Area residents are welcome to participate in a free series of three sessions entitled “What Does It Mean to Live Sustainably?”

The series will be held on three consecutive Saturdays, March 7, 14 and 21, from 3 to 5 p.m., at Balsam Moon, located 10 miles southwest of Pine River on the edge of  the Foothills State Forest.

This series invites participants to dialogue, share and learn together about sustainability and how it looks in practice.  Is it the same for everyone?

“We hear a great deal about recycling, alternative energy use, changing our light bulbs and all that, but what does sustainability really mean?” says instructor Doug Weiss. “What does it mean in regards to our family life-style? In regards to our economics? In regards to the Earth? In regards to our community and spirituality?”

This free series is an opportunity to come together and explore more in-depth these and other questions related to sustainability, worldview, and how to embrace, more fully, a sustainable life-style.

Doug Weiss and Barb Mann, caretakers of Balsam Moon, work with a common vision in creating Balsam Moon: “An emerging vision of peace, sustainability, and renewal in partnership with Earth, Spirit, and People.” Their 20 acres offers a place to gather in community, honoring diversity and shared experiences of living in a world of finite resources and abundant possibilities.

The place features alternative energy sources using solar heat, solar electric, an electric car, wood-fired furnace, a deep winter greenhouse, a wood-fired barrel oven, a stream-fed pond, hiking trails, a labyrinth in the woods, organic gardens, and simple accommodations for overnight visits/retreats.

“We seek to share what we’ve learned in a spirit of hospitality, generosity and reciprocity,” said Mann. “We don’t know all that we’ll be doing here, though this year is our launch year. Food and celebration are ways to draw people together. We’ll host third Friday Pizza nights, for example, in the summer, sharing our wood-fired barrel oven.”

They offer hospitality, shared learning, renewal, community building and fun.They will be offering two workshops at the up-coming 14th annual Back to Basics Event Feb. 15 at Pine River-Backus Schools, “Intro to Electric Cars” and “The Labyrinth De-mystified.” These can be registered for via the Happy Dancing Turtle website,

Register for the Sustainability series by calling (218) 587-3808, email or by registering via the Facebook site Balsam Moon.


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