Center for Natural Living

Education Through Practical Application: Setting the Stage for a New World

Our Vision

One peaceful world, secure and sustainable in food, energy, clothing, and shelter for all.

Our Mission

Through promoting a natural lifestyle we do our part in creating one peaceful world. We advocate and support this mission through practical application, the creation of local self-sufficient communities that are formed around plant-based food systems.

Rhapsody vision

About the Center for Natural Living

CNL is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 2002 by Sjon and Elysha Welters, of Cabot, Vermont, to function as a vehicle to bring their vision of how to achieve one peaceful world to a larger public.

CNL works to realize this vision through the practical application of time-tested, traditional farm practices and processing methods, combined with new insights in all fields of human endeavor. One such example is integrating into our modern-day diet the many traditional fermented foods that have proven their value over the centuries such as pickles, natto, miso, soy sauce, sourdough bread, amazake, tempeh, and other fermented grain and soy foods.

CNL has three projects going at the moment: production, homestead/farm, and website. The goal of these projects is to teach through example, education, and production that when we eat a plant-based diet, which is produced locally, and preferably from crops grown in our region and on our latitude, a more sustainable and much healthier way of living is created. It is a lifestyle that brings us closer together as a community and is more in tune with our natural environment.

Specifically, and currently underway are the following initiatives:

1. Rhapsody Natural Foods, Inc.

(RNFI) produces certified organic tempeh (a high protein cultured soyfood), ready-to-eat tempeh, vegan egg rolls, certified organic amazake (a fermented rice drink), and certified organic koji (a starter culture for miso, amazake, sake, and rice vinegar). These products are available through our own delivery service in Central Vermont, two distributors throughout New England, and via mail-order through our website. RNFI is currently developing and testing rice milk and miso. Our current products are considered to be among the best in the nation.

2. Rhapsody Homestead/Farm

Rhapsody Homestead/Farm is an initiative that came to fruition in 2008 but had a life since 1976 of and on at different locations. The purpose of the homestead/farm is to see to what extent Vermonters can be self-sustainable in food. From 2009 through 2016 we successfully grew Hayayuki rice, a cold weather, short-season variety from Hokkaido, Japan. In 2011 we established three rice paddies of 1000 square feet each, growing rice from our own seed. Other activities include a vegetable and berry gardens, seed saving, composting, and a 100% recyclable greenhouse.

Another fascinating aspect we are looking at is the use of copper gardening tools instead of iron tools and implements. Viktor Schauberger did some revealing discoveries in that regard about a century ago. We worked with a local blacksmith who made copper gardening tools for us. You can go to your local blacksmith, too, and have them make your own tools. Prices range from $50 to $75 per tool. It’s certainly worth the investment and they make great presents to gardeners. At the foundation of this is a deeper reflection on how electromagnetism generated by the use of implements, not just in the garden, but also in our kitchen, and daily lives, are affecting the natural energy fields of our bodies, our food, our natural environment.

We’re constantly adapting and adjusting to the changing conditions of our world.

3. Rhapsody website

Our website is an information hub for what we do and an online store for our products. Eventually, it will include a resource center for natural living, recipes and product information.