Aaron Perry


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Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 59 - Stone Hunter Guides Tour of Natural, Biodynamic Inspired House

In this special episode, Stone Hunter gives a tour of a Biodynamic and Anthroposophic inspired home built in Paonia, Colorado. This special structure, connected to the Earth’s currents and Schumann Resonance via a floor made of natural materials, is designed with Golden Ratio harmonics in mind, and constructed of natural, non-toxic materials like straw, sand, clay, adobe/lime plaster. Additionally, special Biodynamic Preparations brought from Nova Terra Community in Italy where teacher, designer, and educator Enzo Nastati headed Demeter Italy, have been placed in the structure for the enhanced vitality and well-being of residents and visitors. Each cardinal direction of the home is associated with one of the Elements, and Feng Shui principles are integrated into the design as well. Stone discusses how the building is treated as a living being, and that Rudolf Steiner, founder of Biodynamics and Anthroposophy, challenges us to think more clearly and deeply about how our buildings (and their materials) – their “Gestalt” – affect our health and well-being. Stone Hunter is a Biodynamic farming practitioner and former consultant at Sustainable Settings Ranch in Carbondale, Colorado. Born and raised at Sunrise Ranch, Stone attended River Song Waldorf School and later graduated from the International Baccalaureate program in Fort Collins, Colorado. After attending Evergreen State College and working on permaculture-based projects in Costa Rica and Panama, he began farming in 2013 at Happy Heart Farm in Fort Collins. In 2015, Stone began working at Sustainable Settings, where he completed a two-year North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program training with experience in dairy cattle operations, holistic grazing, grain cultivation, draft horse implementation, stone masonry, CSA gardening, green construction, natural beekeeping and more. Stone facilitated the project management of the Arise Permaculture Action Days in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Currently he lives in Paonia, Colorado and is working with Skyhawk Construction building straw-bale, passive solar homes while still teaching and participating within the Permaculture and Biodynamic movements – including in partnership with the Viva La Vida Foundation. For more information, visit: vivalavidafoundation.org. A special shout out and thank you to Hunter Chesnutt-Perry for filming this episode!


(Automatically generated transcript for search engine optimization and reference purposes – grammatical and spelling errors may exist.)

Welcome to the YonEarth Communities stewardship and sustainability

podcast series. Today we have the opportunity to visit with Stone Hunter. Hey,

Stone. Hey, how’s it going? Good. Happy to be here. We’re really excited. Today we

get to get a tour of an amazing sustainable built house that Stone

recently constructed. And before we start on our tour, let me just tell you a

little about Stone’s background. He is a biodynamic farming practitioner and

former consultant at Sustainable Settings Ranch in Carbondale, Colorado, which is

I think where we met. It is. Yeah. He’s born and raised at Sunrise Ranch and

attended the River Song Waldorf School and later graduated from the International

Baccalaureate Program in Fort Collins, Colorado. After attending Evergreen State

College and working on permaculture based projects in Costa Rica and Panama, he

began farming in 2013 at Happy Heart Farm in Fort Collins. In 2015, Stone began

working at Sustainable Settings where he completed a two-year North American

biodynamic apprenticeship program training with experience in dairy cattle

operations, holistic grazing grain cultivation, draft horse implementation, stone

masonry, CSA gardening, green construction, natural beekeeping and more. Stone

facilitated the project management of the Arise permaculture action days in 2015,

