Resilience Activism at Work

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 the pandemic mandates, Earth Responders in 2020 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. A collaborative approach among organizations is needed to bring these related concerns together and to demonstrate a model that is scalable.

Earth Responders is an initiative with deep regard and connection for the spiritual intelligence of Earth.

Phase 1 of the Earth Responders Service Residency is taking place on site at Metta Earth Institute in Summer 2020, and we are preparing for Phase 2 on site this Autumn. Learning from the implementation of Phase 1 and 2, Phase 3 will start to scale the model at different sites with aligned place-based organizations.


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 is working with BIPOC collaborators on a project called FreePharm, which engages Earth Responders 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


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

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


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.

Earth Responders Summer 2020 Session is now full. Apply for Fall 2020 Session (Sep.-Nov.) below:




  • Rolling, seasonal application process
  • Includes a 2-week quarantine upon arrival
  • Sunday is a day of rest each week
  • 10 participants
  • Participants are awarded with certificate of completion


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.


Options for sleeping accommodations feature yurts, wall tents, and participant-provided dwellings. The Metta Earth main house provides bathrooms, laundry, phones, wireless internet, library, kitchen and dining facilities, and teaching, study, and practice space.


Residency includes meals, accommodations, and practice facilitation in reciprocity for participants’ collaboration and engagement.

Be Part of a Gift Economy Project

Metta Earth is interested in economic processes that create paradigm CHANGE. We would like Earth Responders to explore forms of reciprocity and collaboration versus modern capitalism. Tapping into the wisdom of earth connected cultures, we see this as a form of radical activism, a change of narrative from the current systems that are creating enormous social injustices. Inspired by a holistic focus on community, we want to actualize regenerative processes together.


6-7:30am Morning Contemplative Practice (asana, pranayama, sitting meditation, & other practices)

7:30-8:15am Transition & Breakfast

8:15-9am Attunement, Check-in & Morning Work Meeting

9am-12:30pm Experiential Work Period

12:30-1:30pm Lunch & Community Connect Topics

1:30-2pm Community Care of Spaces

2-4pm Open Time

4-5:15pm Experiential Skill Practices

5:30-7:00pm Experiential Work Period

7:00-8:00pm Dinner

8:00-8:30pm Community Care

8:30-9:30pm Open events, discussions, seminars, films, personal reflections, or personal space options


“I have found a grounded sense of purpose in the Earth Responders community at Metta Earth. It has been revitalizing to respond to the needs of our environment and society collectively. This work is urgent and necessary.” -Leo Ashkar Heikkila

“I experience the Earth Responders project at Metta Earth as a community that catalyzes inner transformation and connection to the land.” -Juliana

“The Earth Responders project has radically altered the way in which I live my life and connect with the world around me. Being here has allowed me to find my place in this world, to dig in, and to take responsibility from there.” -Christopher Potter




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)


The Change the World Kids are dedicated to making the world a better place by working without charge to help individuals in our community and organizations and environments all over the world.

Our goal is to assist individuals in need, work to improve our communities, and steward the natural world in which we live. We initiate humanitarian projects to create a more just, safe, and sustainable world, and environmental projects to strengthen resilience and biodiversity, locally and globally. While doing so, we learn life-skills and offer challenges that have changed our lives, our families, and our communities. Annually we provide over 8,000 hours of local help and 3,900 hours of environmental and humanitarian work in our global community.

Our collaboration with Earth Responders consists of:

  • Field Sites for Earth Responders
  • Service Activism
  • Funds to support low income demographic youth ages 14-28 in participation with Earth Responder programs
  • Cultural Safety Training (BIPOC facilitated)
  • Linking earth works projects around the state with changemaker/Earth Responder groups.
  • Program admin support, to increase webinar/online presence and technology to support online learning and online community connectivity


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


Permaculture Solutions works to develop ecologically diverse and nutrient dense landscapes for humans and habitat.

Our collaboration with Earth Responders consists of:

  • Onsite permaculture guidance/training for Earth Responders with social distancing
  • Online permaculture support, guidance, and supervision


BALE (Building A Local Economy) is a community resource center for local economy initiatives in the White River Valley of Vermont; we are intentionally multi-issue in focus and multi-dimensional in our programmatic work. At core, our vision is to build a sustainable culture that can foster the economic and ecological capacity in our communities to thrive, even as the external forces of climate disruption – driven by an economy and culture of dominance and systemic scarcity – threatens our existence as a species. Our work is focused on appropriate scale, valuing the commons, and creating community-driven assets. BALE sees its work, along with many other inspiring collaborators, as building new resilient models grounded in a new story of how we live on the Earth.

Our collaboration with Earth Responders consists of:

  • Engagement and support for local and bioregional youth leadership though networking and skills development leveraging the Changemaker Circle (youth and elders in active wisdom seeking), Change the World Kids chapter, Environmental Justice Law Society and other youth-led collaborations
  • Support statewide through activist and culture and spirit-based networks


Salvation Farms reduces farm fresh food loss and increases local food access through the responsible management and use of Vermont’s surplus crops. Our mission is to build increased resilience in Vermont’s food system through agricultural surplus management by fostering collaborative, cross-sector partnerships that create efficient management practices for Vermont’s farm surplus through the engagement and utilization of available resources, skills and knowledge. We are guided by the philosophy that farms are, were, and always will be our salvation: small, diversified farms are the cornerstones of healthy, wholesome and stable communities.

Our collaboration with Earth Responders consists of:

  • Gleaning supervision for Earth Responders volunteering on farms with surplus
  • Connecting Earth Responders with gleaning partners for volunteering on farms with surplus
  • Technical support for surplus management at Earth Responder sites
  • Collaborative planning in future expansion and rollout of Earth Responder pods in Vermont


EcoVillage at Ithaca is part of a global movement of people creating positive solutions to the social, environmental and economic crises our planet faces. We are part of a local community that continually innovates and cooperates to create a socially just and sustainable local economy.

Our collaboration with Earth Responders consists of:

  • Planning, development, and preparation for Autumn 2020 (Phase 2) Earth Responders Residency similar to Phase 1 at Metta Earth.
  • Already planning to run a tuition-based program for college-age students (called Resilient Earth Corps,) focused on building personal, community and planetary resilience. Earth Responders would be offered as a separate track, but youth in both programs would benefit from the other.