“The more complex our lives become, the more a deep hunger
for simplicity calls to us. The answer lies in the natural world that is all
around us. The wholeness and connection that the soul longs for is written in
the same forests, streams, oceans mountains, sunrises and sunsets where they
have always lived.” Rev. Barry Ebert
Dear Seattle Permaculture community:
Since July, I have been living here on beautiful Vashon
I came here to help create the vision of a year round
education and farm community of Nonviolent Communication (also known as
Compassionate Communication) and Permaculture. For the past seven years, Barbara
Larson and Doug Dolstad have hosted a
Nonviolent Communication Family Camp here for one week every summer. When I
volunteered at Family Camp last year, I learned about their larger vision for
the property, incorporating permaculture, compassionate communication, and
education on both. Permaculture and compassionate communication, to me, are two
practices which are critical to the evolution of humans on this world. So I
offered to help create this vision.
Doug and Barbara have a 7 year lease on 8 acres of
the Dolstad family property of 28 acres. On the eight acres we are leasing, we have a
large farmhouse, a spring on a hill, a century-old apple/nut orchard, mixed
deciduous and fir woods, hayfields, deer fenced gardens, composting toilets and
solar outdoor showers, among other delights. The beach is a fifteen minute walk
down the road.
It takes twenty minutes to bicycle to the small town of
Vashon, with its cafes and library, farmer’s market, two grocery stores,
two hardware stores, and weekly community acupuncture clinic. A time bank is
just getting started on the island, and there is a Truly Free Market held
monthly during summer. Every Thursday evening, local musicians gather in a shed
only ten minutes away by bicycle. Everyone is welcome.
From the farmhouse it takes about 35 minutes to bicycle to
. There are regular car ferries seven days a week, and a commuter
ferry on weekdays that takes people and their bicycles right to downtown
Seattle. Many people commute to Seattle from here for work or school. Many more
work from home or have found a way to make a living on the island. For being so
close to a major metropolitan area, the whole island is remarkable for its wilderness,
peace, and silence.
Food is abundant here in summer, once the blackberries and
apples ripen. A bounty for all. Mushrooms abound in the forests in spring and
fall. I look forward to growing our own
on mushroom logs on the property.
Currently, we’re creating a huge, deer-fenced garden space
for the people who join us in the farmhouse, so everyone who wishes to can have
a garden plot, protected from the beautiful deer we share the farm with.
Raccoons, osprey, Canada geese, towhee, swallows, owls, pheasant, woodpeckers, and hummingbirds are commonly
seen or heard, with bald eagles, great blue herons and killdeer seen more along
the coast of the island. We
can see the Salish Sea from the farmhouse great room, and watch the ferries as they pass in the distance.
One of the upstairs bedrooms has a window seat with a view of the sea,
beyond the apple trees, hayfield, and forest.
We envision that the people who live in the farmhouse embody
principles and practices of compassionate communication, and have a strong desire
to live more sustainably than most of the Western world, using permaculture
principles and practices. From this home and hearth we hope to offer to the
world compassionate communication and permaculture skills as applied to
mediation, training and facilitation. Our 30 foot yurt is reserved as an open space
for such activities. So far, I am the first one living in the house, and
helping Barbara and Doug to set everything up for others of like heart and mind
to join me here.
We are working together to create an environment of
comfort and beauty, care and consideration for all who live here.
If you know of anyone who might be interested in living in
the farmhouse with others who practice compassionate communication and
permaculture, I would be grateful if you would share this information with
them. I am happy to answer any questions
people have about the vision and the opportunity to live here.
There are 5 bedrooms in the house. We are just starting our community, so at the moment, four good sized to
huge bedrooms are currently available. Rent is from $500 to $650 per month,
plus a share of the electricity. Water, internet, and recycling are included in
the rent. We enjoy the wildlife on the
property very much, and will be having chickens at some point, so have decided
to have the house and property pet free.
I look forward to hearing from you or others who might like
to know more.
In community and heart,