July 22, 2016

“Ashevillage’s mission is to catalyze community-based, on-the-ground programs, projects and people that foster a vibrant, just, and resilient world. Our goal is to accelerate the design and implementation of regenerative, nature-based systems and culture. Our vision is of humanity living by the wisdom of nature in a way that honors and supports life in peaceful and thriving cohabitation.”

On a hot summer day in the rolling hills of the southern Appalachians… I was preparing to cycle my way through an urban jungle in order to reach an oasis. These hills are my teachers. Being able to propel myself through space and ride the waves of the land, to me, is very fulfilling.

I reached my destination after a exceptionally steep hill, and I even had to walk the last stretch with my jello legs. The only directions that I had were my cell phone’s gps result for a ecohostel. I definitely noticed two modern framed houses that were Earthen plastered. The landscape that surrounded the front of these two houses definitely occupied a more diverse Flora. I decided to give it a shot and walk up the driveway on the side to the backyard.

The first thing that I noticed was the stone work that made up the steps and flooring for the first steps to the patio in back. The material used for this stone work appeared to be repurposed bricks and rocks, arranged in a very elegant fashion. If you had no clue what Ashvillage was you would come to a very surprising scene in this backyard. Everything was shaped to the land.  All of the raised beds, structures, groves, and earthworks were all arranged on Contour.

I intentionally arrived 30 minutes early, so that I could get a feel for this space. I begin to give myself a self-guided tour to interact more closely with this environment. I was able to identify many things, such as a small greenhouse, a handful of natural to dwellings with green roofs, an outdoor kitchen, tent spaces, hugelkulture, a pond, gathering spaces for ceremonies, and a vast array of life fitting into the niches of this urban permaculture sprawl.

I found myself meeting two of the inhabitants after I satisfied my curiosity for this design. These beautiful humans were very friendly. One was a bit older than the other; the younger one was around my age. One of them informed me that the founder of this place was in a meeting that would be extended for a bit more, and they would be able to meet with me shortly.

The whole reason for me coming to this oasis was so that I could not only physically experience what this space is like for myself, but i also was coming to interview the founder.


I have never interviewed anyone before. This was something that was quite new to my experience, but I have come to learn that this is going to play a critical role in my ambassadorship. I need to be able to ask the right questions. I need to be able to hold space for efficient information exchange, but it is also essential to hold space for connections to be made and for love to be shared.

The founder, Janell Kapoor had come to greet me a few moments later. I received a warm and embracing hug. Her energy was very kind. She informed me that it would only be a bit longer until she is ready to meet – she also suggested that I interview one of the inhabitants here. I thought that was a fantastic idea. She went about her business and I Focused my attention on this lovely young intern.

This intern was on the ball. She was running back and forth in the kitchen getting s*** done. I asked her if she felt comfortable signing my media release form and doing an audio interview with me. It took her off-guard at first which is highly reasonable. I definitely wouldn’t expect someone like me with the way I present myself to be holding interviews with people. The intern was squeezing honeycomb to extract the honey in a bowl. It looked like she was going to be there for a while so we both decided to carry out the interview during the honey extraction.

I began recording and started with giving her a introduction. Everything went very smoothly and I was able to ask some good questions that I had thought about beforehand.  I believe we finish the interview in about 16 minutes. I felt very satisfied with my first official interview. I did recognize a few things to improve upon. If I keep this up, in no time I will have a smooth sophisticated interviewing process down. I’m excited to witness the growth of my skills and abilities in holding this space for people.

The founder was done with her meeting shortly after we finished. We regrouped and headed to a comfortable and quiet environment. We chatted for a bit before the interview. She really wanted a more elaborate description about Green Fire EcoMinistry and who I was. I gladly informed her and then we begin a lovely discussion about who she was and all that she has created and will create.

There were a few interruptions throughout our conversations. One of them was her friend that she had invited to visit. We all exchanged love and conversed. All these interruptions would have frustrated the structured and planned mind, but this was not the case for me. I always try and go into a situation expecting nothing but accepting everything.

These are words that I have learned to live by, they have served me well. I was giving effort to staying present and becoming very fluid in the moment. The founder wanted to take her friends and me on a personal tour of the property. We hiked about the fairly steep incline that makes up her land and observed many realities taking place.  We drew our tour to a close and returned back to the house to sit down and enjoy each other’s company. We all mutually agreed that we could carry on and finish the interview that we had started before her arrival. I carried on the last questions before my audience and ended feeling very fulfilled with how everything played out.

