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News & Views

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S u s t ai n ab l e S o u t h w e s t

Healthy Living issue Prescription for Healing Our Bodies and the Earth Greening your brain Community, heal thyself Sustainable Health for Our Times February 2012

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Green Fire Times • February 2012

Vol. 4, No. 2 • February 2012 Issue No. 34 Publisher Green Fire Publishing, LLC

Skip Whitson

Managing Editor Seth Roffman Art Director

Anna C. Hansen Dakini Design Copy Editor Stephen Klinger

PUBLISHER’S ASSISTANTs Barbara E. Brown, Karen Shepherd

Contributing Writers

Juan Estévan Arellano, Camilla Bustamante, Faren Dancer, Anthony Fleg, M.D., Susan Guyette, Dr. Amanda Hessel, Jan-Willem Jansens, Ingrid Lane, Tori Lee, Bruce Poster, Vicki Pozzebon, Seth Roffman, Michele Rozbitsky, Erin Sanborn, Susan Waterman

Contributing Photographers

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Contents Prescription


Give Yourself

Healing Our Bodies




Greatest Gift: A Healthier You



Earth . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 5

2012 . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 7

Del Are Llano: Una Vida Buena y Sana (y Alegre)–A Sound, Healthy (and Cheerful) Life . . 9 Sostenga: Tradition




Culturally Appropriate Food . . .. . .. . .. 11

Everyday Green: Greening Your Brain . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 13 Newsbites . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 15, 29 Healing




2012. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 16

Curanderismo Festival . . .. . .. . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .17 Healing


Flowers . . .. . .. . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .19

Reconnection Therapy . . .. . .. . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .23 Symptoms: Your Body’s Secret Healing Messages . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. .25

Juan Estévan Arellano, Anna C. Hansen, Alan Hoffman, Jan-Willem Jansens, Tori Lee, Seth Roffman

Healing Through Horses . . .. . . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .27

Advertising Sales

Faren Dancer’s Unicopia Green: Planetary Healing . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .31

Skip Whitson 505.471.5177 Dan Godfrey 505.323.5619 John Black 505.920.0359 Ralph A. Vigil 505.603.2879 Janice Lee Mak 505.310.5926 Jack King 505.884.4497


Op-Ed: There Is No Invisible Barrier That Separates Air . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .33 The Local Voice: Community Heal Thyself . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .35 Retire Your Way: The New Retirement . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 37 What’s Going On . . .. . .. . .. . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .38

Barbara Brown, Nick García, Dan Godfrey, Andy Otterstrom (Creative Couriers), Tony Rapatz, Wuilmer Rivera, Skip Whitson, John Woodie

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Green Fire Times

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Green Fire Times provides useful information for anyone: community members, business people, students, visitors—interested in discovering the wealth of opportunities and resources available in our region. Knowledgeable writers provide articles on subjects ranging from green businesses, products, services, entrepreneurship, jobs, design, building, energy and investing—to sustainable agriculture, arts & culture, ecotourism, education, regional food, water, the healing arts, local heroes, native perspectives, natural resources, recycling, transportation and more. GFT is widely distributed throughout north-central New Mexico. Feedback, announcements, event listings, advertising and article submissions to be considered for publication are welcome. Contact Skip Whitson at 505.471.5177 or e-mail info@

The Second Annual Healthy Living Edition of Green Fire Times


he articles in this, the second annual Healthy Living edition of Green Fire Times, represent a variety of perspectives related to health and the healing arts. We invited our readers to submit articles, and by presenting these perspectives, we are not necessarily endorsing particular modalities or approaches; rather, we are providing a forum that, to some extent, reflects the unique multicultural and philosophical makeup of our region. You will find here age-old traditional cultural approaches, such as IndoHispano curanderismo, a metaphysical perspective, as well as a contemporary, holistic medical view. The thread that connects most of them is the relationship between our personal health and the health of the Earth. Environmental degradation has a direct impact on the health of our population, which in turn places demands on our healthcare resources.

