Earth Responders

Resilience Activism at Work

A New Farmer Training for Food & Plant Medicine Gifting

April 4 – June 12 • Holistic Permaculture Design

June 20 – August 28 Regenerative Community Design

September 5 – November 13 • Rewilding Community Design


Earth Responders empowers activists in finding pathways for social justice and ecologically restorative land stewardship, regenerative community, and resilient cultural renewal. With richly experiential earth centered learning, community service, support for innovative projects, this project is an emergent and emergency response to the immense challenges now present on the Earth.

With the continuation of pandemic mandates, Earth Responders in 2021 will engage in a primary focus on regenerative agriculture, food growing, food security, food sovereignty, and plant medicine in order to engage participants working on site in truly “essential” business.

The intersectionality of climate and ecological restoration is intricately interconnected with social restoration and justice. 


2021 Sessions


Phase 1 & 2 of the Earth Responders Service Residency took place on site at Metta Earth Institute in 2020, and we are preparing for the next phase on site in Spring, Summer, and Autumn 2021. This year, Metta Earth is offering 10 week sessions, each with a theme in concert with the prime focus of regenerative agriculture. Attend one or all of these sessions:

SPRING • Holistic Permaculture Design

April 4-June 12, 2021

Limited to 4 participants, each in one of our 4 yurts

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————SUMMER • Regenerative Community Design

June 20-August 28, 2021

Limited to 8 participants, each in one of our 4 yurts, 4 wall tents

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————AUTUMN • Rewilding Design

September 5-November 13, 2021

Limited to 8 participants, each in one of our 4 yurts, 4 wall tents (shared yurts in coldness of autumn)


*Note: For the week in between each session, it is possible to stay on site for a work immersion with no fee.


Earth Responders Practices at Metta Earth

Regenerative Agriculture

With the crisis of a global pandemic, the focus of Earth Responders in the foreseeable future needs to align with state mandates requiring that only “essential” work and businesses are allowed.  These include agriculture and food security endeavors, as well as health.

  • Carbon Farming
  • Essentials of Soil: Composting, Cover Cropping, & Fungi
  • Bee Keeping
  • Animal Care
  • Rotational Grazing & Holistic Management
  • Biodynamic & Organic Farming & Gardening
  • Companion Planting
  • Wild Edibles, Foraging, & Sustainable Wildcrafting
  • Farm to Plate: Food Harvesting, Preparation, & Preservation
  • Raw & Fermented Foods: Kombucha, Kimchi, Pickles
  • Dairy, Kefir, Yogurt, & Cheese

Plant Medicine

As essential in the global crisis as food security, plant medicine and herbal healing hold a core place in alleviating suffering. As economic and social systems destabilize, collapse, many traditions of plant medicine knowledge bring great healing potential and offer an abundant contribution to well-being.

Earth Responders are engaged in growing, harvesting, and creating plant medicine to distribute to those in need.

  • Wild Herbs, Foraging, & Sustainable Wildcrafting
  • Cultivation of herbs in gardens
  • Mushrooms & fungi
  • Herbal Tea Harvest & Preparation
  • Herbal salve and oil preparations
  • Vinegars, infusions, decoctions

Holistic Permaculture

Permaculture is an emerging worldview and multidisciplinary design science that addresses global issues with a holistic, systems approach.

Earth Responder sites embody sanctuary for shifts in thinking and practical solutions.

  • Permaculture Ethics & Principles
  • The Permaculture Flower as a World View
  • Designing with Nature
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Site Analysis, Assessment, and Design
  • Polycultures & Guilds
  • The Use of Tools, Techniques, and Technologies in Balance with Life



Deep connection with nature and re-skilling in regenerative processes brings greater sensitivity and healing into agricultural enterprises.

  • Forest Ecology
  • Edible Food Forests
  • Mushroom Cultivation
  • Natural First Aid and Wild Medicinals
  • Wild Food Foraging for Edibles
  • Tool Sharpening and Use
  • Natural Fiber Crafting: Cordage & Baskets
  • Knots, Tarps, & Wild Encampments
  • Bow Drill Fire-making
  • Backcountry Food Preservation
  • Wilderness Ethics
  • Ecopsychology Principles
  • Wild Questing Process
  • Chaos & Creativity
  • Wilderness Leadership
  • Plant & Animal Communication

Regenerative Community Living

Community resiliency is a response to the growing social and environmental crises facing our world. Sustainable community design and practice provides a rich immersion experience to explore whole and healthy communities. Activating systems of economics and governance, biomimicry and natural design, land stewardship, and social justice rejuvenates our communities with deeper sustainability.