We genuinely interacted with each other for quite some time, when the founder proposed a light walk in the woods close by. We all loved the idea and quickly prepared for our little journey. One of the two friends had two children with her. They seemed around 7 and 6. Striving for attention they were busy being kids.

We got into the woods and followed the path for half a mile, then turned around and came back. It was a delightful temperate rainforest existing right by the urban jungle. On our way back I saw a moment to grab the kid’s attention. I quickly started to interact with the two, and I was giving effort in treating them as my equals. The whole adult mindset, “I’m older than you, I know better than you” is a filter over your natural perspective. This filter serves no one. Removing this filter from your perception will help children develop in a much more holistic way.

We played many games and ended with a big race to Ashvillage, and we pretended we had fuel to power us… and when we ran out, we would have to touch a tree to recharge. The bigger the tree the faster the charge. A child’s laughter is food for the soul.

We returned and I quickly gathered my things to embark on my cycle route. It was getting dark and I wanted to be back before sun down. I said my heartfelt goodbyes and flew down the hill to ride the land’s waves once again. I can feel my purpose run through my veins today.

I know why I am here, and I keep learning why every day.

I challenge everyone to do the same.

Asheville North Carolina – The Landing

July 11, 2016

Asheville, North Carolina. What a cultural hub this place has come to be. This area is resting on Cherokee land. The southern Appalachian Mountains are one of the oldest in the world. It has never been under ice during a ice age, and has never been flooded. This land not being affected by these natural events have creating a space rich in biodiversity.

I can feel it’s ecological presence. Something really profound is happening here in Asheville. People from around the nation are flocking to live here. There has been a cultural shift taking place amongst the humans in this area. This city has been able to become more open so to speak. More open to the arts. More open to a local economy. More open to an open mind. Most of the people that are not 2ND natives (we all know who came first) to this land are fueling this openness.

The 2ND natives of this land seem to be quite new to this whole open mind vibration in my opinion. Some of them have integrated into this mind frame, but a lot still carry that southern American popular culture with them. I’m not trying to disown southern American popular culture. I’m simply pointing out the differences that I see here.

With that being said it is my experience that this culture of the 2ND natives is one that has very unsustainable values – unsustainable in an ecological, economic sense, and a community sense. So with this wave of humans that are open to entertain ideas that question our popular culture today, we can see beautiful things began to take place.

These things can include: proper land based ethics, a more sustainable outlook on the process of obtaining goods and services, reducing one’s impact on the environment they inhabit, facilitating opportunities to develop community between their neighbors, and equal rights activism. I have witnessed these realities take place here.  It reminds me of when I see a dandelion growing between the cracks on a sidewalk. Nature will reclaim and set balance to all space. We are either against it or with it. Which side are you on?

I have found myself inhabiting one of these open bubbles. I was given the opportunity to come to this place because of a connection that the team leader at the EcoVillage training center had.  She had met this man at Ragweed, and she asked him if we could all stay at the land he calls home in Asheville.  He fulfilled her request to let us stay here for the Numundo Convergence, which was a weekend long.

This human stays at a place called The Landing. It is basically a place where you land and are able to creatively express yourself while planning your next move and/or growing roots here and developing your inner arts. The landing is an “unintentional community”, and does not Interact as a whole on a daily basis, except for their online discussion forums. They seemed to have developed their own tribes of inhabitants that have limited interaction with each other. The collective consciousness here is not ecologically based though they have some sustainable realities taking place here. Their overall footprint to this land is only a little less than the average modern American human. Even though this place has a potential to be diverse ecosystem of life, that’s it not what The Landing’s purpose is here. It’s purpose is to create a sanctuary of freedom from the outside world. It holds on its land the ability to express your inner arts without fear of judgment. That in itself is a remarkable thing.

The Landing man that invited us to live here is quite the character. This human also accepted my request to stay here until I leave Asheville. He is the product of a life born in California but raised on The Farm. Yup, he still remembers what it was like to travel in the caravan as a young child from California to eventually settle down in Tennessee to Co-create what is now known as one of the oldest intentional communities in the nation – The Farm.

The LM had presented his best self for us while staying here. He is a very confident man with a certain wittiness him. I had met him briefly at ragweed, but didn’t get to connect much. Right off the bat we were buds. I was able to flow with his wit and return with my own.