© Anna C. Hansen

Webmaster: Karen Shepherd Office Assistants Claire Ayraud, Sally Calvin

Each dimension of health—physical, social, emotional, mental/intellectual, spiritual and environmental requires balance. Cover:  Hiking at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, 2011 Photo: © Jennifer Esperanza • Green Fire Times is not to be confused with the Green Fire Report, an in-house quarterly publication of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center. The NMELC can be accessed online at:

February 2012 • Green Fire Times



Green Fire Times • February 2012

Health and Wellness

Prescription for Healing our Bodies and Healing the Earth Jan-Willem Jansens


his prescription for health and healing is rather universal. You can find all or parts of it in any popular magazine at your supermarket’s checkout lane, remember it from the wisdom your grandparent may have taught you, or receive it as advice from a healing arts practitioner or family physician. Would this prescription also serve us to bring healing to the Earth and to our relation with the Earth? Would it help us live more sustainably? Why might a nature magazine, an experienced outdoors-person or farmer, or an engineer or restoration biologist give you a similar prescription for how to relate to Mother Earth? Might there be a relationship between our personal health and the health of the planet? While this prescription is tested and true for a person’s physical health, society as a whole does not at all seem to advocate it or support it! To the contrary, many people consume foods and other products that are far from wholesome and in amounts unhealthy for their bodies and for the Earth. Many

lead sedentary lives and have lost touch with their bodies and the physical exertion that used to be necessary to stay alive. Our contemporary ways of resting, relaxing and rejuvenating our bodies and minds are dominated by technological and consumptive recreational activities and gadgets that often use up lots of Earth’s resources, pollute and destroy the land and disrupt traditional communities. The way our public media, political discourse, judicial systems and capitalist market systems are structured leads many people to believe and expect that freedom, peace and security come with free trade and consumption of whatever we want, no matter the true (and often hidden) cost and sacrifice.


I still remember the first day I set foot in a supermarket after I returned to Europe from Niger in West Africa, where I had lived at the edge of the Sahara for three years. As soon as I stepped into the store, it was as if thousands of products were screaming out to me in colorful shapes and displays, and with special advertising images and supported messages broadcast over the store’s intercom: BUY! BUY! BUY! You have to have this! Now reduced in price! It was overwhelming. I experienced more of a culture shock returning to my “own” world than when I arrived in Niger. Admittedly, most markets

Eldorado Community School garden—example of local food production.

Courtesy Jan-Willem Jansens (2)

“Eat wholesome food in moderate amounts; do frequent, aerobic exercises but don’t over-exert the body; get enough sleep, rest and relaxation; think good thoughts and approach life with imagination and a positive attitude.”

The outdoors of northern NM offer great hiking opportunities. It’s also a great way to bring kids outdoors to encourage their imagination and exploration.

in West Africa are also very lively and colorful, and those vendors also want you to leave with their products. Yet, there is always the process of building personal connections in the markets and stores. Most of the products are local, grown with few external or technological inputs, and the packaging is minimal. Most food products sold in New Mexico travel 1,500 miles or more to reach our stores. Their production, transportation and preservation require large quantities of fossil fuel; they have been processed in ways that require many times their volume and weight in water; and they create large amounts of by-products that, at best, are composted, and at worst, are discarded as waste. Most of our processed foods are produced with large amounts of corn and soy. Technologically important building blocks of our food staples, these crops are grown in ways that have cumulatively led to massive soil erosion, water depletion, oil and gas extraction, road building, large-scale land development, and agricultural systems that have rejected more diversified, small-scale and local farming practices. In sum, the by-products of these forms of food production contribute to the causes of human-induced climate change, as well as to large-scale land degradation and increased drinking water pollution and downstream flooding.

I believe that the super-sized, convenience-oriented mass consumption of food and other products lies at the heart of the human and environmental health problems of our “developed” society. After my supermarket culture shock, it dawned on me that our challenges with the sustainability of our lifestyles, the pollution we create, the degradation of our social systems and sense of community, and our growing health problems and healthcare costs are all related. These problems reflect how we relate to other people and to our natural environment, how we increasingly fail to see things whole in the world, and how we continue to consume products, services and information without asking any questions about what we really need and what the consequences are of our consumptive behavior. Fortunately, I am not alone in my realization that to heal ourselves and the Earth, a change is needed in our consumption patterns. Since my arrival in Santa Fe in 1993, I have witnessed a remarkable resurgence of local food production and people’s awareness of the importance of wholesome food. A growing number of individuals and communities in northern NM have stepped up their food production activities in backyard gardens and community gardens. The recent Sustainable Growth Management Plan for Santa continued on page

February 2012 • Green Fire Times




Green Fire Times • February 2012

Personal Health

Give Yourself the Greatest Gift:

