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Past News

Building a Life in Harmony with Nature: A Friendly Evening at a Forest and Veganic Garden. Join us in exploring and gathering on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 starting at 4 pm at the Ahimsa homestead in Julian, PA for a program of nature immersion, education, and great vegan food.  A big thanks to Claire Holzner, Mercedes Howard, Kelle Kersten, and Kathy Pollard for organizing this event.  Complete details here.

Veganic Gardening Workshop - Kelle and Bob conducted a veganic gardening workshop on a new vegan homestead near Ithaca, NY on August 13, 2016.  Details here.

Will Tuttle Talks - we were delighted to host Dr. Will Tuttle and Madeline Tuttle for two inspirational talks in our area on June 13, 2016 (O-An Zendo, Julian, PA) and June 14 (University Mennonite, State College, PA).  Thanks to all who helped make the events a big success!

Vegan Book Discussion Group.  In the fall of 2015 we started a vegan book discussion group that met for about 2 years.  The group is currently not meeting. If you are interested reviving the group please contact Kelle at magicjubilee at

Central PA Vegans - vegan potluck group meets several times a year in members' homes in and around State College. We always have great conversation, great vegan food and often an educational program about veganism. If interested please join our group.

A Guide to Vegan Nutrition by George Eisman (revised and republished edition now available) - George and Claire are good friends and supporters of Ahimsa Village.  They have recently revised and updated George's invaluable book on vegan nutrition. Details here.

World Peace Diet Group Facilitation - The World Peace Diet (a book written by Will Tuttle) takes a comprehensive look at the impact of our eating choices on ourselves, animals, and the planet. Kelle Kersten is a trained WPD facilitator/trainer.  Contact her at magicjubilee @ if you have questions, are interested in starting a WPD group, or would like her to facilitate a group. Read Kelle's Amazon review to learn more about the book.

Compassion Club Book Now Available - Kelle's book based on the research she did for her Master's in Humane Education degree is now available.  The book's title is "Compassion Club: Nurturing the Compassion of High School Girls Through Activism."  The book is a handbook for establishing Compassion Club, an after-school club for high school girls that will nurture their compassion through active involvement in meaningful environmental, animal rights, and/or human rights issues.  Click here to order book via Amazon.

100th Anniversary of E. F. Schumacher's birth
August 16, 2011 marked the 100th Anniversary of E. F. Schumacher's birth.  As many of you know Schumacher and Borsodi shared a common vision for building local resilient economies. Borsodi and Bob Swann, co-founder of the American E.F. Schumacher Society worked closely on developing the Community Land Trust model and alternative currencies. The New Economics Institute is celebrating Schumacher’s legacy with a special web page at

April 22: Gardening season is here - we have early crops in and everything else under lights.

2011: Maple Sugaring Season is Underway!
Ahimsa has a very small maple sugaring operation that we run as a partnership with our neighbors Scott and Kate.  If you would like to learn the art of mapling or just come hang out while we burn down the sap contact Kelle at  The mapling season usually starts in mid-February.

Feb 19, 2011: Life of Ralph Borsodi
Bill Sharp did a fantastic overview of the incredible life and work of Ralph Borsodi, founder of the School of Living, on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011 at Ahimsa as part of our Saturday Sustainable Living Talk Series.  His talk was followed by a lively discussion by those in attendance.  Bill would like to start a seminar series based on Borsodi's magnum opus "The 17 Problems of Man and Society."  Bill feels it is one of the most remarkable (and largely forgotten) works of the 20th century.  You can read the introductory pages of 17 problems here.  If you would like to be included on our email list for the upcoming seminars please contact Bob Flatley at  An audio copy of Bill's talk will be available online.

