Safe Haven



Welcome
to
Safe Haven

A Vision for a Permaculture
Camp for EMF Refugees


by Maria “Tupten” August

Safe Haven Vision 2018
Safe Haven is a permaculture property serving
people with Electro-Hypersensitivity (EHS).

History

When I first became aware that I was sick due to Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs), I was shocked that such a condition existed. Then stunned as it proliferated to the degree of severe and debilitating EHS. As the sickness and symptoms snowballed, it prevented me from working, being in public places, seeking healthcare, and socializing with friends. I now find myself in the paradoxical position of needing to be housebound, yet there is nowhere to live. It seems everywhere has wi-fi, smart meters, cell phones/towers, not to mention TV, radio, computers, motors, and CFL bulbs. Catapulted into this obscure and isolating universe, I have discovered I am not alone. At first, I naively assumed that since so many other people are afflicted with EHS that certainly there must be remote eco-villages where we go to recover. Wrong and double-wrong. For folks with moderate sensitivity, there are pockets of livable locations and ways to shield/neutralize the EMF. However, for folks like me and countless others with severe sensitivity to all four types of common EMFs, there is basically no infrastructure. Yet. That is why I offer the vision of Safe Haven. This property can be a template to provide healthy, non-toxic, safe housing to those who struggle with illness and homelessness caused by EHS and EMFs.

For those of you with the capability and means, I hope this vision will inspire you to make Safe Haven a reality. Let us Gather, Unite, and Build!
Welcome to Safe Haven

In an ideal world which we can co-create, there will be a plethora of Safe Havens tucked in every corner. Yet if there is one single perfect Safe Haven, then it is described below. This is the place where I want to live, heal, and then nurture others back to health. Open your mind and come in – welcome to Safe Haven.

Safe Haven looks like a tiny fairytale village nestled into a valley among rolling hills. This is a super low EMF nature location in a place with a year-round growing season. The land is dotted with small cob cottages, each situated privately among our verdant and abundant food forest. In the center of the mandala is the communal kitchen and dining area. Further afield, we have a bath-house and washing machine (it’s operated by a bicycle!). Clothes and sheets get a sun bath on the drying line.

Safe Haven is a quiet property, a sanctuary for folks with severe EHS to detox and recover. EVERYTHING is non-toxic, from building materials to food to toiletries to linens to the salt water therapy pool. There is no RF, no EMI, and very little MF and EF. The environment exudes peace and calm.
 
Delicious meals spring forth from our food forest; meals based on healing detox regimens from Anthony William. We eat outside under a pergola, listening to the birds, bees and our various animals. Residents rest in their cozy private cottages which have no electricity or metal pipes.

We offer space for meditation, yoga, and bodywork. Hopefully, there are visits from healers and a naturopath.  Maybe even a dental hygienist! No need to go out into the world. Just stay in this sacred womb and let your cells renew and refresh. Remember what it is like to be human. Play in the garden, tend to the animals, help with our small cottage industry. There is space to make art and be creative. Here, everyone is welcome, rich and poor, young and old, abled and disabled. For those who have been sick, homeless, and scared, this is a dream come true. The dream of a Safe Haven.

Permaculture

Permaculture is a design approach which connects various disciplines, techniques and strategies to develop sustainable human settlements. This fosters a life-supporting, rich and bountiful human/earth relationship based on wellness for everything and everyone concerned. Through permaculture practices, Safe Haven protects and restores the health of the entire biome of people, flora and fauna, as well as the elements that make each possible.

The following list highlights the main permaculture aspects of Safe Haven:

COB STRUCTURES
Cob is a mix of earth, sand, clay and straw. Materials are non-toxic, inexpensive, block certain types of EMF, and provide insulation. Buildings are handmade pieces of art that arise out of the earth and can return to the earth with little waste. Wow!

COMPOSTING TOILETS
Do your business, throw in some dry leaves, wait a bit and voila! – rich compost for trees and shrubs. No plumbing and no water required. At Kufunda in Zimbabwe, they call them arborloos.

