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Annual Report

12 Mar

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Annual Program Report 2016

This was another year of growth for Treleven as you can see from the appended list of events that took place on the farm during the year.

We continue to be most excited about the way Treleven benefits from and can support the spirit, nature, and social justice interests of our Board members. There is a growing emphasis on the arts, music, painting, film and writing that will likely expand in coming years.

Our Creative Residencies have brought outstanding people to the farm for extended stays.

Our work this past year has fallen into several broad categories:

Nature and agricultural education: guided walks by naturalists, geologists and pasture management experts, open farm week activities, the Faces of Farming series on MCTV, and offering the farm as an orientation site for incoming college students, site visits for groups of school children.

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Supported retreats for staff from organizations that share our interests:

Parent/Child Center outreach staff, staff of Migrant Justice, NOFA farm to community mentors, Burlington Writers Group, foster care event planning group, group developing a guide to therapeutic home visiting.

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Partnering with other groups to promote narrative therapy and early childhood development. The Growing Bright Futures interview series done in conjunction with Lets Grow Kids and Building Bright Futures, support for “Narrative Camp” support for the development of an early childhood summer institute at Castleton University.

We look forward to even wider offerings in the coming year.

Please see the full list of events here: Treleven events 2016 in landscape format

Meet Our Fall Residents

11 Mar

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Inanc Tekguc from Cyprus was the second resident this fall. As he said in his application:

I am visiting this side of the Atlantic at a time when I seek personal regeneration and growth, which I think is a necessity for many of us on a regular basis like welcoming a favorite season, for “refreshing the spirit”. For the past five years I have found this reviving feeling, at the Global Environments Summer Academy, a gathering of change-makers from around the world who are environmentally and socially active and caring. While we take a break from GESA this year, I hope to find similar inspiration in my travels in Northern America.

Inanc is a tremendously talented film maker, you can see from his work for GDF

While at Treleven he did a deliberate series of time lapse photographs at various locations on the farm.  We look forward to seeing this work someday, but Inanc ran up against customs and immigration services, who would not let him back into the United States after he made a short visit to Montreal to see friends. Treleven Board member Susannah McCandless has been able to reconnect with him out side of the US, but we are very distressed by the way he was treated here.

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Treleven was delighted to welcome Holly Baldwin, director of Beacon Hill Friends House in Boston as our first fall resident.  Holly proposed using the quiet of the farm, and the support of Treleven Board members, as a way to plan out the three month sabbatical that she had recently been offered. While here, she spent lots of time walking/hiking, reading, and enjoying the solitude. For 11 years she directed BHFH, an intentional community of 21 people. As she said “when you live where you work, and are responsible for the well being of your community, there is little time or space for quiet contemplation”.  You can read more about BHFH and Holly’s thoughtful articles here:  Beacon Hill Friends House.

As you will see from the post, her sabbatical opened up so many new avenues of thought that she has decided to take a new step in her career. We were grateful to be one of the way stations on her journey toward new experiences.

 

Applications for creative residencies are accepted on a rolling basis. The typical spring residency coincides with lambing season, which begins March 23 in 2017. You can find the details for applying on the June 24 blog post.

Creative Residency: Apply Now!

24 Jun

Wolf Oak

Treleven Inc, the educational and environmental nonprofit Don and Cheryl Mitchell founded at their farm in New Haven, Vermont, has established a residential retreat for artists, writers, teachers, and activists in the annex beside the main farmhouse. This is a beautiful, sunny space of almost 1,000 square feet with a bed in one corner, a desk in another, a dining area with a table, a well-provisioned kitchen, a bathroom and shower, and a deck. It has frequently been used in the past for tourist and guest accommodation as well as for retreats.

 

Treleven now offers this facility for creative, Board sponsored retreats.  Both month long, week or two week long sessions are offered in the fall. The spring session typically coincides with lambing season. Costs for the room and utilities are covered by the non-profit. The person accepted for the retreat is responsible for his or her own transportation and food.

