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MICH-ORGANIC Home

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MICH-ORGANIC  April 2012

MICH-ORGANIC April 2012

Subject:

Re: Permaculture & Leadership Certification - Scholarship

From:

Vladislav Davidzon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vladislav Davidzon <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 25 Apr 2012 22:56:03 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Hello friends,

We're thrilled to announce the availability of a limited number of
scholarships for our upcoming Urban Permaculture & Regenerative 
Leadership training in August.  This is truly a training unlike 
any other.

Permaculture Design & Regenerative Leadership Course - Aug 11-19th
Tuition co-pay with scholarship:  $1000 (regular price: $3000!)
-> Discount code:  AUGUSTSCHOLARSHIP (only valid for august course)
-> Link:  http://www.commoncircle.com/pdc

We're making ONLY TEN of these need-based scholarships available 
first-come-first-serve.  Just sign up online, and if the system 
accepts your credit card information with the code, you're in.  

Want to know why you should join the program?  Check out just some
of the many reviews from participants of our programs: 
(http://commoncircle.com/reviews)

"I first met Common Circle back in 2008 on one of their absolutely AMAZING
bike tours. I never could have fathomed at first just how much I would be
taking away from such an experience. Besides the daily enlightenment in the
connection between organic foods and the environment, besides the ongoing
flow of insight on low impact living, this tour proved not only to be just
a scenic bike run, but a life changing event! One could just feel the
ambition behind this expedition; it was so inspiring. The people were
amazing, the biking was amazing, the Oregon Coast was amazing AND the food
was amazing! On the last day of the tour I was in complete awe. For a
moment I lacked the words to describe how I felt, but I knew what it was.
My mind was clear, effortlessly clear in that moment,(rid of all my usual
fleeting worries) and I cannot thank Common Circle enough for making me
feel life as it aught to be!"  -- Haley B,  

"I did a bike tour with Common Circle Education. It was a really terrific
experience. The reasonably-priced tour brought together a wonderful group
of down-to-earth people. In addition to the bike ride along the
breath-taking oregon coast, every day incorporated a service and an
educational component which allowed us to get to know each other and meet
many creative and courageous folks along the journey. The tour was well
organized and led by a competent and compassionate team."  -- Alison D,  

"This was one of the most memorable and inspiring experiences i have ever
had. I pedaled myself through along the coast of Oregon visiting different
food shares, organic farms, and meeting people who live to make a
difference. During the trip I biked through luscious scenery, through
forests, beaches, and cities, it was hard to believe it was only a week.
All of the guides are extremely down to earth, and truly care about what
they teach. The best part is that you learn from experiences rather then
opinions. By getting yourself from place to place, following maps, meeting
new people, and doing service projects. It was like a vacation from
selfishness, living everyday to learn about, and work towards something
bigger then yourself, I came out of this tour feeling incredibly relaxed." 
-- Dylan P,  

"So if you want a great intro to Permaculture design, or you have already
had some experience in permaculture and would like to see a wide variety of
examples this is the course for you. If you want to take one course and
instantly know how to farm, this is not for you, go take a 6 week course or
longer.

That being said, the instructors here are top notch. Common Circle has
brought together a wide variety of ideas dealing with not only the
treatment of the land and the design of farms, but with the treatment of
people and the planet. This course will be life changing for many and I see
it rising to be one of the premier courses in the future.

For some the vegan diet is challenging, for me it was refreshing and
enlivening. I found myself happy to be there everyday, constantly learning
a slew of new information and ideas. One of my favorite parts of the course
is the field trips. You get to see a wide variety of organic farms, from
the traditional to the esoteric. The two facilitators Slav and H.W. are
great souls. There to make sure you have what you need and to keep the
peace amongst those of us who are not used to sharing space with a group.

This was an amazing two weeks that I will not forget for a long long time.
I made friends that I will probably keep for my lifetime. Thank you common
Circle! Much love and good luck!."  -- Brett M,  

"My wife and I went on their Permaculture tour as part of our honeymoon
four years ago ('07). We knew what we were getting into and felt that
overall it was a good experience. We got to meet some amazing people and
see some really good work being done. The miles were low enough for the
non-cyclists (tho' I was hoping for more). Oregon is beautiful and it felt
to good to do service learning activities. I had only done self contained
touring before so I am not sure how much structure or how cushy this tour
was comparatively. It felt very structured and I enjoy taking turns with
different tasks and camping in wonderful places."  -- Terry M,  

"I thoroughly enjoyed my Common Circle Course. It was an amazing experience
and one I want to do again. I am waiting for the Hawaii trip. Sounds
amazing to me. I learned a lot, challenged myself, met great people and was
thrilled that we shared in a lifestyle that was new and different to so
many of us."  -- Rosemary R,  

"I was part of the first Permaculture Design Course that Common Circle
offered in Eugene, OR. We had an amazing group of people. I really
appreciated the effort to create comfort and safety, as being in such close
quarters with new folks can be challenging. Not only this did we receive,
which in itself was such a blessing, cooking meals together, singing our
names each morning, and acknowledging our interconnectedness, but we also
learned how to survey sites, analyze their needs, develop plans for spaces,
implement change, and evaluate efficiency and efficacy.

It was lovely to take field trips to experience what people have
manifested, to be inspired to glean ideas and work toward the
reestablishment of Earth/Human symbiosis, a vast task no doubt, however,
each participant of this course leaves largely empowered though, amazingly,
armed only with a single straw... but in that one straw...

