Survey the Land

Let’s take a walk around so you can get the lay of the land.

We want to teach kids and the adults who pour into the lives of kids habits of sustainability. Try as we might, we haven’t figured out a way to do it for free, and like all nonprofits in our current economy, we’ve had to look for sustainable ways to fund our efforts beyond the generosity of donors. So some of our charitable work is fee-based. Our thinking about it is simple: if we ask those who can afford to pay to do so, then we shouldn’t ever have to deny services to those who can’t but would love to learn too. The following is a list of the fee-based services currently offered or soon to come. Contact us for free consultation.

Services

Sustainability Consulting
      Whether in the areas of Garden-Based Learning, Creation Care or Health & Wellness, we have the know-how, relationships and technologies to help you accomplish your goals.
Systems Design & Construction
      Choose from raised growing beds, natural fertilizer systems, microgreen systems, chicken coops and pens, rain water capture systems or soil-less growing systems. We can design the sustainable system to meet your needs in a manner that provides both utility and aesthetic sensibility.
      systems

Garden Starting
      One of the great things that happens when you start a garden is that you don’t have to remind folks to learn, get along or have fun–they just do! Another great thing is that old people start to talk to young people and, as India.Arie sings, it makes both better people all around.

      Let us coordinate your garden starting event to bring together both young and old in the process of learning how to grow in rhythm with the earth. Bring our experience to bear on installation day to respond to unexpected challenges that can arise. We will manage your installation volunteers with the skill of veterans in the coordination of hands-on community projects.

Multi-week Classes
      A discovery-learning class is an 8-week series of 90-minute classes or 12-week series of 60-minute classes. They are all hands-on, cooperative, discover-as-you-go experiences that participants will love.

        Cultivator Club
        Hosting a Cultivator Club at your school and place of worship is the perfect way to learn by doing. Cultivator Clubs provide for the weekly maintenance of newly started gardens. YUNGA logoIn most situations club members take onsite responsibility for coordination of composting initiatives, the care of livestock, the tending of growing beds and the upkeep of installed systems. Club members also have the opportunity to earn Junior Master Gardener certification or Youth and United Nations Global Alliance challenge badges. Club members young and old grow closer together, closer to the earth and more in touch with themselves.

        Amakiasu’s People’s Village Project
        The People’s Village Project is a landmark innovation in discovery learning that engages young people in the collaborative process of creating vital, supportive, and sustainable communities. Throughout the project, participants from 6 yrs and up develop leadership skills, learn to work cooperatively and practice the art of conflict prevention and resolution. Cultivating these skills at a young age serves as a preventative measure against many societal ills impacting children and adults, including bullying, isolation, alienation and the callous disregard we often have for one another.

        Participants in the project are introduced to design shifts in community planning, that can facilitate more frequent human interaction with nature and each other and ameliorate some of the environmental issues facing our planet, such as:

        • Global climate change
        • Endangerment and extinction of plants and animals
        • Depletion of essential resources such as fresh water, fertile land and fossil fuels
        • Overcrowding in urban areas and its ramifications
Workshops, Fieldtrips & Service Learning Quests
      We would much rather show you how to do something for yourself than to do it for you–“Give a man a fish,” and all. So for any service we provide that you would like to take on as a DIY project, there’s an app (cough!) we mean workshop for that.

      Participants in each workshop are afforded an hour’s worth of technical assistance afterward with the DIY part of their project back home. We want to see you thrive: that’s our marketing strategy.

      So as not to confuse you, a fieldtrip is in essence a gardening workshop delivered at one of our partner farms. To learn how farm-based fieldtrips work, go here. However, a “fieldtrip” can happen at your home site too (in house, we’d just call it a “workshop”).

      Service learning activities are another thing all together for older youth (middle school through college). It’s still learning by doing, but the agenda is somewhat different. To learn more about our Service Learning Quests, go here.