FOOD FOREST
A food forest is a way of gardening that mimics a natural woodland. There are layers of trees, then shrubs, then veggies, flowers, and herbs. Quoting from the book, Gaia’s Garden, “The gardener can mix and match the styles to tailor a garden that combines food, beauty, habitat, species preservation, and income.” For a beautiful description of a working food forest (bigger than we need at Safe Haven), read Chapter 6: Cool Food in Diet for a Hot Planet, or visit the Bullocks at permacultureportal.com

WATER CONSERVATION
This area includes systems for gray water re-use, rain catchment, and on-demand propane hot water. Additionally, the food forest and strategically placed swales help manage heavy rains or floods. Residents are encouraged to use as little water as possible.

OTHER DESIGN ELEMENTS

  • Because the property has no cell phone reception, we do have two corded landline phones: phone closet in kitchen building and one phone in shielded office hut.
  • Office hut is a small, remotely situated cob structure; there is an Ethernet fiber optic computer and a landline phone. The building is shielded for residents with extra sensitivity levels.
  • Cob cottages each have a built-in bed platform and organic mattress, comfy chair, closet, small counter with little sink (cold water only) and camp stove for tea, coffee preparation. They do not have electricity. There is natural light. Although rarely needed, each cottage has a small woodstove for heat. There are ample places for sitting outside all around the property.
  •  All the cleaning agents, detergents, and toiletries at Safe Haven are natural, non-toxic, and graywater friendly.
  • Handicap Accessibility: We will have at least one cottage that is accessible for walker or wheelchair. Perhaps it has a private toilet and easy path to the bath house where the showers are all accessible.
  • Massage Space/Movement Space: It is important to have a room for therapeutic bodywork, as well as movement space for yoga, stretching, Feldenkrais, etc. Outside practitioners can offer their services and residents can also share their gifts, talents, and skills.  
  • Therapeutic Salt-Water Pool: Exercising in warm water is extremely healing and nourishing. The body needs to move! The pool especially lends itself to residents with orthopedic challenges. It is a happy place for everyone. The water is warmed by the sun and solar cover and kept well insulated with its strawbale construction.
  • Community House is the communal kitchen, dining room, and library/living room. Other than the office hut, this is the only structure with electricity, which we keep at a minimum. When natural light is not available, there are incandescent lights. There is obviously a fridge/freezer, perhaps shielded in an alcove. The stove and oven are gas. The hot water is on-demand propane. The electricity is as shielded and neutralized as possible. Residents who cannot tolerate this building can have meals delivered to the picnic area or their cottage.
  • Electricity Source: this will be location dependent. If solar is the only option, then EMF experts should be hired to install it properly. Additionally, any inside wiring, solar or otherwise, shall be overseen by EMF experts, building biologists.
  • A few composting toilets are strategically placed around the property for easy access.
  • Biochar: How can you not love a material that blocks EMF and sequesters carbon? Check out Albert Bates at TheFarm.org and his amazing uses for Biochar and Charcrete. Safe Haven employs these techniques wherever possible.
  • Passive Solar Design and Thermal Mass
  • Easy-off Showerheads with hoses: these make turning off the water while soaping up very simple which saves water; having the head on a hose makes both showering for handicapped people and cleaning a breeze.
  • Salvaged and Re-purposed Materials
  • Food: What we don’t grow ourselves in the chemical-free food forest, we purchase from local organic farms and/or co-ops. We can establish an account with a natural foods distributor for a discount on pantry items. If these avenues don’t exist in our location, then we can help develop a network of local, clean food in the community. Most definitely, any animal products are from local sources where the animals live outside, eat grass or kitchen scraps, and are treated with love. Most of our meals are plant-centric and based on Diet for a Hot Planet by Lappé, and Life Changing Foods by William. EVERYTHING we eat is non-toxic; no chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides.


Location, Location, Location


This will, of course, be the defining aspect of Safe Haven. If I could use the Internet and travel, I'd be devoting myself to finding land. I would opt for a sunny locale with a Mediterranean climate. A valley with hills or mountains is important. The climate dictates the growing season and ease of being self-sufficient foodwise. Additionally, we need the sun to light up our structures and heal our bodies. Because we don’t use artificial indoor heat, a place which doesn't get too cold will save wood (definitely no snow!). Baja or Mexico might be good ideas.

