Valerie Silberstein

Participant in Eco 12

I was in Eco 12 when I was 22 years old. I had been living in Israel for a few years already and made time to do Eco before I started studying in university. Now I am living in a spiritual community in the Negev desert. I had experienced community life and farm living before I came to Hava & Adam but I Hava & Adam is where I learned more lessons about myself and about the world outside than I thought possible. I still take a moment of silence before every meal to express gratitude. I still practice mindful fox walking (even when I’m not in a forest). Almost every day I question why not everyone has a grey water system from their kitchen to their garden. And of course, I have wonderful memories of waking up in my yurt and brushing my teeth in the garden immediately outside the door, gardening together, collecting greens and herbs before cooking a meal, hiking and camping together(but not the time we left the tachini in the sun and it went bad-oops), of sitting inside the mulberry bush eating berries, roasting veggies over an open fire, and mapping our permaculture project. In addition to learning new recipes, new ecological processes, and useful homesteading skills, I experienced many different viewpoints of life and made lasting friendships with my fellow Ecos.

What did you learn on the farm, which you still practice in your life today?

Moments of Silence and giving thanks before meals

What are you doing now?  

Living in a community in the south

How did your experience on the Eco program impact the direction of your life?

Helped me discover how enjoyable communal life is

What was the most important thing you took away from the Eco program?

A love of permaculture

What is your fondest memory of the Eco experience?

Good friends

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