2016 and 2017. Currently, he lives in Peonia, Colorado and is working with

Skyhawk construction, building straw bale, passive solar homes while teaching

and participating within the permaculture and biodynamic movements. And Stone,

it’s so great to have this opportunity to visit with you and get a sense of what

goes into a heart-centric process of building a super high-performing

sustainable building. So welcome. Thank you. Yeah, exciting to share a little bit

about what we’re doing in this small little town of Peonia in the mountains of

Colorado. Where, fortunately, we do have some looser building code, but everything

we build is up to code and beyond. And this house we’re standing in front of is

the straw bale home. Not load bearing, there’s structures around the window

bay and then there’s a box theme. It’s a two-story straw bale home and there’s a

box theme on top of it that is compressed down, so we can get into some of

the logistical layout of how we actually build these homes. But I would like to

just say that these homes we’re building are designed by Viva La Vita

foundation that’s based here in Peonia and they’re designed as therapeutic

homes. Oh, well. So they’re designed with elements, the materials we use, the

design elements and the community efforts that come in to building these homes

are really about creating vibrant spaces that we can live in. Spaces that will

actually make us feel better in our bodies and our minds and our hearts to be in

them and also be built with non-tastic materials because we want the spaces

that we inhabit to be full of life and to feed our creativity, give us good

sleep and also be good for the earth and the materials that were used to build

them. You know it’s so important I know that some of my friends and colleagues at

the U.S. Green Building Council have published all kinds of materials and

studies indicating a variety of health and respiratory problems tied

directly to the sort of mainstream building materials we’ve been using over

the last several decades. Many of the finishes, many of the actual framing

materials, the carpets, etc. are off-gassing all kinds of carcinogenic

chemicals basically and we know this is one of the contributors to high rates

in childhood asthma. So to have instead natural materials which of course is

what our species is used to going back in time obviously is going to have a

tremendous health benefits on the physical level and then it sounds like

you’re also doing beautiful things with the design aesthetic and the

energetics of the space to affect us also on the emotional, the mental, the

spiritual, the psychological levels. Absolutely. Yes, so we’re paying attention to

the materials that we use and where they’re sourced from. For instance in a lot

of the detailing work we’ve been using these bio-shield products that I believe

actually originate in Germany but unfortunately that they have to come from

so far but there’s almost no VOC, no no volatile or genetic compounds or

organic compounds going off and so we’ll paint you know finish wood with that

and stuff so it’s there’s little you know we’re just paying attention to those

kind of materials we use when we have to get them from another source. But most

of the home that we’re looking at is built out of straw as the primary

insulation, sand and clay and so there’s a dobi lime actually plaster on the

outside and we mix that up there’s a man here in town named Kale who is the

the lead on all the natural plaster in the earth and floors inside and we

were mixing those up on site using sand, local sand, clay, water and then

mixing in some lime for that outside and there’s three coats on the outside, a rough