I very much recommend this course to anyone experimenting with barnyard
homesteading, people who just love nature and cultivation, or anyone hungry
for some sincere human connection."  -- Deborah F,  


"I attended Common Circle's Hawaii Bike Tour in 2009 and enjoyed the
experience so much I attended CC's Permaculture Design Course in Eugene,
Oregon later that same year!

The experiences I have had and people I have met through Common Circle has
been life changing. On these trips, a community is created and everyone's
individuality is honored, welcomed and celebrated as you work together each
day to prepare meals, confront issues large and small and discover how each
and every one of us can be the change that we wish to see in the world.

The programs offered are exciting, intellectual and mind expanding! Be
prepared to meet awesome people, eat lovingly prepared healthy food and
connect truthfully and completely with yourself, your fellow travelers and
the world around you"  -- Marlee F,  Sustainability in Motion +
Permaculture Design

"This sustainable energy in motion bike tour was absolutely incredible! I
went with a friend several years ago and we rode 200 some miles between
Portland and Eugene, OR. The hosts were engaging and inspiring, from
organic farmers (Sunbow!) and eco-villages to sustainable suburbs and
cycling collectives. The key was that we learned hands-on how to change our
lifestyles and attitudes to incorporate organic and permaculture
philosophy. Why has society taken so long to "formally" recognize what
cultures all over the world have been practicing for millenia, ie
sustainable agriculture and living practices... Oil, wars, and capitalism
will no longer seem necessary once we get off our profit and
technology-driven high horse and focus on the fundamentals of our
existence: water, food supply, soil health and nutrients, and community. I
enjoyed the food a lot, already being vegan, and though many people groaned
at first they all ended up liking it too. Especially since we took turns
with cooking, you got to taste many unique styles of cuisine. It may seem
an inconvenience for omnivores, but organic veganism is really the simplest
way to make a monumental impact on the environment, energy, and human and
animal exploitation, hence it is an important component of this course.

Slav and his crew were excellent facilitators, very encouraging of our
ideas and revelations while also actively participating and learning
themselves. The essence of the experience is a horizontal transfer of
information and reciprocal support, rather than a top-down "you must do
everything this way" approach that we have taken for granted in our jobs
and family relationships, many people had to re-learn cooperation, which
was a good thing. Most importantly, this experience gives you the impetus
to share what you have learned and to spread the excitement of freeing
one's self from the chains of wasteful, self-indulgent consumerism. We
cannot expect a better and safer world unless we take it upon ourselves to
share and teach the ways we have learned to make it that way. I highly
recommend this experience, there is no better opportunity to see the
landscape and the earth as an integral part of our being, and to surround
yourself with others who feel the same way."  -- Emmanuel M,  


"I participated in the first Common Circle Permaculture Design
Certification course held at the Berkeley site in early 2010. It was a
course I had been wanting to take for several years, but the logistics for
other courses didn't fit my carbon footprint ethic. This course was
intense, well-rounded (in that we got plenty of hands-on experience in a
local youth collective garden), required participation by the students in
multiple venues, as well including top-notch teachers and guest speakers." 
-- Karen A,  

"I originally joined this bike tour on behalf of my sister threatening my
mother that she was going to go across country by herself. I sucked it up
and biked like crazy and ate all this vegan food and for the first couple
of days I wanted to leave. What I needed was time to adjust, by the end of
the tour I was in tears and I never wanted to return home.

Not only did this common circle tour education show me a whole other world
that I didn't find possible, it introduced me to an environment and a
lifestyle my body had so much been craving ever since birth, it is when
exercising and eating right and working together in an environment such as
the west cost that brought about so much positive energy I felt that I was
truly alive and now I long for the day that I have no strings attached in
order to move to the west cost and become more involved in this amazing way
of living and I thank common circle for such motivation, upon returning
home to Long Island I even kept up the biking because on the first day of
the tour I biked for 10 hours without dieing so anything physical activity
that took less then that felt like a piece of cake to me which was such a
beautiful thing.

You learn allot on this tour but its really not something I can put into
words for you to understand, its a feeling, an experience that one must
have themselves and I highly recommend it because in all reality we all
thrive to feel alive some just search forever or look in all the wrong
places to feel this way."  -- Jean-Marie B,  

"Common Circle's Permaculture Design course was a genuine heart and mind
opening experience. If you are interested in finding how you can be part of
the life giving earth healing solution in today's global ecological and
social crisis this course gives you an in depth and extensive overview of
what it takes to make it happen.

A highly interactive curriculum enables students to work together building
deep bonds and lasting friendships that enables learning not only from the
teacher but from each other's unique experience.

The guest speakers were phenomenal as were the field trips and hands on
experience essential in creating the connections to understand the design
theory in action.

Since Common Circle's course I have been empowered to continued my path as
a permaculture designer studying natural and green building at Merritt
College in Oakland.

Permaculture design should be an essential course for anyone who is serious
about ecological and social justice and wants to learn how to be empowered
and make changes that aren't dependent on waiting for bureaucratic
government systems to change their abusive ways.

If you're ready for that paradigm shift of consciousness take the next
Permaculture Design course with Common Circle as soon as you can."  --
Jessica M,  

"I went on the cycling tour with Common Circle last summer, and if I lived
on the West Coast I would go every year. Maybe it is because I'm from New
York, but on the tour were the thirty nicest folks I've ever met. Vladislav
got us interacting in the rewarding, personal way from the very beginning,
for in our first group activity we each looked into the eyes of a few of
our new traveling companions.

