About Us

CNTKLogo2The CNTK Mission

The Purpose of the Center for Natural and Traditional Knowledge is to develop and distribute templates for sustainable co-existence, and environmental education. We gather knowledge to create a Center for education, nourishment, and community, for all ages and backgrounds. The Center creates a hub for the development of a diverse web of economically viable products, a living warehouse for spiritual and environmental knowledge and makes a sustainable community that permanently resolve our three national crises by addressing their roots.

Problem: To address our three major crises - environmental, economic, and social, there is one alternative that solves all three at once: banding together in sustainable teaching and farming communities which preserve Natural and Traditional Knowledge.

Drawing from the 'Public Works' model we stimulate the local economy by building a Center of sustainable co-existence that can educate, nourish and create Green Jobs and retain Traditional Arts and Knowledge for future generations.

History1 558x400Solution:

  1. Environmental - Educate through natural and traditional knowledge that spawns vitality and compassion for all creatures.
  2. Economic - Foster a return to local nourishment, including production, storage and distribution, creating green jobs and with a low carbon footprint.
  3. Social – Build community based on humane principles of equality and justice.

Our Goals

The goals of the Center for Natural and Traditional Knowledge (the CNTK) are to:

  1. Create a Center for discovery on sustainable coexistence, including farming, low cost green housing, public outreach, education, natural arts and physical fitness/nutrition.
  2. Develop and distribute a template for a sustainable community to be replicated in our bioregion.
  3. Create an Environmental Education School for sustainable living and traditional knowledge for students of all ages, including internship in residence.
  4. Showcase and demonstrate green technology from around the world in a living museum.
  5. Provide a setting for groups and visitors for scientific, social and economic discussions, workshops, tours, and extended residencies.
  6. Create interdisciplinary partnerships amongst local organizations to ensure diversity, inclusiveness and efficiency.
  7. Merge computer technology with traditional knowledge to minimize our carbon footprint and to maximize our abilities.
  8. Farm and produce nourishment at local levels, and ensure local distribution through a regional Farm Alliance or Food Council.

Our Vision

Modern Living Merged with Natural Technology

Imagine walking into a mountain sanctuary, with beautiful forest and farmland, a 'green' learning center, lush gardens, and wildlife trails just one hour from a major city...

A school of Natural and Traditional Arts welcomes teachers, students and parents. There are nature trails through the grounds where visitors come to spend time in nature and learn about sustainable practice. Fields of organic vegetables, orchards and livestock offer a view of domesticated production, while more traditional wild forest growth can be experienced throughout learning stations in the forest.

Both wild and domesticated production are paired with electronic information leading visitors to touch, taste and smell the actual plants that they are learning about. Hikes through the forest provide direct contact with natural systems and wildlife. Instructors teach and help students 'read the forest' as they are introduced to scientific, natural and traditional teachings of sustainability. Discussions surrounding resource use, traditional knowledge and modern technology are presented to students, as they are encouraged to take on stewardship roles of the earth and explore sustainable living.

Other Natural and Traditional Arts include Fine Arts, Kung Fu and Yoga to help expand the awareness and strengths of visitors and residents. Experts in nutrition and healing are also available to teach healthy living practices.

The Center

The Center for Natural and Traditional Knowledge (CNTK) is based on the principle of 'sustainable co-existence'. We are not the owners of the land, so much as its stewards. Conscious decisions about land use and about our proper role in Nature ensure a lasting connection to our environment, and in short, a future for our children.

Our achievements in Orange County NY to date include two learning gardens, or templates of about one acre of land, and including simple, sustainable practices for food production. We have worked with the Doc Fry Community Center in Warwick, as well as Orange County Parks and Recreation at Hill Hold Museum in order to create two models of traditional farming.