coat that covers the straw and the diamond lap that surrounds the window

buff and then there’s a brown coat that’s a leveling coat and into that

brown coat we actually inserted some specific preparations that Viva La Vida

has imported from Italy from the Nova Terra community is a community based in

Italy and the VIDAR is a company that makes agricultural and

architectural therapeutic homeopathic products specific to concrete to

plaster to paint and beyond and so we put these preparations both into the

concrete in the foundation of the building and also into the plaster in the

walls and into the paint that we did that painted the drywall and these

products are essentially therapeutic homeopathic products to affect the

more subtle qualitative energetic dynamics of the materials that we’re

using. Are these it effect similar to biodynamic preparations? Very similar

and they originated the man who designed these ends in the study is kind of

the the teacher in the inspiration for the Viva La Vida foundation and he’s

been working for 40 years in Europe based out of Italy was the head of

Demeter in Italy which is the biodynamic certifying agent in Italy and then

moved on from there to creating his own products inspired by the biodynamic

preparations in the work of Rulof Steiner and anthropocities. So these

products are coming from from that source and we’ve had it’s been a powerful

process just to incorporate these preparations these products into our

plaster into our concrete when a concrete when the concrete truck came in and

poured this foundation which is pretty massive this foundation is actually

formed in the shape of a pedestal of a capital so it’s almost like a rhombus so

the base of the foundation is a lot bigger than the top and the top is already

pretty wide because it needs to support the straw bales that are 16 inches in

width so the top is about 16 inches and I think the base is more like three feet

and there’s a specific golden mean ratio that was used for the form of that

foundation and that was designed in that way more for the facilitation of the

earthly forces the earthly ground so to speak and you could call it the

human resonance you know the field that energetic qualities that are present in

the earth and that are streaming up from the earth we want to facilitate the

ascent of those forces up into the house much in the way that a tree grows and

has its kind of base that’s a little wider and funnels up kind of into the

trunk of the tree we’re incorporating that dynamic in form through the

foundation to come up into the house so even the the simple concrete foundation

has so much going on beyond your typical conventional comb the shape the

geometry the preps wow it’s it’s an alchemical structure really it is yeah

and a lot of the work is based in alchemy and the understanding of working with

these elements in the elemental table not just in a physical sense but in a

in a qualitative energetic sense there’s a very intentional layout for the

house right now we’re standing on the south end in the door here is on the

south side of the house along with four windows and there’s a very practical you

know passive solar aspect to that in terms of this straw bail house is super

insulated being built out of straw bales but also when we’re getting this

passive solar gain from the south side that you know he’s up the home when the

windows are open in the winter and with the lower angle of the sun for the

south during the winter time and so we’re getting a lot of passive gain but

there’s also an energetic quality to having the the door open to the south and

in our studies we talk about how there’s a current that moves from the south

that we call the current of bios or life that life kind of moves from the

south and we know if we go south towards the equator the abundance of life that

is present there and so incorporating this into our homes and we do it in our

farms and gardens to try and enter in from the south because when we enter in

from the south we’re entering in with the life and we’re also inviting the

life into our homes into our garden and so I like to speak about pairing both

the functional maybe more practical maybe more materialistic understanding with

also a qualitative energetic you know Feng Shui or harmonic understanding of

these other elements so the layout of the house incorporate some of these

directional components we enter in from the south and if we were to imagine a

kind of square just like the house is based on the square there’s a quadrant and

we could place the four elements in each quadrant starting with the fire in the

south in the in the south east and that’s where we find the kitchen in the home

then moving to the south west we have the air element and that’s where the living

room is and upstairs bedroom and then in the north west we have the water

quadrant and that’s where all the plumbing comes into the house all the water is

in the two bathrooms on the first story and the second story are located in that

water quadrant of the north west and then the earth quadrant is in the

northeast and the staircase is in that region as well as storage so we’re

incorporating some of this these alchemical elements into the layout of the

house and then into the materials and the building process beautiful well what

do you think should we go inside let’s go inside have a great

taking note as we go in this entry post we’ve been trying to take off any

sharp corners so these posts were routed down just to be a little smoother a

little more inviting most 45 degree angle on there yep yep and ideally it could

have even been a little stronger but you’ll see as we enter into the house that

we’ve really done our best to try and minimize as many right angles as possible

and even the the right angles you’ll see a theme in this house is this

rhombus so in a sense it’s a diamond or a square it’s a square by your facing

the point and so it’s all based on your orientation to it and when you encounter

that square that’s been turned 90 degrees and now it’s a diamond or a rhombus

that you’re facing it’s much more dynamic in living and these windows from

the outside you can see there’s the straw bell relief around and there’s a very

specific angle between the outside and the inside and that’s where the light

enters into the building and we’ve done this nice golden mean a triangular

kind of relief above the windows also facilitate the exchange of light from

the outside to the inside yeah and it’s beautiful how thick the walls are right

it’s a property of straw bales yes very thick because it’s a high performing building in terms

of its thermal properties huge thermal massing and we can feel for for listeners as we’re

entering into this house it’s notably cooler at least five five seven degrees cooler and that’s

without any AC or any you know swamp cooler anything that’s just the the thermal mass

and the insulative properties of the straw veil home beautiful and we shift from a lime

plaster on the outside here to a marble lime plaster on the inside that’s much smoother and very light

oh yeah it’s much cooler in here very comfortable

mm-hmm quite warm outside yeah so this house there were a number of artesian craftsmen

that helped in this house and I was just mostly a labor working and learning the straw veil

building the natural plaster and some carpentry but our work is spectacular absolutely