A Healthier You in 2012! Anthony Fleg, MD


appy February to our Green Fire Times readers. With the holidays now a distant memory, most of you are back to work, working for a cleaner, greener planet. Beyond our work and activism, you probably spend time doing all you can for your partners, children, and family members. A simple question remains—how much time and energy do you spend on your health? Does it even make it on the top ten of your priority list? And if the answer is “no,” are you willing to change that to a “yes” in 2012? As a family physician, one thing that I find in listening to people tell me about their lives is that most of us (health professionals included) have our own health as a very low priority in our lives. I will hear people tell me how they go out of their way in sacrificing for their job, their children, their significant others and their communities. Rarely do I hear the same degree of effort being put toward appreciating one’s own body and health. I like to give the simple scenario of an alien looking in from outer space and seeing New Mexicans rushing around 8-10 hours a day for their jobs, but unwilling to take 30 minutes of the day to exercise, relax or prepare a healthy meal. Ironically, we are ignoring the very bodies that allow us to do the other things we are so focused on doing. An analogy would be a race car driver who felt they were too busy with racing to worry about things going on under the hood or what type of fuel they put into the car. That vantage point gives a true look at how we value our health. My hope is that you will take some time this month to think about how you can make your health a more central part of your life in the months ahead. What activities do you already do for your health? What areas of your health would you like to improve? I do not think there is a recipe I can give for how to do this, but I will offer a few thoughts to help start you thinking in this realm:

Exercise is powerful medicine! Whether it is to relieve stress in a healthy way, a time to breathe, relax and meditate, or being done for specific health benefits (e.g. preventing high blood pressure, improving sleep, treating fibromyalgia), our bodies are meant to move! And for those of us who value Mother Earth and the simple pleasures of nature, a nice walk in the woods, a jog amongst canyons and mesas is one of the simplest ways to connect to the world around us. In terms of exercise, a simple goal is to work toward a lifestyle where you are getting 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week. Pick something that is fun to do, and get a friend of family member to go with you—both of these will make it more likely to be successful. You may find it helpful to write down your goals, and to make monthly jour-

nal entries a way to track your own progress. Some people find that giving themselves grades helps as well: if improving your diet was an area of focus, you might give yourself a diet grade on a 1 to 10 scale. If your starting point is a 5, the initial question becomes, “What can I do to get to a 6?” Small changes will be more sustainable! Many New Year’s Resolutions are long forgotten a few months later because they involve such large changes to one’s life that they are hard to sustain. Pick small challenges, and once you have accomplished each one and sustained it for 1-2 months, pick new goals to work toward. Consider all of the dimensions of health—spiritual, mental/emotional, physical, and intellectual. For some of us, the most important health is-

School-Based Health Centers

The US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has announced another round of grants to expand School-Based Health Centers in rural New Mexico communities. Centers funded include: Ben Archer Health Center, Hatch ($500,000), Las Clinicas Del Norte, Inc., El Rito ($300,000) and the New Mexico Department of Health, Santa Fe ($112,000). “School-Based Health Clinics (SBHCs) provide students with medical attention when they need it, catching problems early on and preventing bigger problems later in life. They keep NM students healthy and learning,” says Beth Hamilton, Executive Director of the NM Alliance for School-Based Health Care. New Mexico has more than 80 school-based health centers, which provide quality health services where the students are—in school. These centers are an important safety net, providing easily accessible healthcare when, in many cases, the closest clinic or hospital is miles away. SBHCs in New Mexico have gained increasing public and media attention thanks to continued expansions funded in part by the Affordable Care Act. Last July, the HHS Department distributed $95 million to 278 school-based health center programs for capital improvements, including six in New Mexico. A few notes about School-Based Health Care: • SBHC is an innovative first line of defense in the effort to provide inexpensive care, reduce bad outcomes and encourage a prevention model. • An estimated 1/3 of NM students use school-based health centers for primary care. • W ith parents’ permission, the centers provide basic health care services including immunizations, nutrition advice, mental health services, and help with peer pressure and bullying. • BHCs are vital to ensuring students who don’t get medical treatment anywhere else can get it at school. More information about School-Based Health Centers in New Mexico is available online at the NM Alliance for School Based Health Care website: www. The Alliance is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with other partners to promote and facilitate comprehensive, culturally competent healthcare, including health education, in schools.

sue might be to find ways to reduce the stress we bear at the workplace, or even a small step of beginning to take lunch breaks. Others may feel that more attention to their spiritual practice, beginning to learn a new language, or finding healthier ways to resolve conflicts in relationships are important. What is most important is that you choose the areas that are most important for you, and then work on specific goals in those areas. Best wishes for the blessing of health for you, your family, and our communities in 2012! Anthony Fleg is a family physician with the Native Health Initiative, a partnership to address health inequities through loving service ( If you have questions or comments, please email him at

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February 2012 • Green Fire Times


Prescription for Healing continued from page 5

Fe County reports USDA data for 2007 that show an increase in farms, especially small farms up to 180 acres, compared with 2002. Gross income from crop sales in Santa Fe County increased from below $6 million in 1993 to nearly $8.6 million in 2007. It appears that some kind of prescription for healthier and more sustainable eating, living and consuming is gradually spreading throughout the region.

