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In the Appalachian Mountains near Asheville, NC

Life Skills in Action

The Nature of Place-Based Education

Grounding the Journey Toward Place

Most of us lead disconnected lives.

In modern life, we often find ourselves completely separated from the place where we live, from the very food, water, shelter, and communities that keep us alive. The separation we feel from others, from community, and from the natural world can leave us lonely, isolated, and chronically depressed. The Ecopsychology movement claims that this disconnection from the natural world and from sane interweaving of the human and the non-human realms is making us sick—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Further, the environmental crisis arises from this disconnection and the attitude that the living beings of food, water, soil, fungus, oil, etc, are resources, objects to be used, lifeless entities meant for consumption.

Place-based education means falling in love with the world around us.

Place-based education means noticing our surroundings, learning to read patterns of the land, understanding the elements (earth, energy, water), and experiencing the cycles, seasons, and flavor of a region.

Place-based education means choosing to connect to a land-base, a people, and a local economy through real-life experiences.

Place-based education acknowledges our animal selves and our need for a sensate experience of our surroundings.

Place-based education teaches us awareness. It helps us remember that we are more than our separate selves and that all life is intertwined and interdependent.

Place-based education teaches about stewardship and the interweaving connection between humans and the natural world.

Place-based education is an alive and dynamic process that is deeply integrated with the arts, nature awareness, economic and social justice, and sustainability solutions that regenerate place instead of destroy place.

Place-based education is an experiential education that reconnects humans to the deep longing that they have for connection with the non-human.

SOIL offers Place-Based Education through Whole-Life Skills

SOIL's Farm & Ecovillage Immersions are residential, service learning programs where participants are immersed into the village, homes, farms & businesses of their hosts and faculty for a hands-on, skill building, life-changing experience. Through work and study, participants become intimately familiar with organic food production, regenerative systems, and community living.


Lee Walker Warren

About Lee Walker Warren

Lee Warren is a homestead farmer, herbalist, writer, and teacher. She lives a deeply integrated and authentic life informed by 16 years of community living, a commitment to regenerative systems, and a drive towards sacred embodiment. She is the co-founder and co-director of School of Integrated Living (SOIL), which offers whole-life skills for a radically different future through Farm & Ecovillage Immersions. She is also the co-founder and developer of Village Terraces CoHousing Neighborhood, and the founder and manager of Imani Farm, a 4-acre organic farm, both within Earthaven Ecovillage, a 320-acre permaculture community in the Appalachian mountains of Western NC. Equally impassioned about women’s empowerment, conscious relationship, and social justice issues, Lee is ever aspiring towards a saner and more vibrant culture, within and without.

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Permaculture School: Design Ecology and Living Skills

Early Bird Discounts Available Now!     Classes begin June 8th.

A yearlong learning journey with a 3-month residency at Earthaven Ecovillage. The ideal living laboratory for a whole-life skills curriculum--a place to see regenerative systems in practice, food production in action, and community living on an up-close and personal level.

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