      That clarified, there are roughly 4 categories of workshops: for gardeners young and old, for youth, for parents, for teachers/youthworkers/mentors. Click the category of interest to you to see more.

          For Gardeners Young and Old
            A Farm Near You Fieldtrip
            Take the BEST field trip of the year! Learn how to raise livestock, nurture plants and peddle produce—like real farmers. Have fun fixing and eating fresh fruit and veggies straight from the source. Investigate how to get bugs to work with us to grow the food we need. Find the connection between healthy earth, healthy food, healthy community and being a great kid. Each fieldtrip focuses on a specific theme (e.g. worms, chickens, bees, microgreens). For more details or to register go here. (All ages)

            A Farm Near You Service Learning Project
            Learn MORE from work, sweat and dirt than you ever thought possible! Our aim is to engage you in better ways of being in the world, while at the same time introducing you to a local farm or garden (on occasion, nature preserve or other under-utilized green space). We believe it is important to know where our food comes from and to participate in the maintenance of those systems. We also believe it is important to think deeply and act intentionally regarding cooperative ways of sharing our planet, and our service learning quests provide the perfect opportunity to do just that. Be the one who steps up. See the unique contributions only you can make. Discover the connection between good earth, good work, good food, good community and a great you! For more details or to register go here. (15 &amp up)

            EarthSmarts Workshop
            Treasure hunt to discover the things we do that you can do to to maintain good relationship with mother Earth. It’s a quest to care for the earth so it will in turn care for us. (Ages 9 & up)

            Worms Ate Her Garbage! Workshop
            Did you know that worms can turn food waste into everything plants need to grow? Learn how to construct and maintain a worm bin and use the resulting vermi-compost as fertilizer for your garden. Join the quest to discover how worms and composting keep our environment help scratch were healthy and decrease the size of our garbage dumps. (All ages)

            Grow Your Own Workshop
            Why buy vegetables, flowers or compost from the someone else when you can grow your own learn how to start, tend a hand harvest your own produce in the quest to find the healthiest way to get the food you need. Whether your interest is raised growing beds, indoor microgreens or soil-less growing, we can help. And you don’t even need land to do it. (All ages)

          For Youth (12 & up)
          Individual workshops can be combined to form multi-day cultural competence trainings.
            Growing Greatness
            This workshop focuses on empowering adolescents and adults to live lives of principle guided, relational success not just individual accomplishment. Through involvement and reflective discussions, insightful activities and real life role-plays, participants will practice identifying and organizing their priorities with an understanding of the immutable laws of relationship and leadership. They will develop the tools to cultivate plant and tend the seeds of greatness in their own lives and lives of others.

            HeartSmarts
            Did you know that ‘heart–smarts’ impact personal success much more than ‘head–smarts’ ever will? Skills such as tenacity, optimism, self-discipline and empathy are a part of what we call ‘heart–smarts’ or emotional intelligence. To master these skills is to master self and to increase your ability to build strong relationships. Share in small group activities especially designed to help students, teachers and parents improve the quality of their interaction with each other.

            Together We Stand
            All the talent in the world won’t guarantee a team’s success. Unless team members live as a team, worked as a team and think as a team, they will never consistently succeed as a team. Learn the secrets of group success; then put them into practice and our very own team tournament of champions.

            Peacemaker
            There are three ways to handle conflict: (1) avoid it; (2) improve relations; or (3) eliminate interaction altogether. The challenge is how to know when to do which. How do you decide? Once you’ve decided how do you make your intentions reality? Discover your options with us using real-life scenarios. Strengthen your skill and resolve to live in peace… no matter the cost.

            Building Bridges
            Differences between cultures and generations, though real, are not meant to divide. They are meant to fuel a creative tension that if harnessed can change the world. Learn how to bridge the man may divide between races and/or ages by confronting the issues of race and age head-on with someone unlike yourself.