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Courtesy Jan-Willem Jansens


The message that is being developed about healthy food has many dimensions. The core revolves around eating food that is organic or, as much as possible, grown within a radius of 300

to pass food grading systems that ensure standardized visual characteristics. Therefore, the volume of rejects and waste is far smaller. Going forward, we will need to pay much more attention to what food we offer children in our schools. While, for example, NM Consumers Alliance is lobbying for changes in national legislation to reduce or cut out the influence of corporate food distributors on food offered at schools, locally each of us must work with our educators, school administrations, and the students and their parents, to build awareness about healthy food production and consumption patterns. Together we can make huge strides in combating obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular illnesses, while starting corrective action on how our food is produced and how we may heal the Earth from the impacts of misguided food production practices.

Many schools are experiKids connecting with nature—Gonzales Community currently School students bird observation class menting with the development of miles. Additional healthy food habits school gardens and Farm-to-School are of course to eat less (just enough), food programs. I believe that there is seek an optimal diet for your needs, huge promise in building connections and minimize meat consumption. between schools and Community Many local and regional organizations Supported Agriculture (CSA) or othwork on various aspects of these meser local farms and ranches to realize sages, such as Farm to Table, our local more wholesome food options in our farmers’ markets, food co-ops, and loschools. At the same time, we will incal and regional business alliances that crease the markets for local farms, thus promote local food. harnessing greater economic strength All these “new” ideas about food confor our local and organic food systems. sumption have important health benPhysical Exercise efits for the Earth as well. Local food When my parents were young, many requires far fewer external inputs for people still walked to work or to go its preservation, storage and transporshopping. In those days, many more tation. Local food, at least in northern people were involved in primary NM, is typically grown with local, reproduction sectors, such as forestry, newable surface water supplies (river/ farming, ranching, horticulture and acequia water), and few or no fertilfisheries. These professions required izers, herbicides, pesticides or other a significant amount of outdoor work high-tech inputs that degrade and and physical exertion. These activities pollute soil and water. Local food is also embodied a vast knowledge base grown for local niche markets, where about how to interact with the land, people understand that the produce and this knowledge was shared by a looks natural and is not necessarily significant part of the population. homogeneous, unlike produce grown continued on page


Green Fire Times • February 2012


del are llano / From the Arid Land

Traditional Perspectives

Una Vida Buena y Sana (y Alegre)

A Sound, Healthy (and Cheerful) Life

Juan Estévan Arellano

But rarely do we think about the philosophy of the people and how it relates to health, because most don’t think of uneducated people as having philosophy. But in the Indo-Hispano culture, when talking to traditional people about health or life, they always talk about “una vida buena y sana,” a sound and healthy life, to which someone will usually add, “…y alegre,” and cheerful. And this type of philosophy is usually tied to the environment. All one has to do is look carefully at the “ordenanzas,” or ordinances that settlers had to abide by when looking for a piece of land to settle. Below are examples from Book Four of the Laws of the Indies that give us an idea of how the Spanish Crown was very concerned as to where the people were to settle, so that they could have “una vida buena y sana.”

When looking at the health of the people, the land and water are very important, for without water nothing can be done—food can’t be grown, houses and churches built, etc. El agua es vida, water is life. Before a particular area was selected as a settlement, certain criteria had to be met. For that we go to Book Four, Title 7, Law 1: The new settlements shall be established under the conditions of this law. [Ordinances 39 and 40] … In… inland settlements, the settlers shall choose the site from among those that are unoccupied, or may be occupied by Our order, without being prejudicial to the Indians or natives, unless it is with their free consent. When they make the plan of the place, they shall divide it into its squares, streets and house-lots, marked out with straight lines, starting from the main square and proceeding from it with the streets to the entrance and principal roads. They shall leave enough open area that, even if the settlement greatly increases, it will always be possible to follow the plan and expand in the same way. They shall try to have water close by so that it can be conducted to the town and properties, distributing it if possible, in order to make the best use of it. They shall try to have the materials that are needed for buildings, farmlands, cultivation, and pastures, so as to do away with the considerable labor and expenses that result when the materials are far away.

