I'm a Gemini woman, born in the south Louisiana oilfields in the Year of the Rooster [so, i’m likely to change my mind, and i have a superficial knowledge of many things and people, and i’m likely to crow or sing at any time]. I didn't begin to notice alternatives to my white privileged culture until around age 30, when i became aware of animal rights, and thus agriculture, and thus environmental and social justice issues, and thus organic growing and birthing and schooling and living.
In 1990, i found an integration and synthesis of my diverse passions in Permaculture; I began teaching Permaculture Design Courses in 1994. As I discovered that the basis of permaculture is creating sustainable culture, I became increasingly aware of the importance of self-governance, and began teaching consensus decisionmaking in 1998. Meanwhile, in 1996, following a fifteen-year search, i put down roots at Earthaven Ecovillage, a Permaculture-based intentional community near Black Mountain, NC – the best decision i ever made!
Living in a village which is a developing demonstration of cooperation and partnership has sharpened the focus of my teaching. We must continuously examine the cultural underpinnings of sustainability – remembering that, to begin creating joyful and abundant lives, it’s our everyday practices that need examining: how we care for our health, how we birth and raise our children, where we get our food and water from, how we derive economic sustenance, how we entertain ourselves, how we practice our spirituality, how we govern ourselves.
Since 2007, cooperative living has taken on even sharper focus for me, since i helped to create Medicine Wheel Collective neighborhood, at Earthaven. There, we're living our education in sustainability daily, and sharing it with the other members, renters, work exchangers, and interns who share our home.