I am proud to be a member of this community. I came as an intern and have remained as a community member because I believe in the service that Lost Valley is providing to the world. Here we have an opportunity to live and work within the context of an educational center focused on empowering individuals to experiment with new social and environmental paradigms.
Lost Valley has made a huge impact on my life. I have known about Lost Valley for a long time through my interest in Permaculture. I decided to move there in 2008 after returning to Oregon after months of traveling after graduating college. I became the Kitchen Manager and resident of the community in March 2008. During my time there I was able to help start a co-op and create stronger alliances with local farmers and producers. We already produce much of our fresh eggs and produce on site. We are now over 80% local, with most fresh foods coming from within 10 miles. We were also able to glean and preserve thousands of pounds of local fruits and vegetables, and used various methods of preservation to hold onto this bounty throughout the lean winter months. In 2009, another local group started the Dexter Lake Farmer's Market, and the Lost Valley Kitchens were a big part of the market. Every weekend we brought loaves of freshly baked breads, jams, cinnamon rolls, teas, coffees, and other artisan goodies and value added products which created more interest in the Co-op and more local connections with our community and the local community of Dexter. To cap off the season in 2009, the kitchen hosted a four day Permaculture and Food Skills Intensive. During this course we taught beekeeping, cheesemaking, beer brewing, wine making, artisan cob oven baking, cultured foods, and food preservation (drying, canning, smoking, curing, brining, fermenting, and more). It was a very popular course, and we'll be happy to add it to the regular course offerings through the Camassia Institute (the official Permaculture Educational institute on our 87 acre living/residential "campus"). Besides being able to delve deeper into permaculture and how it relates to food, Lost Valley has been a blessing in so many ways. I've met so many amazing people from all over the world who want to learn about creating a more sustainable new culture and planet, and here we come together as a community to make this reality. It is a very special place and I am proud to serve as a board member to help Lost Valley continue to serve it's mission for another 20 years or more to come.