A presa (diversion structure) of the Acequia Junta y Ciénaga

This idea was developed by Dr. Tomás Atencio and his wife, Consuelo Pacheco, based on their work in mental health and public health, and from the oral histories gathered by asociados of La Academia de la Nueva Raza during the ‘70s and ‘80s.

They shall not choose sites for settlement in places of very high elevation, because of troubles with the winds and the difficulty of service and transportation. Nor shall they choose sites in places of very low elevation because persons are apt to become ill. Settlements shall be made in moderate elevations which benefit from exposure to the winds from the north and the south; and if there are moun-

© Juan Estévan Arellano (2)


hen we talk about traditional healing arts we usually think of the “sobador,” masseuse; “curandera,” traditional healer; “partera,” midwife, or the different types of medicinal herbs that people consume, from osha to “hierbabuena,” peppermint; or any of the many plants used for medicine by traditional cultures.

Apodaca, within the Embudo land grant: (l-r) Jicarilla Peak, the Chimayoso and Truchas Peak. This settlement adhered to the Ordenanzas of 1573 and Laws of the Indies, and built at middle grounds; not on high elevations.

tains or hills, the settlements shall be on the east and west sides. If high places cannot be avoided, they shall make the settlements in places where they are not subject to clouds, observing whatever is most conducive to health, and considering unforeseen circumstances that can occur. They were also to be aware of poisonous animals and water where it remained stagnant. Elders, among them Dr. Devon G. Peña’s grandmother, Margarita K. Peña, was very philosophical when talking about seeds, “La semilla es la memoria de la planta, de como vivir bién en este lugar,” the seed is the memory of the plant, of how to live well in this place. This philosophy of wholeness, wholistic health, of “una vida buena y sana y alegre,” comes not only from where

settlements should be made, but also the importance of seeds, of “la memoria de la planta,” of how to not only survive, but thrive, in a specific environment. One might call this philosophy one of “querencia,” or sense of place. Farmer, researcher and community leader, Juan Estévan Arellano has devoted most of his life to documenting the traditional knowledge of the Indo-Hispano in northern New Mexico, especially as it relates to land and water. He has served as mayordomo of the Acequia Junta y Ciénaga in the village of Embudo, and he is the translatoreditor of the book Ancient Agriculture.

Lawsuit Alleges Bias Against Hispanic Ranchers

The US Forest Service is being sued by a group of Hispanic ranchers and Río Arriba County over access to grazing allotments on historic land grant areas. The suit alleges that the agency’s 18 percent grazing reduction order ignores historic property rights and threatens to undermine the ranchers’ livelihoods, as well as some of the basis of their cultural traditions. The Forest Service, in a March 2011 letter to Congressman Ben Ray Luján, explained that management practices by the ranchers on the Jarita Mesa and Alamosa grazing allotments had contributed to overuse of meadows, even though those areas had been operating below their permitted numbers of livestock for over a decade. The agency also said that the allotments wouldn’t be able to recover. There has been a long history of management disputes of northern New Mexico’s land grants. A number of communities in the area depend on surrounding lands for firewood and livestock grazing. The federal government returns half of grazing fees to help fund local schools and public projects. The land grants were established at the end of the Mexican-American War through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

February 2012 • Green Fire Times


Prescription for Healing continued from page 8 Yet, in the period between 1982 and 2007, we lost more than 41 million acres of rural land (farms, ranches and forestry operations) to development in the US. In NM we lost 33% of our prime farmland during that period, according to the same study by the National Resources Inventory.

As a result, today only a select group of people still work outdoors, and most people have lost an immediate connection with the land. Outdoor work has become labeled as lower-class work, and most contemporary farmworkers are immigrant laborers. Many farmers, ranchers and foresters have no successors and struggle to find people who want to continue their businesses. Simultaneously, much practical knowledge of the land dies out, and there is a growing need for people with practical knowledge of ranching, farming and caring for the land who can educate and motivate young people for careers in food production and environmental stewardship and restoration. Many people live sedentary lives, far away from nature and rural (food)


