Nourishing life, community, family, home.

Posts tagged ‘community’

Central Indiana Currency Talk

Last night a group of people gathered in an Indianapolis community center to hear a talk (given by yours truly) about community exchanges and the value of creating more opportunities for people to meet their needs through these. The group, calling itself Central Indiana Currency, is working to establish mediums for exchange in the Indianapolis area. Those attending last night, new and committed to the group were talented, interested, and creative individuals–and so I expect good things will come.

In my talk, I emphasized that what is important is to create those opportunities for exchange. If we think about how to build a resilient ecosystem, we want lots of different kinds of relationships, lots of different ways to exchange energy. When we are working for healthy local economic systems, we want the same thing.

My talk covered:
One-to-one Barter (Markets and Swaps)
Gifting Circles
Time Banks
Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS)
and Complementary Currencies.

These are all different mediums. Each one can be added while the others operate simultaneously–to build that rich economic system that allows people to thrive in their own community.


Seven Generations

For seven generations…

I am the seventh generation to live in this state. In this part of the state of Indiana. Parts of my family have been in my or surrounding counties since before Indiana was a state. If seven generations mark a cycle, then my daughter and son-the eight generation-mark a new beginning.

I’ve thought a lot about what this means. Some of my ancestors were here before Europeans staked a claim on the land. I learned recently that my mother’s people, Grandma Mountain in particular, was of the Cherokee that were forcibly removed to the West. My father’s mother’s people were from the Cherokees of North Carolina. I couldn’t get more specific than that. The story is lost. Some of my ancestors fought in the American Revolution. Some of them hired Daniel Boone to bring them to this territory before it was a state. Before they came here, parts of my family were French Huguenots that re-settled in England. Parts of my family were Virginians fleeing a devastated South. That’s a lot of family karma. And, does it mean anything?

Does it mean something to come from a place with roots this deep? My husband and I have chosen to stay in this area, to raise our children here despite the temptation to be like many of our generation and take better paying jobs on the coasts. We have valued being near our families and friends, making a life of that values real things–real connections.

I feel deeply connected to this hilly, forested, rolling landscape–even naming my business Sheltering Hills Design. I belong here. My children belong here. We are of this land. I was raised close to the land by gardeners and skilled craftsmen. I expect that my children will be at least gardeners and skilled, even if they choose other careers.

I’m in awe of the beauty of my landscape, and upset by its abuse. The here I have inherited is as polluted and damaged (Indiana consistently ranks last in environmental quality) as it is beautiful.  It is my home. The powers that be, the mechanistic minds and memes that have invaded the culture of this area extract the natural bounty of this landscape. Seven generations of use without the deep thought to plan for the future generations. What will this land look like in seven generations? Hoosiers have choices to make.

I am on the path to defend and begin restoring this landscape. I’m not going anywhere. I’m raising my children with the understanding of the challenges they face in life–and where those challenges came from. I am raising the next generation to be committed to this place, to work with others to create a permanent culture of place amidst these forests, roads, fields,quarries, coal mines, naval bases, universities, factories, rivers….to have the tools to make this place a whole and wholesome one. Better than we found it.


Creating intent. I have the best of intentions. A lifetime of good intentions. And this is my go at sharing some of those intentions, experiences, and foibles with the world.

Dill in the Garden

In part, it began five years ago when I took a permaculture course (Permaculture is a way to ethically reintegrate our human world with the natural world). For me, it means following rhythms and patterns that regenerate the abundance of the planet. It means caring for my family–of birth and choice in a way that really builds connection for all of us. Real community. It means following my own journeys into creativity and into the soil. Adapting my home to the environment instead of the other way around. And it means taking responsibility for myself.

For the past five years, I’ve intended to institute a permanent culture and permanent agriculture in my life. I’ve intended to bring to life a vibrant permaculture world to raise my children in. And I’ve made enough strides, that perhaps I have something to share.

So, this is my intention, to blog about what’s going on and see if it doesn’t help you create more vital connections in your own life.