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Recognizing the power of individuals to adapt, transform, and restore our relationship to the environment as stewards of the Earth.
Christopher Newton
Bellaire, Michigan
United States
2 Team Members

 We've made i! With all your help, and your friends help, and their moms help too! Thank you everyone, to those who contributed through thought, word, and deed alike. We now have 9 hours left and $100 dollars left to reach our challenge goal. 

Stay tuned...

Here's the scoop:

We are Mourette Valcin and Chris Bashirov Newton, and we have the opportunity of a lifetime.  We will become stewards of an 80 acre property in North Michigan.  The land has been used for agroforestry and permaculture, and is surrounded by land rich in resources, beautiful lakes, and fruit orchards.  We hope to continue the practice of cultivating Pine forest, and using the rich resources on the land that are often overlooked, to further our mission.  The land will become a homestead and institute fostering education as well as self-sufficiency, and we will be documenting our experience in the process.

This includes:

-Planting food forests as perennial poly-culture gardens, allowing production of fruit, vegetables, herbs, and flowers, which will grow into a mature ecosystem.

-Building infrastructure from natural materials on site for educational purposes, and self maintaining dwellings. 

-Connecting with local, and global communities to share and engage in research in order to continue the propagation of sustainable practices. 

-Continuing research and agroforestry 

-Inviting others to learn,  live, and visit onsite, and to practice alongside us

-Creating a legacy for those involved and generations to come

Fortunately, the costs for development using Permaculture methods, such as stacking functions, using recycled materials, and an abundance of onsite resources, is extremely low! We are asking for $2,500 start-up funds for our sustainable homestead and institute.   See the Video for more details!

Where will the money go?

Stacking Functions of $2,750

costs and budget

Cleaning the Earth Lodge - $10

Fixing the Earth Lodge Roof - $10

Installing a floor in the Earth Lodge - $10

Rocket Mass Heater - $25

Inoculating 300 Shiitake Logs - $50

Seeds - 30 Packs- $100

Rabbits and Feed - $120

Trees - $150

Local/Organic Food - $200

Tools - $200

Transportation (Bus, Car, Horse) - $1500

Miscellaneous Costs of Administrative Duties and Rewards - $375

If we raise more than our goal, your funds will go towards;

-Additional fundraising events

-Mason jars for canning

-2 Beehives

-Founding a non-profit organization

-Developing a nursery of trees

-Building a cafe

-Tools for outreach to the community

If our $2,500 goal is not reached, we will persevere and will execute the plan taking housing, warmth, and food security as priority, and will target these as funds permit;


-Reconstructing the earth lodge

-Building a rocket mass heater

-Inoculating mushroom logs

-Planting gardens


Pics of our trip to visit the site on Jan 1, 2013 -

Earth Lodge

Earth Lodge




What is permaculture you ask?

In my opinion, a fancy word for working with the land and people instead of against land and its people which we have seen happening to this date. Permaculture stemming from permanent agriculture/culture has been growing and will continue to grow especially with the help of community members, those who feel it is something to invest in. Permaculture is a lifestyle. 



Agroforestry is a term which describes the propagation and cultivation of trees strategicallyused as a means of preserving/enhancing the productivity of land.  All trees have various uses and benefits, all of which benefit humans and nature, as they provide micro climates for liveable temperatures, as their roots hold the soil from flooding, and their leaves produce oxygen and help the atmosphere.



we are:

2 new permaculture designers

2 yoga instructors

2 cooks

1 baker

1 musician,

and most of all 2 students, the universe our classroom.


For the past year, we both lived in a community setting at Sivananda Yoga Ashram, which led us to take a permaculture design course, and become certified yoga instructors. We were able to gain invaluable skills from teachers Charles and Julia Yelton and are more then ready to get our hands dirty on our future site. 


Building a Pond- Applied Permaculture April, 2012 Day 1

Day 1- Building a pond, challenge taken

Day 3

Filling the Pond

Final Pond, 4 Days of hard work and a great team at the ashram, within days there were tadpoles swimming at the bottom, introducing water into a landscape is both beautiful and beneficial to permaculture techniques. 


