Importance of hands on learning

Wild foraging by digging clams in Mansons Landing with ‘Meat Punk’ Max for “class”.

Only recently within the last year did I discover the opportunity that is field courses, and it was probably the best discovery of my university career. Field courses, like this one, wrap so many good things into one nice bundle; hands on learning from experienced, personable, knowledgeable teachers, in a beautiful environment, surrounded by unique wonderful friends… What more could you ask from a class?! Opportunities like this make me value and treasure my degree and the choices I have made thus far in my schooling and for my future.

Learning about the art of farming grass with Tamara McPhail in the back fields of Linnaea Farm.

I have always loved learning in the field, on the job, using my hands and meeting new and interesting mentors. Interacting with mentors in their homes and workplaces is so important and instrumental education, to open your eyes to different ways of life and learning.

Just hanging out on Hummingbird Bluff receiving our first lecture of the week, how cool?!?

Being on this farm with like-minded individuals, learning from the stewards of Linnaea Farm inspires and motivates me to work harder and learn more. Tamara and Adam are like the ultimate power duo which everyone aspires to become, and who I just want to follow around soaking up knowledge from. Brent and Liz have lived on this farm and taught countless people, I hope to be as patient and committed to one piece of land for as long as they have. They illustrate adaptability and adaptive management so effortlessly, welcoming change, and accepting it with ease. The newest and youngest couple, Jody and Jeff, are immensely knowledgeable and it is interesting to see how a new family integrates into the long-term community of Linnaea. Plus, they are always all dropping truth bombs and catchy life-phrases which crack me up, but also hit home, making me realize how grounded and experienced they are.

These teachers, farmers, life-guru’s, friends, role models are pretty much “life goals”, as we would say these days. In essence this permaculture course has allowed us to temporarily step into the community that is Linnaea Farm and learn the values, ethics and principles of permaculture in the most incredible way. Oliver Kellhammer, ‘Meat Punk’ Max and Mark warm-heartedly welcomed us into their homes and opened up to tell us about their unique lifestyles. Learning about these alternative lifestyles first hand, with the opportunity to ask questions was such an extraordinary experience. Seeing people in their element, where they are most comfortable and vulnerable, surrounded by their creations and projects they are so proud of, establishes deeper connection and understandings.

So…. I hope some official, decision making person reads this and realizes we need way more field courses in universities because they are awesome!! Also, they are are important for learning skills, creating relationships to people and places, and encourage cool people, like the Linnaea Farm Stewards and residents at Swail Town, to continue doing what they’re doing. Thank-you to everyone for the most unreal ten days, you are all the coolest and most intelligent people I’ve ever met. ❤


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