January Talk on the Marcellus Shale Gas Rush - IMPORTANT!!!!
Learn about the Marcellus Gas Rush literally occurring in our back yards!  Wayne Hansen, founding member of Julian Woods Community, has been closely tracking the Marcellus Shale Gas Rush since its beginning.  Please come to this session with your questions and concerns.  Complete details (pdf)

Thanks to Chuck Cave for the fascinating talk and slideshow on Howard Finster
We had a record attendance of 22 people at our Saturday Night Sustainability Talk (Nov. 2010).  Chuck Cave, Emeriti Professor of Art at Penn State, presented a talk and slideshow on the work of the visionary artist Howard Finster and his "Paradise Garden."  Finster recycled junk to create a fantastical four-acre art garden in Summerville, Georgia.  To learn more about Finster's garden visit

Oct 4, 2010: Sustainability Talks Return for the Fall and Winter
Welcome to the third year of Ahimsa's Sustainability Talks.  This year we are going to be hosting them on Saturdays (previously they had been on Fridays).  Please watch the site for updates on this great series!

August 2010: Canning Season is Underway!!!!
Despite the dry weather we are having a banner year in the garden thanks to a new well pump installed by Robert - we now have plenty of water to irrigate all the gardens and orchards.  Thanks to Kelle and Claire the canning season has begun - they canned 14 quarts of cucumbers!

Announcing the 2010 Summer Camp - sign up now!!!!

Launching the "Fresh Food Alliance"

Summer Camp Assistant Wanted:

News Flash: March 28, 2010 - two Transition Town initiatives are getting underway in Centre County - Transition Town State College and Transition Town Bald Eagle Valley. Click here to read article on our blog about the Transition movement.
To get involved with TT State College contact Bill Sharp at
To get involved with TT Bald Eagle contact Deb Fisher at

March 2010: Maple Sugaring Season!!!
We are currently in the midst of the maple sugaring season here at Ahimsa.  We are boiling sap on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  If you are interested in participating contact Kelle at  The maple sugar season ends in late March.

Feb 27, 2010: Transition Towns Movement
Ahimsa hosted the first meeting of the new Transition Centre initiative at the farmhouse.  We reviewed the steps involved to become a formal transition initiative and discussed how we plan to proceed.  Ahimsa is participating on the steering committee.  We are particularly interested in starting a Bald Eagle Subgroup.  If you are interested in participating in Transition Centre contact Bill Sharp at  View our meeting agenda (pdf) or visit the new Transition Centre County web site to learn more.  Please watch the web site for more information about this important local initiative and how you can participate.

Check out our Winter 2010 Newsletter Stories:
AZH Update by Steve Kanji Ruhl
Garden Starters Program by Bill Sharp

Reflections on Green Buddhism Talk by Bill Sharp
It's Time to Step Up & Defend Animals in PA
Vegetarianism: The most important solution to Global Warming
Top Ten Green Buddhists by Steve Kanji Ruhl
Film Recommendation - The Shift by Wayne Dyer

January 30, 2010: It's Time to Step Up & Defend Animals in PA
There are two important bills being considered by our State Legislature in Harrisburg. Let's let our elected officials (and candidates) know where we stand.  House Bill 1411 and Senate Bill 843 would ban live pigeon shoots and the use of launched or tethered live animals as shooting targets. Senate Bill 50 would amend and strengthen the Dog Purchaser Protection Act, which holds sellers accountable for the health of the dogs they sell.

Please let your State Representative and State Senator know that you support these Bills and expect them to do the same. And anyone new running for the Legislature in 2010 also needs to be asked where they stand on these issues.

We need to be united in favor of protecting innocent birds and animals in Pennsylvania.

January 19, 2010: Kelle presenting at the Seed Conference
Kelle Kersten of Ahimsa Village will be a featured presenter at the 3rd annual Seed Conference in Bethlehem, PA on Saturday, January 23, 2010 at Northampton Community College.  Her talk is titled "Planting Seeds of Compassion in the Hearts and Minds of Young People."  It will feature her work with the Ahimsa Summer Camp and her envisioned after-school program known as the Compassion Club.  Her presentation slides will be added to this web site after the conference.  Click here for more information about the Seed Conference, co-sponsored by the Alliance for Sustainable Communities - Lehigh Valley and the School of Living.

