Seeking Eco-Mindfulness with Stonehouse Farm & Eco Retreat’s Rachel Meeuwse
December 19, 2014
Rachel Meeuwse is the Event Manager at the Stonehouse Farm & Eco Retreat in Illinois. How did you first get involved in the green industry? I came to Stonehouse for yoga teacher training last summer. I came back this spring to help out and have been working for the farm ever since. What makes Stonehouse Farm special is the people that come to enjoy it. The types of events and people that come through the farm are seeking an increased mindfulness in their lives; to celebrate, explore and learn about themselves and this experience of life through nature, yoga, music and community. Stonehouse not only provides the setting for these experiences in a beautiful way, but I believe it carries that energy even after the people have gone. The Stonehouse Retreat weekends offer various types of yoga and meditation classes, sweat lodge, camping (or yurts), music, nature and volunteer opportunities like gardening, which helps support Stonehouse’s farm to table initiative to use food grown on site in our menus during events. Atttendance to events ranges from 10 or so during our smaller retreats to 1,500 for some of the larger festivals. Stonehouse started with the vision of Daren Friesen, the owner of the Moksha Yoga Studios in Chicago as a place for people to retreat from the city and connect with nature, and for practitioners of yoga to be able to take advantage of the natural setting to deepen their practice and share their skills with like-minded people. I am very interested in sustainable farming/gardening practices that reduce food miles, packaging waste and that intimately reconnect us to the earth itself on a personal level.