Tree planting event in the San Marcos arroyo—an example of volunteer stewardship in the outdoors, bringing kids into nature

production areas. This shift from active to passive lifestyles for the masses in our country has gone hand-in-hand with the increase of the services sector, the ongoing separation of duties, the development of supermarkets, the increase of vehicular transportation, and, most recently, the Internet. The celebrated lifestyle of doing things quickly, with the least effort, and from behind a computer screen, has left people without a natural opportunity for any daily physical exercise. Many

Green Fire Times • February 2012

people also have lost touch with the outdoors. They may only go outside to walk to their car or the bus. Fear and certain risks of the outdoors further discourage people from working or recreating outdoors or from walking or biking to certain local destinations. As a result, many people greatly lack the physical exercise necessary to stay healthy and to understand and appreciate the outdoors. Additionally, our younger generation is left with what

Richard Louv called “nature-deficitdisorder.” In his now-famous book of 2005, Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, Louv rattled the cages of educators, health practitioners and environmentalists alike by indicating that we collectively lose our connection with nature, leading to health problems and a degraded environment. Especially our youth are suffering from this loss of connection with nature, which Louv relates to the increase of learning disorders, physical and emotional health problems, and an entire lack of understanding about our food systems and their relationship to our personal health and that of the planet. Many modern health problems associated with lack of exercise and activities outdoors can be countered by simple outdoor activities. New Mexico’s climate and landscape fortunately offer a plethora of opportunities to spend time outdoors, exercise, grow food and engage in environmental stewardship work. Long-time residents and newly arriving ones alike choose to live here continued on page


Traditions of Health

¡Sostenga! Tradition of Nutrition and Culturally Camilla Bustamante


ffective public health promotion and education requires a genuine approach and understanding that the power of healthy choice rests with the individual—an individual who is likely culturally influenced. Whitney and Rolfes (2011) identified that the strongest influences on food choice are personal preference, habit, ethnic heritage and tradition. Secondary influences are social interactions, availability and economy, positive and negative associations, emotions, values, body weight image and nutritional value. Personal preference and habit are strongly influenced by ethnic heritage and tradition. Nutritional value is reported among the least influential reasons a person would eat a certain food, and availability and economy are strong factors in the hierarchy of decision-making.

Appropriate Food

Every country, and every region in that country, has ways of combining foods into meals. Meals established by traditions of recipe, preparation and ceremony of consumption are defined collectively. Food is a part of culture and culture is a part of individual identity as a mechanism, a tool, by which heritage is established. Societal and ecological influences implicate the relation of people to place and the food system in which they participate; food is about people and place. Diabetes is a food-related disease that can be addressed with “culturally appropriate”food options. Heritage foods elicit “I like it” and “I’m accustomed to it,” says food scientist and nutritionist, Cecelia García of New Mexico State University. In a discussion with García, she shared that when working

with diabetics to modify food preparation she often heard statements like, “I always have red chile with my eggs,” or “I must have bread with every meal.” Gar- Cecelia García cía said that verdolagas, quelites, torta de huevo con chile rojo, and salmon are integral to her values as meals she eats during Lenten season. She added that she, as a diabetic, is able to control her diabetes through diet and still eat the traditional northern New Mexico meals. Positive associations of family and community abound with ethnic heritage foods, particularly during a specific season.

Tradition as sustainability, particularly when traditional foods were established when people were more active, requires that physical activity continue as part of the overall lifestyle. “Keeping with our food traditions and introducing more physical activity is not a bad idea. Growing a garden is not a bad idea,” García said expressively. The effort of growing and preparing brings a consciousness and respect for being a part of the food we eat.

Colonization, Symbiosis and Mutuality

Michael Pollan wrote extensively on the degeneration of food in America in The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, continued on page




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Chimney Cleaning, Woodstove RepaiR and installation, insuRanCe inspeCtions, peaCe of mind February 2012 • Green Fire Times


Sostenga continued from page 11

There is evidence that the early Europeans learned from their Native neighbors, particularly in the integration of the staples of the three sisters, frijoles (beans), maíz (corn), and calabaza (squash) as well as chile. These are foods that were more easily preserved and available during the winter months. Native Americans integrated mutton, pork and beef into their menu. Like peoples of many cultures, they ate a tortilla speculated to have been predominantly corn until flour became more available. Though certain varieties of wheat existed, the Santa Fe Trail provided bleached flour in abundance. For approximately two centuries in northern New Mexico, in relative isolation, there were exchanges of menus and preservation practices. It is hard to attend an event in New Mexico over the holidays where posolé isn’t served. This traditional dish applies Native science, and was taught to immigrant Spanish families to prevent mold growth by storing maíz concho (corn) with “cal,” otherwise known as calcium hydroxide, which made the maíz “pop” when cooked. The Native Americans provided the chile and maize and the Spanish provided the meat. Although considered by some to be a traditional Native American food, frybread is laden with cholesterol and saturated fat, and reportedly originated around 1860, when Navajos were imprisoned for a four-year period at Fort Sumner and given white flour, lard, salt, sugar and powdered milk. Today it is often found at powwows across the country.