            All Eyes on You
            How long does it take to make a positive impression? 30 seconds is initially all you have– which means that you have a very short time in which to accomplish a great deal. When comes to making positive impressions, practice really does make perfect. So come practice with us.

          For Parents

            Parenting on Purpose: What’s In Your Toolbox?
            Use what you’ve got to creatively solve issues in your home. Find out about other tools you can add to benefit yourself and your family.

            Parenting on Purpose: Family Goals & Vision Boarding
            Discover how having family goals can set the tone in your home. Learn steps to flesh out your goals. Create a vision board to display in your home.

            Parenting on Purpose: Family Ties
            Success in life begins at home. What happens when a parent and child aren’t improper relationship with one another? Who is there to help the child navigate the more difficult passages of life? This workshop is designed to involve parents and adolescents together, practicing the skills of healthy parent–child interaction.

            Parenting on Purpose: Not Raising a Menace
            Children learn to value what their parents value for them. Sadly, even well-meaning parents often unwittingly encourage the most unsustainable attitudes and actions in their children and are then flabbergasted at how their children turn out. In his presentation parents learn how to avoid many of the pitfalls have haunted parents since antiquity.

            Parenting on Purpose: The Child Just Won’t Listen!
            If you’ve ever thought this, you’re absolutely right. Children learn with all five of their senses (and maybe more). The challenge becomes having a strategy that engages the whole job and keeps him/her mindful of how s/he should behave. Our Life Garden Discipline Strategy has worked for us, and it can work for you too–at home or at school.

            Homeschooling with Purpose: Made the Decision. Now What?
            Especially for newbies. Learn on the basics on how to get started.

            Homeschooling with Purpose: Beginning with the End in Mind
            Is it your intention to homeschool on up to college, to stop at high school, middle school or just go for a year or two? Knowing how long you plan to go can help you figure out what you need to accomplish in the time you have. Talk through the myriad considerations with facilitators who’ve taken multiple approaches.

            Homeschooling with Purpose: What’s Your Homeschooling Style?
            There are so many ways to homeschool. Come learn about some of the more popular styles as well as some of lesser known methods in which your children can learn at home.

            Homeschooling with Purpose: Setting Goals, Making Plans, Creating Schedules
            Learn the importance of and difference between each of these tasks. Learn some of the benefits of doing so at the beginning of a ‘school year’ to make your year go smoothly.

            Homeschooling with Purpose: Teaching Style / Learning Style
            Did you know that just like learning styles there are teaching styles? Come find out what you’re teaching style is and how it affects your child.

            Homeschooling with Purpose: Choosing Curricula Right for Your Family
            This how-to workshop is filled with information that will help you better identify what’s right for your family in the sea of curriculum options.

            Homeschooling with Purpose: Managing More Than One
            In this workshop, you’ll be given ideas and suggestions on how to move between multiple children on different levels.

            Homeschooling with Purpose: Your Homeschool Budget
            This workshop walks you through budgeting ideas/suggestions for your homeschool year.

            Homeschooling with Purpose: Record Keeping
            There are myriad ways to keep track of what’s going on in your homeschool. Learn what methods and software are out there for documenting each year of your learning.

            Homeschooling with Purpose: Subject-area Workshops
            These workshops are geared for specific subject areas and are very interactive as participants are encouraged to bring their resources and questions to get feedback on and ideas for the upcoming school year. These workshops can be tailored to specific curricula depending upon need. Subject-area breakdowns: Language Arts (Grammar, Phonics, Reading, Writing, Speaking, Handwriting); Mathematics; Social Studies & History; Science & Health; P.E., Recreation, Extracurricular Activities & Social Skills.