December 20, 2009: Film Recommendation - The Shift by Wayne Dyer.
I just finished watching a great new film titled The Shift (2009) by Wayne Dyer. This is Dyer's first film. He is best known for his many bestselling books on self-help and the spiritual life. The film follows the lives of a group of people who are on vacation at a beautiful California oceanside retreat center. One group is a film crew who has come to interview Dyer about his latest book on the spiritual life. The segments of this interview are masterfully interwoven with the lives of the people at the retreat center illustrating in dramatic fashion what Dyer is talking about. Its a very powerful and effective method. I really learned a lot from this film - its all about making the shift from an ego-centered life to a service-centered life, letting go of our personal agendas and allowing our true self or as Dyer calls it our Authentic Self to manifest. Its there all the time, we just have to let go of our ego so it can shine forth. A truly remarkable and inspiring film. Highly recommended. To learn more about the film, visit the film's web site at  We plan to have a showing and discussion of the film at Ahimsa Village this year. -- Bob Flatley

December 2009: How we can commit to practice living lightly, making a future possible?
Make your commitments online at the Earth Peace Treaty website.

"Earth Peace Treaty is a program of the Deer Park Monastery of Escondido, California. Under the guidance of Thich Nhat Hahn, its objective is to build an environmental community, fostering mindfulness and environmental awareness in its members."

Check out our October - November Newsletter Stories:
The Henry George Perspective by Mike Curtis
Black Moshannon Whole Earth Body/Mind Encounter with Rosalind Jiko
Appalachian Zen House: Socially Engaged Buddhist Programs are Flourishing as Fall Begins
New Book on PA Solar Energy - Review by Bob Flatley

Fall means Friday Night Sustainability Talks at Ahimsa Village
Ahimsa Village is proud to continue our series of local people presenting on "green" topics they are passionate about.  Past topics have included dowsing, nut trees, homeopathy, films, sustainable landscaping, nvc, and more.  We want to thank all our great presenters in the past and encourage new (or former) presenters to suggest topics.  Please contact Bob Flatley at or 814-355-0850 for more information.  This years talks are shaping up:  In October we are featured Mike Curtis doing a half day workshop on the economics of Henry George and in November Rosalind McIntosh will be talking about coping strategies for the current world situation.  The December talk will feature Zen teacher Steve Kanji Ruhl talking about how Buddhism can help Americans meet the challenges of the current environmental crisis.

September 7, 2009: Read our Aug-Sept 2009 Newsletter Stories
PA Renewable Energy Festival
Ahimsa Summer Camp
Appalachian Zen House
Chicken update
How my nephew came to attend the SOL retreat...
Wrapping up summer camp
School of Living Retreat

July 12, 2009: The School of Living looks to the future at major strategic planning retreat
We just finished the School of Living (SOL) Strategic Planning Retreat – Reaching In, Reaching Out - held at Julian Woods Community on July 10-12, 2009. It was a unique event in the history of the SOL...(read complete blog post here).

Check out our May-June Newsletter Stories:
Bears and Bees
Welcome Dominique
What will it cost to go solar?
Garden Update
Henrietta the Hen
Introducing the Appalachian Zen House by Steve Kanji Ruhl

Position Available: Ahimsa Village Summer Camp Assistant
Ahimsa is seeking a dynamic and dedicated person to assist with running the 2009 summer camp.
Complete details (pdf)

May 29, 2009: The Appalachian Zen House and Ahimsa Village
Ahimsa is collaborating with a new service-oriented Buddhist organization in the region, the Appalachian Zen House (AZH).  Specifically, they are helping coordinate the Summer Camp and are seeking grant funding to start a non-profit Community Supported Agriculture farm project (No Harm Farm) at Ahimsa that will benefit local low-income people.  Read more about AZH at our blog.