My presence here in Asheville has been a experience full of growth. Everything from cycling serving as my primary source of transportation everywhere to meeting and connecting with many conscious souls and realities. I have integrated myself into the micro-community that is The Landing, as well as the macro-community, Asheville.

I have become aware of many great people doing great things here. I look forward to evolving into my role as ambassador of Green Fire EcoMinistry, and stepping into a new phase of my life. I soon will be conducting interviews and holding space for information trade between people of purpose. I must see myself in a new light. I will be a space holder for connection to take place, and for separation to gradually disappear with grace.

Apollo Farm Mission complete 7-7 – Stage 2 launch Commence

TheFarmExitOptimized TheFarmOptimizedI love this land and all of its people. I feel I have definitely grown from this experience. I am grateful for all the love that I was shown by everyone I met here! This land will have a special place in my heart. Now me and the ecovillage training center team are headed to Asheville, NC for the southeast bioregional convergence hosted by NuMundo. I’m sure to network and collaborate with many minds there. After that I will explore Asheville’s sustainable scenes. Then head to Earth haven for another ecovillage immersion! This journey has proven to be quite magical. I feel something wants me to succeed. I feel it’s this earth I walk on that keeps everything in flow for me.

Love to all!

Eyes of a Child

June 21st-27th 2016

Child11I couldn’t be more satisfied with the week that has passed by. There has been transitions taking place within the community here. The apprentices have graduated from their permaculture design course. A wonderful celebration was organized for their graduation. We were presented with a lovely slideshow of their history here followed by a potluck dinner.

The moments of time shared there that night will last forever. Shifts were definitely taking place the next day as the apprentices were preparing to depart. Love, hugs, gratitude, and contact information were exchanged before most of them left. I have decided to stay here until the weekend after the 4th of July. So I must maintain a constant positive momentum within myself in order to continue thriving here.

This family reunion (Ragweed festival) is coming up fast. In a few days there will be hundreds of people showing up to celebrate their beloved community. I can not express enough how honored i am to be invited to such a exclusive festival. We need to prepare for the increased flow of traffic here at the center. I’m doing my part in getting the space in order for the guests. I have a feeling that this gathering will serve as a great networking opportunity. I’m really looking forward to the connections I will make and the love I will share.

Child8I’m getting to spend more time working by myself. Which is well timed. The universe provided me some time by myself to reflect on many things. These next few days will be the calm before the storm. I will enjoy staying ever so present. To help guide me, I’m sharing space with a newborn creature. It is a baby chicken, and i can’t help but stop and stare every time i see the mother and chick out exploring. Such a pleasant feeling runs through my body when i am present with them. To see such a pure being discovering life around them. I believe this is the same for all other creatures including humans.

Our state of being in those stages of life are ones of purity. We have not yet been subject to any social, mental, or physical conditioning from our environment. I believe we are products of our environment. Since they have not been influenced for many years, I believe that when we are newborns and young children, we are closer to our natural state of being. Point being, I have always learned a great deal about life through the eyes of a child. Listening to them, being taught by them, treating them as if they were a adult. Ask them questions about what they think, or hows does it make them feel, how would you benefit from this situation, have deep intellectual conversations with your child. Being able to give the youth the opportunity to hold space for themselves as a teacher, is one of the greatest gifts you can give.

ReflectionsI will conclude with a quote from Marcus Acrelius that I found in one of the bus/accommodations that I was cleaning in preparation for Ragweed.

“A man’s true greatness lies in the consciousness of and honest purpose in life, founded on a just estimate of himself and everything else, on frequent self-examinations and a steady obedience to the rule which he knows to be right, without troubling himself about what others may think or say, or whether they do or do not do that which he thinks and says or does.”

Pre-Solstice Week

Working1This weekend we had a natural building workshop. My buddy the growing fire intern got to perform his personal project, in which he took control and led us on a interactive plastering demo. I loved it. Something about troweling plaster puts me in zen mode.

Child5Early this week we had some young kids come to the ETC for KTC (kids to the country). This is a program here where kids from local areas and even bigger cities get to come to The Farm to experience what it is like here, and be able to grow a appreciation for nature. I love the idea of re-wilding our children to get them in touch with our roots. They got to play with Cobb and plaster. They came again the day after where one of the other interns got to do her personal project. She created this interactive game for the children to play. It was a delightful game where they learned the importance of bees and pollination. They made seed balls with biochar, clay, and seeds. All this was super valuable information for children their ages in my opinion.

