[permaculture] "Free" Permacuture

Arina Pittman arina at ecoversity.org
Thu Aug 18 19:18:22 EDT 2005

Greetings, Permies

I recently heard from a grapevine, about an agreement in the permaculture
community, under which students with prior certification can take
"refresher" permaculture certificate courses free of charge anywhere in the
world. Some people, I hear, use this rule differently, and offer only a
price reduction (i.e. instructor agrees to waive his/her fees, but there is
still a fee for attending). Some people have not heard about it.

My question for anyone on this list
- have you heard about this arrangement from a permaculture instructor
- are you a permaculture instructor, who respects and follows this rule
(i.e. teaches for free)
- are you a repeat student, who has had a chance to benefit from this rule
and take repeat courses free of charge, at a reduced price.

I would appreciate any feedback about this arrangement. 


Arina M. Pittman
Managing Director

-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Wesley Roe and
Marjorie Lakin Erickson
Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2005 12:43 AM
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [permaculture] Ecovillages & Intentional Communities Slide Show &
Talk With Diana Leafe Christian Aug 19-30 LA, Idlywild, Ojai, SB, SLO,
Alameda, SF CA 2005

Ecovillages & Intentional Communities
Slide Show & Talk
With Diana Leafe Christian
THUR Aug 25 7pm Santa Barbara Downtown Library
(More Dates  and times listed below for  LA, Ilydwild,Ojai,SB,SLO,Alameda,SF

         What works and what doesn't work in forming Intentional 
Communities and EcoVillages? Diana Leafe Christian, author of "Creating a 
Life Together, Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional 
Communities", will do a lecture and slide show on Thursday, August 25, 
7-9pm at the Santa Barbara Downtown Public Library, Faulkner Gallery, about 
the process of forming these kinds of new communities. Gleaned from dozens 
of successful communities in North America, she shares the nuts and bolts 
of beginning one and how to avoid fatal mistakes that cause these kind of 
communities to fail. Discussed will be creating vision documents, 
decision-making and governance, buying and financing land, and the organic 
process of growing a community.

An intentional community is a group of people who have chosen to live with 
or near enough to each other to carry out their shared lifestyle or common 
purpose together.  Ecovillages are intentional communities that aspire to 
create a more humane and sustainable way of life.  Typically, an ecovillage 
builds ecologically sustainable housing, grows much of it's own food, 
recycles waste products harmlessly and generates it's own off-grid power.

         Diana Leafe Christian is the editor of Communities Magazine 
(http://fic.ic.org/cmag/cmaglist.html), the Fellowship for Intentional 
Community's quarterly national publication about intentional communities in 
North America, since 1993.  For the past six years she has led workshops on 
the practical steps to form intentional communities.  She has been 
interviewed by NPR and the BBC about intentional communities.   Her 
articles on Ecovillages, financial and legal aspects of communities, 
children in community and communication and group process issues in 
community have appeared in publications ranging from Mother Earth News to 
the Permaculture Activist, and Canada's Time Magazine. She presently lives 
in the Earthhaven Ecovillage in North Carolina.

Public Talk Locations with Diana Leafe Christian
Donations $5- $10
FRI Aug 19 7:30 7:30 pm: Public talk and overview $15 LA Ecovillage 117 
Bimini Pl. LA 90004 Lois Arkin crsp at igc.org 213/738-1254 crsp at igc.org
Sat/Sun, Aug. 20-21, 2 day workshop: How to Start a Successful Urban 
Ecovillage, 10 am - 6 pm, $150, LA Eco-Village, 117 Bimini Pl., Lois Arkin, 
reservations required, crsp at igc.org

TUES Aug 23 ldyllwild , 7:30 pm Idyllwild Park Nature Center Auditorium, 
25225 Hwy. 243, Idyllwild, CA 92549 "Scott Horton" 
<lasemillabesada at hotmail.com> phone 951-659-5362

WED Aug 24 7pm Ojai Kent Hall Help of Ojai 111 W Santa Ana St, (Next to 
Ojai City Hall) Turn off Hwy 150 onto Blanche St between Bank of America 
and Star Marke sbpcnet at silcom.com 805-962-2571 $10
THUR Aug 25 7pm Santa Barbara Downtown Library sbpcnet at silcom.com 
805-962-2571 $10

FRI Aug 26 7pm San Luis Obispo Downtown Library Bob Banner 
hopedance at aol.com 1-866-749-7819,805 544 9663 $10

Monday Aug 29 7pm Alameda Point Collaborative 677 W. Ranger Ave. Alameda, 
CA 94501 Douglas Biggs <dbiggs at apcollaborative.org> www.apcollaborative.org 

TUES Aug 30 (Tentative) San Francisco Commonwealth Club 595 Market Street 
SF (www.commonwealthclub.org) Eric Corey Freed <eric at organicarchitect.com> 
(415) 474-7777

For Tour updates contact Santa Barbara Permaculture Network 
sbpcnet at silcom.com, 805-962-2571,www.sbpermaculture.org
SPONSORS- Santa Barbara Permaculture Network, LA EcoVillage, LA 
Permaculture Guild, Ojai Permaculture Guild, The Alameda Point 
Collaborative, ADSPR, Organic Architect, & Hopedance Media.