April 10, 2009: Check out our Spring Newsletter for the following stories:
Ahimsa Village Summer Camp
Maple Project
Shared Self Community
Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators Presentation
Ahimsa Garden
Ahimsa applies for grant to put up a wind turbine

March 21, 2009: PA Association of Environmental Educators Conference
Ahimsa Village was invited to present our approach to environmental education at the 2009 Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators Conference held at the Lake Raystown Resort and Conference Center.  Our talk was titled "Permaculture, Experiential Learning, and Nonviolent Communication." View presentation here (ppt).

March 6, 2009: Maple Sugaring Underway
The maple sugaring season is officially underway at Ahimsa Village! We have new energy, new buckets, and a new evaporator this year. We tapped 30 trees this week and already have many gallons of sap ready for the new evaporator.  We plan to make syrup most weekends until April.  If you are interested in participating contact Kelle Kersten at Pictures to follow soon.

February 24, 2009: Ahimsa Village mentioned in Tricycle magazine
The current issue of Tricycle, the nation's leading Buddhist magazine, features a story on Bernie Glassman and the Zen Peacemaker order.  Specifically the article is about Bernie's vision for Zen Houses.  One of the Zen Houses will be ZPO's first venture into a rural setting - the Appalachian Zen House.  This house will be coordinated by Kanji Ruhl, a Buddhist Minister ordained by ZPO.  Part of his vision is to work with Ahimsa Village in the establishment of a small CSA farm run by local people and the expansion of Ahimsa's summer camp.  Read the complete article (pdf).

Check out our January-February Newsletter Stories:
Friday Night Meetings
Is Alcohol the Fuel of the Future?
Sweet Beginnings

January, 2009: Bald Eagle Energy Co-op Meeting
A group of people met at the Ahimsa farmhouse on January 17, 2009 to talk about the possibility of starting an energy co-op with the idea to of producing energy locally to benefit local people.  Some ideas discussed include distribution of biofuel for heat; biodiesel production; and wind and solar projects.  Please contact Bob Flatley at if you are interested in participating in this group.

December 15, 2008: Is Alcohol the Fuel of the Future?
Check out this short video of David Blume:

December 12, 2008: Congratulations to Greg and TammieLyn - wishing you many years of happiness together!!!!!!!!!

December 2008: Friends of Ahimsa Village Annual Fund Drive
We want to thank all the Friends of AV for their support over the past year.  Our major 2008 project was the Permaculture Orchard.  The orchard is in and is doing well despite the 17 year locusts, japanese beatles, and gyspy moths this past year.  Read more about the orchard.  As we did last year, in lieu of holiday gifts we are asking our friends to make a donation to AV.  Read more about how to donate.

The Case for Vegetarian Homesteading
Came across this great web site. The couple who host it are vegan homesteaders in Minnesota and they make a great case for the benefits of vegetarian homesteading over traditional homesteading:

November 1, 2008: Halloween Harvest Hoopla
Friends of Ahimsa Village gathered at the AV farmhouse to celebrate the second anniversary of Ahimsa Village.  The event featured a tour of Ahimsa Village, delicious vegetarian food provided by AV members and friends, a slideshow highlighting the year's accomplishments, a bon fire and drumming.  A good time was had by all.  We want to thank all our friends and supporters for making 2008 another successful year!!  View pictures.

October 2008 Boyle-Martin Engagement
A year ago in November, Tammie Lyn and Greg had their third date at Ahimsa Village just in time for  AV's one year anniversary party...(read more)

October 2008 Honey Harvest Postponed
The bees have been busy but they haven’t been making honey—at least not fast enough or in large enough quantities for us to harvest honey as planned for late September...(read more)

October 2008 2008 Garden Season Wrapping Up
The 2008 garden season is wrapping up at Ahimsa Village...(read more)

Summer Camp a Big Success
The 2nd annual Ahimsa Summer Camp was a big success.  Attendance was much larger and more consistent.  We had anywhere from 7 to 14 children each week.  The camp ran from June 19 thru August 28. Activities this year included bread baking, bird watching, hissing cockroaches, boat building, honey bee class, dances of universal peace, yoga bowling, cooking, swimming, cooperative games, drawing, hiking, making flower pots, gardening and more. Check out our web site for details for the 2009 camp.  A special thanks to all those who helped make the camp a success: Kelle Kersten, Tammy Badger, Frank Hidgon, John Cierpy, Ann Wilken, Deb Fisher, Chuck Cave, Kanji Ruhl, Jean and Robert Forsberg, Lamizsah Brown, Half Acre Farm, Huston Township Park and Rec, Julian Woods Community.  (view pictures).

