EarthLife is amazing and if you aren't paying attention, it just may be passing you by. Slow down! Observe what is around you. Plant a garden. Make Your Own Food. Create Beauty. Meet People. Create.
Welcome to our blog. We love discovering what Earth has to teach anyone willing to be on the Growing Edge of life.

--Denise and Loretta, Dancing TreePeople Farm

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Future Crunch

Looking for inspiration?  Here is a site self-described as  "A Weekly Roundup of science, technology and intelligent optimism (not necessarily in that order.)"  I thought is was kinda cool.


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Restoring Damaged Ecosystems

In May of 2019, I attended the Global Earth Repair conference in Port Townsend WA.  There I met John Liu and was deeply inspired by his keynote on the topic of restoring large-scale damaged ecosystems.  You can check out the conference and hear his talk here: 

Thursday, December 03, 2020

New Story Hub

A few years ago I was working on an idea and ended up taking a detour so never got the idea fully launched.  (I called it New Story Center)  Luckily, it turns out that Findhorn has been at it for awhile and is doing a fantastic job! They call their project "New Story Hub". 
Check it out: - 
http://newstoryhub.com/  You can find a great list of resources here: http://newstoryhub.com/resources/

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Need hope?

UPDATED 6pm 9/22

The after-watch party is as good as the movie!  Here is the party link on youtube:

UPDATED 9/22/2020

Yes, solutions are still possible! If you need hope, then watch this KISS THE GROUND trailer.

Kiss the Ground THE MOVIE premiers September 22, 2020!  


STEP 1: WATCH THE FILM. The 87 minute film is on Netflix. Watch now! here is link to the movie:

STEP 2: JOIN THE BIGGER "KISS THE GROUND" WATCH PARTY -- with cast and filmmakers: here is a link to RSVP - (with cast and crew) at 6pm on FB live: https://kissthegroundmovie.com/watchparty/
The event details are on FB here: https://www.facebook.com/events/314340939677266/

here is a link to the New Story mighty network where we can chat about it before, during and after

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Build a Solar Oven Like This

A fast tour of how to build a solar oven--the Solar Box Cooker.  Enjoy:

For more information, including a materials list, plans and instructions, visit the Solar Cooking topic in our Mighty Network at New Story Center

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Lessons from Pachamama - Coming Home

Coming Home

Just days after we returned home to Lake County, we were evacuated for 12 days due to the Ranch fire.  We worried about the loss of our place and struggled with the nearly unbreathable air.

I was reminded of the greatest gift of all from the jungle--the gift of LIFE.... of breath, remembering how easy it was to breathe there. The comparison will inform my work for years to come.

Which future world do we want to create?

Charles Eisenstein (author of The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible) says this:
“Is it too much to ask, to live in a world where our human gifts go toward the benefit of all? Where our daily activities contribute to the healing of the biosphere and the well-being of other people?”

The lessons from Pachamama suggest that it is possible to live meaningful life and create a just and sustainable planet. To create "the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible," we must commit to it and embrace the adventure.
How would we do this?  Again, let's listen to Pachamama... specifically her insights delivered through her wise and dignified indigenous peoples.  Here is what she is saying to us:
(1) Pay attention. Be present to your next courageous step
(2) Be open to whatever comes--perhaps it is a new dream -- one of appreciating beauty, and creating beauty, and
(3) Trust the adventure

After all, this journey is meant to be about love not fear.

Lessons from Pachamama - The Third Gift

The Third Gift.

On the day we were to leave the jungle, we awoke once again to a downpour.  Our flight out was supposed to be at 8 a.m. The plan was that we would hike there for a hour. so we would need to leave by 7 a.m.  Before we were to leave though, we got word that the planes would need to wait for the airstrip to dry before they would take off from Shell.

8 a.m. came and went, then 9 a.m., then 10 a.m.... and we had still not left camp. We packed and repacked getting ready for a quick departure at a moments notice... hoping that the planes would fly out that day. By 11 am we still were sitting on our packed bags. And it was still lightly raining.