yeah and so this this metal working was done by a man named Ira Glass who lives here in in

peonia hospice area and is an incredible metal worker we also have tile work that was done here

by manning chat who’s a part of the people at Vita Foundation work and then we’re standing here

on the first story on this earth and floor that’s pretty unique not very many homes have these kind

of floors they’re more popular down in New Mexico Arizona and essentially this was also made out of

sand clay water some straw and also preparations that we put into the floor and it has radiant tubing

so there’s radiant tubing tubing that was put down in this floor so it can be heated up

through through the heating system right currently there’s not any hot water heating a solar hot

water heating plugged out there’s only on demand water heater yeah but that could easily be

added on at a future time now I know more and more of our our audience are becoming familiar

and even practicing grounding right taking off our shoes and walking on the soil on the land

and I’m wondering in a building like this do we get a similar effect right here yeah yeah if you’re

barefoot on this on this earth you’re grounded that human resonance that ionic exchange is happening

and the woman who currently lives here in in mia is a very sensitive you know a beautiful

woman who works with people at beta and if she speaks about that a lot is just being grounded

oh it’s always barefoot downstairs here so that that element is present yeah beautiful and we also see

we’ve come over to the bathroom some really nice tile work done by Chad and there’s a rhombus

type shaped tile and you know what’s interesting is I was actually just in Europe in February

and we were visiting around Spain and Italy these old cathedrals right these ancient cathedrals

and walking into these cathedrals the tile work and the mosaics are stunning and almost always the

the tiles are laid in that orientation of a diamond and you walk into the the floors and it’s

just that diamond going out and so there’s there we we want to pay attention to what maybe you

know our ancestors in the ancient practice with consciousness because they understood the effect

that some of these maybe what we would consider now as more aesthetic qualities right are actually

really affecting our our inner nature and and our soul and and in the spaces that we surround

ourselves with so we’re paying attention to that with the tile with the rounding out and

smoothing out of the corners with the colors absolutely beautiful it just it feels good to be in here

yeah and I know there are so many spaces so many buildings you know for example just walking

into a big box retail store I I can feel I just don’t feel very good being in some of those spaces

and my goodness what a what a tremendous opportunity we have to understand the ways we’re being

affected by our built environment and to incorporate that going forward as much as possible and we

and we worked a big part of building this home was also learning the how to in a sense how to

compromise the contrast between our ideal the ideal of the design and then the practical

implementation of that design into current modes of construction you know working with contractors

who have no basis around you know an energetic qualitative experience of building you know they

just they’re maybe coming from more of a place of efficiency and we actually have to slow down

the process and explain to them what we want to do and why we want to do it for example the

electrical that was run in this building we actually submerged all the the wires just the

coating of the wires encoded them in a product and one of the people of Vita products that would

help to mitigate some of the harmful effects of the EMF the electromagnetic field that’s created

within a circuit of electricity and so we look at well maybe in the ideal home in terms of quality

we wouldn’t have electricity running beside us when we’re sleeping you know or we wouldn’t be so

close in contact with electricity for how it affects our nervous system and and all these things

but we also recognize the utilitarian the helpfulness of electricity and that helps us to do so

many things in our life so how can we introduce a therapy that might help to round out you know

and kind of harmonize some of the more harmful effects of the electricity so but then we have to

explain that to our electrician he does is a new thing probably for some folks yeah well it reminds

me you know some of the great thinkers in the sustainability movement over the last several decades

have been in different ways whether it’s in terms of building or in terms of business operations

and so forth efficiency does not always equate to effectiveness and when we’re super focused

on efficiency yes we may achieve certain results within a very narrow kind of framework of what

we’re looking at or measuring or thinking about but in terms of the effectiveness of our overall

well-being as humans alive on the planet for hopefully several decades each there’s a whole

different measure really it seems in terms of quality and quality of life you mentioned traveling

in Europe we know from our travels over there and some of the maturation of cultural norms

in places like that that there’s more of an emphasis on quality versus efficiency or quantity

