From fantasy to farm - what happened when one girl decided it was time to make a difference

the world is in trouble. over-populated and with resources and species diminishing at alarming rates, it is imperative that humans accept responsibility for rethinking our community life, economics, and social structures. during a three week youth permaculture camp hosted on an awe-inspiring permaculture homestead in washington state, young people learn, play, and experience community among a connected web of plants, animals, and adult learners enrolled in a simultaneous adult permaculture design certifciation course. through art, poetry, song, and direct experience a deep sense of place in the natural world is cultivated. young stewards experiment with gardening, the building of compost piles and application of organic compost teas. they innoculate mushroom spore and make their own herbal medicines from plants they have harvested themselves. they interact with ingenious sustainable technologies, such as solar heated water and showers, solar dehydrators made from recycled refrigarators, and eat pizza's baked in wood-fired cobb ovens. they practice primitive skills such as fire making, shelter building, and animal tracking. they make a group contribution to the larger island community which hosts the camp. in the past these projects have included a mural of the five elements (earth, air, water, fire, and spirit) and a "thousand cranes" origami installation, both displayed at local coffee houses. these children experience first hand what it means to live, work, and love within a localized and sustainable social framework, equipping them to mimic such models in their adult years as they grow and take on the work of earth care.