words by Magenta Ceiba, photography by Alan Rockefeller and Magenta
This Friday I had the honor of representing Bloom Network to support the launch of the Decriminalize Nature initiative in Oakland, California.
The purpose of this ballot initiative is to decriminalize entheogenic plants, restore our root connection to nature, and improve human health and well-being. Decriminalize Nature refers to entheogenic plants, fungi, and natural sources (as defined herein), such as mushrooms, cacti, iboga containing plants and /or extracted combinations of plants similar to Ayahuasca; and limited to those containing the following types of compounds: indole amines, tryptamines, phenethylamines.
The event featured speakers, letter writing, button-making, screen-printing, delicious food and more. The vibe at the start of the event was nothing short of holy. The experiences people have had with these natural psychedelic substances have been profound and life-changing, and we all care about, in the words of Dr. Mellody Hayes, “increasing the access and availability of healing to all people.” It was a gathering of grassroots community coming together to have these relationships with nature.
Subsequent events in the coming months will continue the momentum so be sure to check them out if you’re in the area. This is one of several related initiatives happening in the U.S. at this time. Denver, Colorado and Oregon both have ballot initiatives up to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms.
When I arrived, I learned that two of the authors of this initiative met at HiveMind, an event produced by Bloom Bay Area between 2012-2014. (You can attend the new version of this event, Pollination, in August in SF!) It was a beautiful reminder of how deep of relationships and impacts have formed over the years of our local chapter events. Once the connections form, look what flowers!
Speaker highlights included: talented artist Chor Boogie talking about his emergence from his first Iboga ceremony after plunging into a heroine relapse, and loving his life again; and Ryan Miller of Educating Veterans About Cannabis urging folks to prioritize vulnerable communities in access to medicine ceremonies, perhaps by people paying more for their seat so that someone who can’t afford it can receive one.
I had the pleasure of speaking with David Karabelnikoff, an Alaskan Aleut living in the Bay Area, who is co-producing a forthcoming podcast about indigenous regenerative economy, as well as the second annual NDGNS Hackathon of artists. He told me something about tobacco that I’d like to pass along. Native peoples are taught to work with tobacco for prayer, in connection with the Earth. He described that the way Americans use it is that they think about their worries and things they’re stressed out about it when they’re smoking, thereby sending those prayers to spirit – literally the opposite of traditional teachings.
Larry Norris, co-founder of ERIE – Entheogenic, Research, Integration and Education, and myself silk-screened shirts together advertising the initiative. We did about 30 shirts. It was the first time either of us had done silk-screening, so we learned how and had a blast in the process. Larry was part of our local Bloom (then Evolver) organizing crew around 2012, so it was a pleasure to be together making art for a great cause.
Lastly, do you know about 920, Global Magic Mushroom Day???!!!!!?!?!?! Check it out, 920 Coalition. I have met the most wonderful people at events around it.
It was a gift to support the launch of the Decriminalize Nature initiative. I hope you’ll also support it or pick up the torch on related initiatives in your cities and states/provinces as they inevitably join the current.
At the Green Wave house it’s been hot. Earth scorching hot. Adriana (our permaculture consultant) says the temperatures are higher this year for this time and the land shows it. It was a major achievement to get all the plants on drip before the summer but some of them are still struggling. Our garden beds look far from lush. We can’t baby these plants if they are to survive here so it has us thinking about what we want to bother growing in our beds during summers and if we should switch next summer to all perennials.
Picture is a shot of the dried Earth around the site for the future Goddess temple). The elements are tough here. It takes a toll on everything. Signs are dissolving. It’s a little sad as we spent so much time making them two years ago. They are rotting from the bottom or paint is peeling from the top. We are being humbled. Our deck is only 2 and half years old and already it is buckling. The company is scheduled to come out and replace it. (Don’t worry we will be keeping some of the wood for another building project). But this has us thinking as well. Yes the deck had a 20 year warranty, but I’m thinking the company will only fulfill their warranty once. We are not in the States anymore.
(Here’s a picture of a dissolving mat and our buckling deck. Also being worn down by the elements. But in permaculture we look at problems as challenges to find solutions for. I am taking the little pieces of the mat and adding them to an ecobrick. We will find a good use for the wood that gets pulled up.)
Adriana has noticed in some of our gardens that despite efforts to repair the soil (by adding rice husks, different compost concoctions, etc., ) that it is still very much clay. Tomatoes simply won’t grow. We’ve tried in the beds and in containers. That’s okay, we were warned. We will continue our efforts and make a better attempt at tracking what we are doing on the Green Wave House facebook page.
So it’s been tough but there has also been a lot of great things happening. So many that we feel a bit behind in the report making.
First of all, we have a new and expanded plant nursery thanks to Ken and our land manager, Delvin.
(New nursery. Now we just need more tables!)
In the food forest, we have our first jackfruit and mango growing! Limes are starting to come in and cashew season is in full swing. We have starfruit and bananas of all types. We have lots of mulberries growing, and a few Brazilian cherries. Although we have a lot of Chaya (a spinach alternative), I am hesitant to eat too much of it now. It is indigenous and so very hardy but it too takes a toll in the summer. Mostly I don’t want to dip into our reserve of the Chaya because I have a plan for May. As soon as the first rains come, I want to take pieces off of the several plants we have to propagate them into new areas because I love eating Chaya so much. It grows like a succulent in that you can simply take a piece, drop it on the ground, and it will root and grow. Aside from planning for Chaya, I have a plan for flowers in the yoni garden, the Goddess temple, and more medicinal plants to a create a product to sell to our community.