And so we jumped right into the world of sublime, complex, healthy,
uniquely human happiness from the more popular world of base, simple,
unhealthy, animalistic happiness from which we had come, and to which we
would sadly have to return...for now. Singing, talking, and sharing our
stories, we turned activities from fun to thrilling through the use of the
love connection that week, rather than the use of drugs such as alcohol. On
our travels we found very few if any biting insects, a result of the dry
summer; but we did find many profuse growths of wild blackberries, and
included them in our vegan meal preparations. We enjoyed in those meals not
a simple mixture of fat and sugar, but a complex mixture of spices and
vegetables, inducing another aspect of that complex and healthy sort of
happiness.

This tour gave us the requisite experience to empathize with those who
might share with us their dreams of getting people together, for the power
of those dreams lies not in facts and figures, but in the sublime
experience they aim to bring to us the whole year round. And its positive
reinforcement to form deep connections with people made us more likely to
care about those dreams, for dreams travel fastest over the love
connection."  -- Peter G,  

"The permaculture class offered by Common Circle was a wonderful (if
trying) experience. The class makes the student confront basic
issues/contradictions that we face--and offers uplifting
answers/possibilities so that the student can move forward. I enjoyed the
intensity of it; others may not (the class/experience is MUCH more than a
simple exploration of organic gardening and permaculture design.) Highly
recommended."  -- Doug D,  

"My experience with the Permaculture course offered in Eugene, OR was
ideal, and I do, and will continue to recommend it to my friends. I
impulsively signed up at their website without reading all of their
rules/polices (which was foolish, but I said it was impulsive, right?). I
have no regrets as everything worked well for me, the travel,
accommodations, food, group experience, faculty and guest presenters,
curriculum, pace, the trips to farms and other experiences were exactly
what I needed to get my 'head right' on the impact I would like to make in
my communities. It provided a wonderful opportunity to broaden my idea of
what is possible in a cooperative community.

Upon arrival, honestly, I did not know what to expect other than I was ripe
and ready to learn a new way of approaching the same problems. (Being from
a large mid-western city that is stuck into the "what's in it for me"
attitude.) The course was a refreshing way to refocus on what is important
to me and shift away from a stagnant mind-set.

I can recommend their course, sure, it was a wonderful program with
wonderful people, meaningful interactions, awesome coursework, a very hands
on experiential adventure. For that, I am grateful. Thank you."  -- Lauren
D,  

"Completed the Urban Permaculture Design Certification Course. Came away
with a way of perceiving our earth and a set of principles and practical
tools for addressing the corporate profit-based mindset that has created
our dependence on Petrochemicals. Our teachers, Jay and Sage, brought a
wealth of experience, a perfect blend of science and spirit. Great guest
teachers on a broad range of topics. Exposure to community-building
experiences. Hands-on, in the field experience in Permaculture practices.
Networking. Inspiring. By the end of our twelve Saturday twelve hour
classes we had become a genuine community. I recommend the experience."  --
Gene M,  

"I enjoyed the Certification program very much. I feel I will probably stay
in touch with my cohort for my lifetime. We came from various backgrounds -
VERY different. Many different belief boxes and what I loved most was that
in the end, we are a family. There was an opening of new ways to look at
things, and some of remembering of old ways to look at things; all of which
are very dear to my heart. Slav is not a PR person, What impresses me about
him, is his passion to make a difference in the world, and his vision to
see and move into the URBAN permaculture and Social permaculture part of
the puzzle.

What I love best about our class was watching the interactions. I have a
personal belief that if I wish my outer world to be more at Peace, I must
first look inside myself to see what I am not at peace within me and find a
way to become one with it. This happened in our class dynamics, and I was
grateful to see it at work during our time together.

The Gardens were very fun! I had a Blast learning about mycelium,
aquaponics, cob, rock walls, cardboard sheet mulching, ,mapping, swales,
burms, and fishtails, sit spots, greywater, green building, fair trade,
carbon foot prints, stacking functions and much more. But most of all was
the coming together of the group and working through our difficulties,
helping each other out, and finding common ground to build our
relationships on.

This course was wonderful. I think the course will grow and evolve over
time. The constant, will be the coming together of heart thinking.That for
me is just such an great thing!"  -- Nancy G,  

"It was fun and unique to bike and learn and work on farms. The
participants were awesome!"  -- Jennifer D,  

"I can only imagine the preparation involved in running a course like this.
I think you did an excellent job, and it was certainly an educational (and
social) experience for me. The instructors were great. I didn't agree with
all perspectives, but it was nice to hear them. It was a lot of information
to absorb, and I'm sure some of it is still seeping in. "  -- Elsie G, 
Regenerative Leadership & Urban Permaculture

"I like to eat healthy, fresh and organic produce so for me, it was not a
stretch to eat the meals that were prepared and served during the course." 
-- M'Lissa R,  

"Larry Korn gets a 10 on a scale from one to five. He was absolutely
amazing-- he GETS permaculture or permaculture GETS him. I am so glad we
were able to spend a week with him and pick his brain. He has the
EXPERIENCE that is necessary to teach such a subject and he is an
incredible instructor. "  -- Katherine G,  Regenerative Leadership & Urban
Permaculture

"I enjoyed the community setting, the classrooms and the opportunity to see
the splendor of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge on a daily basis. The
highlight was the fascinating, friendly and well-educated group of people
who attended. I feel very fortunate to have had contact with so many of
these folks and continue to keep in touch with many. The experienced could
have been greatly enhanced by offering evening discussions or activities in
the area. "  -- Nancy F,  

