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The Foragers is a group of ten practitioners who are interested in resiliency in the face of environmental crisis. This group includes neighbors who have connections to Vermont’s web of eco-activist groups and residents who study and talk about the ideas that could work best at Karmê Chöling. The underlying idea is to make Karmê Chöling a resiliency hub where people could receive warrior training and have skills that resonate with our changing culture (which will include food scarcity, a shifting population, fear and perhaps health catastrophes).

We have submitted a grant application to the Shambhala Board to receive funds to provide scholarships for individuals to practice sustainable agriculture in our organic garden under the tutelage of Jan Enthoven, our master gardener of 30 years. Other future ideas include creating a food forest (replacing hardwood trees with fruit and nut varieties appropriate to our climate), building a root cellar to better store our garden surplus, developing alternative energy sources such as solar arrays, and managing food waste. (In addition to composting kitchen waste we have a well developed Bokashi system to anaerobically ferment inorganic waste before it is added to the compost system.)

We are in partnership with many local sustainability projects such as Vermont Healthy Soils initiative (sequestering carbon in robust soils with an interest in the possibility of grazing as part of that approach), Rural Vermont, Grow More-Waste Less, and CROs (Community Resilience Organization).

With our 750 acres of forest, meadows, and streams we feel that we (with help from the local dralas) can create a vibrant sustainable community here.

About Shastri Donna Williams

Shastri Donna WilliamsShastri Donna Williams has taught Shambhala Training Levels for the past 35 years both in the US and in Chile and is involved in teaching Contemplative Ecology and practicing plant-based textile arts. She lives in Vermont where she gardens, growing dye plants, apples, raspberries and raising bees.



  1. Jane Braaten says:

    Thank you – resilience/transition work ought to be based on strong principles or vision such as Shambala warriorship. Glad to hear about this.

  2. Ann Cantelow says:

    Greetings from Colorado. Glad you’re doing this! I end up at KCL about once a year and love seeing the garden. If you do any Zoom sessions I’d love to sit in a corner and listen. I’m about to get a permaculture design certificate, but still have lots to learn.

    • Mike de Give says:

      Hi Ann. Yes, we want to open this up with Zoom. The members of the Foragers are mainly non-Karmê Chöling staff, at the moment. The Foragers do not want Karmê Chöling to “own” this, and has support from every sangha in Vermont. We want this to serve everyone.


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