Deepening Roots was created in 2005 by volunteers from The Art of Living to offer youth a unique, experience-based approach to sustainable agriculture and leadership. Deepening Roots brings together educators in the fields of permaculture, health and wellness, meditation and leadership development to facilitate a three-week summer intensive training program. The core curriculum consists of:
- practical experience working in an existing 2-acre organic garden,
- workshops in the latest techniques in organic agriculture and permaculture design,
- formal exposure to nutrition and wellness.
In addition, participants get leadership training that develops core competencies in communication, conflict resolution, managing stress and team building. This prepares them to effectively face the myriad of challenges of applying the skills and concepts learned during the internship and of promoting sustainable change at a local level.
In 2009, the Deepening Roots staff created an additional education program – a comprehensive, practical and fun weekend workshop in sustainable agriculture and nutrition. The purpose of this workshop is to share the skills and knowledge from the summer intensive training program on a wider scale in local communities around the world. Graduates of the summer intensive training undergo further training to be able to teach this workshop to members of their community. This weekend workshop is formal means for accomplishing Deepening Roots’ mandate of promoting the awareness and practice of sustainable agriculture, creating healthier eco-systems, creating local food security and allowing people to reconnect with nature in a healthy and productive manner.
Communities around the world are being inspired by youth leaders to:
- Transform lawns and community spaces into edible, self-maintaining landscapes
- Support local, small-scale organic farms and design community food systems
- Eat well and give great value to healthy, nutritious foods
- Consume less and reduce their ecological footprints
- Learn how to increase energy, awareness and effectiveness through meditation
- Live life as a celebration
The Five Elements of Deepening Roots
Deepening Roots is built of five elements: meditation, health & wellness, sustainable agriculture, empowerment and community. Each element weaves through the others to produce the fabric of Deepening Roots.
As we attend to the environmental and social challenges of our time it is crucial we do so with a focused, centered, light-hearted and committed state of mind. Meditation is a tool to establish and nurture these positive qualities.
2. Health & wellness
With a healthy body and understanding of oneself, a person’s capability expands exponentially. Understanding ourselves as part of nature, we begin to become a resource for others and the environment around us.
3. Sustainable agriculture
How we choose to feed ourselves reflects our relationship with the wider world. Deepening Roots is developing a vibrant, sustainable and dynamic society by promoting innovative sustainable agriculture systems that are relevant to everyone.
Commitment, self-confidence, enthusiasm, strength and a willingness to take on the responsibilities of a leader - with a dedication to these qualities, young people can inspire transformative social and environmental change.
Learning, sharing and working together in an accepting and inspiring environment is critical to the success of our programs. Together we are generating ideas and solutions that will aid the development of new social and ecological systems.