This incredibly empowering and enlightening segment of Anu Asafo sheds a much-needed light on the imperative of sustainable living for anyone concerned with real freedom and viable living. KM of Anu Asafo, the offspring of Anu Nation, spoke with the founders of Black Oaks Center, Dr Jifunza and Fred Carter.
Permaculture is a branch of ecological design, ecological engineering, environmental design, construction and integrated water resources management that develops sustainable architecture, regenerative and self-maintained habitat and agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems. The center was officially established in 2006 when Mr. Carter was prompted to close their family business due to 911 financial aftershocks. The purpose became to build a sustainable systems community—a retreat from carbon based living, precipitated by progressive study on the damage of the status quo energy production systems.
The process of personal healing can truly be said to begin with the healing of mother earth, an idea expressed by Dr. Jifunza in stating the many benefits experience by members of the Black Oaks community ranging from a greater connectivity to the planet to remissions of physical ailments. The westernized concepts of being “off the grid” have not influenced the Carter’s community who have not selfishly abandoned communalism. They are developing a thriving community connected to the land through almost all natural methodologies.
Sustainable living through indigenous practices intrinsically addresses the opposing methods by which the corporate machine abuses and contaminates mother earth in the quest to extract resources, highlighting the need for a paradigm shift in order to open the possibility for a sustainable future. The very probability of the future being “unsustainable” is at the heart of much of Dr. Jifuza and Fred Carter’s efforts and fuels their passion to teach as many people that volunteer to learn through their “rotating apprenticeship” program; they teach people the give to mother earth so she will give back to them.
Mr. Carter, an adept of sustainable living permaculture, further explains that ecologically sound systems require financial organization as well, considering costs for core energy supply such as solar panels and battery sources which can span from several hundred dollars to the thousands depending on the needs of the people and long term growth of the particular systems set in place. Few if any systems will rival the output of “on the grid” living, but the spiritual benefits far outweigh this deficit for those seeking a spiritual connection.
A most eloquent statement comes from the Black Oaks co-founder when he says, “We gave up our freedoms when we outsourced our basic fundamental needs,” (i.e. food clothing and shelter). Further elaborating, he explains that the Civil Rights struggle turned out to be as much of a pitfall to descendants of indigenous peoples (disenfranchised in their own land) as it was assumed to help; a notion agreed upon by those who have examined the past compared to the present with any semblance of proficiency and sociopolitical awareness.
Africa faces a similar problem with the Chinese culture now dominating the financially weak farmlands and mines, forcing out the local inhabitants to further advance China's supplanting of the people and resources.
Sustainable living should be approached “one bite at a time,” says Mr. Carter—a process undertaken with great care, great inner purpose, and very careful planning. The beginning of healing the children of the great mother will emerge with the healing of the great mother herself.