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Earth Day, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Photo: The paddy field, adjacent to Rasa Ayurveda.

Our Mother Earth is even more vital to our survival than well our actual mother…! We all arise from Her, take all our sustenance from Her, and rely on Her to deal with our wastes. And ultimately, our body returns to Her. Whether we personally feel the great connection or not, our relationship with Mother Earth is unarguably intimate and interdependent…

At Rasa Ayurveda today, we are doing a bit of spring cleaning. We’re closed for the hot season until June 3rd when monsoon begins so we’re taking this time to tend the grounds, expand Rasa’s rich collection of medicinal plants, and create a new coconut-leaf thatch structure on the treatment roof.

When you visit Rasa Ayurveda, you might be impressed with our biogas plant which is now humming along, effortlessly generating cooking fuel from daily food scraps. We’ve had several visits from researchers recently who want to learn more about implementing this simple, effective technology in other parts of the world.)

We’re currently expanding our organic vegetable garden, and are gearing up to introduce a hive of Kerala’s tiny honey bees to the Rasa Ayurveda family.

Truly, every day is Earth Day! But today’s an especially good time to tell you more about the patch of Earth around Rasa Ayurveda…

We’re just beginning our efforts to raise money in order to complete our purchase agreement for the land we occupy. We’re also hoping to acquire the paddy field(pictured above) adjacent to Rasa Ayurveda.

Why the paddy field?

Though not considered as valuable as buildable land, the paddy field is very important to the health of the local ecosystem. It provides a home for countless medicinal plants and an amazing variety of bird life. The field allows for drainage of the surrounding area, channeling rain waters toward the Karamana River which protects the surrounding area and homes large and small, built from both concrete and mud.

The paddy field is a place to grow food, including traditional varieties of medicine rice a place to put water buffaloes to pasture, and now during the hot season, the field is a popular place for boys to play cricket and connect with nature in the process.

As part of The Mutashi Project (our effort to sustain native plants and traditional medicine into the lives of the next generation), we’ve been interviewing women all over the Trivandrum area about their use of local plant medicines. When we ask them about any obstacles they face toward continuing to use grass roots Ayurveda for the health needs of their families and themselves, the most common answer is: “The plants are getting hard to find. Many plants are not available. The land is disappearing; everything’s built up and there just isn’t space for the plants anymore.”

Sadly, there have been recent attempts to fill the paddy field. Although we understand that this practice is harmful and illegal, practical reality being what it is, it appears that the only way to save the field is to purchase it. We want to protect the field from further harmful development.

Good fortune smiled on this desire today, April 21st, official Earth Day. This morning, Sandia Bachman, a veteran Rasa Ayurveda patient and student from Chicago, IL, called to explain that she recently offered her time to lead a gathering intended to increase the prosperity of all those attending. At the end of the evening, she was inspired to announce that those who wanted to could make a donation toward saving the paddy field…! People were happy to give, and she’s sending a check this week. We’re one step closer to our goal of preserving the field for human, plant and animal communities.

Thank you Sandia, for inspiring others to help save a patch of Kerala! We’re grateful to you and all those who donated, and we’re delighted that this good news happened to come to us on Earth Day, a very good sign…

Everyone’s life is born of and sustained by our planet’s vitality, so at Rasa Ayurveda, we hope you’ve found a chance to enjoy and be healed by Her bounty today, a chance to allow your senses to connect with the sweet energy of Her living landscapes, plants, animals, waters, minerals and atmosphere that make our home, our food, our medicine and our playground every day!


by Niika Quistgard, Director

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