My dear collaborator and architectural designer, Mark Ressl has many exciting projects going on that interested members of the public can get involved with. He is currently building a “schoolhouse” and other community centers at a permaculture farm in Saugerties that was founded by artists, Lala and Jared. The following documents were written by Mark.
Scroll down, or click on the following links to learn more:
If you would like to get involved with any of the existing projects, contact MARK at email@example.com
Lala, Jared, and Mark welcome you to the Permaculture Schoolhouse Project!
Our goal is to evolve Lala and Jared’s 5 acre plot into a permaculture inspired campus for sharing knowledge and living within a community in harmony with nature.
Artists, Lala and Jared, own property in the Catskill region. After Their Permaculture Design certificate they decided to turn this land into a place for learning and teaching based on permaculture principles. Their goal has always been to form a healthy ecosystem among the organic plants they grow, the animals who share the land, themselves and others.
Recently, the land became their home base for sharing their knowledge of permaculture. In the last year Lala and Jared ran courses and campouts, and opened up their space to others to use their creative expression. And from this humble plot of land, they planned their lessons about the formation of food forests and permaculture systems. While the experiences are site-specific, the lessons themselves are transferrable on a global scale. In fact, Lala and Jared recently returned from Kenya where they were designing a permaculture demonstration site and teaching in the slums about the importance of sustainability in agriculture and culture.
We are harboring this energy to construct a small Schoolhouse, a place for creating sustainable solutions and having fun doing it!
This Schoolhouse will provide a space for a myriad of activities, including, learning about permaculture, making art, participating in communal meals and discussion, yoga, dance, music and performance.
We want to include you in the formation & evolution of this project!
VOLUNTEER! Teach! Learn!
Permaculture Schoolhouse Project HAS BEGUN !!!
(Spring 2014 – Spring 2015)
The Permaculture Schoolhouse Project is a construction project on Lala and Jared’s permaculture farm in the Catskills. We are building a space centrally located on the farm for teaching permaculture courses, making and showing art, teaching yoga, dance, performance, and more.
The Schoolhouse is designed and being built with ecological construction methods and uses many recycled materials from New York City and surrounding farms. We hope to experiment with materials such as cob, straw-bale, and more.
Just last week, we trucked a load of wood and hay to the farm, All reclaimed from dumpsters and recycled from temporary installations in NYC, and we are seeking more!
We are currently accepting volunteers to help build the Permaculture Schoolhouse. Volunteers are the backbone of the farm’s mission – providing opportunities for sharing experiences in experimenting in building and living healthily. Permaculturists, environmentalists, artists, architects, engineers, students, and friends from all walks of life – Come and learn about permaculture from experienced permaculturists Lala and Jared, come and stretch your mind and your muscles building the Schoolhouse with Mark.
This project exists because of you and for you! And we want the design and construction, and the use of it to reflect your desires.
No prior experience necessary! Room and Board Provided. Check out our GET INVOLVED page for more information or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Permaculture Farming Courses at the Farm
Ongoing (Spring 2014 – Fall 2014), Dates TBD
To Schedule a Program Contact email@example.com
Lala and Jared teach permaculture farming and lifestyle practices at their farm. Contact us about your specific interests to set up a day, weekend, or week long course or campout. Courses can be coupled with other projects or activities in the Catskills.
Building Temporary Housing Shelters
COMING UP – May 2014
Help us build all sorts of teepees, wigwams, lean-tos, tents, etc.
Lala and Jared will teach how to make teepees from their own built examples, and we will try experimenting with new designs. Teepees and shelters can be used by volunteer builders and visitors to the farm.
COMING UP – (Spring 2014 – Spring 2015)
Food forests, also called “edible forest gardens” and “forest gardens”, are quite possibly the oldest way humans manipulated the land to grow food. Fruit and nut trees, shrubs, vines, herbs, and perennial vegetables are intermixed to stimulate the growth of a woodland ecosystem.
Lala and Jared are planting a food forest on their farm to add to their permaculture gardens. Come learn more about food forests and plant the beginnings of this habitat with us.
Growing Gourmet Mushrooms
COMING UP – (Late June – Early July, Dates TBD)
Learn to identify, grow, and harvest wild edible mushrooms while helping us plant our mushroom farm! Mycologist Patty Kaishian teaches shiitake inoculations and how to grow your own gourmet mushrooms. We will be exploring one of the most powerful forces on earth, mycelium (the vegetative part of fungus) has the potential to break down contaminants of all kinds!
Drying Felled Trees for Construction
THIS WEEK!!! – (Thursday – Sunday, April 17-20, and more dates TBD)
Help us peel, cut, and stack downed trees for air-drying. Mark will teach how air-dried and kiln-dried lumber behave differently in construction, and will demonstrate techniques for properly air-drying wood for building.