            Homeschooling with Purpose: How-To Workshops
            -How-to Teach Reading
            -How-to Create Your Own Unit Studies
            -How-to Teach Writing
            -How-to Teach Math
            -How-to Make a Lapbook
            -How-to Do Nature Study
            -How to Prepare for a Homeschool Conference/Expo (tips & experiences from others)

          For Teachers/Youthworkers/Mentors
          Individual workshops can be combined to form multi-day cultural sensitivity trainings.
            HeartSmarts
            Did you know that ‘heart–smarts’ impact personal success much more than ‘head–smarts’ ever will? Skills such as tenacity, optimism, self-discipline and empathy are a part of what we call ‘heart–smarts’ or emotional intelligence. To master these skills is to master self and to increase your ability to build strong relationships. Share in small group activities especially designed to help students, teachers and parents improve the quality of their interaction with each other.

            Together We Stand
            All the talent in the world won’t guarantee a team’s success. Unless team members live as a team, worked as a team and think as a team, they will never consistently succeed as a team. Learn the secrets of group success; then put them into practice and our very own team tournament of champions.

            In the Companies of Colleagues
            Leaders are the agents of growth, change and its service in any team . Leaders must be convinced of the principles of team success even more deeply than their team members. Through a series of introspective and cooperative activities and discussions designed for leaders, learn how to establish and maintain a culture of creativity within your team that will have you effectively fulfilling your mission, expanding your vision and meeting the needs of all those you serve.

            Peacemaker
            There are three ways to handle conflict: (1) avoid it; (2) improve relations; or (3) eliminate interaction altogether. The challenge is how to know when to do which. How do you decide? Once you’ve decided how do you make your intentions reality? Discover your options with us using real-life scenarios. Strengthen your skill and resolve to live in peace… no matter the cost.

            Building Bridges
            Differences between cultures and generations, though real, are not meant to divide. They are meant to fuel a creative tension that if harnessed can change the world. Learn how to bridge the man may divide between races and/or ages by confronting the issues of race and age head-on with someone unlike yourself.

Public Speaking
      Sustainability is an ethic that has manifested in various societies and faith traditions all over the world for much of recorded time. It seems people have always known that there are some ways of being in the world more in rhythm with nature than others. Though persistent, sustainability’s prominence has ebbed and flowed. This back and forth between the center and margin of societal concern appears to have some link to the myths of a people. This leads our director, Melvin Bray, to wonder in most public speaking engagements, “What are the faith-based, cultural or political stories we tell that either encourage or undermine sustainable living?”

      I was especially impressed with the way Bray connected with our students, and their comments afterwards indicated that they found him compelling and sympathetic. He contributed effectively in our classes as well as in the plenary address he gave on our campus.
      Lisa Clark Diller
      Chair of History and Political Studies Department
      Southern Adventist University

Garden Parties
      Whether your event is a simple get-together, birthday party, change of seasons celebration or fundraiser, we can help you plan it with a garden theme. Events include whatever would be the desired portion of a garden setting, garden themed favors and decor and garden activities for children and adults. Make your next gathering one to remember by planning it with us.
Learning Materials
      For the time being, our only proprietary learning materials are The Stories in which We Find Ourselves. Beyond that, we freely recommend any of the materials on the Resource page of our website. From materials on parenting to gardening to story to music you will find a wealth of healthy inputs that have informed and shaped our work with youth and the adults in their lives over the years.


 


Perhaps more in keeping with traditional nonprofit lingo, there is a core of charitable programs and initiatives to which we are committed that to varying degrees overlap in the menu of services found above. The way to look at it is that our services are the discrete, primarily garden-based components of what we do in our programs and initiatives. One can access a particular set of services without becoming a full participant in one of our programs.

In keeping with the whole idea of involving kids and the adults in their lives in time-honored ways of being human, you can find our different initiatives detailed under the sustainable practice listed below to which it most closely relates. A couple of the initiatives you find may have come and gone. Others are in the making. Still others didn’t make the list, though they were originally a part of our strategic plan, and we haven’t forgotten about them. All represent our desire to give ourselves away for a greater good. Click on a practice to learn more.

Ancient Sustainable Practices