or what have you and here in the United States we have a real need a real challenge and I think a

real opportunity to orient our focus toward the quality absolutely absolutely and recognizing that

for that quality oftentimes it takes more time and it takes more money and more resources and

that’s that’s part of our challenge too you know and to speak to the construction industry you know

these practices that are becoming drained around efficiency and timelines and bottom line

you know bottom line budgeting for homes that we live in is I believe you know is a real problem

and actually Rudolf Steiner who you know was the foundation for Waldorf schools and for

biodynamic farming said back in 1920s and in around the turn of the century that more and more

the one of the biggest problems for humanity will be the the spaces that we inhabit and how they

affect our psychics somatic well-being and we’re seeing some more results as you mentioned around

you know mold infestations and homes and stuff but we’re not yet seen on a larger scale discussions

around the qualitative elements of how we live and the homes we live in and this is a recent

development in the past hundred you know 200 years that we’ve been building homes as unconsciously

and as efficiently as we happen and seeing the materials that are being used without the gratitude

without the welcoming without the appreciation that our ancestors and people still around the

world today have people you know I’ve heard the stories of you know the people in Africa who

come together and they caught their their building a home out of their you know play and local

resources because that’s what they have but there’s an initiation for the building and the building

treated as a living being that is you know holding of this family right and and it goes through

its own stages of initiation of maybe not being painted for the first year and once the family

lived in the in the home for a year and if they had a good year then the home then the community

gathers around and will paint the home all together and so these type of processes of barn raisins

you know in the homage in the homage community of what is the barn raising and what is how

how are these elements of community and appreciation and initiation affecting the the qualitative

aspects not to mention of course barn raisins are generally timber frame homes you know built from

solid wood wood pieces and in Africa they’re building with clay and straw and manure and that

all helps but into this home we really tried to bring some of those elements so every time we

introduced a preparation of product into the plaster into the concrete or we brought in as you’ll

see upstairs this amazing wood floor that was laid in we we we tried our best to welcome the

materials in and acknowledge that we were building together collectively an entity a building

and and the building was greater than the sum of the materials that we used to create it but it

was a combination of the the hard labor the hard effort that was put in by the workmen but also

the whole community that was surrounding the building process even if they weren’t physically involved

they were witnessing and they were holding it in their own meditative way as welcoming a home coming

into existence so beautiful yeah it reminds me of you know this Greek word oikos and it’s that root

word from which we get the word ecology curiously we also get the word economy from oikos and

oikos means home and in ancient Greece we would refer to this as oikos and in addition you would

have a front room like this one here that would be called the oikos within the home which had this

implicit meaning of community of receiving your neighbors and your guests and I’m really struck that

in so many traditions and indigenous cultures a home is just pregnant with relationships of community

and when we look around suburban America like where I grew up you have almost the opposite there can

be such an experience of isolation and typically I think in this culture at this moment a lot of us

are living in places built by people we’ve never met and what an incredible

opportunity and insight we have here to to reorient and really re-understand what we’re doing

with places where we’re spending a whole lot of our lives yeah what we surround ourselves with

and I think about a lot is the when speaking to efficiency and effectiveness when a home is built

you know in a couple months you know into three months and it was maybe more cost effective it

still sells for a lot and it’s a lot to buy a home and and stuff but there’s no living relationship

to the space as such and and more so I think more importantly culturally we’re not

we’re not holding the space for the spaces that we create to become spaceholders and so we’re

just inhabiting buildings and maybe that oracles that real sense of home is missing in a lot of ways

but we also recognize that we bring that and we get that sense of home but all of the nature that

surrounds us wants wants to participate in that and contribute to that and we come from we live

in the great home and so how can these spaces that we inhabit be a heightened sense of our connection

and not an isolation and a detachment from nature and the life-giving forces that surround us on

this beautiful plan it’s poetic stone yeah you won’t go upstairs it’s great we have a fireplace

here in the center this little fireplace with heat the whole home in winter easily and we’ll see