Green Fire Times • February 2012

Health Maintenance

Current knowledge about personal health maintenance through moderation and exercise, as well as viable and relevant ingredient substitutes, have reopened the door for evaluating the culturally appropriate diet as the most viable option for health. Home grown or locally grown food further casts a net of protection, as knowledge of the origination and management of food reduces the potential for exposure to pathogens. Foods considered part of the traditional northern New Mexico diet evolved because they were traditionally safe. Pre-canning and refrigeration, food was dried and re-hydrated and boiled for preparation. Boiling beans kills microbials.

Posolé and beans with cilantro garnish

“We are no longer as active as we were,” states Cecelia García. “We need to be conscious of our more sedentary lifestyle and need to be sensitive to chronic diseases, and modify recipes and products to the extent they are going to support us... Yes, you can eat lamb; just do it in a healthy way. You don’t need to use your renderings to fry your eggs…” Being conscious of our food and preparing it by hand makes us more aware of the ingredients and quantity. A person knows how nutritious a meal is going to be by the choices made when putting the ingredients together. Our relationships with our food and each other call for “respeto y permiso” in the interest of further mutuality and culturally appropriate community health. Camilla Bustamante, Ph.D., MPH, is Dean of Community, Workforce and CTE at Northern New Mexico College.

© Anna C. Hansen

published in 2006. It is well known that diets high in fats and simple carbohydrates are often cited as leading culprits for poor health. When evaluating culturally appropriate food, it is important to consider the influence and integration of the early Spanish menu in northern New Mexico. The Oñate inventories, available at the Special Collections Center for Southwest Research at the UNM, establish the introduction of livestock, such as sheep, pigs and cows, which increased the fat content in the Native diet. The inventory includes avas, garbanzo and fruit trees as well as other varieties that did not survive, such as olive trees and certain tropicals.



e all value our brains, but do we know how to take really good care of them? With all of the news about increases in Alzheimer’s, dementia and memory problems, acceptance of a likely fate is easy to slip into. A total of 5.4 million Americans now have Alzheimer’s disease (doubled since 1980) and this number is expected to be as high as 16 million by 2050 (Centers for Disease Control 2012, Clogged arteries can cause dementia. Contributing factors are deficient diet, lack of exercise and environmental factors such as pollution and heavy metals. The better news is the improvement possible for mental clarity and high-level functioning through excellent care of your brain. There is much we can do to nurture, restore and even slow the aging process. Why should this be of concern? Children’s brains are developing, and after adolescence we are all aging. So whether considering the future of your child’s brain or your own, improving the odds with good care and nutritional support can foster a positive, sustainable outcome in aging. Poor nutrition, eating damaging foods, environmental toxins, inadequate sleep and lack of exercise are all factors that can contribute to rapid degeneration of the brain. How we care for our brains greatly influences mental functioning and quality of ag-

ing. Several nutritional and environmental strategies are critically important for protecting your brain.


Nutrition is considered to be the most important factor for staying mentally fit. Recommendations of David Perlmutter, M.D. in the Better Brain Book and Kenneth Guiffre, M.D., author of The Care and Feeding of Your Brain, and Jeff Victoroff, M.D. in Saving Your Brain, point the way. Keep in mind that standard recommendations for good arteries and circulation also apply to the brain, since blood to the brain is necessary to carry nutrients and oxygen.



support include:



