Here on the 50-acre Ananda Laurelwood campus, we’ve explored a few different farming methods over the last three growing seasons, since we purchased the property in May 2011. As a step toward incorporating other methods and philosophies into our own spiritual path, we have adopted the title “Growing Dharma” as a way to express that the heart of what we find to be important in all ways of farming is the rightness of the action. Does it connect us with a broader understanding of the natural world? Does it deepen our awareness of subtler realities? These are the questions we ask in Growing Dharma.
Everything we do, we try to do well. In striving for excellence, our minds and our hearts are uplifted, and we exercise our willpower to reach beyond our own smallness. With Fukuoka’s philosophy of Natural Farming, we have found kindred thoughts of expansion into other realities: those of the plants, the minerals, and the flow of water. The principles of Permaculture help to lessen the ego’s hold on how things ought to look in favor of asking what is in the plants’ and animals’ best interest. We welcome an exploration of biodynamics and other methods that respect all people’s natural aspiration toward higher ways of living and being on this earth.
We invite you to come play with us, in a spirit of adventure, of seeking deeper meaning in the relationships to each other and to the land.
As Fukuoka writes: “Just sow seeds and care tenderly for the plants and soil. You have joy. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
Our Spiritual Agriculture Team
Beth Fox grew up in a small farming community outside of Montreal, Canada, where her family had a large organic vegetable garden. After graduating from University of Oregon’s architecture program, she received a permaculture design certificate in 2005 and started a small landscaping business. Beth has been an active participant at Ananda Laurelwood since 2012 and currently facilitates interactions with the various gardens.
Jacob Macleod grew up in Illinois, in a family of biologists, and studied biology briefly at the University of Missouri. He is a member of the Cities of Light Program and expresses his love for the natural world in his involvement with landscaping, natural farming, and permaculture projects here at Ananda Laurelwood. He completed a permaculture design course in 2011 and since then has been leading our Practicing Permaculture Group which meets most Saturdays from 2-5pm. Jacob can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Sharon Kelly grew up in California and studied botany at the University of Maine. She is an arborist, has experience working with urban forestry projects, is a current member of the Cities of Light Program at Laurelwood, and co-leads our Practicing Permaculture Group which meets most Saturdays from 2-5pm. Sharon can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.