"First time to spend so many days in Fort Mason. A beautiful site.
Historical buildings with high ceiling. Natural lights and air circulation
created a pleasant learning location. Excellent instructors sharing their
knowledge. Non traditional educational style, less on the lectures and more
on the sharing and interactive exercises. I consider these 5 days well
spent. Since I didn't have any expectation about the course, everything is
a learning experience for me. Fellow classmates were all dynamic community
proactivists. Great to spent the time learning and connecting with various
instructors and participants. "  -- Marsha G,  Regenerative Leadership &
Urban Permaculture

"All materials and the teachers were fantastic. I loved our various day
lecuturers - and was nice to hear from varied voices working in the field.
Working at Hayes Valley Farm was great! I loved being at Fort Mason. The
classroom facilities were outstanding to me. Really enjoyed my time there.
Life changing. Very grateful. Thank you!"  -- Andrew S,  Regenerative
Leadership & Urban Permaculture

"Thought it was all very interesting and raised by excitement level about
the class. Loved the obvious passion and commitment of the teachers and the
great wealth of information all of them were. I thought the group of
students were on the whole very supportive of each other and that was a
wonderful part of the experience. I thought Saundra was artful and
thoughtful in her handling of the class, support of each student and
knowledge she had to offer."  -- Anne M,  

"In addition to what I learned from the instructors I also learned a lot
from my classmates. It was really great to meet like-minded people and make
some new friends. The instructors (primary and guests) were great."  --
Evelyn B,  

"Sunbow Farm was exceptional. The work day was very educational and working
with the primarily women's group stringing garlic was a great
get-acquainted exercise. Great learning experience, just for the Dharmalaya
site itself! "  -- Minnette S,  

"I was impressed and excited by what was described and presented on the
website for what to expect from the course, as it was exactly what I was
looking for at the time. I thought all of the sites and hosts were
engaging, inspiring, thought provoking and beautiful. I really enjoyed the
opportunity to experience many types of farms and the different ways the
farm owners approached different methods of growing food organically. I
loved all of the sites for different reasons. I also really enjoyed the
format of riding for one day and rest/service project the following day. I
think it worked out well. "  -- Meagen A,  

"John Sundquist and Harry McCormick's farms were fascinating. Would have
loved to have more in depth presentations at both. Matt and Cindy were
great hosts and their farm was instructive as well. Because of the people
involved, this was an awesome experience. We were able to form a really
tight community and I have stayed and will stay connected with many of the
amazing people I met on this tour. Many new possibilities have opened for
me as a result. "  -- Adam H,  

"I love watching how everything unfolds in each and every group. From the
group dynamics and communication, to lasting bonds and new ways of seeing
the world, there is never a shortage of fun and learning. These
orientations continue to bring people together that might not otherwise
have had the chance to meet, learn, share, and grow in the amazing group we
all become. Dharmalaya is truly a feast for the senses. I am always excited
to partake in the service projects on the tours. I look forward to the next
way to get my hands dirty."  -- Nathan H,  

"I loved eating fresh blackberries at John's. I liked the biking portion a
lot - really what I wanted to do. I learned a lot about bikes and riding.
Good range of sites and interesting people (farmers) visited. Good to see
what things are involved in living off the land in a smaller than
commercial manner."  -- Marilyn W,  

"The sites were a nice mix of places, in different stages of development.
It would be nice to stay at more places but I understand the logistics of
moving every day would be tough. I would recommend day trips to other sites
for the free days if feasible. It would be ok if service projects were
longer and/or more difficult, it felt good to give back to our hosts."  --
Edward S,  

"I loved all the places, and all the hosts. I thought the hosts were really
wonderful people and I loved to hear them talk about their experiences. I
was happy to be helping our hosts, so for that the projects were great. And
of course it is lovely to work outside and to be a part of a farm for a
day. I enjoyed that aspect, to be sure. My favorite part was the people, I
thought it was an incredible group and I really enjoyed spending time with
all of them."  -- Dashielle V,  

"The classroom had no walls, it wasn't a single place or persons. I learned
and shared with peers in an open community atmosphere. each and every
person gave to me a special gift - and my life has changed! I miss
everyone. The site visits were very thought provoking and a true treat.
Each place different and special in its own right - it was an important
factor in the journey to see so many examples of change. I think the site
was a perfect location for our course - very beautiful! Steve and I really
enjoyed camping under the pear tree. it was inspiring to be camping out in
a transformed urban backyard - it made to content of the course a lived in
reality. "  -- Heather M,  

"I met some really great people and my approach to thinking has changed. My
understanding about what is possible is broadened. Great variety of guest
instructors who brought a lot of great material to the cost."  -- Reena S, 


"It was particularly beneficial to hear from the voices of several
instructors. This was the course's strength for me. "  -- Rebecca E,  

"I was inspired and deeply appreciative of the level of quality in he
instruction and the level of personal engagement with the instructors who
were all clearly moved and motivated by the material at hand. The site
visits were really interesting and informative. I especially enjoyed
meeting Harry and visiting Sunbow farms. All of the sites were unique in
there own way and it was inspiring to see how the ideal of permaculture
could be implemented in such a variety of ways and scales. I do wish that
the service projects could have been more intentionally instructive in
teaching us skills related to creating permacultured environments (ie:
caring for chickens, building natural structures, harvesting and planting
edible landscapes). However, the inclusion of service projects are in and
of themselves fantastic in showing gratitude to our hosts and getting a
feel for their daily lives.

