With friends last year at The Land Institute’s Prairie Festival

in learning to live sustainably,
is being around
and hearing those
who inspire.
Every year,
the last week of September
is our time of renewal.
We always go to the Prairie Festival
at the Land Institute
outside of Salina, Ks.
Along with hundreds of others
who care deeply
and work sacrificially
to learn nature’s processes
and how humanity can live
in an integrated,
sustainable way,
we listen to amazing scientists,
philosophers, writers, artists, farmers
as they share their learnings.
This year,
presenters include:
Brian Donahue, Brandeis University, author of “The Great Meadow: Farmers and the Land in Colonial Concord”
Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute, author of “The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality”
Naomi Klein, author of “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”
David R. Montgomery, University of Washington and author of “Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations”
As always, the final presentation (following the two days of presentations and contra dancing, art show, concert by our favorite Ann Zimmerman and local foods, including a desert made with Kanza flour, resulting from The Land Institute’s continuing work at developing perennial grains and seeds) is made by The Land’s founder, Wes Jackson, who always inspires our work for another year, at least.

There is a difference this year.
Ann will be attending the Prairie Festival,
as usual.
But I, Pat, will forgo this profound experience
(Ann will bring home stories, notes and recordings)
to attend another inspiring event
with another amazing gathering of people
who care about the planet
and a panel of inspiring and extremely knowledgeable presenters.
This conference is closer to home,
at Oklahoma City University—
Caring for our HOME:
Educating Moral Leaders for Ecological Sustainability.
Presenters include:
Mary Elizabeth Moore, dean of the Boston University School of Religion, and author of several books, including Ministering with the Earth
David W. Orr, Oberlin College Professor of Environmental Studies, and author of many books, including Ecological Literacy and Earth in Mind and Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse
Larry Ward, an ordained Christian minister and teacher of Engaged Buddhism. He is director of the Lotus Institute and adjunct faculty at Claremont Graduate University
Daniel Wallach, Executive Director and Founder, Greensburg GreenTown and Catherine Hart, Program Director, Greensburg GreenTown. They will speak about the rebuilding and greening of Greensburg, KS., following its devastation by a tornado.
I am very much looking forward
to this conference
and am glad to get to present
the work of Turtle Rock Farm
as one of the case studies
on how to educate the community
about sustainability.

We always eagerly anticipate
the last week of September.
And this year,
we’re doubly excited
to gather with caring, committed people,
to learn,
to be inspired
to keep up the good work
of living sustainably
within the great web of life.

To register for The Land Institute’s Prairie Festival,
click here.
To register for OCU’s conference,
Caring for Our Home:
Educating Moral Leaders for Ecological Sustainability,
click here.