Coming off the mid-program break, this week was also jammed pack, but on the back-end of the week.
Classes started off with Brian teaching us about animals, aquaculture and pest management in permaculture. We specifically went over to the duck and chicken pen and discussed their inputs vs outputs, pros vs cons, and why they are the only livestock onsite. (Lost Valley previously had sheep, but they constantly escaped. Also honey bees, until a bear came through and demolished the hives.)
After our classes ended that week, most of the students – Andrew “Nicholas” Bottcher, Anna Davis, Ashley Shenk, Gerd Peter May, Sarah Curran, Josh Noonan, and Sasha Bugler – as well as Collin Schickendanz (former HSS ’16), all rented a beach house in Yachats, Oregon for a night.
We started off the week with Justin, who explained the history of Lost Valley from its original land use to its current state, with plans for the future of the ecovillage. Having arrived at Lost Valley as an apprentice years ago and eventually took the position as executive director, Justin had great knowledge and context that we didn’t know about Lost Valley.
In a last minute moment of synchronicity, a few of the students – Caitie Mathews, SashaBugler, Ashley Shenk and myself – went up to Corvallis, OR, for a weekend day trip. Ashley is a local to the area, so she was our ‘tour guide’ before we met up with another student, Tuula Perry, who spent time in Corvallis with her boyfriend Taylor, (A cool dude with an awesome name!), and reached out to famed permie, Andrew Millison, and just so happen to schedule a group outing with him and tour ofhis home!
The week started off with Ravi, continuing our lessons on economics – specifically discussing local economies tied with social entrepreneurship to promote healthy trade and strengthen local communities. On that same vein, we also discussed cottage industries and the logistics of possible businesses to implement on-site at Lost Valley as a hypothetical exercise. The main obstacle we encountered was the high rate of transience within the community, which doesn’t promote longevity in terms of implementing and running a business – a factor that led most of the working residents to find sources of income outside of the community.