Sustainable Living and Design Programs at Lost Valley Educational Center


Wes Ozier former workshop coordinator at Arcosanti just sent me this email about his work at the Lost Valley Educational Center in Dexter OR. As director of The Camassia Institute he is in charge of education and also plays a key role in the development at LVEC.

A major feature of the Camassia Institute are the permaculture and sustainable design and development programs that empower “you to live and learn more sustainably, through courses in permaculture, sustainable design and community organization.” The courses balance academic, professional or personal needs and interests in sustainable living and design.

As a live and work environment similar to Arcosanti, students stay at housing located at LVEC. There seems to be an awareness that along with the unique learning environment comes a need for a unique approach of living in a “aspiring ecovillage, learning and living right alongside our community residents.” Also similar to Arcosanti there are three choices although they are packaged differently to suit people’s varying interests interests and “life circumstances” that include: one week, one month and also seasonal programs.

The One Week offering is a Sustainability Seminar that gives you a overview of green building, permaculture, and ecovillage design through a combination of lectures and activities.  http://lostvalley.org/Sustainability-Seminar. During this week you participate in the construction of a single ecobuilding demonstration project http://lostvalley.org/EcoBuilding

The Five Week Full Programs include:

  1. A holistic, hands-on intro to creating ‘eco’ structures http://lostvalley.org/EcoBuilding
  2. Learning about Permaculture Design http://lostvalley.org/Permaculture-Design-Program
  3. Ecovillage Design Education  for those interested in organizing their local community or starting their own intentional community http://lostvalley.org/EDE-Ecovillage-Design-Education-Certificate-Program

The Seasonal Immersion Program is a three month program that rolls the ecobuilding, permaculture and ecovillage design programs above into one “comprehensive immersive learning experience.”
http://lostvalley.org/Seasonal-Immersion-Program

Lost Valley has events relating to sustainability throughout the year that people can participate in: http://www.lostvalley.org/lvecevents.

For more info…contact them by e-mail, registrar@lostvalley.org or phone (541) 937-3351.

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One thought on “Sustainable Living and Design Programs at Lost Valley Educational Center

  1. Arcosanti Loquat Extravaganza Part 1:

    Arcosanti Loquat Extravaganza Part 2:

    Dear Loquat Caregivers,
    I am entitling you with 135 loquat trees. The larger ones are approximately two years old and the seedlings are about six months old. Loquats are originally from China and are used medicinally through extracting various parts of the plant as an aphrodisiac, and to help people who have asthma. There may be other medicinal uses as well. Loquats have delicious fruit which is vaguely reminiscent of pear, but more tart, tangy and wild. There are cultivars of loquat which have larger fruit than the seedlings. I believe Big Jim is one of many cultivars. I am open to how the loquat trees will be planted around Arcosanti, but an idea I like is to let the loquat trees grow until they are larger, and cut off the top so that the following year there will be two or more branches. In my opinion it would be wise to graft a larger fruit cultivar onto one of the branches and let the other branches be their own unique fruit variety. This would enhance biodiversity(not repressing the genetic makeup of the seedlings), and allow experimentation for new varieties of loquat. The 135 loquat trees were grown from five loquat trees in three locations. Some of the seeds are from Bolinas, Mill Valley, and Berkeley. There might be a few from Palo Alto.
    I envision the loquat trees as a family growing in unity and solidarity. They are a community of trees, the old ones helping the young ones and visa versa. Survival of the fittest through competition is a valid component of evolution, but I would like to think that there is more to evolution, than this, that the trees will prosper and encourage each-other through survival of the most symbiotic. I am open to how they are planted around Arcosanti, but like the idea of making a forest of trees that are interconnected so they can remain a community. One could also get creative and plant the trees in the shape of a glyph like the peace sign that could be viewed from an airplane. The products made from loquats are only limited by the dimensions of your imagination. I believe Britany Spears has a perfume with essence of Loquat. I like the idea of loquat sauce to flavor, maybe add some habanero peppers. Loquat wine is a possibility. Loquat marmalade is another good idea. Fresh loquats are also delicious, but don’t think they stay fresh long once plucked. One would have to can, or freeze, or dry them if they weren’t eaten within a few days of plucking them. I have never tried loquat juice. I am also making a ceramic gargoyle to protect the loquat trees. When it is done, I could send a picture. The “Loquat Lover” gargoyle could stay in California, or I could possibly bring it out to Arcosanti at some point. It would also be fascinating to breed the surviving loquat trees at arcosanti, and collect their seed to make cold tolerant trees. Acclimitization is something that fascinates me. I am trying to acclimitize other plant species to Bolinas unique climate in California.

