Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fall Fruit Tree Tour

Fall Fruit Tree Tour was an epic 8-day journey through Mendocino county. 105 fruit trees in the ground. It began with 2-days of collaboration in Covelo working with the local elementary school, the local high school, and the tribal health center. The journey continued to through Philo, Fort Bragg, Ukiah, and Willits!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

San Francicsco Benefit Event - GreenFest After Party

The Regency Ballroom SF, CA

w/ Special Guests: AIRTO MOREIRA
Sitting in as special guest with Hamsa Lila and performing

>>Planetary Pulse - Prayer of the Drum ~ an opening drum ceremony/jam with The Master's of Rhythm featuring Airto & Rasaki

>> Rasaki (King Sunny Ade's talking drum master)

>> LYNX & Janover

>> DJ Jef Stott (6 Degrees Records)

>>DJ Dragonfly

Tickets: $16 earlybird / $22 in advance / $28 day of show / $50 VIP

CO-SPONSORED*** BY: Earthdance Network / 6 Degrees Records / Global Exchange / Harborside Clinic

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nevada City Benefit Dinner and Music

North Columbia Schoolhouse ~ Friday October 23

6pm: 4-Course Organic Dinner -menu below- RSVP (includes music) - $60
8pm: Music Youssoupha and Mystic Rhythms - $20

Please join us in celebrating and supporting Fruit Tree Tour 2010. It is only due to the support of the Nevada City community that each year over 10,000 students from low-income schools across California transform their schoolyards into abundant orchards. Let us come together once again to make it possible to send veggie bus loads of inspiration to communities in need.

Our dear friends Leo and Holly have put together an epic organic 4 course meal featuring some seasonal fruits. Hope to see you there.

• Grilled Fig w/ Chevre and a Balsamic Reduction
• Butternut, Celery Root, and Pink Lady Bisque w/ Ginger and Carmelized Onion Cream Swirl
• Polenta Stack w/ Herbed Canellini Beans, Roasted Chanterelles, and White Wine Braised Greens, topped with a Saffron Cream Sauce, Syrah Reduction, and Pomegranate Arils
• Pear Upside Down Cake w/ Caramel and lavender Whipped Cream

For Reservation email:

musical career began in his home of Senegal, West Africa, where he trained as a Kora player at the National Music Conservatory of Senegal. Since his arrival on the international music circuit, Youssoupha has recorded and performed, with artists such as India Arie, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Midnite, and Matisyahu. He will be performing with his trio, Mystic Rhythms a unique and powerful combination of drum, bass and Kora, jazz, rock, and world music.


Vital Landscaping is a family owned and operated landscape company in Northern California. The owners have lived in Nevada County with their 2 sons for almost 15 years and wholeheartedly believe in organic living. Now their goal is to bring their knowledge of organics and sustainable farming to not only the local community but worldwide.

is a company built on the knowledge that the population of soil micro-organisms in your soil are what defines your crops health and yield. Biodiversity carries products that create an abundant and diverse soil food web.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Thank You MA Center!

The residents of the MA Center made tremendous sacrifice to make the "World Leaders in Sustainability" course series possible. Thank you!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Permaculture Design Intensive with Darren Doherty

Permaculture Design Intensive with Darren Doherty

October 2-4 ~ Castro Valley, CA 

Common Vision is hosting Darren Doherty in from Australia to teach an upper division 3-day intensive at the M.A. Center.  One of the world's foremost permaculture designers, Darren has created sustainable, regenerative designs for over 1200 farms and properties across 4 continents.  He will teach how to:
      ~ Hydrate hillsides
          ~ Grow multi-use forests
               ~ Direct rainwater through orchards and pastures
                    ~ Design and install  Keyline Design Systems
                        ~  Sequester millions of tons of carbon in soil

Darren Doherty (Australia) is hands-down one of the the world's master of large-acre permaculture design.  Darren has worked for the last 20 years to transform farms, ranches, and open space into abundant timber, food, and beauty producing ecosystems.  His work is testament to the truth in the permaculture principle: "Yield is only limited by the imagination of the designer."  Darren has co-taught with Bill Mollison & David Holmgren (the co-originators of Permaculture) and with Pro "Earth Surgeon" Geoff Lawton. 

