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Hands-on Sustainability Education Program: Six years of the Hands-on Sustainability Program has brought between 50-100 groups of students per year, preschool through adults, to participate in farm tours and a variety of interactive sustainable-living programs. In five years we have hosted approximately 400 class visits, totaling 6,000 student visitors.
Summer Camps: 2006 & 2007: two weeks of summer camp, including Farm Camp and Drum Camp. 2008 - 2010: Mother Earth School summer camps & Rite of Passage camps all summer, immersing hundreds of children in farm, forest and spirit.
Community Workshops: Between 15-30 workshops held each year. Key focus areas: Natural Building, Herbal Medicine, Food Preservation, Natural Crafts, Plants & Mushrooms, Applied Permaculture, and Community Process. We now host weekend-long skillshares every month, encouraging folks to bring and share their earth-based skills with each other.
Permaculture Design Certification Courses: Hosted three two-week residential courses, in 2007, 2009 & 2010. 44 people received Permaculture Design Certificates. Interns & work-trade: Forty-five interns/work-traders have immersed themselves in TLC Farm since 2006, staying for one week to one year. Interns have participated in a wide variety of projects, including curriculum development and teaching, gardening and animal husbandry, community outreach, and building projects.
Community Service Projects: TLC Farm has hosted thousands of participants in volunteer service projects, ranging from groups of hundreds of Nike and Whole Foods employees to small Americorps service teams to school groups. Service project participants have assisted with the removal of invasive species, habitat restoration and work in the organic garden.
Mother Earth School: In Fall 2007, began hosting the Mother Earth Kindergarten – the country's first bio-immersion kindergarten – in collaboration with Shining Star Waldorf School. In 2008, expanded to include the Faery Garden pre-school. In January, 2009, the program separated from Shining Star and became a program of TLC Farm called Mother Earth School. About 50 children have received a unique immersion into the elements and rhythms of nature.
Organic Garden & Food Forest: Converted 2.5 acres of lawn and field to organic garden, and erected a 1200-foot greenhouse for year-round growing and indoor classroom. Planted two Food Forests (multi-level perennial food production systems that mimic the production of a natural ecosystem).
Watershed Restoration: To better direct, manage and store storm water we dug and shaped bioswales and planted native plants, fruit trees and herbs, in three different areas of TLC Farm. Planted our wetland with willows, removed acres of blackberry and English Ivy.
Beautiful, functional and sustainable buildings: Village Green: Earthen Sauna; Butterfly stage; Naturally-built outhouse for two composting toilets; Outdoor Kitchen with two cob ovens, rocket-stove heated cob bench, gorgeous round pole-framed roof Barn: Hayloft and side barn for our goat herd; New barn loft for an office/classroom space; Light clay/straw insulation of lower barn for year-round classroom; Replaced barn support beams and siding On the land: solar shower, moveable chicken house, kids' play structure, stairs and pathways on the land
Animal Husbandry: TLC Farm is one of the only educational urban farms in the Portland area to have a dairy goat herd. Our goats provide city dwellers a rare opportunity to visit with and learn about traditional farm animal; the goats also remove invasive species by browsing blackberries. Our rotating chicken flock and sheep herd keep the blackberries from returning, and provide eggs & wool.
This land is your land! We have made this unique place available to a broad diversity of people to use for their meetings, parties and events. A sample of groups include: The Native American Youth Association using the sweatlodge; Lewis & Clark College Departments holding planning meetings; Wisdom of the Elders running its Peace Warriors groups; Cascadia Wild hosting its summer camp; meditation groups coming here for retreat; Birthdays and Anniversaries being celebrated in the Village Green; and much more.
Events: TLC Farm has hosted at least three large interactive celebrations every year, including Bloom, the Harvest Festival and our Holiday Open House. These large and lively gatherings weave together music, art, education, food and family fun for hundreds of participants.
Social Ecology: Focusing on how we get things done together – we have demonstrated and trained people and organizations in the arts of community decision-making, positive conflict-resolution and creative, grassroots management of community organizations.
ReCode Portland: TLC Farm launched ReCode in 2007 to identify and remove barriers to sustainable building and land use. Since then ReCode led the way to legalizing graywater use for irrigation statewide, helped shape Portland's green building code, and is currently working to create better state code for composting toilets.
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