I loved the course site and our hosts. The strawbale classroom was
welcoming and comfortable. The composting toilets were a life changing,
perception altering experience, and the natural environment / native
ecosystem was extraordinarily nurturing. The experience was definitely
impactful. I am still processing all that I learned during the course and
figuring out how it will manifest changes within my life and community. In
future incarnations of this course, I would like to see even more emphasis
placed on meditation and internal processes. "  -- Mariza Z,  

"I thought the instructors were very knowledgable, positive and very
helpful. Thoroughly enjoyed them. Very diverse experience & views of
permaculture. It was an amazing experience. It really opened up my mind on
what true sustainable living looks like & how important all living things
are to the quality & health of my life & the planet. I am forever changed.
I made some amazing connections that I will keep forever. I couldn't have
asked for a more perfect, peaceful place to reside. Amazing energy, very
beautiful hosts, and an incredible example of sustainable living with the
earth."  -- Cindy N,  

"The people, instructors, course material: all these things made this
course a most enjoyable experience for me! I am grateful! I really loved
seeing the farms and meeting the farmers."  -- Amalia B,  

"I will certainly vouch for this ride. I have never been on another bike
tour, but I would feel safe assuming that this one is among the best.
Anybody else who went on the tour with me will confirm that beforehand I
was freaking out and I got to Portland without even a bike (I couldn't
afford to get my bike on the plane) but they helped me find a bike rental.

I made some of my best friends on this trip and I opened up in a way like
never before. The hosts you stay with provide such an enriching vision of
the world and it's such a relief to be on a trip with people you can really
connect with off the bat. "  -- David B,  

"The community was by far the best aspect of the course for me. I felt a
lot of trust and compassion from each fellow participant and thoroughly
enjoyed getting to know them and having interesting conversations. I also
feel like I learned a lot from the instructors, site visits, and heart of
now. Larry and Shaktari were both very knowledgeable and kind; I enjoyed
their instruction very much. All of the sites were very interesting. I
personally liked Lost Valley the best and getting to build the cob house." 
-- Erin C,  

"All instructors were professional and demonstrated a passion for the earth
and nature. AMAZING guest speakers really rounded out the experience."  --
Sarah G,  

"I learned a lot and met some wonderful people."  -- Stephen K,  

"Loved the sites. Having some hands-on experience is what made this class
so great to me. Brigid house was great for it's location and nature as a
home to many, and the community garden felt a little more open-ended. Core
instructors were fantastic, and most of the guests were great as well."  --
Desmond C,  

"The course itself and the passion of the instructor evoked a strong sense
of curiosity and intrigue in me!"  -- Rebecca A,  Permaculture Fundamentals

"The instructor was very friendly, personable, and obviously knowledgeable.
if there were a "very good" option, I would choose that!"  -- Felicia C, 
Permaculture Fundamentals

"I felt so grateful to be eating all organic, vegan and gluten free for two
weeks! I learnt a lot from the people I came in contact with, and was
grateful for the entire experience of it all. You provide such a great
service to people, educating, inspiring and motivating them towards
enhancing their lives through personal growth and awakening them to their
own power to create a shift in the world."  -- Adelle B,  

"I enjoyed the tour. It is a wonderful and inspiring alternative to the
majority of ordinary bicycle vacation tours offered, and on the other hand
is lower cost and more easy-going that fundraising rides. Our hosts were
entrancing and helpful, the routes were well-planned, the guides were all
positive and available, and our co-riders were a varied and great bunch of
people.

I spent a week riding through the Willamette Valley (Oregon). The support
van (for our gear and food) runs on biodeisel. Meals are vegan, and are
cooked collectively at each campsite. We visited/camped at a
sustainable-agriculture cherry farm, an organic farm, a “green” housing
development, and a yoga center that featured a straw-bale meeting house and
composting toilets; to thank our hosts, we performed service projects for a
few hours at each place we camped (e.g., picking garlic, pulling weeds).

In Eugene we visited the Bike Friday factory and the Center for Appropriate
Transport, with the opportunity to try some great bikes at each location,
including a zippy recumbent tricycle that was so much fun it should be
illegal (see photo). People who spoke with us at the stops were inspiring
and wonderful. Even a visit to the food co-op in Eugene was a lift.

Our fellow riders were a great and varied bunch, ranging from some over-65
guys down to a 12-year-old girl (on the back of her father’s tandem). Of
course, they had to be interesting folks – who else would sign up for a
tour such as this, rather than a typical fun-ride tour? With only about 200
miles of riding per week, this company isn’t seeking endurance cyclists;
rather, these are fairly relaxed rides, focused on the people and places
visited as much as on cycling."  -- Tom A,  

"Your success is really important to me. I hope that as I advocate for your
company it influences the entire travel industry as a whole. While changing
the lives of your participants, you are also creating a shift in the market
towards socially and environmentally responsible tourism. Thank you. "  --
Alyssa M,  

"I strongly believe in your business and hope to join one of tours again in
the near future!"  -- Rodrigo S,  

"Loved it, loved my mates and the people we visited and stayed with. And
yes there was conflict and some disappointment. Looking back, it was all
perfect, even the hot button issues that came up. But overall a great
opportunity to learn. It is all about building community and communication
and it begins with us."  -- Meredith D,  

