documentation support needed

Fellow farmers, gardeners & educators

Peace Garden Institute (PGI) is a school of horticulture and sustainable
living in Oregon. 
Over the last four (4) years we have been denied necessary permits (for
'zoning' reasons) to develop our project on farmland. Last year we won the
right to establish a school on farmland, by Oregon Supreme Court, however,
some issues were remanded to lower court to be determined. The issue at the
upcoming hearing is whether the uses, outlined below, could be considered
essential for a school in horticulture and sustainable living, or, viewed
as seperate commercial operations, not a part of the school. The latter is
not allowed on farmland without neighbor's and politician's conditions and
approval, which also comes with an increase in taxes. 

So, we're looking for other farms and/or schools on farm land that could
document these uses as a practice of "farms of a similar nature".
Naturally, we also invite any further collaboration with other education
projects. Hopefully we can convince the court that it is a reasonable farm
practice that we embrace in our small agrarian school.

PGI's farm has 156 acres mostly rich river-bottom soil, and have proposed
to use 1/2 acre total for facilities to support the education program. The
remaining acrage will be actively farmed with a botanical garden and many
other garden projects, most prominantly growing heirloom vegetable seed and
a hortus medicus.  

The following are the structures that we were asked to locate in an urban
area so as not to build on farmland, unless we can prove that they are
buildings essential for the operation of the school.  

1. School buildings: classrooms, bio science laboratory, lecture hall, office.

2. Dormatories for teacher/staff/student (12 students in residence with some 
        additional facilities for apprentices, a staff and

3. Food Processing, to make value-enhanced products from agriculture crops
        grown on the farm (cabbage -> sauerkraut, tomato/pepper/herbs ->
salsa, etc.)

4. Garden Tasting Room, a place where staff, students, gardeners and visitors 
        can eat seasonal foods direct from the gardens, all vegetarian cuisine. 

5. Library with emphasis on horticulture, ecology and the environment 
        including a computer station.

6. Renewable energy production (solar, wind, water & biomass) for operation of 
        a) farm (irrigation, greenhouses, etc.) and 
        b) school and all buildings essential for its operation

7. Other farm structures that will be used in the educational aspects of
the school
        includes: Seed storage, Root cellar, Greenhouses, etc.

If your university/school, permaculture operation and/or farm have
similarities with our proposed operations, please, send us some
descriptions. These will be filed in court as evidence on "farm practices
of a similar nature" in support of PGI.

Our court date is Dec. 30, 1996

olafur brentmar, director

        *************           Peace Garden Institute            
                        P.O. Box 3179 - Applegate - Oregon 97530
              tel: 541 899 1704 - fax: 541 899 3904 - email: peace@mind.net