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A public panel on alternative economies will be held Aug. 22 at the Tatamagouche Centre.

The purpose of this panel is to explore some local examples of alternative economy, and how these initiatives are solving complex modern economic challenges.

This panel is a publicly offered portion of the Earth Activist Training, a Permaculture Design Course being offered Aug. 18-Sept. 1 at the centre. Students of this two-week intensive and experiential course will receive a basic, internationally-recognized 72-hour permaculture curriculum with an additional focus on social permaculture, organizing tools, and spirit. The course is being led by activist, permaculture designer, and author of 12 books Starhawk, who is one of the foremost voices of Earth-based, feminist spirituality. Charles Williams, who also integrates spiritual practices with land management and building healthy communities in the United States, will also be teaching the course.

From the course’s description on the Tatamagouche Centre’s website, participants will “learn how to heal soil and cleanse water, how to design human systems that mimic natural systems using a minimum of energy and resources, and how to create real abundance and social justice. Permaculture has many tools to address the problems of climate change and environmental degradation, and this course focuses on solutions and positive approaches to the grave problems which confront us today”.

The website also helps to give readers a sense of what permaculture is, explaining that “green solutions are sprouting up all around us, but permaculture shows us how to weave them together into systems that can meet human needs and regenerate the natural world”.

The alternative economies panel itself will feature three speakers who are involved in alternative economic solutions in the Tatamagouche region. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how they can start participating in alternative economic solutions in their everyday lives. Two of the three speakers have been confirmed thus far, representing the Waldegrave Farm Land Trust and LETS – the North Shore of Nova Scotia’s Local Economic Trading System.

The LETS Network will also be hosting a market during the event. LETS is a network of businesses and customers that uses LETS notes as a local currency. The idea is based on studies that indicate that a local currency can have two to three times more economic benefit to a local community than federal currency. Local currencies support local purchases from local merchants, vendors, and service providers. Anyone interested in having a table at the market can contact Michael Jensen at michaeljonjensen@gmail.com.

The panel Panel will begin at 7 p.m. and is open and free to all members of the public.

There will be a dinner beforehand at 6 p.m. made from local and organic ingredients, with the market beginning at 5:30. Tickets for the dinner cost $18 or 18 LETS notes, and are available at the Tatamagouche Centre, Foodland, or Fulton’s Pharmacy. Canadian dollars can be exchanged at the event for LETS notes. All activities will be held at the Tatamagouche Centre.

For more information, contact the Tatamagouche Centre at info@tatacentre.ca or 902-657-2231.