"I had a wonderful time because I love biking in beautiful places. For
years I've wanted to bike on the Oregon Coast. I loved the time at Cape
Lookout and the Three Capes Scenic Route and the pretty country roads. The
route was great. At first I was disappointed that we would not be right on
the coast all the time, but the rural roads were lovely and it was better
not to be dealing with the traffic on Rt 101 all the time. The Three Capes
Route is the Oregon Coast at its best, hills and all. I hadn't camped for
decades and wasn't sure how I would handle that part, but it was really
fun. I didn't know what to expect about the group of people, but the
camaraderie in the group was one of the best things about the trip. I
enjoyed the service work a lot. Thank you for a great experience."  --
Laurie D,  

"I loved meeting the hosts and staying at their places. Please continue to
keep the tour alcohol free!! I think it would be a very good idea to hire
another good tour guide like the one who led our trip. I liked him because
he stayed calm under pressure and was helpful."  -- Jennifer R,  

"I had a great time. It was my first bike tour, but I enjoyed the challenge
and felt that I accomplished personal goals. I enjoyed taking photographs
and I will never forget what it was like to see the coast for the first
time while riding my bike! The group was fun. I felt like some people were
a little too picky. I had a great time!"  -- Allison B,  

"I loved the philosophy, fellow riders, and the people we met and the
places we stayed. I was surprised how tasty the dinners were. It showed me
how we could pack up our camper with non-perishables and eat very well. We
loved our hosts---in varying degrees. The best were Renya and John---they
opened up their hearts as well as their home to us. The wife/mom at the
dairy kept us at a distance, but she was always working. On the way back I
stopped by, and without all the rest of the gang, she was warm and
friendly.

We loved meeting rather famous people that were more our age---at Sunbow
Farm and at the Eco-Village. They both gave us so much good information and
background stories. The couple at the Mustard Seed Farm had such a unique
set up with the community, for them to work a bit and pick all they
want---great Quaker ideas! The wife there was really charming and invited
Joy and me in to see her house. Also, she gave us a plate of vegan choc.
chip cookies piled up with a candle on top for my birthday! We loved the
yoga center and the way the compost toilets and showers were integrated
with the pond and garden. "  -- Stephanie S,  

"Every person was amazing, incredibly interesting to talk with. Would have
liked more time talking with others and perhaps having us lead some
discussions. The places we went were incredible and the people were each
special treasures. The routes were good."  -- Elaine A,  

"I had a good time. It was my first bike tour and first time to Oregon, so
I really enjoyed the scenery and the experience. I enjoyed our stops and
hosts and did learn a lot. The hosts were really interesting folks, I wish
we would of had more time with them. I enjoyed the service projects."  --
Cristin B,  

"I had a very nice three weeks on the tour. The group was very diverse,
which really enriched the experience for me. Thanks for putting this
together. I am glad I went and might do it again."  -- Micah M,  

"I'd just like to say thanks for an outstanding week. I've been raving
about the trip and am even thinking about doing it again. We had a really
good group. Thanks again. Maybe you'll see me again next summer."  -- Linda
M,  

"I have been singing praises for this trip. That we could put together a
group of such diversity and with such intensity so happily and agreeably
speaks volumes for you, Jason (bravo!!!) and the group. Having been on a
variety of bike trips, I thoroughly enjoyed this one, for its concept and
the route. This is a superb idea and I applaud your initiative."  -- Kenn
H,  

"My overall experience was quite good. The tour route was very beautiful!
My partner and I do not get to see much of each other during the school
year and even our summers can be hard. Riding this tour was a wonderful way
for us to spend a week together. I felt very safe on the tour. I really
enjoyed our hosts and learning about their projects.

I liked the diversity of ages and abilities. It made me feel more
comfortable coming from were I am at as a cyclist. Everyone was very
friendly for the most part and I met some great people. I was also happy to
see so many women participating!"  -- Jessica W,  

"I wanted to do something adventurous, to cycle in nature, to be surrounded
by beauty, to learn, and Be with my friends and make new ones. Mission
accomplished.

The experience was extraordinary. The people we met along the way and the
places we visited were fascinating. The trip was well organized once on
site and safety was a priority. The staff was passionate and personable.
The diversity of the group amazed me - age, career, life experience but the
bonds that formed were beautiful and strong and I remain in touch with some
of them today.

The commonalities in philosophy tied us together and the depth and breadth
of knowledge shared resulted in an insightful, inspiring and most memorable
journey."  -- Tatiana N,  

"The orientation site was perfect for exposing us to permaculture that we
would be learning about during the week. Site visits were awesome. All the
hosts were wonderful, knowledgeable, inspiring and gracious. The service
projects were enjoyable and informative. It was great to see how much could
be accomplished with a group of people working together. I thoroughly
enjoyed the trip. The biking experience was wonderful and I appreciated the
opportunity to learn to be self-sufficient on a self-contained tour. The
knowledge gained and interaction with the farmers and other presenters, as
well as the other participants, was invaluable. The staff and interns were
wonderful, fun, helpful and knowledgeable. Most of the organizational
aspects of the trip and certainly the content of the site visits and the
bicycling were excellent."  -- Jody S,  

"I loved the diversity on the farms and the amount of knowledge the
farmer's had. They were incredible. I had so much fun and learned so much
working side by side with the farmers and other participants. I will always
treasure what I learned from the farmer's and the other participants."  --
Kirsten K,  


"Never in my life have I been able to interact with such a group of
instructors who are not only passionate about what they are doing but also
about sharing it with us and empowering us to act upon our values and
visions. This is possible, in part, because this program recognizes that
great teachers are born out of passion and authenticity, not necessarily
from degrees. I want to thank all of the instructors and leaders for their
contributions to a powerful experience. I am deeply grateful for this
experience, and I do feel like it has changed my life for the better.

