From our friends at Rancho Mastatal in Costa Rica
I check in on our friends down in Costa Rica at Rancho Mastatal - the sustainable living and learning center in the village of Mastatal outside of Puriscal, CR - fairly often via online updates and emails. (I wrote before about how a group of us, a group of awesome-us, were there last year designing, building, and learning and working) Last week they updated their shop section on the website so I grabbed up a couple of shirts from them...a good way to buy a new tshirt and donate the money to the cause...(put your money where your mouth is, and until then don't talk too much....that's what I always say anyway). But I received an email from Timo yesterday asking how things were going up here and letting me know they are going to be at Bioneers By The Bay again this year doing a little lecture on the ongoings of ranch. The place - their ranch, that is - is amazing....really the most beautiful life I can imagine. It's everything I'd ever want to do wrapped up in one setting: barely running water, hardly any electricity, everything largely built from what's on the land already, everything built in a way so that it works for you...with the land...and it returns something rather than just taking. I like that. They give, not take.
Timo attached some cool pictures of the biodigester that we designed and built...but ran out of time to finish. Quite a marvel, the finished product, this thing we made. And the fact that it takes all of the humanure (i.e. a bunch of crap) as well as the manure from the cows in the village and turns it into gas for cooking and then fertilizer for growing bananas and papayas is amazing. It's a complete circle of life.
The system we have in our world is vastly warped, a broken circle: Use chemicals and engineering to make food (that's not healthy for us, since it's not actually "food"), eat said food, throw "away" the wrappers and packages, poop it all out since it has hardly any nutrients to begin with, wash all that waste "away" to who knows where, use a gigantic water system powered by fossil fuels to clean all the waste away, and then put it all back into our drinking water after being cleaned. Gross.
A complete circle, unbroken: Grow food, eat food (real food, no plastic wrappers, all compostable), use the waste from said food to cook food, use the waste from said food to grow more food, eat food (real food, no plastic wrappers, all compostable), use the waste from said food to cook food, use the waste from said food to grow more food, eat food....