We're also known as the Template Project, because at our Center, we develop and distribute various templates for sustainability, such as urban and suburban garden models, low-maintenance Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), alternative energy, natural arts, green building, and more. We have a grant proposal in to the Orange County Planning Department in order to distribute these garden templates across our bio-region and in other communities at parks, schools, libraries and more. Through community and student collaboration, research and education we achieve a replicable system that benefits everyone.

Presently we are seeking a permanent home for the larger residential learning facility. We believe we must unite in order to recover from our global crises, and that we can utilize a certain window of opportunity with technology in order to relearn the traditions once which kept our species in balance with Nature. The main features of the CNTK are:

  • A permanent warehouse of living knowledge from around the world, which we retain for future generations. As an ongoing Center for Traditional Knowledge, we welcome many visitors and invite the community to create in cooperation, to visit, to eat, to play, and above all, to learn about a new possibility. People of all ages and backgrounds then have access to a gathering place and sustainability center where the focus is on what we all have in common.

  • Living showcases of Green Technology will eventually include various modes of alternative energy, construction, farming and health, to see what works and share that information with others.

  • Computer technology for education that features a system of informational modules for learning, both remote and via wireless communications. These self-selected learning modules turn our place into a Park where visitors choose their own educational tour. Each visitor moves through their journey at their own pace, learning the material they choose. Flora and fauna in many different settings, with an emphasis on crisp visuals lead them to what they need to know to connect with Nature in a new way.

  • A food Co-op of delicious locally grown foods, many from our own farm, offers the possibility of shopping while enjoying activities and classes and diversifies revenue. A large gathering place, an exhibit gallery, staff living quarters and music arena are also important components.

  • Traditional farming, tended by students and members, with a focus on preserving heirloom seed for future generations. A three-tier system is offered whereby people can learn about the Backyard Victory Garden, the Schoolyard Garden and the CSA model in one site. With good practice, abundant food is possible with less work, and through cooperation we can minimize the amount of work that each individual contributes to manual labor (and have fun too). This ensures sustainability and diversity of crops. It will include Native American farming techniques also, such as the Three Sisters planting of squash, corn and beans.

  • The Eight Departments for CNTK (Agriculture, Green Building, Fine Arts, Outreach, R&D, Yoga, Martial Arts, Youth Programs) offer a balanced spectrum of activities that encourage good health, holistic fulfillment, and natural arts that nourish the mind and body. Activities that appeal to youth, such as music, dance, hiking, storytelling, and expert led rites of passage strengthen community.

  • A series of nestled buildings made of natural materials in various styles made from natural materials and demonstrating numerous possibilities for energy efficient construction, while being highly usable for group activities.

  • Nature trails to guide visitors through forest gardens, mycorrhizal farms, wilderness survival areas, animal tracking and observation stations, zones for wild harvesting, root gardens, biodynamic learning stations, and livestock husbandry.

  • College students may come and help to develop programs that further our goals. For example, developing modules can also include lessons on the plants, animals and ecosystems in each area, with diagrams, photos and information on usage. This will speed education. First they see and read, and then they identify, touch and smell.

  • To help coordinate volunteers and students, the farmer may program the day's work, and make it available online for workers. Members looking to complete their daily duties can log on and see photos of what areas they can work and what tasks must be completed, and why. It's a farming database that will link into a main system that records the data to maximize efficiency and record production results.

  • Cutting edge nutritional knowledge and culinary techniques maximize food's value and good taste. Sprouting, soaking, food combining and more will ensure high nutrition diet with maximum impact, while reducing carbon footprint. Delicious cuisine showcases the wonders of sustainability and encourages visitors to the retreat center to go healthy at home, and fosters the positive growth of the inhabitants.

CNTK is a non-profit 501(c) 3 and generates revenue from its products and services. Non-profits need cash flow to survive, as well as a constant stream of grant writing. Farming can be lucrative, when people work together towards a common goal. With this revenue we hope to seed a network of cooperating communities to diversify our products and community. For more information on exact numbers, please request a full business proposal.