Susan Manning will head our Permaculture and Sustainability outreach. Susan received her Permaculture Designer Certification in 2013 from Geoff Lawton. Bill Mollison, founder and creator of Permaculture was Geoff’s teacher. Bill describes it “Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. Without permanent agriculture there is no possibility of a stable social order.
Spring Haven Spa and Wellness Center
Cheri McGaffin, a Master Esthetician, will head our Spa and Wellness center. A gifted esthetician and healer as well as creator of organic, pure beauty products, she will also be teaching classes on Vegan Cooking, Herbs, Oils and Survival Cooking with Sun Ovens. All profits from the Spa and Wellness Center help fund our outreach programs.
We only use organic products in our Spa. Services include facials, back facials, waxing, dermabrasion and laser treatments. As a busy new wife and new mom her hours are limited, but oh so rewarding to all her lucky clients!
“Permaculture design is a system of assembling conceptual, material, and strategic components in a pattern which functions to benefit life in all its forms. The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather than against, nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless action; of looking at systems in all their functions rather than asking only one yield of them; and of allowing systems to demonstrate their own evolutions.”
Susan’s first project will be the 90 acres owned by S.H.E. near Spring City, UT. The biggest challenge of this high desert property is the lack of irrigation water. Using swales on-contour to capture moisture, they will form the basis of Food Forests slated to last one hundred years. Through encouraging home schools, public schools and Snow College and other local organizations to volunteer and participate in the creation of these Food Forests, local knowledge will increase to the possibilities of this climate zone. Farmer’s Markets, Open Houses, and media blitzes will continue the outreach to the local community in Sanpete County, Utah in general and then expand to other similar climate zones in New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana and beyond.
Safe Haven Village
Renee Shaw will head Safe Haven Village. An artist, musician, Shaman and Healer, author of “Heavenly Mother”, and President of Open Mind Foundation, she is well suited to this project. The Safe Haven Village project will be 5 acres and is set aside for those wanting to learn alternative building techniques such as cob, adobe and other earth building techniques. Each hut will be 200 sq ft and used as storage sheds, meeting rooms, massage and alternative health rooms and meditation centers. Instead of a shed people can bring a Tiny Home on Wheels to park. There is also a sweat lodge and medicine wheel for this village. There is an outdoor kitchen area, covered dining area, desiccating toilet systems and solar shower stalls and a camping area for tents. Members belonging to this village will volunteer 50 hours a year to the greater project.
Educational and Business Outreach
As an athlete for over 50 years, Michael Brook was a trampoline champion, a member of the Great American High Diving Team and the premier skier on the professional freestyle circuit in aerial acrobatic events. This background gave him a first-hand experience of the mind/body connection and how thought, imagination, visualization and other non-physical attributes affect performance and achievement. His experience in educational and insurance sales showed him the same techniques were adaptable to other areas of performance in business. As an option, instead of paying for a key-note speaker, business organizations could donate to the educational outreach, Positive Air, creating a win/win for their organization and children.
Shekinah Health and Education Corporation (S.H.E.) was formed for a more stable, peaceful, cooperative and sustainable lifestyle and is the parent organization of Shekinah Eco-Village. Wikipedia says Shekinah "is the English transliteration of a Hebrew noun meaning dwelling or settling, and denotes the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God and his cosmic glory...while in proximity to the Shekinah, the connection to God is more readily perceivable. The concept is similar to that in the Gospel of Matthew 18:20: 'Where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in their midst.' The Shekinah is associated with the transformational spirit of God. With that energy of Shekinah, Shekinah Health and Education will focus on creating optimal health, physically, mentally and emotionally through educational and community outreach; sustainable living such as permaculture; creative exchange systems; and an eco-village to demonstrate cooperative governance.
The Shekinah Eco-Village project model will lease 20 of the 90 acres and is set aside for those pioneers willing to live full time on the project, keeping their homes open to the public on regularly scheduled tours showing green-built, sustainable alternative homes off the grid. They will be demonstrating rain water capture, solar energy, greenhouses as part of the home and grey water systems as part of the irrigation plan for the plants outside. Members belonging to this village will volunteer 100 hours a year to the greater project.
The basic principles for this new model are stewardship, natural law, freedom, aesthetics, and social awareness. Following these five basic principles will fulfill the twelve identified human needs: food, water, safety, shelter, clothing, good health, a cohesive family unit and opportunities to grow through education, recreation, social intercourse, spiritual practice, and a sharing of talents and gifts.
This new model contains two types of villages: ones that are built BY people for themselves and those created FOR people who for whatever reason lack the resources to do it for themselves alone. Our first model in Utah will be a demonstration village with the express purpose of creating other villages for the disenfranchised of society: refugees, inner city survivors, disaster relief, minorities, veterans, jobless, abused women and so forth.
Creative Energy Exchange and Sharing of Resources
Michael Brook, founder of Positive Air and author of “New Dimensions in Health” will head our educational and business outreach programs. A veteran speaker, he has presented to over a million students, teachers, parents and businessmen. He combines humor and an active trampoline presentation to teach youth mind/body achievement enhancement techniques, a positive approach to dealing with violence, tobacco and substance abuse, character building, a higher level of respect for self and others, and motivation of students to make positive lifestyle choices.
Permaculture and Sustainability
Part of sustainability is sharing resources. It takes less resources to grow a very large garden and greenhouse as a group rather than every family having its own tiller, greenhouse, hoses, and so forth. The savings in time spent in the garden and preparing all the food after harvest is also huge. As a group, people can save time and resources.
Every adult eighteen years of age and over serves the village sixteen hours a week and is paid in Community Dollars. The type of activity to fulfill that service is up to them, and is committed to in a written contract. The service equates with current societies jobs or businesses. College students will be interns or apprentices in their chosen field for most of their hours. All town service is paid at an equal rate. An additional four hours a week would be in service to the village: gardening, preparing community meals, maintenance of village buildings, working in or on various Village Projects, caring for children, the elderly, handicapped or ill, teaching or volunteering in the schools. Both in the town and in the village service hours, villagers commit to certain jobs and schedule them in advance. Less desirable jobs will be rotated so that no one person is doing them all the time. Some jobs may require long-term commitments, certain skill sets or to be done on certain days, others will be flexible, seasonal, and open to most anyone.
Every adult contributes--family members or friends donate hours for those unable to contribute because of extreme ill health or disability. People can also bank hours when they are younger for when they are less able to contribute. Most, however, can find some way to contribute to society ie reading to children, playing board games, storytelling, simple light tasks such as dusting or sweeping, emptying waste baskets etc. Most people are happier when they are contributing to those around them and interacting with others and will choose to continue to contribute as long as possible.