With its aim to inspire people to take courageous action for a just, peaceful and sustainable world, Embercombe, in deepest Devon, is a bold and passionate initiative.
Embercombe was established in 1999 by a one Mac Macartney as a ‘garden to grow people’ in the firm belief that, as he put it, “The hubris upon which we launched the disastrous experiment of imagining ourselves above Nature is collapsing under the weight of the truth”. Macartney had had a long career as coach, mentor and leadership consultant when in 1997 he received an extraordinary gift from the founders of a business that his executive leadership development company had assisted over a five-year period which enabled the purchase land and creation of ‘Embercombe’ as a place of sojourn from which the world could really be changed.
The mission at Embercombe is truly to inspire a new generation of leaders and change makers who through their deeds and actions will create a world where all people live in communities that care for each other, who are connected to nature and enable each member to lead an empowered, fulfilling life. This ambition sought through a range of courses for individuals, schools and corporate operations which are based in the unique environment of the Embercombe site. Its a wild and beautiful place where to me, its impossible to not feel close to nature. Even on my short visit it was possible to feel the joy of connecting as a community and binding everyone – whether those of Core Team living permanently at Embercombe, the volunteers who stay for a few months, or anyone visiting – to a common purpose of living co-operatively together in harmony with nature and the land. Underpinning Embercombe’s programmes is a believe that everyone can make a difference in the world, whether in their family, in their home, in their community, in their workplace, in their business or in their society – we all have something that we can bring that can create a more beautiful world.
The person charged with the fabulous job of growing the vegetables and fruit for the benefit of the Embercombe community and its visitors is Fred Groom. I’d met Fred at the Landworkers Alliance Farm Hack in April just after he had taken up the post. To walk and talk with him a couple of months later in his newly acquired environment was simply inspirational. He says it so succinctly,
“I came to Embercombe to deepen my connection with the land, people, and myself. I love to work with plants, they amaze me everyday in their alchemical ability to transform mineral matter into nourishing food, and I love to work with people as I believe that everyone has something to offer and we can all learn from each other”.
[Double clicking on any of the images will open up the images up in a slideshow format which you can then run using ‘left’ and ‘right’ buttons. Full screen view can be opened with F11 – at least on my PC it is, actual key needed may vary. To get out of full screen its the same button, not ESC!]