This wood will provide the farm with a valuable building material with minimal carbon footprint. Future projects like building artists’ residency studios and workshops will be benefited by preparing these logs.
Building an Earthen Oven
COMING UP – Late May – Ealry June
Get your hands and feet dirty and help us build a large clay oven! We are building with the clay right under our topsoil, and will be baking delicious breads for all of our volunteer crews.
PLANTING SEEDS HAS BEGUN!!
The garden is the primary space of learning on the farm. Lala and Jared teach in the garden, experiment in planting and harvesting, and watch how the land responds. This is the heart of it all – many variations of vegetables and fruits, varieties of animals and humans balancing each others’ growth. All of the harvested food is fed to the builders, volunteers, and visitors to the farm.
Humanure Toilet Workshops
Ongoing (Spring 2014 – Spring 2015), Dates TBD
To Schedule a Program Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Lala and Jared will share the functionality of humanure toilets, and the urgency of finding more environmentally friendly solutions for properly managing our waste. They will teach about this composting system using their own built system as an example, and then build an outdoor station with you to show how easy it is to implement, even in small spaces.
Permaculture Village Courses in Kenya
(February 2014 – March 2014)
Lala and Jared spent a month in Kenya teaching permaculture design and construction to villages supported by agribusiness. The villages invited and sponsored Lala’s and Jared’s visit since they saw the importance of creating a more sustainable environment by growing their own food.
If you would like to get involved with any of the existing projects, or even plan on helping create a new one, contact Mark at email@example.com
We want more than anything to include you as a part of this growing project. We want more than just volunteers as a means to an end. We want you to become a dear friend and share this amazing space with us forever. Let’s make this experience beautiful!
LALA BHAKTI & JARED WILLIAMS :
Lala & Jared began working together in New York City, where they discovered their mutual love and appreciation for nature and native american cultures. In their journey, they first learned about the healing science of Ayurveda, which brought them to an awareness of the importance of local and organic food. Then they learned that there was a sustainable technique called Permaculture, that encourages us to work with nature rather than against it.
They began with the idea of growing their own food, but after Lala’s Yoga Teaching Program at Sivananda Yoga Ranch, they realized their impact could be bigger. They made the move from NYC to Saugerties NY to establish their own permaculture demonstration site which will also serve as an art, yoga and sustainability classroom. After taking the Permaculture Design Course with Julia & Charles Yelton, they became eager to share what they learned and began hosting workshops on some of their favorite techniques, such as food forests, humanure toilets, earthen ovens, and season extension. As active members of Siempre Verde Garden in the Lower East Side NYC, they work together with a group of neighbors, to make green space available for growing food and to build a sense of community in urban settings.
LALA, with a background in fine arts and art education, brings creativity and a DIY attitude to the table. JARED, with experience in motion graphic design and love for architecture, provides a more technical direction. Together, they believe in a balanced lifestyle between doing things like natives used to do it, simple and direct, while incorporating the necessary technologies that are available today.
They truly believe that if you are creative, practice yoga/ayurveda, and incorporate permaculture ideas into your lifestyle, you can heal yourself and we can heal the planet. Our hope is that through these practices we will bring back a sense of connection to Mother Earth, so that we, as well as our grandchildren, can enjoy all the things the earth has to offer.
Mark Ressl “Markitect”
I am a traveling designer whose primary interests are architecture both of the environment and for the community! I have built numerous structures with family and friends, for communities, state parks, employers and clients. I believe in inhabiting a project by living on the site with the builders to learn their ideas, and then building a beautiful architectural space that fosters positive relationships within the community that it serves.
In art – be it sculpture or building, performance or painting – hands-on experimentation is the most meaningful way I have found to learn. This is why I am so excited to share my experience and lead volunteers in constructing the Permaculture Schoolhouse Project on Lala and Jared’s farm.
Volunteer on the Permaculture Schoolhouse Project
Spring 2014 – Spring 2015
We are building an indoor/outdoor workshop space for artists, permaculturists, and visitors. Come out and help us construct a place for sharing and making art, teaching courses in ecological living, and gathering as a community. Our goal is to construct a building in the spirit of the Earth, where people can share ideas and learn across disciplines.
This space is about you! Volunteers are crucial to make this space, they bring the meaning to it in its construction and its use. Building The Schoolhouse, is a chance for you to can get out of the stress of the city for a bit, stretch your bodies and your minds, learn hand construction and farming techniques, and imbed your ideas in the formation of a space for artistic engagement, and relax by the fire at the end of the day!
This is also an opportunity for hands on learning of ecological building methods, healthful living practices, and permaculture design! We are building with many recycled materials from NYC and surrounding farms in order to discover new construction methods and to minimize our carbon footprint.