  • Cultural Cosmologies: A Study of Past & Present Cultures in Deep Connection with Nature
  • BIPOC Perspectives *
  • Land Access Issues for Regenerative Community (Reparation, Rematriation, & Pathways for Healing Land Oppressions) *
  • Designing with Nature
  • Core Processes Of Community Building
  • Visions, Missions, & Covenants: Refreshing Social Structures
  • Intentional Community Models: Ecovillage, Community Land Trusts, & Cohousing
  • Transition Towns
  • Regenerative Economics: Coops, Barter, Guilds, & Gift Economies
  • Creating Authentic Ceremony & Ritual
  • Creating Sanctuary, Group Safety & Ethics
  • Communication Processes: Co-Listening, Non-Violent Communication, & Way of Council
  • Leadership Models
  • Forms of Activism
  • Power, Privilege, Oppression, & Rank
  • Cultural Safety *

Yoga Meditation

Yoga is rooted in the understanding that everything is interconnected – earth, water, fire, air, space, soil, animals, plants, cosmos, and all beings. Activists stretch body and mind to soften and expand edges, building resilience and flexibility. Practices of yoga and meditation at the river, in the forests, the gardens, and with the animals bring integration of person with Earth. These practices enrich the experience of life. When we are quiet inside, our eyes are open to the vibrancy that surrounds us. This is an opportunity to embody these practices and the contemplative ways of nature, wildness, and farm life.

  • Morning Yoga & Meditation Practice
  • Embodiment Principles & Processes
  • Breathing Practices: Hive Mind, Breath of Joy, & Sounding Breath
  • Sitting, Walking, and Work Meditations
  • Drishti Eye Gaze, Earth Savasana, & other Metta Earth Yoga Practices
  • Deep Ecology & Yoga Philosophy
  • Green Yoga as Environmental Activism
  • Circle Yoga & Partner Yoga
  • Posture Practices with Nature: River, Trees, & Rocks

*NOTE: The bolded topics are essential and need to be taught by BIPOC facilitators.


Leadership Facilitators

Russell and Gillian will be the primary guides for this year’s Earth Responders session, largely due to the pandemic and needing to keep our leadership circle simple. We are considering inviting one farm couple to join us as support staff. We will invite guest presenters in through online sessions, as well as offer selected webinars, talks, and films.

Apply for Spring, Summer, and Fall 2021 Sessions below:


Earth Responders Details

2021 Sessions

Three 10 week sessions, each with a theme in concert with the prime focus of regenerative agriculture.—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

SPRING:Holistic Permaculture Design
April 4-June 12, 2021
Limited to 4 participants, each in one of our 4 yurts
SUMMER: Regenerative Community Design
June 20-August 28, 2021
Limited to 8 participants, each in one of our 4 yurts, 4 wall tents
AUTUMN: Rewilding Design
September 5-November 13, 2021
Limited to 8 participants, each in one of our 4 yurts, 4 wall tents (shared yurts in coldness of autumn)

Session Details

  • Three 10 week sessions, each with a theme in concert with the prime focus of regenerative agriculture
    • Spring: April 4-June 12 Holistic Permaculture Design
    • Summer: June 20-August 28 Regenerative Community Design
    • Autumn: September 5-November 13 Rewilding Design
  • Note: for the week in between each session, it is possible to stay on site for a work immersion with no fee.
  • Includes: (see schedule for details)
    • 4 hours/day of experiential learning work
    • 2 hours/day of cooperative farm to plate meal making
    • 2-4 hours/day experiential seminars
    • 6 days/week
    • Sunday Open Flow Day


Metta Earth is nestled in the quietude of the mountains, the stunning headwaters of the New Haven river with abundant waterfalls and pools for swimming, wilderness trails to walk or bike, and 158 acres of Metta Earth land to explore. The nearest town is Lincoln, VT (see full directions).