The 3-Day Intensive:

Darren's work has had a tremendous impact on not just reducing but actually reversing carbon footprints for farms and ranches!  Over the course of 3-days Darren will bring participants through a step-by-step analysis and design process focused on:

  • Food forestry meets market orchard
  • Laying out hillside orchards using keyline design and ploughing
  • Discussing real-time on-site Permaculture consultancy strategies
  • Lush, tree-lined pasture systems for free ranged livestock
  • Connecting creeks, gullies, and rainwater catchment across the landscape
  • Designing low-tech water systems for broad acreage 

Common Vision Benefit Events

See below for details on each event.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

World Leaders in Sustainability

Common Vision is thrilled to introduce "World Leaders in Sustainability", a series of workshops happening this summer/fall in the East Bay Area. Some of the most esteemed sustainability teachers in the world will be teaching. We’re excited about this educational opportunity. We hope we’ll see you there.

August 10th-14th:
Soil Food Web Intensive with Dr. Elaine Ingham PhD

September 11-13th:
Fruit Forest: Orchard as Ecosystem with "The Apple Grower" Michael Phillips

October 2-4th:
Permaculture Design Intensive with Darren Doherty

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Runnin' on Veggie! Music Video

Common Vision’s veggie powered fleet hit the road again this year as an example of one creative alternative to burning fossil fuels. Each vehicle on Fruit Tree Tour covered over 3,800 miles and together, they displaced 1870 gallons of diesel with cleaner, greener recycled Vegetable oil. Here is a music video celebrating the veggie experience, and the team of folks that keep the busses running. We hope you enjoy the music of The Human Revolution.

Monday, April 27, 2009

"Childhood Matters" Radio Features CV

98.1 KISS FM in the Bay Area featured Megan and Leo on "Childhood Matters" talking about how Fruit Tree Tour was making a difference in the lives of children.

If the flash audio player is not working on your browser you can Click Here .

Sunday, April 26, 2009

2009 Performance Eco Hip Hop Finale

Each day on Fruit Tree Tour Common Vision brings a Green theatre performance that gets students stoked on planting trees in their communities. Here is a snippet from one of our performances at a benefit party in Chico. Over 11,000 students experienced this at their schools this year!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Common Vision on "America in the Morning"

Common Vision was featured nationally on the "America in the Morning" radio show. We hope that the millions of listeners were in some way moved into service for the planet in their own neighborhoods. Thank you Jan Sluizer for coming out to the planting to share the vision with the country.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cube Art Comes to Fruit Tree Tour

A new phenomenon has come to Fruit Tree Tour: Mural Art... Cubed. Kevin Buckland has been working with fellow collaborators to create fabric cubes, each side six square feet, that become the blank canvas for children and adults to express their vision for a sustainable future. The size of the cube represents the volume of Carbon Dioxide released from burning one gallon of gasoline. This premise challenges artists to envision a different world, one where less carbon dioxide is produced and where trees are more abundant. Kevin joined forces with Fruit Tree Tour during our stay in Sacramento and the cube became the main focus of our Expression Session workshop which also encourages the youth to be solution focused, envision the world they want to see, and express it through various forms including art, hip hop, and poetry.

The results were phenomenal, the kids enjoyed it and expressed themselves through some beautiful art while learning about environmental issues and searching for solutions. There was also an opportunity to paint a mural on a wall of Joyce Elementary School during an after-school program. With all this art making the Fruit Tree Tour crew was still excited to work on painting our own cube after long school days and had fun coming together to express our visions. Then Kevin left tour in order to bring the cubes that had been completed to a Sustainability Conference in Portland, Oregon where they were well received. Kevin returned to tour for the last week during our stay in the Bay Area. We expect to see the mural cube on future tours!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Master Drummer Joins Tour!

We have the great fortune of having with us on tour a Master Drummer from Guinea, West Africa, Aly Diabate. Aly has joined us for the last three weeks of tour to share his culture and music from Guinea in the drum workshop at schools and in drum classes with the crew. We have also incorporated some West African drumming into our performance. A few crew members who have been studying West African drumming are very excited to have a master drummer on tour and other crew members are discovering for the first time the joys of African drumming.

Aly has also gone back to his roots as a dancer for the Ballet African and taught a few dance classes for the crew. Aly was originally a dancer for Les Ballet Africains, the national dance company of the Republic of Guinea, and then began to drum for the ballet. He also has been a drummer for Le Merve de Guinea dance and drum group and toured with these groups through out Europe and the US. Aly also has nine years of experience teaching drumming to kids in New York, Burlington, New Haven, Chicago, and Fort Wayne. Aly is happy to share his culture and music from Africa with people here in America and Common Vision is happy to have Aly on board with his talented drumming, and charming and relaxed personality.

