Hodge Podge Word Doc
Link to Earthaven
Rylander has degrees in biology and social ecology. Besides growing up on a
farm, he has had college courses in agriculture. Much of his knowledge came
through experience in growing organic vegetables, raising most small farm
animals, and being a government agricultural agent in the Philippines and
Belize. His publications include Teaching Them to Fish,
an article about developing aquaculture in the Philippines, published in the 2004 edition of
Permaculture Activist, and
Mountainside Farming, published in the
Mountain XPress in 2005.
Rod is the co-creator of the Aristotle Gathering, which is held at the Costa
Rica International Center for Sustainability.
Life of Rod Rylander
I grew up on a farm near Denton, Texas and started keeping records
of birds I identified when I was 10 years old. That year I started
my own poultry business with the encouragement of my father. My
brother, Kent, and I managed our own home made weather station
for several years and published “The RyOaks Record” that was reproduced
with a stencil and gelatin. During summers I worked at Harpool’s
Seed House unloading trucks and sacking seeds. Upon entry to the
University of North Texas, I was given the position of curator
of the natural history museum. The university published my first
publication - A Checklist of Birds of Denton, County, Texas. I
graduated with 139 semester hours that gave me a degree in biology
with minors in chemistry and mathematics.
To avoid the draft,
I entered the 90 day wonder school to become an officer in the
USAF. I was a missile officer and then a housing officer spending
3 years in Spain. I attained the rank of Captain. After the service,
I was a class room teacher teaching chemistry and physical science.
I then started my own real estate firm specializing in farms and
ranches. That moved me into the building, contracting, and development
business. I closed my doors after about 10 years and started designing
and building alternative homes. I had articles in several magazines
and presented papers at international conferences.
Next I went to Goddard
College and did my research in Nepal for my master’s degree in
social ecology. I co-authored “Pokernomics” with Ramesh Manandhar,
a Nepalese. I then became an agriculture agent in the Philippines while
serving in the Peace Corps. I was a social worker helping emotionally
disturbed youth for two years and then became a park ranger at
Pedernales Falls State Park. At the park I developed an innovative
environmental education program based on mentors, received a grant
from EPA, and brought Mexican educators to my teacher training
workshop. I went to Mexico and convinced the Secretariat in Tamaulipas
Mexico to develop an educational program. He asked for me to return to help
teach facilitators. Working with a local professor, we developed
a curriculum for the state. The course later was accepted for
national use. I went on to develop an educational program for home schooled students.
I then bought a dilapidated conference center in Rockport, Texas, and created the
beautiful Hummingbird Lodge and Educational Center, where I facilitated
youth camps, conferences, food service, lodging, international
tours, and workshops. After selling it, I went
back into the Peace Corps, this time in Belize, where I worked
in the areas of agriculture, community development, and park management.
After two years in Belize, I moved to Earthaven Ecovillage, a small community near
Asheville, NC. There I built the alternative educational experience
called the Hobbit House.