Ecological Literacy Immersion. by Kennah Robertson
December 17, 2019
When the solstice passed and the days began to get longer, I found myself greeting a mountain whose side would be my company for the month ahead. This summer I spent a month with nothing but the thin boundary of a tent separating me from this Catskill forest. This community is home to the Ecological Literacy Immersion program, a permaculture course that works to integrate societal and ecological needs through the process of design. I am helping to guide the course and reconnect people to their intrinsic understanding and bond with the Earth. There is something really magical about watching someone pick a berry off a bush and light up as heal their knowing that fruit comes from plants, not from the grocery store.
Most of our learning happens in the polyculture garden that has been built up by previous classes. We learn about the importance of no till farming in keeping the integrity of the mycorrhizal networks intact and how vital soil health is to ensure the supporting services of the entire ecosystems. Bringing that knowledge from head into hands we create our own compost piles, balancing nitrogen and carbon inputs.
At large, we work to understand how the ecosystem is organized and then design spaces based on those natural components. This is the same thinking that grew living buildings into architecture!