For the last year, we have journeyed far and wide to see the world and connect with people from some of the most unlikely places. But this week, we let the world come to us. The semi-defunct Hotel Sanillés, which has served as our temporary residence for the last two months, is currently hosting a permaculture and natural farming seminar, and the guest list could not possibly be more international and diverse.
Larry Korn, who leads the program, is a follower and former colleague of Masanobu Fukuoka, the renowned author of “One Straw Revolution”, who famously spent 25 years making three inches of topsoil just perfect. Korn and his yogi co-conspirator, Tracie Sage, both hail from the Rogue River region of southern Oregon. Their west coast breed of upbeat progressivism has a very familiar and nostalgic ring to it. Everyone is feeling blessed, the gratitude is abundant, and the chakras are whirling with bliss.
The dozen participants in this week-long course truly come from all walks of life, and all corners of the world. We have farmers, doctors, business consultants, homesteaders, journalists and monks from Spain, Denmark, Holland, England, Germany, Italy, Austria, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Thailand, Kuwait, Los Angeles and the Canary Islands. Some attendees are well versed in the writings of Fukuoka and the tenets of permaculture, some are seeking the knowledge they can apply on their farms and homesteads back home, and others and merely curious onlookers and students of life. One gentleman, for example, admitted to never having heard of permaculture, although he was familiar with permafrost.
Our timing and presence here is purely serendipitous. We have not enrolled in the course, and although we’ve been invited to attend, our level of participation will be limited by the fact that we already have a pretty full schedule of work and childcare. Instead of sitting in the kitchen eating sourdough pancakes and getting coconut oil all over my macbook’s keyboard, I should probably be sitting in on the introductory session.
So, I guess I’ll sign off for now. I’ve got seeds to sow and beneficial insects to seduce . . .