The site visits were all inspiring because they were part of a conversation
that is happening right now. From a bio-diesel gas station to a
neighborhood cob house construction, we got to be in the presence of real
people acting on what they believe in to create a world they would like to
live in. Existing in this type of creative tension is exciting and demands
respect in my opinion.

The program was intense, and challenging, but also rewarding. I can't
really say enough good things about it. This is not to say that it was
perfect, but it was truly transformative. I will never be able to look at
the world through the same lens again, and for that I am grateful. I also
feel a great sense of responsibility that comes with awareness of what is
and what can be and I have a clearer sense of purpose and direction for my
life that was a living seed in me before the course that broke its shell
afterwards. The breaking of that shell can be painful at times, but it's
part of a greater process. The beauty of life comes from the diverse range
of human experience, not just the pleasant ones. I repeat a note of
gratitude once again. "  -- Sarah T,  Permaculture Design & Regenerative
Leadership

"The site visits were great that they all had showers!! The farmers were
all wonderful people. It was fun and unique to bike and learn and work on
farms. The participants were awesome!! "  -- Jennifer D,  

"My experience of this community-building, sustainability-education-action
project leads me to believe it will become one of the biggest community
action events of my generation. Remarkably, many people I met on this trip
have responded positively to the reality of the overly commercialized,
mechanized, growing consumer shadow of our country. They have carved out
small inspiring ways to live sanely and even celebrate in such a
fast-paced, oil-fueled, whirl-blur experience of life. As you can guess the
'cycling tour' was no vacation. We did service projects everyday at each
place we stopped. We served, learned, and taught as we went. Now that the
ship has set sail, I can only imagine this kind of participatory action and
education gaining momentum and getting stronger. "  -- David M,  

"I will be eternally grateful for the life changing experience I had on the
common circle expedition I went on during the first summer of their rides.
Touring through the backroads of Oregon stopping at sustainable
communities, farms, schools, and businesses, showed me that there is a
whole lot going on to be inspired by in this country. Eating healthy,
exercising, meeting new amazing people, who became my friends, there is no
other way I would rather spend time on vacation! This is an experience to
have at least once in your life. And keep your eyes out for the movie I
just directed, “Within Reach”, paying homage to the ride I went on with
Common Circle and how it sparked a major transformation in my life... but
you will have to watch the movie for the rest of the story!”"  -- Ryan M,
 

"Most people go to Hawaii for the beaches, the surfing, the volcanoes or
the resorts. I went there to bike across it. After finding a company from
Oregon called Common Circle Expeditions, I bought a plane ticket, and on
Boxing Day I was on a flight to Hawaii’s Big Island. I biked from Hilo to
Kona, and stayed at organic farms, bed and breakfasts, intentional living
communities, and state parks within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Bike touring holidays are amazing ways to see the world without a plate of
glass between you and your travel destination. Traveling by bicycle gives
you the freedom to get off main roads and see details you can’t see by
bus or tour.

Bike touring is a great way to see the world, or your own backyard beyond
your town or city. Traveling by bicycle tour gives you more freedom and a
much more intimate sense of place than other ways of traveling. I learned
about permaculture and organic farming from my bike trip. I got help at a
bamboo farm, pick coffee beans for a day, and meet interesting people from
all over the U.S. and Canada. "  -- Haley K,  

"It’s a vacation with education, I’m into biking and organic farming.
We’re learning about farms with a community focus."  -- Jack B,  

"I think you have a fantastic initiative I and I will continue to fully
support everything it is you are working towards. You provide such a great
service to people, educating, inspiring and motivating them towards
enhancing their lives through personal growth and awakening them to their
own power to create a shift in the world. "  -- Adelle B,  

"The site visits were well organized, interesting, entertaining,
informative, educational, and often gorgeous; many boasted prime examples
of working components of the ideals of permaculture in practical use, and
if some of the guides were a little bit vague or less than enthused, that
is no fault of Common Circle's.

Overall, what can I say? The people, the surroundings, the good feelings...
It all came together to create an extraordinary experience. The few small
gripes I had don't hold a candle next to the warm, bright, and happy
memories I now have from my time with Common Circle."  -- Rachel R,  

"I liked the variety of scale of site visits. It was nice to see people
with small yards, the small farm and then the many acres as well. It was
definitely fun to be working with the whole group. The very last day at
Dharmalaya, while pulling some weeds, a few people commented that they had
wanted to be doing that the whole time. Things sort of made more sense when
we were actually outside doing."  -- Jillian P,  

"My wife, son and I joined 12 other bikers in early August for a one week
sustainable farming bike tour in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The tour
involved biking 40-60 miles one day and then touring/working on an organic
farm the next day. Along the way we learned a lot about permaculture
principles, sustainable farming practices, and community building. The trip
was led by Vladislav Davidzon (founder of Common Circle Education) and HW
Brady. I recommend Common Circle Education's bike tours to anyone
interested in combining a self contained bike adventure with an opportunity
learn some things about sustainable farming and permaculture."  -- Edward
C,  

"This was an amazing experience. I've been trying to spread the word to
friends. If you are considering it, DO IT. You won't regret it."  -- Neil
T,  

"I loved the diversity on the farms and the amount of knowledge the
farmer's had. They were incredible. I had so much fun and learned so much
working side by side with the farmers and other participants."  -- Kirsten
K,  