Fresno Community Planting

While in Fresno we had an awesome community planting at the Boys and Girls Club of Fresno in collaboration with three other local organizations - West Fresno Health Care Coalition, Tree Fresno, and Volunteers for Change, a nonpartisan group of Barack Obama supporters who came together for a Day of Service. In three hours the kids from the Boys and Girls Club, Common Vision Crew, Tree Fresno friends, and Obama supporters were able to transform a weedy overgrown garden into a neat and clean space and plant 14 fruit trees inspired by a soul music soundtrack by dj Jahson and then live West African drumming with master drummer from Guinea, Aly Diabate.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Common Vision on NPR ~ March 2009

This NPR show on Fruit Tree Tour really captures the magic of the daylong program with the schools. NPR visited Nuview Elementary a school program sponsored by Amway's Nutilite and the One-by-One Campaign.

If the flash audio player is not working on your browser you can Click Here .

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Amway's Nutrilite - This company does it all

Never in the history of Fruit Tree Tour has Common Vision experienced such a thorough collaboration as we have with Amway's Nutrilite and the One by One Campaign. At every step of the way, from contacting schools, organizing program logistics, providing additional trees, and offering long-term orchard care the staff of this amazing company has shown impeccable dedication to their local community. It is through the One by One Campaign that Nutrilite and Amway sponsor and get involve in community events. Since 2003, One By One Campaign has impacted 6 million children through employees and distributors contributing 1 million employee volunteer hours and donating more than $70 million.

Nutrilite, a global company with local roots organized and sponsored 3 schools in Southern California this year. Riverside County’s Nuview Elementary School & Nuview Bridge Early College High School, and Buena Park’s Beatty Elementary School have three new orchards for a collective 70 fruit trees.

Experienced farmers from Nutrilite will work directly with parents and teachers to manage their new orchards, mulch and install drip irrigation. The diverse new orchards at these schools are destined for lots of yummy fruit for years to come. Thank you Nutrilte! If you can't view the below show, click here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Orchard Care Collaboration

During our time in LA we spent a Saturday engaged in a day of orchard care continuing the 5-year annual collaboration between Common Vision's traveling caravan and Community Services Unlimited's local nonprofit in South Central LA. Started 30 years ago as a branch of the Black Panthers focused on bringing healthy food to the neighborhood, CSU has been active in South Central building gardens, educating youth and creating community. In 2004 CSU completed a Community Food Assessment that analyzed the socioeconomic factors that led to insufficient accessibility to nutritious food in their neighborhood. Common Vision’s collaboration with CSU began in 2005 when the veggie oil caravan came through and helped to install two schoolyard orchards. The rest is history. . . Find out more in this short film . . . .

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Before and After

As photo editor for Fruit Tree Tour for the past two years I've seen thousands of photos, some better than others and a few outstanding examples. One of the trickiest things to document in a busy day of school programing has been a classic before and after shot which shows the impact installing an orchard can have on a regular school yard. At the campus that Mariposa Charter and Sumac Elementary share in Agoura Hills, just northeast of Los Angeles we were finally able to get a good picture of what planting 24 trees in one day looks like.

Working at the Car Wash

We love to keep our Buses squeaky clean and in tip top shape so just before rolling into Los Angeles we stopped at the car wash to work and work (and dance) until the buses were shinning.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Interdependent Radio produces weekly updates

Interdependent Project Radio delivers information, resources, education, networking, and entertainment for and about Sustainable Living and the Sustainability Movement. They are hosting Common Vision for weekly updates from the road!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Vegetable Oil in Ventura

We were able to fill to capacity the vegetable oil collection tank on our fueling truck on monday when we met up with Nico, a local Plant Drive straight vegetable oil conversion installer in Ventura. There we were able to gather 180 gallons of recycled vegetable oil that Nico had stockpiled from local restaurants. Our 7 vehicle fleet of 3 busses, 3 trucks, and a station wagon will be able to travel 250 miles collectively with this re-used kitchen grease. But first the oil must be heated, filtered, and transfered into all the vehicles by our state of the art high flow triple filter system and the know how of our veggie mechanic team.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Eco Hip Hop from this year's performance

We promise a video of this year’s Green Theatre performance will be posted soon. In the meantime- here is some audio of a scene from the show! In this clip- Fruit Tree Tour poets and musicians in residence, Jahsun and Sandra play the role of a farmer and a city dweller debating the merits of planting trees and growing your own food. Backed by the Common Vision Band!