The community here has expressed how much they appreciate me and all that I do. They have told me a couple times that they don’t want me to leave. That’s how I want my relationship with every community I go to. I want to leave a lasting positive impression and impact on everyone I come in contact with.

Later in the week I got to assist this farmy who had been here during the original days of the farm. He is a master carpenter with a awesome attitude. We got along great as I helped him prepare to frame some doorways in the Prancing Poet. After that I got a call from the sweet potato farmy. He needed some help unloading a trailer full of manure. Unfortunately a storm hit shortly after I got off the phone with him. So I waited for it to calm down then I rode my bike to his garden by the food forest.

Work3The trailer was much bigger than I expected it to be. So I put on some music and began to tear up that cow poo. It took me two hours to empty the trailer and level the pile out. I was really worn out when I came back to the center. I took a shower then immediately passed out.

The next day was very eventful. I stained some more wood with the walnut Brew for tomorrow’s door framing, then I began to help the interns install a biofilter for a grey water system that was for one of the cabins. This was one of the interns personal projects, and she was in charge of the whole thing. She is doing a great job at being in control of this project.

We had lunch then we went back to work on the biofilter. We needed small river rocks for the wetland. So me and the team leader got on some bicycles and the others got on a golf cart with buckets to go down by the swimming hole to harvest some river stones. When we got there we decided to take a dip in the swimming hole before going to collect stones. This was the hottest day on record for the year. So you could imagine the pure bliss of the water. It was just what we needed to go and embark on the stone gathering mission. We got what we needed then we headed back. We applied the stones and called it a day. I got some food in my belly and a good book by my side. Everything is flowing smoothly for me, and that’s the way I will keep it.


gratitude-happiness-2That feeling you get when you are being appreciated can be such a healing vibration. When we are able to truly appreciate one another is when we can get shit done! We cannot allow personal baggage and emotional dysfunctions to interfere with being able to appreciate anyone.

I felt I was being appreciated today. I was being appreciated because of my work ethic, positive energy, and just being me. I was also in turn able to emit gratitude to all of them. Which creates this blissful cycle of appreciation, and in my mind, the ideal way to live.

On another productive note, I was able to share with my ETC friends some resources I had in a flashdrive sent from Green Fire EcoMinistry headquarters. The mastermind behind this center even showed one of videos I had given him. It felt good to be able to share this information with everyone. For they have given me much in return. I will have a heavenly sleep under the trees tonight.

chinampasImageWe rallied up to get some cleaning done around the grounds for the solar power workshop tomorrow. We also got to learn and build a chinampa (Nahuatl: chināmitl [tʃiˈnaːmitɬ]) which is this wonderful Mesoamerican agriculture. Artificial Mounds or Islands are evenly spread apart in a shallow pond. In doing this you are able to grow your crops and maintain a healthy fish supply with the Canal’s. I was fascinated on this subject. Following that we dove into some videos on aquaculture and permaculture.

ArkXXIIWhen the daily schedule was completed for the day, we begin preparation for a beautiful birthday dinner. A lovely spread was made along with a elegant chocolate vegan birthday cake with vegan ice bean. As we all circled up to begin our feast one of the interns suggested we go around the table and say something we appreciate about the birthday girl. We went around and gave genuine heartfelt love and appreciation to her. Resulting in a authentic expression of gratitude in response. The cycle of gratitude never ceases to amaze me. We were all drunk on community. The night was filled with good laughs and deep conversations, until we all exchanged hugs and retired to our domains for the evening. I feel I have grown in many ways today, and I look forward to growing more tomorrow.

Accepting Guidance

exploringSince Sundays around here seem to be focused on getting your personal things in order. That was just what I got to do. I even took a bike ride down to the swimming hole and I treated myself to a couple dips while soaking up the Sun for a couple hours.

After I returned I was able to share some resources with people at the ETC on a flashdrive that I had received from Green Fire EcoMinistry headquarters.  Later on I was invited to go to the sauna with our team leader. Unfortunately she had forgotten that it was the ladies night down at the sauna. So I had a few options to pick from while I waited or found my own ride back. I decided to wait in the car and write this post. I probably wouldn’t have done this post tonight if this opportunity didn’t present itself. I could have totally been irritated at the fact that I’m having to wait or that I have to find my own ride back. Instead I found a great solution to my dilemma. I was able to cultivate a opportunity within misfortune. The universe works in mysterious ways. I just have to open my senses to language of the universe, and let it guide me.

