Dirty Hands & Deep Ecology: Session 3

June 18 - June 20, 2021

Lisa Taranto

The Big Picture: What is the relationship between Ecology and Economics. What is Ecological Economics?The Garden Topic: How does a garden and your home economy create and contribute to a reciprocal economy? And, medicinal plants and flowers!The Action: Continuing to engage and work with the gardens and landscapes of Menla, from the wild to the highly cultivated, connecting to ourselves and capacity for quiet physical work. The Knowledge: Investigating the exchange of information and energy in ecological systems, how do we define success. How is our own health, and relationship to medical plants a part of shifting our own, and the global economy. Join us for the third weekend in a series of ecological learning at Menla. Using the gardens, landscapes and forests as our living laboratory for exploration, we will take personal journeys into a deeper understanding of nature. Ecology is the branch of science that explores how organisms interact with each other and their environments. Ecology is inter-dependence, interconnectedness, and interrelationship. Tug on one string, and see where it leads. Our work and engagement with the land continues. It is now late spring, and the dynamic and complex relationships in the gardens and forests are in full swing.The current measure of economic and human success is not working for most living organisms. Through understanding ecology, and natural systems, how do we reframe the way we measure success? What are the relationships and responsibilities that we can engage with in shifting our own economics. How does growing your own food and medicine, and supporting local farms create both healthier ecologies and economies? How do we integrate the generosity of nature into the generosity of our lives?Through direct engagement of our physical selves, we will contribute to the ongoing restorative ecology work and gardens at Menla. Through the direct engagement of our intellectual selves, we will deepen our understanding of the science of ecology. And through the direct engagement with our spiritual selves, we will deepen our sense of sacred connectedness and community with all living things. Topics: Ecological Economics, Carbon as Currency, Plants and Fungi as Medicine, how do we measure and define progressHands on: Planting warm weather seedlings, garden maintenance, harvesting and preservation, mulching and weeding, pruning, compost and fertilizers, container planters, landscape maintenance*Guest speakers to be announced. Materials and recommendations for self study will be provided one week before the session.
ScheduleFriday, June 18th
  • 4 - 8 pm Arrival & Check-in
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 - 9 pm Evening program and Discussion
Saturday, June 19th
  • 8 - 9 am Breakfast
  • 9 am - 12 pm Learning Through Hands-on Work Project
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
  • 2 - 5:30 pm Hike & Nature Exploration
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 - 9 pm Evening Program and Discussion
Sunday, June 20th
  • 7 - 11 am Check-out of Rooms
  • 8 - 9 am Breakfast
  • 9 am - 12 pm Learning through hands-on work project
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
  • 2 - 5 pm  Afternoon Program and Discussion
  • 5 - 6 pm Closing and Departure
*Schedule subject to change at any time.  


Lisa Taranto

Lisa Taranto is an explorer of ecology and the dynamic elegance of nature and natural systems. She holds more than three decades of study, practice, curiosity, and adventures in ecology, art and design. Currently she is the Head of Horticulture at Menla Retreat Center, in the hea...



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