Image 2 (9)Meals are vegetarian and lovingly prepared with seasonal, local and organic foods. Much of our food comes from our own organic garden and farmstead. Participants have the opportunity to learn about harvesting, cooking, food storage, and other aspects of organic local food.


  • Fee for each session is $2500- $5000 (sliding scale) for 10 weeks
  • 2 BIPOC full scholarships
  • Additional scholarships (beyond sliding scale) are need based
  • Full work exchange, in place of payment, is possible

Daily Schedule

6-7:15 Morning Practice (yoga asana, pranayama, sitting meditation, and/or other

contemplative practices)

7:15-8 Transition & Breakfast

8-9 Attunement, Check-in & Morning Hands Work

9-11 Experiential Learning Work Period

11-12:30 Experiential Learning Work Period (includes midday farm chores), Farm to Plate Meal Making

12:30-1:30 Lunch & Seminar Topic

1:30-2 Lunch Clean-up & Community Care

2-4 Open Time

4-5:30 Experiential Seminar

5:30-7 Experiential Learning Work Period (includes evening farm chores), Farm to Plate Meal Making

7:00-8:00 Dinner ~ breakout in open meal gatherings

8:00-8:30 Clean-up & Community Care

8:30-9:30 Experiential seminar, open events, discussions, films, personal reflections, or

personal space options

COVID-19 Protocols

  • 2 weeks hermitage retreat with packaged meals. Social distancing & masks during community times
  • 8 weeks in the Metta Earth “pod” without these protocols
  • Staying on site and in surrounding outside landscapes
  • All sessions have small groups to allow for adequate quarantine protocols, especially in the coldness of spring

Earth Responders Collaborators


Our intention is to contribute to a growing movement of resilience activism through land stewardship, regenerative community, and cultural renewal. We hope to expand the number of sites for Earth Responder activism. Possible sites to collaborate with would be any places that have quarantine capacity, especially since the current pandemic is creating many levels of uncertainty. This may include places such as camps, boarding schools, and colleges that have commercial kitchens, sleeping accommodations, and meeting spaces. In the future we plan to have much greater outreach for BIPOC communities to have land access on various sites.


Metta Earth is the founding collaborator for this project.

Metta Earth Institute, Inc. (MEI) is a small non-profit, tax exempt, 501c3 educational, retreat center in Lincoln, Vermont. Metta Earth institute offers retreats, trainings, programs, workshops, and consultations to integrate:

  • contemplative practices such as yoga and meditation
  • ecological, sustainable community life ways
  • wilderness awareness and ways to reconnect with nature
  • creation of sanctuaries for communication, art, soul & psyche.

Metta Earth Institute is a place to explore solutions for a global shift of consciousness supporting the revitalization of a care-based society and a rejuvenation of nature and earth.

Our collaboration with Earth Responders consists of:

  • On-site Earth Responders Residency
  • Service Activism
  • 10 adult activists
  • Regenerative Agriculture/Permaculture: food production & gleaning processes
  • Plant Medicine: growing, wildcrafting, medicine making & gleaning processes
  • Regenerative Community Living: integration of skills, practices, life processes for sustainable culture
  • Cultural Safety Training (BIPOC facilitated)


We are a non-profit organization rooted in our deep love and respect for plants and wild places, our reverence for the human body and spirit, and our joy for sharing our work and creations with the world.

It is our mission to share joyful, hands-on education and wellness through plant medicine while honoring all our herbal traditions. Our approach is rooted in sharing a sense of place, nurturing curiosity and creativity, and inspiring ecological stewardship. We foster community action to enhance equitable access to the abundance of seasonal, local plant medicine, to build resilience, and to promote the practice of the honorable harvest.

Our collaboration with Earth Responders consists of:

Gleaning medicinal herbs from Earth Responders sites

  • Collaboratively creating salves, tea blends, & other herbal products using plants harvested from Earth Responders sites
  • Collaborating with Spoonful Herbals to distribute plant medicine to local community members in need
  • Webinar-based support collaborating with a team of local herbalists & indigenous leaders to guide Earth Responders in developing skills of plant-based wellness sovereignty
  • Field supervision developing and implementing operations systems to safely and sustainably harvest and process local medicinal plants from Earth Responders sites