Additional Information about the book & author:
Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and 
Intentional Communities, by Diana Leafe Christian, editor of Communities 
Magazine, foreword by Patch Adams. 2003 New Society Publishers, 272 pp.,

About the Author:
Diana Leafe Christian has been editor of Communities magazine, a quarterly 
publication about intentional communities in North America, since 1993. She 
has been interviewed by NPR and the BBC about intentional communities and 
has contributed a chapter on forming new communities to Creating Harmony 
(Gaia Trust, 1999). Her articles on ecovillages, financial and legal 
aspects of communities, children in community, and communication and group 
process issues in community have appeared in publications ranging from 
Mother Earth News to Communities magazine, the Communities Directory, and 
Canada's This Magazine.
Diana leads workshops for forming-community groups and educational centers 
nationwide and at communities conferences, on the practical steps to create 
ecovillages and intentional communities, including the land-purchase, 
zoning, and legal stages of these projects.
She lives at Earthaven Ecovillage in North Carolina, one of the "successful 
10 percent" communities she began researching for this book.

Creating a Life Together is an overview of the process of forming new 
ecovillages and intentional communities, gleaned from founders of dozens of 
successful communities in North America formed since the early '90s. This 
is what they did, and what you can do, to create your community dream. It 
attempts to distill their hard experience into solid advice on getting 
started as a group, creating vision documents, decision-making and 
governance, agreements and policies, buying and financing land, 
communication and process, and selecting people to join you. It's what 
works, what doesn't work, and how not to reinvent the wheel. This 
information is not only for people forming new communities - whether or not 
you already own your land. It can also be valuable for those of you 
thinking about joining community one day - since you, too, will need to 
know what works. And it's also for those of you already living in 
community, since you can only benefit from knowing what others have done in 
similar circumstances."
Diana Leafe Christian is author of Creating a Life Together: Practical 
Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities (New Society 
Publishers, 2003), about forming communities in today's financial and 
zoning climate, based on the experiences of successful community founders 
in the 1990s. She has been editor of Communities magazine, the Fellowship 
for Intentional Community's quarterly national publication about 
intentional communities in North America, since 1993. For the past six 
years she has led workshops on the practical steps to form intentional 
communities. Diana is a member of Earthaven Ecovillage.

"Wow! The newest, most comprehensive bible for builders of intentional 
communities. Covers every aspect with vital information and hundreds of 
examples of how successful communities faced the challenges and created 
their shared lives out of their visions. The cautionary tales of sadder 
experiences and how communities fail, will help in avoiding the pitfalls. 
Not since I wrote the Foreword to Ingrid Komar's Living the Dream (1983), 
which documented the Twin Oaks community, have I seen a more useful and 
inspiring book." --Hazel Henderson, author, Creating Alternative Futures, 
and Politics of the Solar Age.
"A great deal of research and trial-and-error has been assembled here, and 
every potential ecovillager should read it. This book will be an essential 
guide and manual for the many Permaculture graduates who live in 
communities or design for them." --Bill Mollison, co-originator of the 
Permaculture concept, author of The Permaculture Designers Manual, Ferment 
and Human Nutrition.
"A really valuable resource for anyone thinking about intentional 
community. I wish I had it years ago." -- Starhawk, author of Webs of 
Power, The Spiral Dance, and The Fifth Sacred Thing -- and committed 
"Creating a new culture of living peacefully with each other and the planet 
is our number one need--and this is the right book at the right time. 
Creating a Life Together will be instrumental in the ecovillage courses I 
teach. I can't wait to tell people about it." --Hildur Jackson, cofounder, 
Global Ecovillage Network (GEN); co-editor, Ecovillage Living: Restoring 
the Earth and Her People.
"A comprehensive, engaging, practical, well-organized, and thoroughly 
digestible labor of love...This book is a gift to humanity, helping to move 
forward the elusive quest for community, fueling a quantum leap towards a 
fulfilling, just, and sustainable future." --Geoph Kozeny, 30-year 
community activist, producer/editor of video documentary "Visions of 
Utopia: Experiments in Sustainable Culture."
"Before aspiring community builders hold their first meeting, confront the 
first realtor, or drive their first nail, they must buy this essential 
book: it wil improve their chances for success immensely, and will 
certainly save them money, time, and heartbreak. In her friendly but firm 
(and occasionally funny) way, Diana Christian proffers an astonishing 
wealth of practical information and sensible, field-tested advice." 
--Ernest Callenbach, author, Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging
"While anyone can build a village, a subdivision, or a housing development, 
the challenge is filling it with people who can get along, who can reach 
agreements, and who can achieve far more together than they ever could 
alone. If your aspiring ecovillage or intentional community gets even this 
far - and this awesome book will show you how - then maybe you have a 
realistic chance of living sustainably, and by example, of changing the 
world. My appreciation grows daily for this thorough, practical, and 
engaging guide." --Albert Bates, Director, Ecovillage Training Center, and 
Board member, Global Ecovillage Network
"Developing a successful community requires a special blend of vision and 
practicality woven together with wisdom. Consider this book a marvelous 
mirror. If the abundant, experience-based, practicality in this book 
delights you then you probably have the wisdom to realize your vision."
--Robert Gilman, founding editor of In Context, A Quarterly of Humane 
Sustainable Culture