this will be the first winter that me is living in this home she might not even need to heat it

up because of the thermal properties a lot of solar game a lot of solar game and thermal mass in

the floor and the woodwork in the cabin trees exquisite it’s beautiful beautiful and as we go up

we’ll see this beautiful israeline with this theme of the bringing in the plant kingdom in union

with the mineral crystal kingdom and this this stairwells that were finished by a man named

nick who works with us in the abelabida did some fine finished a carpentry work on the stairs

and there were some resident artists who actually painted these GMF trick sequences and also

local indigenous plants on the risers

so this is just fabulous you’ll notice too as you come up this stairs this little

Madonna yeah and in the end of the study who lives in Italy is very familiar with the Madonna

now this this little Madonna too is a part of a therapeutic quality and part of that

part of that is because this stairwell ideally would have turned the opposite way and so we

just walked up the stairs and as we were walking up the stairs to the upper story we were turning to

our left and we speak a lot we work a lot with the difference between this left turn this left

hand turn and this right hand turn or left hand vortex and at the right hand vortex and ideally

when we were going upstairs we would actually be turning sunwise or to our right in in the in the

kind of clockwise fashion and in that orientation we’re kind of preparing ourselves to enter

up into a higher perhaps a plane of consciousness making more a less dense materialistic every day

type of consciousness but maybe a more preparation for sleeping as the bedrooms are along this

story it’s more than elevated state and when we enter back down onto the first story we would

want to go the opposite way in this stairway going to our left turning counterclockwise and so in

this home due to the layout of the bathroom and such the stairwell wasn’t able to be put in that

orientation and so the Madonna was put at this landing to kind of correct that that change yeah that’s

a very powerful image to encounter on a daily basis yeah well yeah and with the form too you see the

implicate in in that form is that a cat cat anary arch which is really powerful and is used a lot at

the eco village nobiterra in Italy where ends of lives so up here we have as we come into this

these upper stories this beautiful wood floor oriented again with this rhombus shape this

hairy bone layout on the floor and we have a sequence here also of three plus one this can’t three

plus one and we work with that numerology and symbology a lot in our esoteric schooling and spiritual

science and there’s actually these are two different kinds of wood I believe it’s a maple and oak

so three oak one maple three oak and one maple and it was just an exquisite floor before the the

wood was actually put in place we spent some time giving just a prayer a welcoming with its origin

before laying the floor so we have two bedrooms here one to the right one to the left a little

office space a lot of lights coming in finished woodwork and then this bathroom that’s on the right

really is pretty exquisite as well and especially the shower

so this was in the the water quadrant of the yes we’re in the northwest portion of the house now

I mean it’s interesting to meditate on some of these concepts and not just take it for a word but if

you you know travel in the United States up into the northwest I lived for a little while up and

lots of living in what only the Washington is like yeah there’s a lot of water there I like

travel down into you know into the south and the southeast southwest a lot of fire dryness where

if you go into the northeast and such as how rich and earth the fertility is and the farming that

comes from there it’s like these these elements are present in the direction so yeah we have a

chat who did this work and did a lot of great work bringing in the kind of ass and there’s a

yin yan even made it so there’s not a square meeting in the corners of the shower

you know I’m struck just thinking that it was just a few months ago that Notre Dame were burned

in the so many of us worldwide millions and millions and millions of us felt this ache this

oh my gosh something lost and fortunately the damage wasn’t as extensive as it could have been

but I’m curious because there’s so much time and attention and and understanding really of

things like geometry and some of the more what we’d call nowadays esoteric knowledge but that’s

part of why a place like Notre Dame is so exquisitely valuable and important to us

and my gosh to have even just a bit of that intentionality and even we could call it spirituality in

our homes what a difference that might make absolutely and and perhaps what what an opportunity

and maybe a message it is to us that the old is beautiful but we can’t rest on our laurels

and in fact we need to keep moving forward and we need to integrate what was passed and what we’ve

learned from the past with what is rising and the present and the future and really lean into

building new homes that are even more incredible and more appropriate for what what we’re living the

times that we’re living in now and so we hope that this home can be an example of that of just the

beginning with there are some other homes now being constructed in peonia and we’re really trying

to imagine you know what what will the homes of the future need to be that are really the homes

of the present because we need new forces and to be reinspired and reimagine our connection

to each other and to to life and if such an essential theme this is this is the the the

guise if you will of Rudolph Steiner of taking from the past learning from the past but moving forward

with an entirely new noses really of what it means to be alive on the planet in these modern times

