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LongGreenHouse is hosting Thursday potluck dinners for members of the neighborhood and community interested in the intersection between permaculture and Indigenous culture, and/or how these combine in the Longhouse model practiced by Wassookeag families. Read the rest of this entry »


gk's birthday

On thursday, Jan 24, Wassookeag children and family surprised gkisedtanamoogk with a birthday party. Earlier in the week, each child engaged gkisedtanamoogk in conversation designed to discover his likes, passions, and preferences. Then they conspired to gather as many as they could to celebrate with him. Learning about his avowed love of fire, native beads, music, ice cream cake, and good company, they crafted their ceremony. Ryan designed and made him a bead necklace; Kai designed the fire show with tea lights strewn about the house, Sgoaganill, Goptjaoetj, Otjoson brought his favorite ice cream cake. John Piccone and Miigam’agan taught us a Mi’kmaq song with guitar accompaniment, and adults brought food.

Click on the image below to view design plans for LongGreenHouse created by the UMaine Fall 07 Permaculture class, taught by Emily Markides, Julia & Charles Yelton and Joline Blais.


Catherine Martin, internationally award-winning film maker from Nova Scotia visits LongGreenHouse Nov 7-8 as part of a two-day tribute to Rita Joe, Mi’kmaq poet-laureate.

Betsy Arntzen from the Canadian-American Center joins the Indigenous Media class onsite to discuss Catherine’s films.
Catherine Martin’s credits include:

  • Kwa’Nu’Te: Micmac and Maliseet Artists – insightful interviews with artists who discuss the source of their inspiration, and the importance of art in cultural rebirth
  • SpiritWind – documentary of a 26’ birch bark canoe built by Mi’kmaq from Conne River, NL, and of their journey paddling it across open ocean from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia.
  • Mi’kmaq Family—Migmaoei Otjiosog – a reflective journey into the extended family of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw society, including the recovery of First Nations values through teachings of the elders.

Today Emily, Charles, Julia, Claudia, Joline & Bill met with Univ of Maine Sustainability Alliance to discuss the possibility of transforming the abandoned York Village into a Sustainable Living/Learning Center on the LongGreenHouse model.

The project would unite LongGreenHouse, a food and wetlands corridor with root zone & pond, and the York cluster for student housing and community-based experiential learning.

We–along with our Wabanaki partners–were invited to present our project/proposal to Sasaki, the Boston firm designing the University Master Plan on Nov 1st.

Scott Wilkerson, Director of Stormwater Management at UMaine, paid a visit to LongGreenHouse to assess the flow of stormwater from University parking lots and athletic fields through the site. As a result of meetings with permaculture students and professors, Scott suggested a reclamation plan in which the University would partner with students to design and implement a root zone area and catchment pond, to help filter pollutants from the water and daylight the buried flow through its emerging streamhead which flow directly into the Stillwater river.

This proposed project could be a model for other runoff situations across campus, a model for geening the landscape and cleaningthe water before it flows into the Penobscot watershed.

Today we visited York Village to consider the possibility of taking on the greening of a University Dorm–along an arc of greening projects from LongGreenHouse, to a food corridor, to a wetlands walk to a campus Living Learning Center for sustainability.

Afterwards, we returned to LongGreenHouse to work on the swales, and green house and to discuss green building techniques with special guest, Richard Graves, currently on the National LEEDS board.

This weekend, Students of Permaculture gathered at LongGreenHouse to design and carve swales, build a 4-season greenhouse, and a 12 foot coldframe. Read the rest of this entry »

Wassookeag children view Wabanki artifacts.

Wassookeag Children visit Abbe Museum with Debbie Bell-Smith, gkisedtanamoogk, and parents. We learned that “life was good here” for Wabanaki people before colonization, and we saw evidence of Wabanaki art, craft, dress, customs as compared to other Native cultures of North America.


On September 4, 2007, we launched a collaboration that brings together Indigenous Culture, Permaculture, and Digital Culture.

Just south of the UMaine campus, at 5 Chapel Rd, the children of Wassokeag HomeSchool met for the first time to learn and practice sustainable living. They met at the home of Wabanaki Elders Miigam’agan (Mi’kmaq) and gkisedtanamoogk (Wampanoag) and greeted a University of Maine course in Permaculture during which they took a soil sample, shook it up in a jar of water and watched it for a week to see the various layers sediment. The following week they reported their findings to the Permaculture class, along with their drawings, diagrams and stories related to the soil sample.

During that week they met with gkisedtanamoogk to learn about petroglyphs anh Wabanaki calendars. “He wasn’t teaching us,” one of the students recounted, “He was just showing us how he used his calendar.”

Meanwhile Permaculture students surveyed the grounds—a small wetlands, a new succession forest of birch, a scantic soil yard with a huge split red maple, and a corridor toward campus. Within a few weeks they would be designing plans for these grounds and implementing them with the assitance of the Wassookeag children.

A ten minute walk away, in downtown Orono, Claudia Lowd’s permaculture house was launching their workshop series, while at the other end of the stillwater on Free Street, Emily Markides was organizing a weekend permaculture series designed to turn her neighborhood into an ‘eco-hood’.

Flickr Photos


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