Dirty Hands & Deep Ecology: Session 7

October 08 - October 10, 2021

Lisa Taranto

The Big Picture: Eco-literacy, BiomimicryThe Garden Topic: Putting a garden to sleep, seed saving, thinking about springThe 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. End of the season tool care, repair and maintenance. Dividing and transplanting perennials.The Knowledge: We will have basic understandings of the complex interrelationships and interdependence of nature, and how this language can be used to design a present, and a future of grace and healing the land, and our human communities. Join us for the seventh and final weekend in a series of ecological learning at Menla. Using the gardens, landscapes and forests as our living laboratory for exploration, we have taken personal journeys into a deeper understanding of nature, and our place in it. We deeply understand ecology is interdependent, interconnected, and complex mutually beneficial interrelationships. We have tugged on many strings, and seen where they led. Our work has just begun, as the engagement with our places, our bio-regions and our communities is an ongoing, fluid and never ending process. Leading with our hearts and our knowledge, we enter winter with a quiet language to contemplate.Ecological literacy is a relatively young language. As a science, ecology started to become prominent in the mid 20th century, so give or take just 75 years of study! Deep ecology, spiritual ecology-what do they mean? Are they different to different people and different cultures? What is your story and what is your niche? How can we use the connections that we have made with each other, our places, and the present co-create a future which dances with grace and a language beyond words.Through direct engagement of our physical selves, we have contributed to the ongoing restorative ecology work and gardens at Menla. Through the direct engagement of our intellectual selves, we have deepened our understanding of the science of ecology. And through the direct engagement with our spiritual selves, we have deepened our sense of sacred connectedness and community with all living things. Topics: What kind of future can we imagine for ourselves, our bio-regions, and our communities.Hands on: Putting the gardens to sleep, fall pruning, dividing perennials, soil and fertility care, checking on fence conditions, back to some invasive species removal, slowing down and getting ready to rest. *Guest speakers to be announced. Materials and recommendations for self study will be provided a week before the session.
ScheduleFriday, October 8th
  • 4 - 8 pm Arrival & Check-in
  • 6 - 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 - 9 pm Evening program and Discussion
Saturday, October 9th
  • 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, October 10th
  • 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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