Shantree (Walter) Kacera opened Spirit of the Earth, ‘The Living Centre’ in 1983 to fulfill a dream of being in the country and learning how to live in accordance with the laws of Nature. This he did wholeheartedly, creating a beautiful and sacred space for healing and learning, originally known as “Balance Life Gardens”. He was joined by Lorenna Bousquet-Kacera in 1997. Over the years the Centre has offered life-inspiring programs and services to thousands of people on their evolutionary journey.
Over the course of 35 years, The Living Centre has transformed into an integrated, multifunctional, ecologically rich, and productive living classroom.
The Living Centre has welcomed thousands of students from over twenty countries around the world — youth, adults, families and elders — seeking a deeper connection with the natural world and solutions for restoring human and planetary health. Many of these students have since become practitioners,ponddesigners, herbalists, forest gardeners, community leaders, and educators, using what they have learned at The Living Centre to make positive change in the world.
The Living Centre has one of the oldest herb gardens in Canada. The land has been approved by the United Plant Savers (UpS) as a botanical sanctuary. The mission of preserving, conserving and restoring native medicinal plants and their habitats.
Looking to nature as mentor and guide, all of our programs cultivate connection and rooting in nature’s design and evolutionary wisdom. Courses include: Permaculture, Shamanu Earth Wisdom Teachings, Forest Gardening, Visionary Herbalism, Ayurvedic Living Nutrition,
We welcome you to our Centre, our home and into our hearts.
OUR FOREST GARDENS & MEDICINE WHEEL HERB GARDEN
Established in 1983, Spirit of the Earth – The Living Centre’ is a 50 acre educational sanctuary with wild meadows, forest-woodland, tranquil pond and organic fruit orchards and gardens. The land has been organic. since the beginning of time The spacious surroundings offer you a wonderful setting for relaxing, learning and reconnecting with your sou
Founded by Shantree Kacera over 30 years ago, as an educational centre and native plant Preserve is one of Carolinian Canada’s foremost learning centres for herbs and earth awareness. This beautiful piece of Earth Mother is a natural sanctuary and sacred land for education, demonstartion and inspiration.
We are located in the heart of Canada’s Carolinian zone which is the southernmost region of Canada and contains more rare plants and animals than any other part of Canada. Scientists report about 2,200 plant species, 400 bird species and 47 reptiles and amphibians. It contains species found nowhere else in this country. Its southern location and proximity to the great lakes give it a milder climate than the rest of Ontario, with longer summers, and lower snowfall.
The dynamically alive energy of the land and wide range of wildlife are all a part of what makes this a safe haven for you to learn and grow. The Centre is known for its unique circular medicine wheel herbal forest garden and edible medicine trail through our beautiful Carolinian forest. Our lovely teaching lodge is surrounded by a 1000 sq. ft. Earthship solar greenhouse which provides organic produce for 10 months of the year.
Sacred Medicine Wheel Herb Garden
Our circular herbal medicine-wheel garden was established in 1983 as an Herbal Education and Nature Awareness teaching garden. The garden began with a few handfuls of medicinal plants. Within ten years the garden was known across Canada as one of the most diverse gardens of its kind with over 500 species of medicinal and edible herbs. Today it is one of the oldest forest herb gardens in Canada.
Originally the garden was designed as a medicine wheel with eight spokes or paths that lead to the centre of the Garden. In the centre we a have a pole planted that reads “May Peace Prevail on Earth” to remind everyone who enters the Garden that peace can be found within our hearts and in nature. There are four paths that divide the garden into the directions: East, South, West and North and these symbolize the four elements: Air, Fire, Water and Earth and the fifth element Ether/Space/Spirit is symbolized in the centre.
Tea gardens, Sacred Reciprocity Garden, Heart Garden, our one acre Spiral Vegetable Garden, Wildflower Gardens and our forest gardens around our pond bless the Centre with their abundant nourishment, and thrilling the senses with their beauty, scents, tastes, textures and sounds.
A native edible/medicinal forest trail is in the process of being created. We have much to learn from the local wild and native plants and even more to gain nutritionally. Regular herb walks are offered, and of course, the gardens provide a place for people to relax and reconnect with soul, self and Nature.
At A Glance