I was fortunate enough in February after between traveling in Spain and Italy to to travel to

Basel in Switzerland and to visit the the Gertianum in Dornock, Arslan and the Gertianum that’s

the second building at the headquarters of the Antipasophic society but to see the buildings that

they built in the surrounding community not just the Gertianum but the surrounding buildings

that were built by Rudolph Steiner or designed by Rudolph Steiner and the Gertianum and the

uniqueness of each building but the the time you see how they’re all tied in together and for me it

was especially potent but it was also almost like a glimpse into the future of like wow this is

what this feels like it’s come from a future time and not in like the futuristic sense of flying

cars and stuff. Not George Jetson. No but in the qualitative sense of attention, appreciation,

organic forms and also you know numerology and sacred geometry that is so present and

it’s like a new reverence, a new reverence for home and building and place and pattern and rhythm

in my gosh yeah yeah color, a lot of color working with color yeah very nice fabulous

well let me just take a moment to mention to our viewers that of course this is the

YonEarth communities stewardship and sustainability podcast series and today we have such a

delightful gift of an experience here touring this home with Stone Hunter having this experience

and I want to be sure to mention too that if any of you would like to get in touch with Stone

or learn more about this kind of practice and approach to life you can go to Vila La Vida

foundation.org so it’s V-I-D-A-L-A V-I-D-A foundation.org we’ll put that in the show notes

and I want to also thank our sponsors who are making this podcast and our YonEarth community

mobilization work possible this includes Patagonia, Walei Waters, Purium, Earth Coast productions,

the Association of Water Schools of North America and the Lidge Family Foundation so thanks to

all of you for making this possible and we want to thank our monthly donors we have a growing

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you and I met at sustainable settings we both worked there love spending time there

and we met in the context of agriculture of growing food of working with land

and I’m so struck by the interplay and of course this pattern of the limb escape is important

in a lot of this work the interplay between agriculture land soil even wilderness and what we’re

doing in our built environments in our urban suburban communities and it seems that you are

living a bridge a nexus between all of that and it’s just wonderful to have this opportunity

conversely to you and to hear some of the wisdom that you’re not only holding in your heart and

mind and sharing with folks as an educator but you are literally embodying this into buildings

and I’m just curious if you might riff on that a little bit that connection between soil land

agriculture and buildings built environment yeah yeah well for me personally I mean

the part of my background was that I grew up my father is a stone mason and so I grew up doing

stone patios and dry stack walls and there’s something so gratifying about such physical labor

that was that at least with last my lifetime and that I could you know go back two years later

and say oh yeah I laid this stonework I built this wall and that comes you know in my heritage too

of family of builders and so growing up with that kind of work ethic was important for me and

very physical and when I started getting into agriculture more and milking cows every day

and harvesting vegetables and working with the land I was I had really tuned in then to the

rhythmical sense and then the rhythm of the seasons and my you know my sleep changed my body

changed as I attuned myself through the animals through the plants and the land and the compost

to living with the season and at the same time so much of that process too was working within the

natural world and creating and especially in the world of domestication right with domesticated cows

and sheep horses you know and dogs and honeydies and so there’s in that zone of domestication we have

the meaning of the the wild so to speak with the human element and and there’s that area that’s

been created between them and so coming into building for me is like in a sense where we can

also place in these quadrants in our four quadrants this relationship between the mineral kingdom

and the earth the plant kingdom and the watery element the animal kingdom and what we call the

air element and the human element that we associate with the fire and so in agriculture it was like

