Making Balinese Shadow Puppets

We learned about the battle between good and evil told through the popular Balinese story of the characters, Barong, the king of the good spirits, and the witch queen, Rangda.  We examined some Balinese carved wooden masks of Barong and Rangda and discussed their fearsome appearance as depicted by Balinese artists.  We saw similarly fearsome … Continue reading Making Balinese Shadow Puppets

Visiting the Green School in Bali

Many Balinese people live in harmony with the natural environment, seeing spirit and soul in the natural world around them.  We took a look at the Green School in Bali, an international school without walls and made out of bamboo.   The Green School’s goals are to deepen the bonds between people and nature, and to … Continue reading Visiting the Green School in Bali

Learning about Andy Goldsworthy’s Art

One of our favorite artists, Andy Goldsworthy, also lives in Scotland.  We took a look at some of his work using natural materials as inspiration for our own creations.  We split into two teams and came up with some natural arrangements, making sure to use only elements from nature.  The kids made a realization that … Continue reading Learning about Andy Goldsworthy’s Art

Park Time!

We spent hours in the park!  Running across the fields and slopes, we imagined ourselves in Scotland where we visited the Scottish Highlands, rode on some Highland cattle and looked out for the Loch Ness monster.  The group absolutely fell in love with a wonderful spot by a vernal pond, where we set up camp. … Continue reading Park Time!

Circle: Findhorn and ecovillages

Today we traveled to Scotland, where we discovered the famous ecovillage of Findhorn.  This successful community creates their own energy using windmills, grows much of their own food, and runs their own natural waste system that mimics wetlands.  We got to watch clips from a documentary about Findhorn to see what life looks like there.


What is Permaculture anyway?  Permaculture is a set of design principles that helps humans to work with nature to create healthy and balanced living webs that produce as little waste and as much natural abundance as possible. Waste is only considered waste if it’s not used! Permaculture design mimics patterns found in nature that use … Continue reading Permaculture

Appreciating our Wetlands

Similar to our aquaponic system, wetlands provide multiple benefits to an ecosystem.  Considered the “kidneys of the earth”, wetlands not only filter water of pollutants, but also provide habitats for animals, reduce flooding, and decrease soil erosion.  Feeling inspired, we then created our own wetlands making sure to include elements to represent producers (plants), consumers … Continue reading Appreciating our Wetlands

Learning about Aztec chinampas farming and setting up an aquaponics system

After introducing ourselves with our talking feather, we visited Mexico to learn about the chinampas farming design that was used for hundreds of years as a means of producing an abundance of food with little input.  These finger-like “floating gardens” make the most of the complex interactions between water, plants and creatures to create a … Continue reading Learning about Aztec chinampas farming and setting up an aquaponics system