Shamballa’s Permaform Moon. Interview with Andrea & Nate, Argentina by Willi Paul. Sponsored by planetshifter.com
Looking for a change? Want to explore a new country and culture? We have a lot of work to do and are looking for interested individuals for a work exchange. This is a new permaculture project, just started; we have a well and a lot of raw untouched land. Our current projects are building dry toilets, shower house, sleeping quarters, organic gardens, chicken house, temazcal, mud oven… All buildings are to be built using natural materials where possible, adobe, thatch, bamboo, cob, wood, and stone. We are located next to seasonal river and enjoy a warm climate all year around. We are looking to open our hearts and home to motivated individuals who want to help us in return and create a new way of sustainable living close to nature. We are open-minded people and we like to have fun and enjoy life… We have a small house with room for five people, and two tipis for up to four more people. Outdoor bathrooms and showers with hot water. Our meals will be prepared and eaten together, mostly vegetarian. Andrea is a chef and we enjoy making bread, sprouts, and raw food… We are a couple from California and Argentina, recently moved here looking for a more relaxed and self-sufficient life. We are both artists, and spent many years exploring the world before deciding on settling down and buying land in Argentina. We receive friends and people from around the world and we enjoy celebrating and dancing under the full moon when possible. We are open all year around, please come and visit, we ask that you plan to stay with us for at least two weeks. We like to get to know those who are helping us.
We are open to meet people that want to stay with us long term and be part of the project… creating a beautiful environment. We see this as an opportunity to learn together with other people interested in learning the skills to live closer to the land, in the words of the times a more “sustainable” lifestyle. We are located in the town of San Marcos Sierra, in the province of Cordoba, Argentina and are joined by three cats and two horses. It is one of three G.M.O. free zones in the country. Almost all of our food comes from local sources, including our produce, cheese, fresh milk, yogurt, eggs, bread, honey, even the organic wheat and the small mill to grind it are close by… Our soda water comes in old glass bottles delivered by a man riding a horse and cart. The weather is warn or hot most of the year, rainy season in the summer and there is one small river in the middle of town, and a large one 4 km away. The town is small, established in the early 1700,s it is a mix of gauchos, hippies, foreigners and indigenous descendants, quiet and relaxed all year except the summer and 3day weekends when people from the city take their vacations in paradise. Anyone interested in joining or supporting our project, please send us an email, and we can give you more info, pics, local sights or info on what your donation would make possible… In addition to work exchange and volunteering, we offer normal accommodation for those interested in staying and not working; hostel style, or tipi. This is a great little town and a great place to unwind from a busy life. We hope to see you all soon. Please pass this on to anyone who should have it.
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Interview with Andrea & Nate by Willi
Is your home off the grid?
The home we are building is off the grid; we are currently using solar panels. We are also looking for other alternative energy solutions to meet our future needs.
Is there a global permaculture revolution rising now?
It appears that people around the world are looking for change and alternative solutions to life, and that permaculture is rising as one solution. Bill Mollison said, “I teach self-reliance, the world’s most subversive practice. I teach people how to grow their own food, which is shockingly subversive. So, yes, it’s seditious. But it’s peaceful sedition.”
In this sense, permaculture is Revolutionary, and that puts us in front of a paradigm shift in which we can see ourselves as part of the change .... starting with radical changes in how we interact with nature, our food, our garbage, our water, animals, ourselves and our community.
Permaculture design can connect all the aspects of our lives. We, here at Shamballa, hope that if there is a revolution, it leads to our further evolution.
What is sacred about the practice of permaculture?
We live in a world that lost the sense of sacredness….we lost the meaning of our lives getting distracted with the illusion of our modern society . We lost the connection with the wisdom of our ancestors and in consequence we don’t know where to go….we forgot how to rely in ourselves and nature.
The permaculture way take us to rethink about the way we do things…. our place in nature, society and the universe, connecting us with the sacredness of creation and transmutation….
Permaculture design inspire us to see Nature as sacred and alive…. an interconnected web of life….
everyone and everything is part of this sacred life and creation, so of course permaculture is sacred as well.
Some permaculturists do not want the sacred to be a part of the movement. Why do you think this is?
I would think that when most people use the idea of sacred, it infers that something else is un-sacred, and this often leads to division. It is possible that some people feel that permaculture is about more rational thought processes like observation, and they don’t feel comfortable with the social connotation of the word.
Are there new myths rising from permaculture? Share some symbols, poems?
It is possible that we are remembering our ancient past, as we get involved with working with our mother earth, the smells, the feeling of the earth against your skin, it is possible we know the way already. The myths of old, mix with new ideas, and as our understanding grows so does the meaning of many ancient words and stories. At Shamballa there are monthly full moon celebrations, where we gather together and dance all night under the moon, connecting together and with the cycles of our mother Earth….. releasing our troubles. The full moon celebration is truly a timeless experience and expression of life.
Are you an eco alchemist?
Yes I am, I think that is a great name, for those involved in this movement.
Please give us three key permaculture principles and how you apply them.
I think that it is the ethics of permaculture and that they can apply to all areas of life that inspire us the most, the idea of a fair share, while taking care and valuing the earth and people. Right now Shamballa is still very young, and we are still new in our surroundings here. During this beginning building phase we have influenced by various permaculture principles, three of them being:
Observe and interact - By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
Produce no waste- By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
Design from patterns to details - By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
We are located in the center of Argentina, in a small town with dirt roads, no bank or gas station, and limited building supplies and materials. Nothing happens fast. We have had to take our time, observe and interact, designing our place fit within the environment, using local materials, using everything so as to have no waste. We have been sharing our space with an ever, changing group of volunteers from around the world, together we celebrate diversity, and share our different excesses. They share their time and energy and us our sacred space and future home.
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Andrea y Nate
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