I was able to really in some way work the full spectrum between the animals the plants and the minerals

but coming into building now it’s almost pretty direct from the human it’s like pretty much human

and mineral to some extent it gets worked with wood that’s coming from the living but it’s already

dead or metal you know in this way and it’s like kind of from the the most inert to the most living

and so as humans the homes that we build is completely in a sense outside of the sphere of

something that nature can create on its own and I love to milk a cow or grow up plant and be a part

of just stewarding nature to do its its own thing but I think we really sense in our in our built

environment that this is where the human element is creating something almost completely out of

itself in connection obviously with the resources that are available but if we look at this home it’s

like we try to introduce elements of golden mean ratios you know say or things we would find in

nature but this is something that would never be created out of out of nature by itself so I’ve

been really more interested increasingly interested in the human in our capacity as humans to

raise to to introduce something new that is in harmony with natural laws with natural

geometries you know in resonance with that but is also a gift can become a gift and we do this when

we make the biodynamic preparations you know and we introduce something a new synthesis that nature

could never achieve by itself by introducing our creativity our joy and our imagination into the

back into the natural natural world inspired by it but we we take it through us and create a new

synthesis with what’s available to elaborate it and then gift it back to the environment

into all the kingdoms so this is the kind of weaving that I’ve been working with in terms of

agriculture and the seasonal rhythm and then the more solid based you know built environment

and in human world that is increasingly becoming more and more visible and perhaps we could say

you know the current is that that’s the way things are going there’s more human more and more

built environment and so in the stream of permaculture you know answer philosophy why not

recognize that that’s the movement that things are going but we have a choice in how we build

these environments and how we engage with what we are choosing to create for our for our sustenance

and for our communities but integrate it in such a way that it is harmonic and it is in resonance

with the natural laws that created us and sustain us that’s absolutely beautiful it makes me think that

one of our opportunities as we’re talking about different aspects and dimensions of stewardship

and sustainability is to reorient our thinking about we humans on this planet right so

many of us think of us as a scourge or we are a virus and sure you can find those kinds of patterns

what I’m hearing on this other hand is what if we are the creative gifts what if we become the

gestures of stewardship of care of joy of creativity and in the body and out of world of course

we hear more and more that we humans are the preparation and there’s this this relationship that I

know is health sacred in so many cultures and it is all around the planet of we humans being here

to be good great stewards of this place and of each other in our communities and the way you’re

describing this stone it just it creates for me a beautiful a hopeful a realistic a grounded

vision of where we get to be in our culture what we get to create together if we so choose

absolutely and I think that’s the story that we choose and it’s powerful it’s really powerful

and the orientation we take within ourselves within our family within our community of our hearts

in our mind and and I think it’s very needed at this time to to illumine some alternative stories

that are ancient but also new and being renewed around this piece of the human being as as a gift

and as a steward and as a co-creator you know in life and we have maybe a lot more power than

than we’ve ever dreamed of and rightfully so we’re just gradually awakening to that so all the

the full spectrum the full spectrum is needed but that we can gradually mature as a species and

recognize how infantile we have been and maybe we’ve gone through this phase of real forgetfulness

and maybe there’s a gift in that but now we are emerging and reawakening to the capacities we have

to gift life to the soul life and to steward it in right relation and yeah and we all take

that to heart and whatever way we choose in that freedom but it’s a gift it’s a real gift to be

here so thank you for asking me to share it with you and really grateful to continue the work

and for all those listening we’d love to be in touch and we know that the network is growing and

so many individuals are really finding their niche and their individual calling into the work that

they feel that they’ve come here to do and we want to connect those and link link more and more

networks and see what is arising in different parts of the world absolutely beautiful to things

like that I like to say amen aho so modipi and what an exquisite afternoon to spend these

don’t thank so much for being with us thank you the YonEarth community stewardship and

sustainability podcast series is hosted by Aaron William Perry offer thought leader and executive

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