Above is a slide show of the best stage pictures from our Green Theatre performance. (Trouble viewing? Click here.) As the scenes unfold we meet a time traveling professor and two companions who have come back from the future to warn of the effects of climate change. They break down the basics of the greenhouse effect and give some guidance as to how to help, leaving with some inspiring words -"Remember, our actions today create the future of tomorrow." Other characters include a bird who calls on people to listen to the earth's song, the farmer and city dweller, the earth, sun, moon, and comets. Of course the whole play culminates into a crescendo of Eco Hio Hop backed by the Common Vision Band rocking out and all the cast members up on the stage dancing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

185 Apple Trees at the MA Center!

This Valentine's Day also marked the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the MA Center and the first planting event of Fruit Tree Tour 2009. Common Vision has been working with international environmental organization, GreenFriends, to design the MA Center landscape as a model of sustainability. After focusing the fall and winter on rainwater harvesting strategies and reforestation plantings, the MA Center was ready to expand their orchards.

With a goal of 500 trees this year, the Common Vision team helped plant 185 apple trees in the first planting event of the tour. It is likely that the tour will return in April for another community planting.

Having trouble viewing slideshow? Click here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Continuing Burbank's Legacy with White Fig Cuttings

Trouble viewing? Click Here. We are just now finishing up our time here at Isis Oasis, the second stop on Fruit Tree Tour Orientation. On this property there are a number of fruit trees, some of which were originally planted by Luther Burbank, an American botanist, horticulturist and a pioneer in agricultural science who developed more than 800 strains and varieties of plants over his 55 year career beginning in 1872. Richard Channing, a resident at Isis Oasis offered to help us harvest cuttings from an old white fig tree that Luther Burbank planted on the property nearly 100 years ago. We climbed up in the fig to simultaneously prune the tree and take what was cut for further propagation of white fig trees across California at schools and communities. We will take these cuttings with us to plant at our Roots to Fruits Nursery at the Alpha Center in Santa Barbara where they will be cared for as they root and grow ready to be transplanted next year. We are super grateful for the opportunity to share these amazing strains of Figs with other fruit lovers. Thank you Isis Oasis!
Koral and

Monday, February 9, 2009

Orientation 2009

Trouble viewing slides? Click here. After two months of extensive preparations, Fruit Tree Tour crew veterans and newcomers gathered in Hopland, CA to kick off the 2009 tour with a busy orientation schedule. Along with getting to know each other, learning about what to expect on a typical school day, trying out for various roles in the performance, and enjoying sumptuous vegan meals, there were also some projects with buses and support vehicles to finish up. Colton, a tour alumnus finished a magical transformation of the interior of the Jah Lioness Bus. Also two new support vehicles were converted to run on vegetable oil and joined tour, a pickup truck for hauling soil and a new utility truck for gathering vegetable oil with a triple filtration system, 35 gpm gathering pump and a 200 gallon crude veggie oil storage tank.
A big thank you to Brock and Sarah long time supporters who opened their home to us as the first gracious host home of 2009 along with their daughters Daya and Jah Lila. Some long awaited winter rains finally arrived which was fantastic for the Hopland area ecosystems but not so great when it was time to leave and we found that the buses had sunk into the patch of dirt where they were parked making taking off a muddy and slippery ordeal. Luckily we had the awesome power of the Dodge Cummins Turbo Diesel motor plus the driving skills of Leo Buc our alternative fuels expert and Hopland firefighter and Blair Philips the tour founder and bus driver extroidinaire. The support of the crew was also crucial, as an unofficial team building exercise unfolded with crew members gathering to push on the back of Jah Lioness while the Dodge pulled from the front. With all the buses miraculously unstuck we headed out to Isis Oasis, our next orientation location.
The Isis Oasis is a retreat center in Gyserville that also hosts a number of rare wild cats and exotic birds. After a tour of the white peacocks, ocelots, cervils, emus, and macaws, we got down to business hammering out the details of our performance and finishing the props with our beloved director Bridget Barsotti. We also delved deep into building curriculum for the expression session and drum group workshops. We are looking forward to going deeper into the tree-planting curriculum in preparation for our first community planting on Feb. 14th at the MA Center in San Ramon and our first school Feb 17th in Santa Cruz.

Monday, January 26, 2009

900 trees at the MA Center

Common Vision has been supporting the GreenFriends Tree Planting Project this winter in a reforestation project that has planted over 900 trees so far. This project integrates permaculture water catchment strategies that will help to water this forest through its life.

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