August 2008 Buzzing Around the Village
Ahimsa Village has recently been colonized by hundreds of thousands of crawling, buzzing insects. They feed voraciously on flowers of all types and there are large clusters of them in the Butterfly Meadow...(read more).

July 27, 2008 AV adds Straw Lease and New Members!!!!
AV entered into an agreement with the School of Living to lease the Straw property. This 3 acre parcel adjoins the current AV lease (of 65 acres).  The property includes a small house, 3 wells, and a spring. The property has a rich history including being the site one of the first white settlements in the Bald Eagle Valley.  A pioneer cabin originally stood on the footprint of the current house.  More recently the lot was occupied by Mary and Chester Straw from 1961 - 2008.  The current plan is for the lot to be used as space for our newest partner, Frank Higdon, and his family to build an eco-house. Frank serves on the Board of the School of Living.  He is committed to the visions of AV and SoL.  His vision is to create a place where communitarians can engage in homesteading using organic agriculture, forest farming, and permaculture to create an ecologically sound, human-scale culture.  AV is delighted to have Frank as the newest AV partner!!!!

July 26, 2008 Ahimsa Gets Its First Sign
Ahimsa recently purchased a 2' x 3' sign for display at the house.  Now visitors will know that they have found the right place!  View our new sign.

June 22, 2008 Mountain Laurel in Full Blossom at Black Moshannon State Park
Ahimsa members recently took a day off from working in the gardens to see the spectacular display of mountain laurel blossoms (view pictures) at Black Moshannon State Park.  The park, one of PA's most spectacular, is located apx. 10 miles from Ahimsa Village.

June 15, 2008 Ahimsa Hosts NVC Basic Training
A Basic Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Workshop was held at Ahimsa Village, June 13-15, 2008 (view pictures). Over 15 people attended this dynamic event that focused on learning how to communicate more effectively and compassionately.  The workshop was facilitated by Francois Beausoleil of Bay NVC in San Francisco and Inessa Love, an NVC trainer based out of Washington, DC. The purpose of NVC is to create human connections that empower compassionate giving and receiving. NVC involves both communication skills that foster compassionate relating and consciousness of the interdependence of our well being and using power with others to work together to meet the needs of all concerned (from the Center for Nonviolent Communication Web Site -

June 8, 2008 Bees Arrive
Liam Goble of Half Acre Farm installed 5 bee hives at Ahimsa Village (view pictures). The hives are part of Liam's home hive program. The home hive program allows people to sponsor and participate in the management of a hive in exchange for honey at the end of the season.  Liam uses practices organic beekeeping & will be teaching classes at Ahimsa.  He is also open to having people watch him tend the hives each month.  For more details, visit Liam's web site at:

June 7, 2008 Ahimsa Village Participates in First Village Green Market
Ahimsa had a produce stand at the first Village Green Market at the Community Center in Julian, PA.  We sold greens, rhubarb, kale and collards.  Although our sales were small, the market was a great success - generating a lot more interest than was expected.  The market will be held the first Saturday of each month (during the summer) from 10 - 2.  Learn more.

May 2008 Permaculture Orchard Planted
Thanks to many helpers the PC orchard at Ahimsa is finally planted.  A special thanks to Patty Ceglia for donating most of her and expertise in the development of a PC plan for all the trees.  A total of 69 woody plants, 25 raspberries, and 100 strawberry plants were planted.  The PC Orchard is part of an overall PC plan for Ahimsa (more info).

Read our blog for past news

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