Send Jesse to the ELI
The first time I ever heard the word permaculture was back in 2011, during a short introductory workshop. That day, a whole new world of ideas opened up to me, an entirely different way of looking at the people and environments around me. I saw that permaculture held the tools to create a better future, the possibility to teach us how to live on this Earth in a way that benefits not only ourselves and our communities, but all the rest of the natural world as well, all of our relatives here on this planet that is our home. My life was changed forever by this moment, and since then I have dedicated my life to learning more about permaculture and sharing this knowledge with others, in the hopes that they might have a similar life changing moment and join in the work of creating a positive future for humanity and the planet.
In the time since then, I have taken two permaculture design courses and various other workshops, gained experience and skills through many hours of volunteer work at permaculture farms and natural building projects, and dove head first into the world of permaculture homesteading by joining the Ant Village community at Wheaton Labs in Montana. Throughout all of this I have pursued my mission of sharing permaculture with the world by talking with people and hosting small workshops, but primarily by creating videos about my experiences and sharing them on the One Heart Fire Youtube channel. I have also started to build a right livelihood by doing permaculture design projects and installations for friends and family, turning my knowledge and energy into real soil, water, and permanent food sources for my clients.
Although my skills, knowledge, and understanding of permaculture has certainly grown as a result of these various experiences, it has become more and more clear to me that there are important gaps in my knowledge, and real limitations on the scope of my work. This piecemeal approach to learning, although valuable in its own way, has started to hold me back from spreading knowledge of permaculture in a bigger way, and doing the broadscale, real world work that is so necessary in our world right now. There is a real need for comprehensive permaculture training in my own life, and in the permaculture movement as a whole. Thankfully, someone has stepped up to begin to fill that void.
The Ecological Landscaper Immersion, offered by the Permaculture Skills Center in Sebastopol, California, is a six month professional training program designed to not only provide in depth knowledge and proficiency in permaculture design concepts, practices, and real world installations, but also the skills and knowledge necessary to build and operate a successful business founded on the ethics of permaculture, and capable of creating large scale, professional quality, and ecologically sound landscapes in the real world. The six month immersion is followed up by a year of personal mentorship, guiding the students as they begin to apply their skills to their own permaculture based business. The goal is to train the next generation of permaculture professionals, to begin to take some of the 78 billion dollars currently spent on the landscaping industry every year, almost always on poorly functioning and ecologically destructive landscapes, and turn that money into ecologically sound, permanently functional landscapes that have a positive impact on the environment and the community around them.
My goal in taking this course is to not only gain the skills to create a right livelihood for myself and my future family, but to build a business that will enable me to support others as they build their skills and knowledge in permaculture design and education. I want to continue my work of educating others about permaculture in a much bigger way, empowering them with the skills and knowledge to create a more resilient life for themselves and their communities. While doing this work, I want to give the next generation of permaculture practitioners an opportunity that I never had, the ability to get a job doing permaculture, to build skills and apprentice under an experienced designer while being able to support themselves in the process. I know that there is an entire generation of young people who are eager to do the profoundly important work of restoring our degraded landscapes, and transitioning our culture towards a sustainable future, but they end up working at starbucks because these types of jobs either don't exist, or are solely volunteer based. I see ecological restoration as the foundation of our next economy, and I want to start building that foundation.
So I am asking those who support me in this mission for a gift. I am running this Go Fund Me campaign to help raise the funds necessary to pay for the course tuition, as well as the costs of transitioning my life to the Sebastopol area where the course will be held. I am asking to receive this gift so that I may pay it forward tenfold into the future. So that I may gain the tools to do the work that is absolutely necessary at this time, and then share those tools so others may join in this work.
I would like to thank all of the friends, family, and even strangers from all over the world, for the support you have given me so far in pursuing my mission. Thank you. And I would like to thank you all again in advance, for supporting and/or sharing this campaign with others. It means a whole lot to me, and I will do my best to honor the gifts I have been given by using them to serve others. Thank you.