At noon we got word: the planes are on their way! Instructions were that we would all board the same planes we arrived in. So we set out through the soggy jungle, where now there were new bogs and logs. One doesn't rush a jungle hike.

Once at the mud airstrip--we arrive in time to see the small plane that I came in on leave with random people. There goes my plane, I thought.  Now what?

I knew I was not on the next plane... but proximity seemed to matter in this rapid exit from the rainforest. We were all mindful that another rainstorm could mean some of us could be left behind for another night in the rainforest and I decided that I would like that to be with my bag... so I kept it in sight.
A small plane, which I surmised would be our plane, landed  Our pilot and others physically haul this plane by its wings and tail--backing it up to make room for still another plane to land.  This most recently landed plane left first.

Eventually, it was our turn. Our pilot was concerned at the state of the short runway and decided he can only take two of us, so Loretta and I loaded our bags and boarded the plane. It splashed through puddles on the dirt runway before lifting off, clearing the tallest trees at the end of the field.  Shell here we come!

A few minutes later, to our surprise, we landed at a small dirt airstrip in another jungle community.

The pilot asked us to get out of the plane--assuring us that he will return for us in a half hour or so.  I hoped so--he had our bags. We were the only members of our group there.  I said to Loretta "I think we have been kicked off the island..."

Left to our own devices, we wandered over to a small covered patio,  There we were approached by a man.  We learned he is Sapura and is the teacher at a nearby school.  He spoke a couple of words of english and then called over his students, a half dozen other men--none of whom speak english at all.
They all had wide smiles, though, and were attempting to communicate. Fortunately, I had 20% charge left on my phone and a trusty downloaded Google Spanish language app.

What happened next involved a LOT of laughter.

We learned that the teacher is Manari's brother. he wanted to practice his English.  We traded email addresses.  We discovered that he is on Facebook!

Within a half hour, our four-seater plane returned with another member of our group in the back.  We boarded once again and the plane easily takes off from this longer airstrip.  We are on our way home.

The third gift: Trust the adventure.

Lessons from Pachamama - The Second Gift

"When the Self emerges, the ego takes a hit"

The Second Gift

I knew before the trip that the Achuar interpret their dreams at four a.m. and we would be invited to join them. What I did not know was that we would face this same treacherous jungle trail --only this time, it would be in the dark and in a downpour .

We retired early the night before in anticipation of a three a.m. wake-up and hike to the home of one of the Achuar families.  We were instructed to bring our dream and they would interpret them.

It rained all night long.. and I kept waking up, growing increasingly anxious about that hike through the jungle in the dark.  I told myself i was worried about Loretta (I was).  But i was just as worried about ME.

I decided that if I did not receive a dream, I would stay at our camp with her should she decide to stay. At three a.m., one of our campmates reported to Loretta that the guides were considering cancelling the trip because it was too treacherous.  As a result, Loretta decided to stay at camp.

I did not have a dream that night. So I stayed behind , my ego taking another hit.  At first, I felt disappointed... coming all this way and not joining the morning dream circle. But I got 3 more hours sleep and I told myself that I would get another chance when we visited with the Sapura people.

Those who decide to venture out that night came back with the report that it was not at all what they expected.  The dream interpretation was basic: It is going to rain today. Hunting will be good tomorrow.  Was this it? I guess I expected something more mystical and profound. Turns out, I did have expectations! It was time to let them go.

By the time we were with the Sapura people a few days later, I had let go of all "mystical dream interpretation" expectations. So when I presented my dream to the group,  I was ready to receive what Manari, the elder and shaman, had to say.  He said: "You see light because you are light." That night I heard Pachamama:"you are here to appreciate beauty and to create beauty. Be open to what comes. You will know what to do"

The second gift:  Be open to what comes. We are light.  We are here to appreciate beauty and create beauty.

We will know what to do.