This area will take some creative brainstorming and input from potential residents, builders, and mitigators. Let's think big and outside the box. If you have an idea, please share. As I ponder the location question, some other options that arise are:

  • Safe Haven being an addition to an already existing community or eco-village or private property. We could tuck ourselves away into a section of land appropriate for the EMF parameters. This could be a source of income for an intentional community, retreat center, organic farm, or land baron philanthropist. Places that come to mind, although many more options exist, are Quail Springs, Blue Sky Center, Sweetwater Sanctuary, Tassajara...
  • Perhaps Safe Haven could lease property from the U.S. Forest Service.
  • Maybe Safe Haven is not even a place but a network of cob cottages on myriad properties throughout the world.

Insert your own wonderful ideas here. Again, the point is to start somewhere and soon.  As with any refugee situation, this is an urgent matter.  I, along with many others, need somewhere to live today.
 

Money Matters


START-UP SEED MONEY
In order to purchase a piece of land outright in full, start the food forest, and build the initial buildings, Safe Haven needs some start-up funds. This can come from the first round of potential residents, individuals and/or foundations with a commitment to our mission, and non-profits or groups with an allegiance to EMF education and health. Plus, there is always good old social media fundraising. I personally have a small savings to dedicate to the project. As Safe Haven is a labor of love, we might ask consulting experts to offer discounted rates. It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase skills, talents, and wisdom toward the greater good.

ONGOING AND EXPANSION FUNDS
Since we will not have a mortgage, we live light on the land, grow our own food, build inexpensively, and use few utilities, our on-going expenses will be minimal. Sources of steady income can be: Rent (based on a sliding scale), cottage industry such as a food item or artwork, cleaning and selling waste vegetable oil, selling produce or eggs.  And my personal favorite: a small guesthouse or hostel where outside folks can come for a digital detox permaculture retreat. Once 5G is up, people will be clammering for respite at such a place. Safe Haven can also serve as a hub for EMF safety education and the benefits of permaculture design.


Summary

Safe Haven offers EMF Refugees a place to call home. The permaculture design creates a back-to-basics natural lifestyle which supports health and healing. We understand that by living in community, our human potential is brighter and stronger. At Safe Haven, people who are sick and homeless get the chance to not just survive, but thrive and flourish.

We will start small and grow tall. At first, perhaps we will have just tents and rustic outdoor kitchen, while we erect the first cottages. As things move along, we can construct more, put in the communal structures, put in the pool, build the guesthouse. It will all happen organically - the point is to start. Most folks with severe EHS want to live simply and don't need the creature comforts anymore. A safe, non-toxic, warm, dry cob cottage is a luxury beyond belief compared to what most of us deal with every day being over-exposed and sick - or camping full time out in the elements, moving every two weeks, and just subsisting. 

As soon as the word gets out about Safe Haven, the spaces will be full and there will be a waiting list.  I know a handful of EHS folks seeking immediate shelter, myself included.
I’m passionate about the cross-pollinating opportunities as Safe Haven between various groups who can enhance each other’s passions and knowledge in service to planetary well-being. It is time to start a conversation between like-minded folks who share common ground. I see the players as:

Permaculturists and Natural Builders - create sustainable/non-toxic settlements
People with EHS - need non-toxic housing and community
Building Biologists - serve people with Environmental Illness
Community Organizers – foster resiliency and togetherness
Philanthropic Donors - put their money where their values are
Health Practitioners and Healers - serve people with Environmental Illness
EMF Activists - educate and advocate for safe technology

I am not a permaculture expert; I have never built a cob house or grown a food forest or dug a hole for an arborloo. I am not an EMF mitigation expert or a building biologist. But I am an expert in suffering from EHS and chemical sensitivity. I am an expert in knowing that we have poisoned the earth and she is sick. And because she is sick, I am sick, too. Places like Safe Haven are the medicine we all need. Let us heal our planet and her people. If not now, when?

 

Contact & Share 

If the vision of Safe Haven inspires you, or you are curious to learn more, or you want in on the project, OR you know of a fabulous place without wifi and cell reception, please contact:

Maria August      
2018refuge[at]gmail.com     

Feel free to share this PDF* with your peeps and their peeps so we can spread the word and find our first location.  It will also be posted at www.HeartMind.info in the near future.

In the spirit of Bob Goff's work, let’s just start and see what happens. Jump in with both feet.  As the Berkana folks say, start somewhere and follow it everywhere. I look forward to hearing from you and creating Safe Haven together.  May you be well.

*Note: please contact 2018refuge@gmail.com to request this document in PDF. 



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