April 2010 Newsletter


I’m hoping that this letter finds you enjoying the spring where ever you are. April is usually the last month of really dry weather here on the Pacific side of Panama, but this year – a La Nina year, I’m told – we’re enjoying much more rain than usual for April (not hard to do given that the previous 4 Aprils here have been virtually bone-dry.)

With more rain, it’s a little more green, perhaps there’s a few more flowers, and slightly cooler temperatures. All told, it’s been even more beautiful here this month than usual, and that is saying a lot!

I’ve always wanted to figure out how to help people really get out of their heads and into their bodies, and we’ve brought on a lovely lady (and a graduate of our internship program) who is providing that help in the way of guided meditations, art “therapy,” body-centering and intuition exercises, and much more! Shada has been at Tanglewood now for almost 8 months and our clients love both her work, and her.

We’ve also added another ex-intern as office manager. Amethyst also joined us back in September, spent several months, then took some time to take care of things back in the US. She’s just back a week and a half now, and is already having a huge impact on our efficiency and organization. Another lovely lady, you’ll have the pleasure of interacting with her should you call or e-mail us.

We are in the process of completely updating our website to make it more functional, more informational, more attractive, and easier to use. With the new site, we’ll be initiating a new newsletter soon, as well as blog, and several other cool things.

We’ve been working on planting fruit trees and moving towards food self-sufficiency with an eye towards total self-sufficiency over time. Now, we will be working with Permaculture Designer Matt Whitley to really maximize the use of our site and to create a self-sustaining food forest which will, within a few years, provide far more food than our little community here could need. If you are not familiar with it, Permaculture is a very cool idea – 30+ years old – that is about re-creating the kind of self-sustaining natural environment that not only provides plenty of food, but more importantly, does it in a way that also builds healthy soil, creates habitat for animals, and ultimately establishes a balanced eco-system: good for everyone.

Matt was invited to work with Permaculture originator Bill Mollison at his site in Australia, working side by side with Designer/Instructor extraordinaire Geoff Lawton, and learned a tremendous amount from both. We will benefit greatly from Matt’s wealth of knowledge and incredible ability to clearly and succinctly transmit it.

And now, so can you.

If you also have a vision of self-sufficiency, permaculture is the way to create it – at least with regard to growing your own food and living in harmony with the land.

Permaculture principles have been used in installations all over the world, and can be successfully employed in virtually every climate. Check out this short video showing a successful installation just a few miles east of the Dead Sea, where the soil was parched and had a very high salt content, and where total annual rainfall is very little. Within a short time, this site is producing tons of fruit, and requires very little maintenance once it’s really up and running.

Now you can learn how to create your own food forest in any climate.

From June 4th to 18th, we’ll be offering a Permaculture Design Certification course here at our beautiful site in Panama. The program runs $2295 all inclusive, though there are early registration discounts that apply if you register soon enough. Click here for more information or to register now.

There’s lots more cool stuff going on here, and I’ll share more with you again soon!

In the meantime, come spend two weeks with us in June and learn how you grow everything you need with the least amount of ongoing work, and at the same time, improve the ecology of your site. The only hope for our species is to learn how to be self-sufficient and to minimize our negative impact on the planet. Permaculture is one of the most powerful tools I’ve seen to accomplish this, and now you can get your certification in a tropical paradise right here at Tanglewood. Click here for more info, or to register now.