Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Guts and Gaia

Guts and Gaia

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Key Info: 
  • Hands on experience of fermentation techniques
  • Discover the importance of a healthy 'microbiome' in our bodies
  • Understand the gift of deep belonging and deep ecology
  • Take a Deep Time Walk on the historic Dartington Estate
  • Learn to make sourdough using leaven originating from Russia

With Stephan Harding and Julia Ponsonby

£ 325.00
Course fees include simple accommodation, all meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions.
The programme will run from Friday to Sunday afternoon, and includes two nights private accommodation with shared bathroom and all vegetarian meals from the first lunchtime you arrive through until the lunchtime before your departure.

We know the importance of maintaining healthy bacteria in our gut in helping us fight disease and maintain overall health. But we are only just beginning to understand its impact on our mood?  Medicine may explain that the molecules produced by our individual ‘microbiome’ - our gut flora of bacteria, fungi, viruses and archea - can affect the patterns of neuronal connections making us feel happy or down. But could there also be something else?

This special weekend course will be led by Stephan together with his partner Julia Ponsonby, the head chef at Schumacher College.

Stephan will help participants understand the deep connection between the bacteria in the earth - bacteria which are our most ancient ancestors - and the bacteria within our bodies. How it is possible to be deeply connected to our living planet through our own microbiome?

Julia will invite you into the college kitchens, where you will get the chance to experiment with techniques of fermentation, such as those used in sourdough bread and kimchi - foods which are essential to good gut health.

She will be using a sourdough starter, given to her many years ago, by teacher and founder of the Real Bread Campaign Andrew Whitley.  It came all the way from Russia and is used to make Borodinsky Rye bread which is regularly eaten in College.

You will also get the chance to explore the 1,200 acre historic Dartington Estate and Gardens which includes cafes, shops, cinema and a deer park.

Join Julia and Stephan on a joyful and inspiring journey to understand the gift of deep belonging and of deep ecology, given us by the teeming organisms of our microbiome, our partners in Gaia.

With Stephan Harding and Julia Ponsonby

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A place can not be guaranteed unless we receive your deposit or payment on your chosen course. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please do this before making your course application.

Short Course Bursaries create an opportunity for an individual to experience the powerful transformative learning by joining a course that assists the participant to inspire their wider community and benefits from the participant’s own unique contribution. It is our hope that our bursaries support a wide cross section of participation on our short course programme. The number of bursaries available is limited, competition is strong and funding is not always available for every short course. Please be aware that most bursaries are in the region of 10% – 20% of the course fee so please be prepared to raise funding from other sources.  A bursary award is not intended to cover travel or incidental expenses.

Applications are viewed on a case-by-case basis and we are unable to enter into discussions on any decisions. We generally have many more applications for bursaries than we have funding available. We can only offer one bursary per person per year and priority is given to those who have not attended the college or received a bursary before. To help us support as many people as possible, please only apply if you would be unable to attend the course without a bursary.

How to apply for a bursary

Six weeks before the course is due to start all bursary applications will be considered and responded to.  If successful you will be required to accept our Bursary Terms and Conditions.

Please answer the following:

  1. What does a bursary mean to you?
  2. How will your attendance on this course benefit the wider community?
  3. If your financial situation justifies you applying for a bursary, how much are you able to contribute towards attending this course?

Please be prepared to supply an appropriate reference in support of your application.