Heart of Now Comes to Heathcote in May

Wren on April 15th, 2009

May 29-31, 2009, Fri eve – Sun eve

heart-of-nowI have had the pleasure of attending the full Heart of Now course and I’ll be an assistant when it is offered at Heathcote. For people searching for tools to understand themselves and communicate better, or for those who just need a safe container in which to sharpen the tools they’ve amassed over the years of self discovery, Heart of Now is an amazing opportunity!

—-Wren Tuatha

From the Heathcote page:

Heart of Now is about being who we want to be in the world. Throughout our lives many of us have been encouraged to hide our feelings and ignore our bodies. We’re taught stories of how we’re supposed to behave at school or work. We’ve been told not to make mistakes or certainly not to admit it. At Heart of Now we look with curiosity at the stories we’ve been told. We pay careful attention to our bodies and our emotions. We learn to listen to ourselves deeply and trust what is in our hearts. Heart of Now is not just about ourselves but about building community. When we are present and honest with ourselves, we open space for more intimacy, easier working relationships and creativity which are the building blocks for creating a better world.

Debby Sugarman has been involved with Heart of Now since 2001. Her process work includes Co-Counseling and Non-Violent Communication. She has been trained in Zegg-style Forum facilitation, Dynamic Facilitation, Consensus facilitation, and public process facilitation. Her mediation experience and training includes Community Mediation, Small Claims Court Mediation and Restorative Justice Mediation. Her co-facilitator will be Lisa Stein or Kim Krichbaum.

Tuition: The cost is $300-$600 sliding scale. A fee of $200 is requested when you register. The rest of the fee will be due by the end of the course. A limited amount of financial assistance is available. Please inquire about this if the fee is a barrier to being able to join us for the weekend. The cost will include lodging for 2 nights and all vegetarian meals. An extra $10.00 per night is requested if you want to reserve a private sleeping space.

To Register: You can register by contacting Debby Sugarman at 716-479-1490, dsugarm@efn.org. For more information about Heart of Now, please visit www.heartofnow.org.

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So our third year at Baltimore’s Beer Bourbon & BBQ Festival is history. So is our participation, I think. It seems the festival has grown larger and more corporate and louder. It was so loud I couldn’t hear myself leave my body. But when someone on one end of the hall would drop the glass  they’d been issued with admission, meaning, I assume, that their drinking was done, festival goers from one end to the other would shout a wave of mourning and sympathy through the hall. This happened a lot.

As people became tipsy, their explorations of our fair trade wares were at least amusing. One young man, regarding our onyx carvings, mused, “It’s like, turtles…only made outta ROCK!!!”

So as I look ahead to our schedule for 2009, I hope you find helpful these lessons I take with me in case we do similar shows:

  • When selling to drunk people, wear washable shoes. Sorry to start with this. I know you’re thinking vomit. In fact, the reason is that when they go to dig change out of their wallets, they don’t realize they’re pouring their drink onto their salesperson’s feet.
  • Drunk people say, “Keep the change,” with strange frequency, sometimes to statements like, “May I help you?”
  • Don’t cry over spilled crystals. Don’t cry over things spilled into your crystals. Cry over things spilled into purses.
  • Beverage-themed festivals should provide extra restroom facilities or locate my booth near tall shrubry.
  • Pretzel necklaces go with everything.
  • Five-gallon buckets of water aren’t good enough sandbags for an EZUp canopy in thirty mile-per-hour wind. If you see a row of canopies so anchored, don’t park downwind of them.
  • Drunk people sometimes want to hug their festival vendors as if we were hosting The Price Is Right and they’ve just won something. Yes. Show them what they’re won, Wren! “You’ve won a shopping spree at Heathcote Earthings! This includes a menora made from a recycled bicycle chain, all the treetop angels left over from last year, and five pounds of fancy jasper, which I think is cool but no one seems to want! Will that be cash or check?”

Not my crowd.

I’m on the road to Arkansas, to visit my partner Iuval as he searches for land to form an Intentional Community. Watch for posts on my adventures!

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This series of workshops covers the whole Permaculture design course curriculum. Those who attend all 12 days and complete home study assignments, advising sessions, and a design project will earn the Permaculture design apprentice certificate. Students who are not taking the entire course may attend selected individual days or weekends. The dates and topics are:

April 18** Introduction to Permaculture
April 19** Ecology and Biogeography: Chesapeake Bioregion Ecosystems and Restoration Strategies
May 9** Water
May 10** Soil and Nutrient Recycling
June 6** Mid-Atlantic Food Systems & Annual Garden Design
June 7** Sustainable Culture
June 27** Sustainable Energy Strategies
June 28** Green Building and Community Design
July 25 Forest Gardens & Natural Pest Control
July 26 Animals and Aquaculture
August 1 Permaculture Design Presentations
August 2 Feedback & Graduation

**Open to students who are not taking the full design course.


Course facilitator Karen Stupski has fifteen years of experience with sustainable living and organic gardening as a member of Heathcote Community. She currently works as Development Director of the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, a watershed organization and land trust, and is a Regional Organizer and Advisor for Gaia University. Karen holds a Ph.D. in the history of science, medicine, and technology from Johns Hopkins University. She will be assisted by a team of guest speakers and project leaders.