 

The proposed creative project should relate directly to some aspect of the Treleven mission, which emphasizes creativity, environmental awareness, education, healing ourselves and the earth, and social justice. If the project is inspired by the physical attributes of this Vermont sheep farm and its surrounding forests, so much the better. The actual project might take the form of artwork, writing, creating a film or a song cycle, development of a new social policy, or social program, or planning an ambitious new course. More information about recent programs and affiliations may be found on the Treleven website: (https://treleven.wordpress.com/about/).

 

The application should include:

1. cover letter with a description of the proposed project

2.whether you desire a week, two week, or month long residency

3. one to two page bio

4. brief sample of your work,

5. names and contact info of two references.

Applicants for retreats are asked to submit these materials to Cheryl.W.Mitchell@gmail.com as either Word documents or PDF files. Please write “Treleven Residency” in the subject line. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. A selection committee from the Treleven Board will read your materials and get back to you within three weeks of your application.

Fall Creative Residencies: Apply Now!

14 Jan

Amalia’s pastel, sketched during Spirit of Change Class

Applications are now being accepted for the Fall 2016 Creative Residencies at Treleven. Please see the December 9 blog post for more details.

The people selected will have free and full use of the Annex from either October 2 to October 28, 2016 or October 30 to November 11, 2016.

Don rests from preparing the Annex for the fall creative residency.

Don rests from preparing the Annex for the fall creative residency.

Program Highlights 2015

7 Jan

Treleven 2015

Program Highlights

 

This felt like a full and wonderful year for Treleven. Many ideas –some old, and some new—came to fruition and there were activities all year long.

Sojourning friends (and strangers who are now friends) brought a wonderful sense of vibrancy to the farm. Board Members John and Rita Elder stayed in the Annex early in the winter while their new net-zero energy home in Bristol was being completed. From their many ideas emerged the building of a labyrinth, which people now walk in meditation on a near-daily basis. Talis Thorndike-Love came to the farm at the beginning of lambing season and now lives with Ethan and Susannah. Andrew Baker, a Brooklyn-based filmmaker, rented the Annex for periods during March and April and made a documentary about Don, the sheep and this year’s lambing season. Having Andrew on the farm and working on this film project catalyzed the Board’s decision to create a program of Treleven-sponsored Creative Residencies. Anna Mullen, the first person to be competitively selected for one of these residencies, spent five weeks during late fall living on the farm in order to observe and write about the flock of sheep from multiple perspectives. Other individuals who rented the Annex for their own purposes at different times during the year have made a growing contribution to our understanding of what a creative residency might entail: One person completed a book-length poetry manuscript, another is writing about education, and another taught us about building deeper connections with the community through her work as a substitute staff member at Porter Hospital.

Farm Walk for PLACE

Based on these experiences, the board will be offering two month-long, rent-free residencies each year. We are trying to find the right balance between longer term renters, sponsored residents, and the shorter workshops, classes, and tours that also take place at the farm under Treleven’s sponsorship.

Sue Ellen Hamkin's Master Class

Speaking of workshops, this year’s highlight was, once again, the Narrative Therapy Master Class arranged by Peggy Sax and taught by Sue Ellen Hamkin, which beautifully integrated the environment of the farm with work on healing approaches to issues in mental health. For the first time, the celebratory potluck and bonfire to be held at the pond as part of this event was not rained out! Kirk Webster brought his 40 students of apiculture here for a hands-on beekeeping workshop. Emma Stultz (a UVM student) shared a conservation walk with Don as part of the New Haven Conservation Commission’s PLACE Program. Treleven is the co-sponsor of two interview shows for Middlebury Community Television: Faces of Farming and Growing Bright Futures.