"It was fun and unique to bike and learn and work on farms. The
participants were awesome!!"  -- Jennifer D,  

"I want to say that I really enjoyed the course and found it educational
and enriching on many levels. It definitely added to my awareness,
evolution and consciousness. Met many amazing people that are the stuff of
dreams and are an asset to this earth."  -- Jack B,  

"It was nice to have a whole day to spend with the group and to get to know
them through the exercises. Dharmalaya was wonderful. "  -- Ross W,   

"I really appreciate the work you put into this program. Coming back home
to reflect on my experience is really what put it together for me. I can
really see now why this program would be the leading permaculture school in
the nation. The additional teachers were just as important as what Larry
taught. I would definitely recommend this program to others, especially if
the same or similar teachers are included."  -- Lynn F,  Permaculture &
Regenerative Leadership

"Thanks again for an awesome course!"  -- Christine Y,  Permaculture Design
& Regenerative Leadership

"I learned so much at every level. The meals were out of this world. The
teams did such a creative job of cooking something new each day and
presenting it with such artistry. "  -- Christiane W,  Permaculture Design
& Regenerative Leadership

"I really felt it was a transformative experience. And I think the site
(Hidden Villa) played a big part in making the time SING for me. "  -- Lia
R,  Permaculture Design & Regenerative Leadership

"Every instructor was so knowledgeable and intelligent. I have worked
teaching accounting at private state colleges, and the instructors at those
institutions could not even compare to those who taught this course. It is
two sides of a coin- glad to be on the side I am most aligned with. This is
the beginning of really thinking , creating and learning outside the box. I
have been many places in this long lifetime. There are many places I have
been that I called Heaven on Earth. Hidden Villa is one of those places.

This course was the BEST time I have had in the past 6 years"  -- Lana T, 
Permaculture Design & Regenerative Leadership

"I really enjoyed the experience, I can feel my permaculture mind
continuing to grow as things settle in from the course."  -- Jaye M, 
Permaculture Design & Regenerative Leadership

"Thank you for the experience I had with Common Circle - it was wonderful.
Best wishes and continued growth."  -- Susan L,  


Join an unforgettable program in leadership, permaculture and 
sustainable design in Oregon with the world's most renowned
instructors and change your life, your community and your 
planet.  Not only do Common Circle Education courses offer the
most complete curriculum of any similar program, but the people
who come to the programs make this the most powerful training
offered anywhere.  

Gain cutting-edge skills in nature-inspired sustainable design 
that's applicable virtually anywhere design is used -- from green 
businesses to your own back yard.  Visit ecovillages, organic
farms, the nation's first biofuel station (ever seen a gas station
with solar panels and a green roof selling kombucha? ;), while
spending two weeks with some of the most inspiring people around!

Course:   Suburban Permaculture Design & Leadership Certificate 
Location: Eugene, Oregon - Organic meals and lodging included!

-- More info @ http://www.commoncircle.com/pdc --

During the workshop, we will talk about:

* Smart nature-inspired design principles
* Rainwater catchment and storage
* Greywater - smart water re-use with plant filters
* Food forests & garden design for food abundance 
* Eco-psychology and Regenerative Leadership 
* Intentional community design and dynamics
* Bio-remediation and toxic waste cleanup 
* Natural building design - cob, strawbale and more
* Soil biology and regeneration 
* Sustainable transportation and fuels
* Green business and sustainable economics
* Natural patterns and principles
* Everything you ever wanted to know about plants and soil!

"My experience in the course was invaluable.  I find myself with a
new permaculture lens that I can put on at will, and see the world
around me in a way that I feel leads to making more conscious
decisions and living better in harmony with the earth."
   - Deborah F., Course Graduate  

This course will combine critical design skills with leadership, 
nature connection, and most importantly an urban focus, building
and exceeding upon the internationally-recognized Permaculture 
Design Certification curriculum.  Our programs offer by far the
most complete curriculum of any similar course -- with a huge 
focus on leadership, personal growth and community design as well
as green business.  

You'll learn how to create sustainable, thriving human systems,
from green houses and organic gardens, to local micro-economies
and communities, using sustainable design principles that are
applicable to every human system, from businesses, communities,
and cities to personal relationships.

Because of our unique focus on Urban and Suburban solutions,
our courses are radically different from most other programs,
teaching permaculture as a design science rooted in nature. 
With most of the world's population in cities, we must 
meet people where they live with real sustainable solutions.

-- More info @ http://www.commoncircle.com/pdc --

Starting by learning the lessons from nature with some of the
world's most renowned organic farming experts, we will then look
at how to apply what we learned from the soil and the water to
building sustainable, lasting institutions.

Common Circle Education is the nation's ecological design and
sustainable living school with courses in Oregon, Hawaii and 
California; our instructors are some of the most well-known 
leaders in sustainability, organics and permaculture design.

We hope you will be able to join us for this incredible, 
life-changing experiential course!

Don't wait - sign up today before these few spots fill up!  If you 
have questions - call us at 1-800-376-3775! 

--
Common Circle Education
phone: 1-800-376-3775
web: www.commoncircleeducation.com/info
mail: 14525 SW Millikan Way, Suite 17760, Beaverton, OR 97005
LOVE us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/commoncircl

If you would like to access previous postings to the Mich-Organic listserv you can copy and paste the following URL into your browser address bar
 http://list.msu.edu/archives/mich-organic.html

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