Review by Geoph Kozeny
         If Creating a Life Together had been available in 1972, probably 
it wouldn't have taken me five tries to start a community that would last 
for more than 13 months. But with no such "how to" resource available, my 
cohorts and I plunged into it the hard way-by trial and error. After 
flailing around through those first four attempts, then living for ten 
years in a community that succeeded, and subsequently visiting 350-some 
communities to figure out what worked for them and what didn't, I was 
resigned to the idea that someday I'd have to write the definitive manual 
on creating and sustaining intentional communities. I'm eternally grateful 
that Diana Christian did it first.

         As I compare the topics featured in Creating a Life Together with 
my ancient annotated list of things to include in my intended book, I'm 
thoroughly impressed with how she covered the bases. It's all here-from 
conceiving a community, through building a vision and gathering a group, to 
finding and buying land, and ultimately how to get along together and make 
it work. (See excerpt, "Accountability and Consequences," pg. 16.) Further, 
it's written in a readable, captivating style that makes extensive use of 
interviews and vignettes from the everyday life of real communities. (As a 
testimony to Diana's thoroughness, pithiness, and the relevance of the 
information, the publisher, a former communitarian himself, chose to 
publish a book twice the length he'd originally agreed to once he read the 

         The breadth and depth of this work should come as no surprise to 
anyone familiar with Diana's credentials. As editor of Communities 
magazine, she's perused scores of insightful and practical articles over 
the last ten years, and, always looking for a good story, has sought out 
and interviewed dozens of veteran communitarians, especially community 
founders, about what went wrong and what worked well. (Not to mention 
learning many hard lessons firsthand, through the break-ups of two 
community start-ups she was involved in before joining Earthaven, one of 
the communities profiled in the book.)

Creating a Life Together includes abundant examples from thriving 
ecovillages and communities as well as numerous anecdotes from groups that 
failed (although the latter sound strikingly familiar, they're usually 
presented as fictitious models) - making for a very effective 
community-building guidebook.

         Information is presented logically, using the metaphor of growing 
a successful garden: Planting the Seeds of Healthy Community (major bases 
to cover and planning pitfalls to avoid); Sprouting New Community 
(techniques and tools); and Enriching the Soil (communication, working with 
conflict, adding and sustaining members). However, this seemingly 
straightforward order is offered only to make the concepts easy to digest. 
"Don't assume these steps are linear," Diana cautions. "The process of 
growing a community is more organic - simultaneously ongoing and step by 
step." She makes it clear that circumstances may dictate swapping the 
order, doing many steps at once, skipping steps if appropriate, and even 
adding new ones of your own.

         The "Seeds" section examines basic concerns, including a general 
overview of what has worked and what hasn't, the founder's role and its 
challenges, crafting a clear vision, raising start-up funds, and 
establishing effective and empowering decision-making structures. The 
"Sprouting" section, comprising the bulk of the book, focuses on the 
critical importance of good documentation, legal structures, working with 
lawyers, finding and buying land, zoning, refinancing, balancing privacy 
with group involvement, and setting up internal community economics. The 
"Enriching" section digs into the most critical aspects of sustaining a 
community once it's established: how to work with the beliefs and emotions 
that underlie conflict and agreements for handling conflict, constructively 
offering and receiving feedback, and how to help each other stay 
accountable to the group. Additionally, a very helpful appendix features 
numerous sample documents of community visions and agreements, several 
dozen extremely helpful community-building resources, plus links for 
finding hundreds more on the Web.

         Creating a Life Together is a comprehensive, engaging, practical, 
well-organized, and thoroughly digestible labor of love. Hopefully scores 
of wannabe community founders and seekers will discover it before they 
launch their quest for community, and avoid the senseless and sometimes 
painful lessons that come from trying to reinvent the wheel. This book is a 
gift to humanity-helping to move forward the elusive quest for community, 
fueling a quantum leap towards a fulfilling, just, and sustainable future.
Geoph Kozeny, a 30-year community activist, is producer editor of Visions 
of Utopia: Experiments in Sustainable Culture, a two-hour video documentary 
on intentional community. geoph at ic.org; http://www.store.ic.org.

For lots of interesting book reviews, workshop raves and other testimonials 
about Diana Christian's book and workshops, see 

Santa Barbara Permaculture Network
(805) 962-2571
sbpcnet at silcom.com

"We are like trees, we must create new leaves, in new directions, in order 
to grow." - Anonymous

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