Come Get Experience building outdoors.
No prior experience necessary! All you need is a determined & focussed energy. This is all about learning through building and having fun!
Room & Board will consist of tenting or build-your-own temporary housing, outdoor and indoor showers, and humanure toilet systems. Brunch and Dinner Organic vegetarian meals Provided, plus plenty of tea and coffee.
If you want to come up on weekends, or stay for any specific length of time, we can easily organize specific projects around your interests to help create a more involved construction experience. We want your input to inform this space and its making.
If you have an interest in taking part in a particular aspect of construction, or in a specific project like the clay oven making, or the food forest, please let us know!
Volunteer with a Group
Come build with your Class, Friends, Co-workers, and Family!
This summer, alongside building our Permaculture Schoolhouse, we are planning activities such as campouts, hikes, camp fires, permaculture courses, food forest planting, clay oven making, home grown meals, and much, much, more!
Let Us know if you want to organize a course with a building session, or a campout with a retreat! We are totally open to different schedules and your ideas.
Permaculture is a combination of the terms Permanent + Agriculture and Culture. What this means is that we use permaculture principles to guide our lives towards sustainability and create a healthy environment for communities to thrive.
Using these principles, we can investigate our actions and the effects of those actions on our health and the world at large. If we consider ourselves as being capable of affecting the Earth with each action, we can begin to mold those actions into something positive for future generations to enjoy.
For too long the world has been focussed on infinite growth and gaining money. There is a lot of evidence out there that shows the Earth is not pleased with our actions, and are-evaluation of the possibilities is more than necessary. The actual value of life is held in that which allows us to have a healthy and comfortable relationship with each other and the planet.
In every project on the farm we will of course be mentioning the ideas that are involved in permaculture. After all, this construction is based on nature, using natural building techniques and is situated in a way that will maximize the benefit of natures gifts. Essentially, we are living in such a way that it is impossible for you to ignore the amazing potential of permaculture!
It is near impossible to describe Permaculture completely in a single page. It will take time to develop an understanding by using the principles and techniques in your daily life. Education is one of the driving forces of our projects and it brings us a lot of joy to spread the ideas of Permaculture. We are absolutely sure that if you are inspired to be involved with our projects that you will also gain a lot from learning about Permaculture with us.
Please feel free to ask us ANYTHING at all about Permaculture or the projects in general. We are SO excited to get you involved!
“I believe that architecture is an art of relationships: relationships of people to materials, materials to materials, and people to people. My first design-build project was three years ago, and I was lucky enough to live on the site with my co-designer and builder, my Uncle Dan. Spending my waking moments, working hours, and even dreaming from inside our project actually changed the outcome.
It was not a production. It was an experience. Over three months, we constructed a home from the materials of the land, the earth under our feet and the wood from fallen trees he air-dried, and we learned to understand ourselves and each other more deeply.
Balancing the relationships of builders and materials can be challenging when they are living together in close proximity, but I think all of the interactions that come out of it are genuine and truthful to the project at hand. If there is discord among the builders, there is imbalance in the architecture. Harmony in built relationships can be found by addressing our differences as humans who share in the acts of building and inhabiting spaces.
I find beauty in many things, but I rarely find anything more beautiful than handmade objects. Volunteer-built architecture is the opportunity for many hands to craft space – All hands wanting to learn – Their fingers delve into the clay, eyes steady, brow sweating.
To build together is a beautiful architectural act and leads to spaces of our shared experiences.”
If you would like to Get Involved with the Permaculture Schoolhouse Project or any of our other projects, please contact Mark at (847) 212 – 6183 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
It is our interest to use this farm to serve your artistic, outdoors, and community interests. If you would like to organize a course, a campout, a retreat, building sessions, or any other combination of activities on the farm or in the Catskills with us – Please let us know.
If you would like emails about upcoming Courses, Construction Call Outs, Art Events and more – Let us know!
If you would like to get in contact with Lala or Jared about their farm or art works, please contact them at
Lala (347) 545 – 0505 email@example.com
Jared (518) 365 – 5919 firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact us with your interests and we will send you directions to the farm. There are several ways to travel to and from the farm.
Driving from NYC – https://maps.google.com/
2 hours, take the George Washington Bridge, to NJ/NY 17, to I – 87 North, to Exit 20, turn West on 32/212/ Saugerties-Woodstock Rd., Turn North on Pine Ln. after ½ mile.
Carpool – We may already know people driving to the farm at the same time as you, and can arrange group travelling
We can make a plan with you in advance to pick you up if you take the bus from NYC Port Authority Bus Terminal to Saugerties or Kingston.