FCE Takes Key Step in developing its Environmental Learning & Training Center in Beverly MA

IMG_4204The nonprofit Full Circle Earth, which I am involved with as a board member and volunteer, has “raised the roof” of its new training and research facility in Beverly MA. This involved installing a plastic greenhouse membrane to complete the greenhouse construction which began in June 2014.

My colleague, friend and fellow Arcosanti Arizona alum, FCE executive director James “Jimi” Carnazza has been leading this effort. Thanks also to the volunteers whose work was pivotal in making this effort a success.

The goal of this facility is to enable research and development in Aquaponics, Worm Composting and Compost Tea for promoting local and sustainable food production. These are the initial focus points towards promoting a more comprehensive/holistic approach to sustainable farming and living in the North Shore region of Metro Boston.

Our work will include the sharing of relevant appropriate technologies developed at the facility, through workshops, community outreach opportunities as well as k-12 programs, working with local schools as well as programs that cater to special needs students.

We also just got certified as Tax Exempt nonprofit by the IRS. So you can now make a tax deductable donation to support our work via PayPal: http://www.fullcircleearth.org/fce-news/donate-to-fce/
For more about the project and our work please go to FCE’s website: http://www.fullcircleearth.org.

Stay tuned for more news and updates as we further develop this project.

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Tour of Full Circle Earth Greenhouse in Woburn MA

end of jimi greenhouse at gardenOn July 20th, Carmen Thennes and I had a chance to go to Woburn MA to meet with James (Jimi) Carnazza. I first met Jimi at Arcosanti in the Fall of 09. He did an internship there in construction.

After leaving Arcosanti, Jimi has been working as a educational consultant helping special needs children and adults develop life skills. In addition, he has asked me to help him start a nonprofit called Full Circle Earth (FCE). We officially established the non profit in the state of MA in August of last year and are now working on 501c3 status with the IRS. I was one of the three founding board members and currently serve on the board.

The mission of FCE is to raise awareness of the ways to increase the availability of locally produced, healthy and organic food. Our work centers on an effort to establish a training  and educational center to sustainable living and food production. This includes a greenhouse and surrounding integrated food production systems as well as agricultural plots. This capstone/flagship project of FCE will feature key emergent technologies such as aquaponics, wormcomposting, biogas production, compost tea making, rainwater collection, the use of earth building techniques and other appropriate tech.

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Recent Bay Area TEDx Sustainable Cities Series Features Presentations on Arcology

Last Saturday, Cosanti Foundation president Jeff Stein presented at an event organized by a group based in SF called TEDxMission. The name of this particular event was called TEDxMission 2.0 The City. It featured discussions with leaders in the sustainability field. There was a specific focus on innovative ideas and technologies relating to urban design (and particularly in terms of the Bay Area): “to share the powerful narratives of urban innovators and organizers, stewards and artists, builders and tastemakers.”

Besides Stein, the other speakers I recognized were (my thought is that these people could be a potential network resource for making Arcosanti more sustainable):

  • Brock Dolman is a permaculture expert who is well known on the west coast. He is a Occidential Arts & Ecology Center Lecturer  (OAEC) in Occidental CA and a guest lecturer at the Regenerative Design Institute in nearby Bolinas. Sewing Circle is an intentional community  small ecovillage/intentional community that is interwoven with OAEC similar to the way Cosanti Foundation is with Cosanti Originals at Arcosanti.
  • Geoff Lawton excited a lot of people by what he was able to achieve in Jordan on a dryland permaculture project that showed much was possible even in a very desolate desert environment. Considering the challenge that Arcosanti faces in growing food in a similar climate, he might be a great link towards increasing agricultural productivity.
  • James Hanusa has been active in the Bay Area Sustainability community. We crossed paths via the Global Summit 2010 at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Currently he is CEO of the Urban Innovation Exchange a SF “economic development organization that co-creates innovation ecosystems rooted in sustainability and culture with an experiential approach.” Most recently according to their website, they enabled a design charette between Rio and San Francisco for the Bay2Rio+20 Group. Hanusa is doing work that seems to fit well with Michael Gosney’s presentation to TEDxMission at an earlier event: “Designing the Control Panel for Spaceship Earth.

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Robin Eagle Sage on Shifting towards more Sustainable Living

A few weeks ago I went to see Happy Oasis at Happy Oasis whom I had previously met at the Global Summit 2008 in SF (The person and place is of the same name which is sort of unusual.) Happy organizes the Raw Spirit Festival which is an annual event promoting a diet of primarily or only raw foods. The pot luck was a chance to go to the Prescott Dells which is a scenic attraction just east and north of Prescott. Happy has created a small community on the property she owns which includes about 10 people right now and there is also a network of people in the area who also support her efforts.

One of the people I met at the Potluck wasRobin Eagle Sage, who is a Medical Intuitive. In case you were wondering, a medical intuitive looks at energy flows within the body to determine problems that are existing within us. Usually these problems relate to inner pain and suffering as part of our past experiences. So basically it revolves around disease and our reluctance and fear to overcome what is bothering us as human beings. So the pain that we have mentally/emotions overwhelms us and starts to do damage to the body. Thus things like Yoga, massage, Tai Chi and acupuncture help us to heal these internal mental/emotional/spiritual problems that afflict us.

Basically there is a school of thought that links this idea of internal dis-ease with larger health problems that have social and geopolitical implications. Overcoming our unconscious thoughts and frustrations that we have accumulated through life and to be that light that is deep inside of us that wants to come out is for some the real purpose to life. To experience, learn and to be…
Expanding upon this is the reality of the human condition and that our disregard and degradation of the planet is related to collectivization of that personal sickness and fear.

We discussed the Law of Attraction in relation to seeing how our thinking creates our reality. So when we do not care for ourselves we create a setting for perpetuating that thinking and attracting people who think similarly about themselves. On the other hand, when we think positively about ourselves and life in general, we find that we can get what we need out of life and more.

Robin’s book is in a competition to win a book contract and $50,000. It is sponsored by James Twyman and called “The Next Top Author.” If you vote for her she could win. Her book is about sustainability from the inside out as well as health and community. Round 2 voting for her book has begun and the 1st chapter is online here.

Her goal is to win a book contract and also $50,000 to forward her work. She has combined the effort of her book with the development of an eco-community and a establishing an international free-education program.