Monday, April 5, 2010
In Praise of Sunflower River
After less than three years, the members of the Sunflower River Community (see previous post for some photos) have created a small sanctuary of sustainable living right here on the outskirts of Albuquerque, supported by the wider Pagan community and a large circle of friends.
At Sunflower River, people truly walk their talk when it comes to living sustainably and close to the land, and the list is impressive: earth-friendly household products, composting toilets, grey-water recycling, rainwater catchment, composting, organic gardening, and thoughtful reuse and recycling of a wide variety of materials.
Raising chickens for eggs and meat, turkeys for meat, and rabbits for meat and fur, animal husbandry is another set of skills being honed at Sunflower River. Everyone here has participated in the learning curve, and the depth of knowledge being cultivated and expanded is substantial. Just last night, we all returned from a dinner out to find that a neighborhood dog had broken into the hen house, killing six hens and injuring two. We helped as we were able while the residents of Sunflower snapped into action, tending to the injured, searching for the unaccounted for, and then lovingly processing and butchering the dead in an effort to not waste anything that could be eaten or used. Luckily, none of the forty vulnerable and growing chicks were hurt in the fray, but the loss of six hens was indeed substantial.
Observing the Sunflowerians at work is impressive, and their work is informed by manual dexterity, earth-centered spirituality, compassionate communication skills, sharp intuition, and intellectual knowledge on many levels. While everyone is highly literate and skilled in areas like Information Technology, literature and other subjects, book learning and studiousness are only one aspect of the breadth of knowledge at play here. Learning by doing is certainly a fact of life on the land at Sunflower, and everything they do is simply done well.
Sunflower is obviously a very motivated and successful community that is growing intelligently and thoughtfully, with a keen eye on being debt-free, financially solvent, and highly sustainable. We feel like we've made new friends here on the edge of Albuquerque, and we look forward to watching Sunflower ripen and grow into the larger community that it is destined to become.