Community and Roots

RootsToday was the day of the community potluck. I had spoken with a farmy about helping him move some speakers too the Dome (giant steel beam dome with a canvas tarp for roofing by the Farm store). To set up for the Grateful Dead cover band that was playing at the potluck.

Me and two other friends broke a sweat hauling all the gear to the stage, it was a good time. After that another farmy asked me to help him set up for the potluck. We went and collected and set up items for the feast. Then it began. From all directions in a gradual flowing stream, the people were started to gather. As soon as the music started to resonate throughout the land, more of the community came to meet their beloved neighbors in peace. They came with hugs, kisses, and food. I could feel the love that these people had for each other.

As I sat back to observe my environment, a  nostalgic feeling flowed through me. I see before me a wonderful example of the possibilities. It is possible to cohesively exist with one another on this planet. I also feel that we have done this before on a large scale, before our modern civilization occurred. Something very primal within me and all other life helps us remember how important it is to live in harmony with our own kind and live in balance with all life. What I experienced today was only a taste of what could be possible when this is applied to the masses. In returning to our roots, we will find harmony.

A Memorial Day Everyday…

NewStartsToday was pretty relaxing to start off with. The team leader gave out all the interns here some time to work on personal project. Which left me having to improvise other task I can do when necessary.

Early afternoon I had got a call from one of the ‘farmy’s’ asking for my help in planting sweet potatoes. I of course accepted his request in a heartbeat. I caught up with the ‘growing fire‘ intern and told him the news. He was definitely interested in helping to. Since he has a automobile he could just take us to the garden about a half of a mile away.

We arrived to the garden to be embraced with a warm and genuine hug. This farmy had a very interesting personality. What I have grasped from my time with him, is that this man has been exposed to alternative cultures and lifestyles throughout his life. I have gotten the opportunity to work with this man before so we hit it right off and begin showing love to these little slips of goodness. 2 hours into planting mulching and watering we had finished. He asked us if we had the energy to help cardboard and mulch his squash bed. We gladly accepted his offer and knocked the squash bed out. He gave us his gratitude for are services, and he gave us is gratitude for our services, and proceeded to inform us of a gathering for a birthday tonight. We exchanged hugs and left back to the ETC.

The growing fire intern seemed pretty pumped for the new opportunity to socially grow as a person. He was ready to step outside of his comfort zone for the sake of evolution. I was supporting his drive. The gathering was down in the neighborhood by the swimming hole. It was a chill atmosphere. I got to meet a lot of new farmy’s, and the growing fire intern was interacting with ease. It was such a special scene. These humans living in this community were sharing time and space with their neighbors.

We must enjoy each other.
We must accept each other.
We must realize how perfectly imperfect we are.
With that comes peace.

IMG_7343The farmy from the garden today came in and slammed a 12 pack of brew in front of us and said “I got you some drinks for working so hard today brothers”. We gladly indulged in his gesture. Not to long after that one farmy suggested a night dip in the swimming hole since it was so close. So we all rallied up and about five of us initially took off for the water. We ran splashing in the frigid water and swam with joy.

The memories of these moments will last a lifetime. After that we traveled back to the gathering with the intent to move the gathering to the head of the roads (a point on main street where all the roads split) and sit around the fire. Many great words were spoken. The night came to a end when the fire did.


IMG_7350Today I embarked on getting some chores and cleaning done around the hostel. Being that I am granted access to some ecovillage training with out financially contributing as much as the interns have, I feel it is more than necessary to carry out my roles to fill in that gap.

May24I was able to knock out a lot of “projects of potential” (is what they call it on the chalkboard). The highlight of my day was the end if it. One of the interns had lit a fire and was going to burn some of cedar to we had collected a couple days back. The conversations that followed the lighting of the fire were that of growth.   It is amazing how when you hold positive space without any judgments people really sparkle and light up.  Deep sharing is a communication art that most people in our society do not have the opportunity to learn.  One young intern and I had a very special connection and I can see a bright evolution for him happening.   I’m extremely grateful to have been able to share with this human and to be able to hold space for his growth.   I will cultivate my continued support for him and everything around me. See you in my dreams Humanity.