachers:
Sara Dent is a trained organic farmer and Certified Permaculture Designer through the Linnaea Ecological Garden Programme (Cortes, BC), and Teacher with the Urban Permaculture Guild. She has farmed across B.C. and in Mexico. She brings her enthusiasm for organic matter and growing local, along with her training as an arts facilitator to permaculture education.
Erin Innes is a Certified Permaculture Designer and a recognized Permaculture Teacher with the Urban Permaculture Guild. She has a long history in community activism and collective organizing, focusing on popular education and un-schooling. She is deeply involved in grassroots food justice work and founded the Farmhouse Farm Bike-Powered Urban Farm. Erin currently sits on the Steering Committee for the Main Street Village of Village Vancouver Transition Initiative.
Information / Registration: email@example.com, 778-968-5518