(Ripe mulberries from the food forest)
(Medicinal plant we have an abundance of and will be giving away to Green Wave house visitors.)
Recently I hosted a fairy day at The Green Wave House with the children of some of our friends. We made fairy houses out of old juice jugs. One of the mothers was so inspired, she is wanting to co-host and help organize a similar but larger event at the Green Wave House with kids from some of the local schools.
In other news, our projects are doing great and all of the are increasingly working together.
Adriana, who acts as the permaculture consultant for the Green Wave House is also the permaculture consultant for Future Verde, the school. Since last year, we have helped the school put in a banana circle to help with a grey water issue, built a chicken coop and chicken food forest, started a food forest for the students, expanded their plant nursery and make new planting beds. ]Thanks to a generous donation from the Hatfileld family, Adriana will be helping the school through 2019 and hopefully 2020.
Patricia, who represents the Karen Mogensen Reserve (a project we assist with), recently did a sound healing at the school and will be giving a talk soon to students about trees.
The wildlife rescue center we help with is doing amazing. We have new structures to house the ever increasing amount of long term volunteers and vet interns. The community support has been amazing, especially for the Scarlet Macaw reintroduction project. Our last fundraiser raised $1500. (We are doing better with establishing safety protocol at events, which is an important integration coming from my involvement with safety standards creation for live events). Our next event, Tapas for Lapas (meaning appetizers for birds) will be at a local brewery called La Selva. La Selva has made a special beer called “La Poquita” (with a beautiful sticker) and it will be sold at Automercado (a nice grocery store chain in Costa Rica) and Walmarts.
In addition to the Macaw project, we have had other successful fundraisers on online platforms. Recently some volunteers used the Chuffed.org platform to raise money for an incubator. They also raised money to fund “monkey bridges”, although the local electric company has now agreed to pay for these (as possibly required by law). Jeremy, the director of the center, recently went to L.A. to visit vet programs to expand our vet intern program. Alex, a Green Wave board member, recently paid a visit and brought the baby animals special stuffed animals that have a heartbeat that have proven to reduce stress for young puppies who are recently adopted. We now have three volunteers at the center that are really excited about ecobricking. We also have Jeremy in communication with Futuro Verde about a cross educational campaign called “Feed the Animals Right”.
(Post Envision photo at the amazing “Green Room Cafe” in Jaco, featuring Jeremy the director of Wild Sun, myself, Tara who co-runs the beach cleanup organization Una Limpia Playa Hermosa, and Alex, Green Wave board member and major donor to Wild Sun.)
(The other Jeremy, Tara’s son, and Ken both wearing their Scarlet Macaw reintroduction shirts after the last Wild Sun fundraiser event).
(After 2 years we finally got the first birds that will be set for release this coming July!)
We started our “Green Drinks” events. The first event in December went well. We had another event before Envision festival at our local organic farmers market. Although the idea behind hosting the second event in conjunction with the market was good, we quickly realized it is not quite what we are going for. Although no date has been set, we have a new location we will be trying for our third event. It is a vegetarian restaurant and art gallery that has some of the best cocktails in town. Casual and yet swanky. We think marketing the next event will be good at the farmers market but that the actual event should always be separate. What was good about the last Green Drinks is that the town matriarch, Honey (who runs the market), shared an idea she has for spontaneous theater…. So we look forward to helping her realize her dream. We are having talks as well to possible hold our event on occasion on the Montezuma side since people tend to like to stay on the side of the peninsula they live on. Pictures can be found on the Green Wave facebook page which we are (slowly) transforming into a local resource for all things “green” within our community.
Signing off on this report with a fabulous banana bread recipe that Ken found and has demonstrated is amazing and a picture of the most beautiful beetle I’ve yet to see here and have not yet seen again.
FOOD FOREST INSPIRATION Recently Futuro Verde’s science students, led by teacher Javier, visited The Green Wave House to study the multi-stage food forest. Adriana Pal, Green Wave House’s permaculture expert, received the students and gave them the educational tour. Students were able to observe the first phase food forest which is now about two years old and contains all layers as well as observe the freshly planted food forest extension.
FUTURO VERDE AS THE FIRST COSTA RICAN SCHOOL TO INTEGRATE PERMACULTURE FORMALLY INTO THEIR CURRICULUM Green Wave, through the consulting work of both Janine Jordan and Adriana Pal, has been working on formally integrating Permaculture into the curriculum at Futuro Verde. Futuro Verde is a dedicated environmental school in Costa Rica with students pre-K through 11th grade. Symbolically we kicked off efforts on Earth Day with the ecobrick planter and ceremony which included the donation of a refrigerator for a seed bank and seed bank stock from The Green Wave House. So far a new chicken coop has been made from the donation of Green Wave and the expansion of their school (plant) nursery is in progress. The school has taken the recommendation of building a banana circle to combat the issue they had with grey water in one area of the school as well. Green Wave donated money for the purchase of gardening kits for the students and Adriana Pal has successfully completed two workshops for the students including a tour to Cabo Blanco National Park to observe Nature’s design for a forest, as well as the food forest tour at The Green Wave House.
#EMATRASH2TREASURE CHALLENGE Since Earth Day, Janine Jordan, head of Nicoya Bloom and Green Wave, has been running a “trash to treasure” challenge for the Green Wave project, Electronic Music Alliance. This challenge was to inspire thought within the festival community surrounding the creative use of trash into art and fashion. Applications are currently being accepted until September 30th.
There are cash prizes and publicity for those recognized from the amazing judging panel. For more details visit their site.