    Things which should be done: A few pots have multiple loquats growing in the same pot. These should be repotted. The four inch potted seedlings should be repotted in gallon pots. The larger loquat trees should be repotted in five gallon or larger pots, or you could try planting some in the warmest most wind-protected, damper, sunny areas. There are wild strawberries growing in with the loquats. I’m not sure if they will have fruit, and am not sure what their temperature requirements are. I think a few may be commercial strawberries, but the rest are wild grown from three plants in the hills of Bolinas. I believe the largest pot was cracked, and needs to be repotted. There is some kind of edible vegetable growing in that pot. There is also an edible passion-fruit vine growing out of one of the gallon pots. It is extremeley tender and would need to be grown inside or in a greenhouse in Arizona. If it survives, will produce copious quantities of sweet nectare, gorgeous pink flowers, and fruit which is high in vitamin C. That was a seed from wild passionflower in Bolinas. There are some trays of loquat seedlings which should be repotted into gallon containers. Some of the loquat seeds may not have germinated yet. You could keep the container after repotting the seedlings to see if anything else sprouts. I’m not sure when the loquats should be planted in the ground, but the larger ones could be ready.

    I am concerned about the growing conditions in Arizona, but with every risk comes the implementation of new innovation. Three major concerns are water, temperature, and mangnesium deficiency. Temperature can be altered to a degree with hedges to screen the wind, and more water can be retained by using mulch. With proper research anything is possible. The following is quoted from http://www.phoenixtropicals.com/loquat.html It was an article about growing loquat trees in Arizona.
    “Basin or flood irrigation is recommended because it helps keep the salt in our salty water from accumulating around the roots. Furthermore, deep watering will encourage the plant to develop deeper roots, making the plant tougher when the weather gets hot and dry.
    Loquats are very sensitive to soil salinity. Since Phoenix area water is already high in salts, the safest thing to do is to not use any chemical nitrogen fertilizers. Soil amendments such as compost are still beneficial, as are mild organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion 0-10-10.
    Loquats exhibit some very specific nutrient deficiencies in the Phoenix area, which are often mistaken as fireblight or salt burn. These deficiencies are most likely due to the soil alkalinity here. The problem first shows itself by causing older leaves to dry up, starting at the edges and then falling off, and it will progress over most of the tree. Loquats will exhibit this behavior for years and it greatly slows their growth and can eventually kill them. I lost my first loquat to this problem. To understand this problem, one must first realize that it is not fireblight. Phoenix is just too dry for fireblight. The second thing to realize is that it is not salt burn because salt burn distributes itself evenly over the tree, instead of going after older leaves first. The pattern of the burning is suggestive of magnesium deficiency, and this appears to be what it is. I have stopped this problem dead in its tracks and restored tree vigor by a single application of a three fingered pinch of magnesium sulfate diluted in a gallon of water. I pour this mixture on the ground around drip line of the tree about once a month during the warm and hot months, but not during winter. Burning of older leaves can also suggest a potassium deficiency although the pattern is different than what appears on the loquat. To be safe, I also give the tree a small dose of Alaska fish emulsion 0-10-10, also diluted in water and poured around the drip line as per. the directions. Some other organic source of potassium will probably also work well. The potassium treatment is most likely only needed once or twice a year. Other than the specific elements magnesium and potassium a loquat does not seem to need much of anything else in the Phoenix area. My tree grows steadily with no nitrogen supplement at all. Keep in mind, that loquats are sensitive to salinity so adding any unecessary elements to the soil is risky.” A good video to watch about successful desert agriculture is entitled: “Greening The Desert” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ8pjOG4pXI

    We’re all a little bit like loquat trees. We strive toward the light, toward the knowledge, and we’re all intertwisted and intertwined with our roots. Hopefully we can stay that way, we can stay connected.

    Good luck with the trees and maybe you can send me some photos every now and then,
    Ryan Rosenblatt

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