Being the cooks for the ashram for a year, helped us bring food from the farm, to the table, aiding in both the garden work, seeing the process from start to finish



You can imagine that seeing this, and being part of the process peaked our interest for building our own homestead, contributing to the many before and those to come. 


We were able to help in October, 2012 to build a movable greenhouse in efforts to create more self-sufficiency.

Two days later

Food Forest



This campaign is more than planting trees and creating sustainable structures. Sustainability has become a new buzzword, in all honesty it is an effort to build a place for learning and acceptance. It is for those who want a deeper connection with the land and aim for self-resilience. 

YOUR contribution is not without value, ANYTHING counts. We are asking for your assistance to make this ideal a reality. Though we may be constantly bombarded with fundraisers, this campaign counts because without you, there is no sustenance.

This endeavor speaks for our generation, and will be a unique place to come and connect through community. The communal experience is full of ups and downs though it is rewarding and something that is extremely important with the changes we have seen over time. We are not generation F'ed, as we have been described, we are with tools of nature backing us to live happily.  The impact of this project is beyond our two lives, and is beyond a material reality. It is allowing us to become stewards but also allowing us to create a safe haven.

Aside from the rewards listing on the right, you get that fuzzy feeling of putting smiles on our faces, and knowing what you have given will be for a lasting cause.


Other Ways You Can Help

Even if you cannot help monetarily, you can help by spreading the word through the plethora of social media sites, word of mouth, and in your own lives by supporting locally, with a global attitude. 

For your reading pleasure, two articles which explain our motives and inspiration for our project, plus our blog which shares insights, recipes, and will be a place for updates about the project. 

Blog: http://ohhmblog.wordpress.com/





BIG Thank You to our supporters and teachers:

Charles and Julia Yelton

Wendy Newton and Peter Ferko @ http://www.thetable-brooklyn.org/

The Woodlanders

The Valcins

Ashram Folk


raised by 53 people in 1 month
116% funded
No time left
$2,750 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 7, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    Just a buck goes a long way!

    You get a BIG thank you! You will get an email of appreciation and a link to a free original poem by Mourette Valcin.

    3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $10USD
    Digital CD - Back to Our Roots

    You get a BIG thank you and a digital copy of an original album of poetry by Mourette Valcin and produced by Chris Newton.

    5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $20USD
    Milk Chocolate Fudge

    You get a package of home made fudge. 2 different kinds! Walnut, and Caramel. (along with a BIG thank you, and a free digital copy of Back to Our Roots - Poetry by Mourette Valcin) *Please note if you are a vegan for this perk *Please Include additional shipping and handling costs ($6.00)

    10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $25USD
    Project Updates

    Stay up to date with our project, a newsletter sent frequently with writing, pictures, videos, and recipes! (along with a BIG thank you, a free digital copy of Back to Our Roots - Poetry by Mourette Valcin, and a package of home made fudge) *Please Include additional shipping and handling costs ($6.00)

    6 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $50USD
    Adopt a Garden Bed

    We are going to construct and sow a garden bed for companion plant research. You will be updated about your garden bed with pictures and field notes (along with a BIG thank you, a free digital copy of Back to Our Roots - Poetry by Mourette Valcin, a package of home made fudge, and newsletter) *Please include additional shipping and handling costs ($6.00)

    4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $100USD
    Adopt a Tree

    We will plant a tree and companion plants in your honor, and keep you updated with pictures and field notes (along with a BIG thank you, a free digital copy of Back to Our Roots - Poetry by Mourette Valcin, a package of home made fudge, and newsletter) *Please include additional shipping and handling costs ($6.00)

    8 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $500USD
    Farm to Table Dinner

    Join us for a delectably fresh, 5 course vegetarian meal with drinks, onsite using local ingredients, cooked by Chris and Mourette. Camping available onsite.

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
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