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.
Our 100% Certified Organic plant nursery specializes in open-pollinated perennials including edible landscaping plants, rare and endangered food crops, drought tolerant ornamentals and habitat plants - all tested in our onsite gardens and appropriate for our bioregion.
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.
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW)
ELAW’s Defending the Defenders program provides free legal and scientific support for frontline public-interest environmental and human rights lawyers around the globe, many who face severe threats of violence on a daily basis as they defend their communities.
OAEC was invited by ELAW partners and indigenous Miskitu leaders (we are not listing names due to safety concerns) in the North-Atlantic Region of Nicaragua to visit a dozen indigenous Miskitu communities they advocate for. The Miskitu people and their traditional homeland – the second largest rainforest in the western Hemisphere – are under direct threat from illegal mining, logging, and settlement. Violence towards indigenous Miskitu people is rampant in the area.
In May, OAEC’s Brock Dolman and Kendall Dunnigan traveled to Nicaragua to support the Miskitu communities in improving their local food and water security with bio-intensive agriculture, conservation hydrology, and permaculture design support (pictured above). Additionally, through the support of OAEC donors, including a generous donation from World Centric, OAEC provided $60,000 for additional resources to the Miskitu communities towards their food, water, and community resilience goals.
The Opportunity and its Impact
While Miskitu lawyers and native leaders battle through legal channels to force Nicaragua to complete the title transfer to people in the autonomous region, women in the communities are building their ability to govern their lands. These women-led governance groups are implementing democratic systems of shared communal governance. Since many men have had to migrate to cities to find work or have been killed in land conflicts, in many areas of the autonomous region, women have had to take principle responsibility for land management and food production. These women are seeking support in their endeavors to be sound practitioners of sustainable land management. In this agro-ecology training project, Miskitu women seek:
Land disputes in Nicaragua, largely ignored by the authoritarian government, have led to precarious situations for indigenous communities and those who defend them. In many cases, the companies who carry out violations against human rights defenders and communities are working in collaboration with police forces and even the army.