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News & Announcements
Ben and Jerry’s Community Action Grant
written by Jessica Rubin, PAN Member
We were grateful to receive fiscal sponsorship from PAN in order to apply for a Ben and Jerry’s Community Action grant. Vermont Myconode is an inspired local offshoot of the greater Radical Mycology movement. As a network of friends, colleagues, mentors, scientists, amateur mycologists, ecological restorationists, educators, students, earth workers, and mentees, we cultivate mushrooms, ideas, and strategies to apply the healing power of the 5th Queendom (Fungi) for food and medicine as well as for remediating human – caused pollution to restore ecological balance in Vermont.
Our mission is applied through a spectrum of activities from inoculating woodchips or logs with spawn, restoring degraded ecosystems to decrease toxic levels in soil & water to non-toxic levels, providing educational workshops, and hosting work parties. In terms of applying mycoremediation to Vermont’s landscape, there is tremendous potential for remediating toxins currently threatening the health of Lake Champlain (Lake Bitawabok, Abenaki call it; translated as ‘Lake Between”) such as: excess phosphorus from fertilizers, hydrocarbons found in pesticides and herbicides and parking lot drains, pathogens from manure runoff, heavy metals in suburban, agricultural, and urban soils, and toxic chemical compounds in nonpoint source runoff.
With these funds and New England Grassroots Fund support we have been able to create a library for our growing collective while helping to provide mycological educational opportunities to our members, create a lab for upcoming projects which the group and two local businesses Infinity Soils and Mycoevolve can access, and purchase inoculation tools which we will use in offering edible and medicinal installation workshops later this summer. Once we fine tune the anteroom, ventilation and electrical systems, we plan to offer an indoor cultivation workshop in our lab and two fungal forays on the surrounding landscape before fall is in full swing.
We are dedicated to acknowledging that we are on stolen land of the Abenaki First Nation People who call this land N’dakinna, translated as ‘Dawnland’ and to decolonize ourselves. As we increase access of mycological information to people of all backgrounds, we remain egalitarian, all inclusive; not discriminating on basis of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, mental health status, education, race, culture, sexual orientation, general appearance, income level, living situation, experience in social or mycological work. While we enhance local living systems through appropriate use of technology & well designed mycological systems, we apply mycological information to support the independence and sovereignty of local communities; growing symbiotic bridges between local groups, non-profits, and volunteers through shared mycological skills, knowledge, and insights. As we emphasize the use of local, non-polluting, non-exploitative materials and practices whenever possible in mycological endeavors, we strongly discourage the exploitation of fungi, mycoremediation, and bioremediation by government and corporate interests. We continually acknowledge, harness, and honor the wisdom of our ancestors; human, fungal & beyond with humility, gratitude, and curiosity. Once our systems are a bit more in place we aim to follow up on expressed interest by Abenaki tribal garden folk and inner city garden communities to offer outdoor cultivation workshops before harvest season.
PAN Fiscal Sponsorship in Action:
Permaculture Apprenticeship and Cohort (PAC) Pilot Program
written by Stacey Doll, PAN Member
This summer, through the support of the Dorr Foundation grant and fiscal sponsorship provided by the Permaculture Association of the Northeast (PAN), Root to Rise is hosting a Permaculture Apprenticeship and Cohort (PAC) Pilot Program that provides students of permaculture a living classroom to apply their knowledge in the towns of Littleton, Bethlehem and Whitefield. The PAC Program requires students to actively engage with community leaders, organizations, and the general public to understand the practice of permaculture and apply that knowledge to projects that support community resiliency, ecosystem restoration, and strong social connections and bonds.
The students in the PAC program, with the guidance of their mentor, Stacey Doll, founder of Root to Rise, are specifically leading three community permaculture projects: A permaculture design and a series of implementation workshops at a local Brewery in Bethlehem, NH; the development of the Veterans Victory Garden Program with a demonstration garden that begins to explore the positive impact of gardening, earthworks, and food production on the psyche and comradery of veterans; and collaboration with the OAKS organization which provides a support network to promote Organizing Acts of Kindness for Seniors and sees the potential of permaculture projects to grow food and medicinals for our aging population.
In addition to these projects, the students have met with town managers, public works, business leaders, conservation organization, and regional planning commission leadership in an effort to bring permaculture into the conversation of how to revitalize and restore our communities and our natural environment. Root to Rise is very grateful to PAN for providing fiscal sponsorship so that this work could happen.
About Root to Rise: Root to Rise, a new permaculture nonprofit located in the North Country of New Hamsphire, formed with the purpose to provide permaculture education and empowerment programs through hands-on life experiences and training. Root to Rise provides a place for students of permaculture, sustainable agriculture, and environmental studies to practice and lead planning, design and implementation projects in the field. Root to Rise is working with local businesses, organizations and community leaders to identify projects in the field that can become living classrooms for students and organizes workshops and hands-on learning experiences where community and relationship building are at the core of permaculture design and installation. It is Root to Rise’s intent to provide a platform for tomorrow’s leaders and today’s community builders to deeply understand our ecological systems and create solutions to human needs by mimicking these systems.
You asked – We listened! We have added a number of PAN Membership benefits. When would now be a good time to join and to support our work.
The creation of The PAN Permaculture Educators’ Pledge, was a 3+ year participatory process, convened by the Permaculture Association of the Northeast (PAN formally know as PINE). This 1- page document was distilled from many meetings, conversations, convergences, phone calls, scribbled notes, retreats and late night talks around the fire as our network grappled with how we, as a grassroots movement honor and embody our ethics as we grow and how we do this as a network for the network rather than a top down imposed set of rules and regulations from the outside. Read more about the pledge and how to adopt it here.
Season’s greetings permaculture friends–
As you may know by now, PAN –the Permaculture Association of the Northeast– is a membership organization that relies on the support of the greater northeast permaculture network to help fund our activities throughout the region. Some of our members hail from as far south as Pennsylvania, as far west as New York, as far north as Quebec and as far east as the Canadian Maritimes. Many of you may remember the northeast permaculture convergence, which has been the flagship project for us for the last ten years and has enabled us to build this network based on face-to-face relationships. We have recently diversified our offerings in how we steward and support the permaculture nodes throughout the region.
Our current activities include:
- Network strategic planning from the northeast region and beyond to the national
- Diversity and solidarity trainings for teachers and organizers
- Teacher trainings for women in permaculture
- Voluntary and co-created standards in permaculture education
- Northeast Permaculture Convergence planning for summer 2018
- NEW! – Webinars focused on supporting permaculture practitioners in a professional capacity – helping permies stay connected and informed across the region!
- Enhancement to our membership program
- Strengthening member connections within the region
I’m writing to ask you to consider two ways of supporting our continued work. First, if you’re not already a member, please do become a member of PAN ($30-100/year). Secondly, whether you’re a member or not, please consider making a $5 to $500 donation to PAN. PAN is a 501(c)(3) organization so your donation may be tax-deductible. If you have felt that permaculture education has enhanced your life in any way, your donation would be a great way to “pay it forward” and support the continued development of the network. PAN exists to support the activities of the regional nodes and increase access to quality permaculture education, events and content. Your donations and membership dues are greatly appreciated and go toward paying our expenses and keeping our activities consistent and continuous throughout the years.
Thank you very much for your support.
President of the Board, PAN