Home / Blog / Foragers awarded grant for garden program

Master Gardener Jan Enthoven will offer a “Regenerative Living and Gardening” program this summer at Karmê Chöling, thanks to seed-money awarded to the Foragers — a group of local sangha members advocating food security and sustainability in the age of Climate Change.

The program takes place mostly in the garden with Jan, and with walks and practice in the forest led by Shastri Donna Williams. 

“Every day there will be a morning and evening session of meditation, and I will talk about spirituality and the garden, spirituality and our ordinary, daily life,” said Jan. 

The $4,000 grant was awarded to the Foragers by the Harmon Foundation for developing the curriculum and marketing the program, and other things.

In addition to gardening, the program will raise awareness of how basic living habits can affect the planet and the quality of our lives.

“We all have to learn those things more than we have in the past. We’ve been talking and thinking about it, but we really haven’t changed our habits very much,” said Jan. “How can we live simpler lives that are yet very rich?”

Participants can attend for one weekend or for two full weeks. It’s currently set for August, when in-person visits to Karmê Chöling are hoped to be the norm again. 

“The difference with the people doing the two-week program is that they will actually, actively, make compost and they will actively plant something and they will maybe seed a cover crop,” said Jan.

This is a Tyrolese Mountain Sheep from Stubai Valley, Tyrol, Austria. It’s not an actual sheep that lives in Vermont. For Illustration purposes only. Wiki Commons.

“At that time there will be sheep grazing at Karmê Chöling, on some meadows,” he said.

Grazing animals create a healthier climate by taking part in a process that sequesters carbon below ground. Jan has found a local sheep farmer looking for pasture who has agreed to let his sheep roam the meadows.

The program is aimed at people who have an interest in backyard gardening and meditation, and who share concern about climate change and environmental degradation. 

The Foragers are a group of local sangha members who share concerns about climate change and food security. One of their goals is to encourage Karmê Chöling toward more sustainable living.



  1. Alley Smith-Morrissey says:

    This is fantastic news! Congrats KCL!

  2. Mark Bowen says:

    Can you tell us a bit about the Harmon Foundation?

    • Mike de Give says:

      I’d be happy to. I couldn’t get hold of the point-person before posting that, but she’s getting back to me today. Basically, though, it is a local family fund that looks for worthy projects that need seed money to get started.

  3. Ellen Hollyday says:

    Hi Mark, this is Bear. Basically my great grandfather (Wm E Harmon-you can google him) grew up poor, made some $ in real estate and wanted to help other young people get a start in life. He did cool things like fund black art, student loans, town parks, and was one of the first to sell land based on the installment plan,., The family is still giving away the interest from the principal in small grants to what projects family members ( like me) want to support. very cool. Grant size is seed money of about $ 2-8K and we give to a range of projects.Very family oriented.

  4. Ron Verbruggen says:

    My wife (Liz) and I had the amazing fortune to attend this esteemed gardening program together. We stayed in a tent (we brought our own though KCL does have some available) not far from the main house. From the very first day of arrival we were greeted and guided by a very welcoming staff that, in short order, became close friends. Throughout the program and our stay we were constantly fascinated by what we learned and awed by Jan Enthoven’s patient tutoring, depth of knowledge and passion for this insightful approach to soil management. Every lesson and discussion included examples and sage advice derived from his own many years of experience.
    This program was also about our selves and the world we live in. So, to our pleasant surprise, it included segments on environmental self-awareness conducted by the very talented and inspiring Donna Williams along with some very knowledgeable guest speakers. I will never look so naively at mushrooms again. 🙂
    But this was more than just a garden program. It was the essence of Karme Choling, an experience, a family and a wholistic approach to life. And to help us, guide us and embodying that KCL spirit day by day and at times hour by hour, was Emily Forse, a pillar of strength, skill, patience and dedication. We owe many thanks to Emily for all the usual logistical questions or concerns that come up. But particularly for being there in the garden, being at all the sessions and for all the many heart-felt efforts she put into making our participation feasible and enjoyable.
    As a participants in this program, we came away informed, inspired and awakened. Learning from Jan was an opportunity that changed my appreciation and perspective for this planet and the impact that farming and gardening have had and can have on us all. Many thanks to everyone mentioned and to the many at KCL not mentioned but still part of that amazing experience.


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