OAEC supports diverse communities to design their own regenerative systems at the regional and local scale.
Our cookbook is a collection of inventive recipes inspired by seasonal eating from our biodiverse Mother Garden, orchards and Wildlands Preserve.
Experience the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center through a video tour and beautiful photographs of our Guest Houses, Meeting Room, Bathhouse, Kitchen & Dining Room, Mother Garden and more.
New in 2017: Now open every weekend April-October, Saturdays & Sundays from 10am-5pm! Our nursery specializes in open-pollinated perennials including edible landscaping plants, rare and endangered food crops, drought tolerant ornamentals and habitat plants. Join us for our three special Plant Sale Events focused on annual plants for starting your seasonal vegetable gardens.
OAEC offers the longest consistently running two-week Permaculture Design Certification course in the West. Immerse yourself in information, ideas and inspiration on how to design sustainable, regenerative systems in balance with your home ecosystem.
Our School Garden Teacher Training supports schools to integrate the school garden into multiple subject areas using place-based, experiential learning.
James Pelican is the Site Manager and Performing Arts Manager (including Producer of OAEC’s Chautauqua Series). Since taking on the roll of managing the Facilities Department at OAEC in 2001, he has become adept at managing facilities projects from the very small (the light bulb needs replacing) to the very large (build a new nursery). Besides knowing how to build a house from the ground up, he also builds furniture. Theatrically, he produces the annual Chautauqua Series at OAEC. He is part of the clown troop Clowns On A Stick that will be premiering its new show “Family Portrait” in 2015 and appears in plays with various companies in Sonoma County.
On Staff Since: 2001 Phone: x108
I oversee the facilities work for OAEC and onsite Sowing Circle Community. My focus is on managing the new construction projects that we’ve been undertaking the past few years.
I worked on farms for much of my twenties, then fell in with a construction contractor, Kirk Hopkin, in 1999. After a couple of years learning which way is the business end of a hammer, the Facilities Manager position came up at OAEC. I’ve had thirteen years of on the job training. I’m starting to get it. I think.
Through the wanderings of my adult life, the importance of working within a community has been a running theme. Whether it be farming, theater, working with wood, or where I live, the strength of numbers has always been intrinsic to my pursuits. Having a warm home with the wife, the cat, and a cozy wood stove also stir my passions.
I love my work. The OAEC is getting some good work done in the world, my projects are interesting, and I get to teach folks some skills.
The Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, Calif. Keeping a strong center makes everything happy!
A few years back, high in the Sierras, I sat on a hollowed-out peak with the wind howling through the opening. The land for a hundred miles composed itself before me.
“Lovergirl” by Teena Marie