Taking Individual One-Day Workshops

This series of workshops has been designed so that people can easily sign up for individual days. The individual one-day workshops will run from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. The flow of activities will be a mix of lecture, discussion, and interactive exercises in the mornings, followed by outdoor and/or hands-on skill building activities in the afternoon. Students are asked to bring their own vegetarian bag lunch. This is a great way to learn more about specific topics that interest you and to explore whether you might want to take the full design course in the future. Any days that you complete will count if you later decide to do the full design course at Heathcote in the 12-day format.

Taking the Full Permaculture Design Course

Students who want to earn their Permaculture design apprentice certification in the 12-day format must complete the following components:

  1. Attend all 12 one-day workshops. The full design course includes the sessions described above plus an afternoon design skills session from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. Students are encouraged to stay at Heathcote Saturday night for evening film screenings.
  2. Complete home study assignments. These will consist of readings and exercises. The required textbooks are: Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison, Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway, and Toolbox for Sustainable City Living by Scott Kellogg and Stacey Pettigrew. Various articles will also be assigned.
  3. Complete a Permaculture design for a site of your choosing. Most students in the past have chosen to create a design for their own home and yard. However, you may also create a design for a “client” such as a neighbor, a school, or a nonprofit. The design project will include a site assessment, concept plan, detail plans, written report, and an oral presentation with a visual display.
  4. Complete advising sessions with Dawn Shiner of Dancing Green. You will have one phone consultation as you begin your design work which will include review of your site assessment (which you much submit to Dawn in advance.) Dawn will also be present for the design presentations at the end of the course. She will give feedback and guidance for the further development and implementation of your plan on the last day of the course before the graduation ceremony.

Tuition: $1,100 (does not include food, lodging, or books)

Download Registration Form

This year's festival adds mechanical bull rides.

This year's festival adds mechanical bull rides.

Heathcote Earthings is appearing at Baltimore’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival, this Saturday, April 4th, from noon till 6 pm. We have great fun at this event, geared toward local microbreweries.

For those who enjoy drinking these artfully brewed beverages, and supporting local brewers, This is your event. This year’s show features


So I can hear my regular readers saying, “Wren, but why? You don’t partake, you don’t eat Wilbur, so why?”

ornaments-kitras-glass-gords-smudge-sticksI admit there’s my amusement at imagining some mainstream party dude waking up the next day with a beer, bourbon and bar-b-q hangover saying to himself, “Where did I buy a hemp toaster sham and a lavender smudge stick, and what do I do with them? And who put this goddess on the loose bumper sticker on my…?”

But really, the music rocks! Fun atmosphere. The microbrewers are such fascinating small business people to meet. And this is one of several venues where Heathcote Earthings brings fair trade and natural or recycled products to a wider population,  not yet be habituated to considering their impacts on others and the planet with their consumerism. We actively encourage our customers to own fewer, but better made things. And  the music rocks!

instrument-section-world-of-petsWe expanded our collection of fair trade, hand made musical instruments for last year’s Common Ground on the Hill Music Festival. And instruments are so popular at events like Beer, Bourbon & BBQ, where the live music draws music lovers and musicians.

Soon I’ll be updating our schedule of appearances on the Heathcote Earthings tab, above. We’ll be adding more music and green festivals this year. If not from us, consider fair trade in your gift and personal shopping. I recently discovered that there’s a new Ten Thousand Villages store in Kenilworth Mall, Towson, Maryland, in addition to their Fells Point location. Earthings carries an extensive line of TTV’s well made goods.

I’ll be at the Timonium Fairgrounds, under the grandstand, setting up all day Friday. Then on Saturday I’ll pack a lunch, because this event is not vegetarian/vegan friendly. But I’m so glad to be rolling out my jewelry, gemstones and fair trade hats, purses, housewares, incense, carvings, etc., for a new festival season!


What I’ll be missing this weekend at Heathcote Community is the annual membership meeting of School of Living, the non-profit that holds our land in trust, as well as other intentional communities’ land in Pennsylvania and Virginia. If you’d rather skip the booze and flesh fest and learn about land trusts and intentional community, you’re very welcome to attend all or part of the weekend. Please call (814) 353-0130 if you plan to attend and if you are bringing children.

heathcote-community-70s-group-shotSoL is sponsoring a Heathcote Reunion, July 2-5, 2009, at Penn Grove Retreat in Hanover, Pennsylvania. If you have lived at Heathcote and would like to attend, contact Larry Baer at (443) 852-4569 or email at elbaer@live.com.

There is also a Friends of Heathcote/SoL group on facebook!

To keep up with events at Heathcote, check our site regularly, and if you’re on facebook join TRIBE: Choosing Intentional Community. If you’re on gaia.com, there’s a TRIBE: CIC group there, too! I love turning green/activist types onto gaia.com, so check it out!

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