Kirk Webster's Apiculture Class

A dozen of Middlebury College’s current first-year students spent their orientation weekend here, and our wonderful relationship with the college’s summer Food Works program continued to flourish. Emma Homans, our summer intern this year, participated in all aspects of the farm and helped to connect us more closely with the Parent/Child Center in Middlebury. During the coming year she will be helping to coordinate the volunteers who love to assist in the barn during lambing season. As part of a conference in Rutland sponsored by UVM’s Extension Service, Don and Cheryl taught an agro-tourism workshop on welcoming visitors onto your farm. We were less successful this year in marketing NOFA’s Open Farm Week, our own Treleven summer Nature Camp, and a pasture management workshop sponsored by the Vermont Sheep and Goat Association…but all of these events did take place with at least some attendees.

We continue to love the ways the Board operates, benefits from the interests and expertise of its members, remains mindful of the connections between spirit, nature and social justice, and enjoys working and dreaming together.

Creative Residency: Apply Now!

9 Dec

Wolf Oak

Treleven Inc, the educational and environmental nonprofit Don and Cheryl Mitchell founded at their farm in New Haven, Vermont, has established a residential retreat for artists, writers, teachers, and activists in the annex beside the main farmhouse. This is a beautiful, sunny space of almost 1,000 square feet with a bed in one corner, a desk in another, a dining area with a table, a well-provisioned kitchen, a bathroom and shower, and a deck. It has frequently been used in the past for tourist and guest accommodation as well as for retreats.

 

Treleven now offers this facility for creative, Board sponsored retreats.  Both month long and two week long sessions are offered in the fall. The spring session typically coincides with lambing season. Costs for the room and utilities are covered by the non-profit. The person accepted for the retreat is responsible for his or her own transportation and food.

 

The proposed creative project should relate directly to some aspect of the Treleven mission, which emphasizes creativity, environmental awareness, education, healing ourselves and the earth, and social justice. If the project is inspired by the physical attributes of this Vermont sheep farm and its surrounding forests, so much the better. The actual project might take the form of artwork, writing, creating a film or a song cycle, development of a new social policy, or social program, or planning an ambitious new course. More information about recent programs and affiliations may be found on the Treleven website: (https://treleven.wordpress.com/about/).

 

The application should consist of a cover letter with a description of the proposed project, a one to two page bio, a brief sample of your work, and the names and contact info of two references.  Applicants for the retreats beginning October 2 or October 30 , 2016, are asked to submit these materials to Cheryl.W.Mitchell@gmail.com as either Word documents or PDF files. Please write “Treleven Residency” in the subject line. The closing date for applications for the Fall 2016 Retreats is August 12. A selection committee from the Treleven Board will read all materials and get back to people with its decision by August 21, 2016.

Welcome to Anna Mullen: Treleven’s First Artistic Resident!

21 Oct
Anna: Treleven's First Resident!

Treleven’s First Artistic Resident!

We are thrilled to welcome Anna Mullen, who was selected after a competitive process as the inaugural recipient of our new month-long retreat award. Anna will be in residence from October 15, 2015 to November 18, 2015. During this time she will be closely observing and documenting the sheep flock (and other aspects of the farm) as part of her deep interest in animal consciousness. A recent graduate of Middlebury College, Anna has spent summers teaching environmental awareness to children. Anna’s cover letter clearly explains why she was selected as our first awardee. She expects to present an overview of her work near the end of her residency, which will be open to the public.

The Treleven Residency Award is designed for individuals who share Treleven’s philosophy and interests, who need a peaceful setting in which to pursue creative or program development activities, and whose work will benefit from the sense of place provided by the farm. The next residency will be held from April 18, 2016 to May 16, 2016. The online application form will be available on this web site in January. The residency program is adding a rich new dimension to the courses, workshops, summer programs and farm internships that Treleven continues to sponsor. Please encourage your friends to apply–or apply yourself if you have an interesting project in mind. Treleven’s chief areas of concern include environmental awareness, social justice, spiritual development and mental health.

For more information about creative residencies at Treleven click here.