Omega-3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids (“good fats”) are essential brain food because the brain is made of fat. (Trans-fatty acids create rigid, tough, slow brain cells.) Food sources: algae, spirulina, seafood, fresh greens, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Omega-3 enriched eggs. The local pursulane plant is considered a “smart food.” Vitamin C levels are almost 15 times higher in the brain than in other areas of the body. Vitally important to brain function, Vita-C is an antioxidant necessary for the manufacture of neurotransmitters, especially acetylcholine, the most important for memory processing. Food sources: parsley, sprouts,

citrus fruits, algae, spirulina, strawberries, broccoli, potatoes, kiwi, red peppers (chile!), cabbage and leafy greens (kale, dandelion greens, mustard greens, collard greens, Swiss chard and local, wild greens). Vitamin E is an antioxidant also, and along with the mineral selenium, neutralizes free radicals that accelerate brain aging. Vita-E prevents deterioration of the brain, but may also possibly restore damaged neurotransmitter receptor sites on neurons. Food Sources: cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, beet greens, watercress, collard greens, Swiss chard, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower), nuts and seeds, nut oils, peanut butter, wheat germ, whole wheat and other grain sprouts. Selenium is an elemental metal with antioxidant properties, working synergistically with Vita-E. Food Sources: Brazil nuts, broccoli, brown rice, dairy products, dulse, garlic, kelp, molasses, onions, vegetables, wheat germ and whole grains. Magnesium is a free-radical scavenger that helps increase the antioxidative power of Vita-E. Food sources: apples, blackberries, blueberries, celery,

© Anna C. Hansen (2)


Better Brain Trail Mix Walnuts Raisins Brazil nuts Pumpkin seeds Sunflower seeds Dried apples or apricots

cherries, figs, grapes, oranges, lemons, limes, papaya, peas, plums, potatoes, squash and walnuts. Carotenoids are antioxidants potent in scavenging free radicals. Food sources: carrots, sprouts, apricots, sweet potatoes, spinach, celery, squash, red peppers, tomatoes, oranges and kale. Vitamin B12 is considered “brain food,” for it is involved in the synthesis of methionine needed for protein synthesis, which produces the protective sheath that surrounds neurons and continued on page

February 2012 • Green Fire Times



Everyday Green continued from page 13

© Anna C. Hansen

Foods to avoid include fish with high mercury content (think big), fatty cuts of meat, fried foods, refined grains and starches (think white), bad fats, caffeine, high-sugar condiments, added-sugar beverages, sugars and artificial sweeteners, and snack foods loaded with sugar and bad fats. Instead eat whole, natural foods.

enables them to record and retrieve memory. Food sources: sea vegetables (dulse, kelp, kombu, nori), soybeans, eggs, brewer’s yeast, dairy products and spirulina. Water is important (those eight glasses a day) for keeping the brain hydrated, critical for functioning and transporting nutrients. Nutrients that scavenge free radicals are highly beneficial since these wasteproducts bind to proteins, membranes, DNA and the protein enzymes that help repair DNA—weakening the cells, impairing cell function and shortening cell life—causing impaired brain function and even cell death. Antioxidants absorb or scavenge free radicals.

While supplements are important, they are additions to eating the right foods (whole, nutritious, non-processed) as a first strategy. Supplements most often recommended include B vitamins, selenium, acetyl-L-carnitine, lecithin, ginko biloba, ginseng, vitamins C and E. Many traditional medicines recommend herbs as well.


The central connection is that all neurological disease begins with free radicals and inflammation. Neurotoxins off-gassing from synthetic chemicals in our everyday environments impair brain function by adding to inflammation and storing chemicals in fatty tissue.

Pesticides are neurotoxins—they kill insects by destroying their nervous systems. As larger creatures we are not killed instantly, however, human nervous systems are impacted. There is a clear link between exposure to pesticides and increased risk for Parkinson’s, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), as well as other neurological diseases. Additionally, pesticides contain heavy metals. Electromagnetic Fields: EMF given off by cell phones, televisions, computers, microwave ovens and close proximity to power lines can alter cellular metabolism and be toxic to the brain. An excellent source of information is The Instinct to Heal by David Servan-Schreiber, M.D.


Aluminum: There is an abnormally high concentration of aluminum in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, up to 30 times more than the normal level. Even though there is some debate as to whether this aluminum is from absorbed sources or naturally occurs in the brains of these patients, choosing aluminum-free products is the safe alternative. Sources of excess aluminum are: baking powder, antacids, drinking water, deodorants, shampoo, cookware and processed food. Avoiding eating canned food and soft drinks may reduce aluminum intake. Lead is a neurotoxin particularly harmful to children’s learning and behavior and can also affect adult mental performance. Mercury, a neurotoxin, is found in large fish and amalgams in teeth.


Sleep is important for avoiding memory problems, impaired concentration and difficulty coping with minor irritations. Why? Sleep deprivation re-


Green Fire Times • February 2012

duces the time the brain needs to do “housecleaning,” such as taking up serotonin and norepinephrine, and processing memory traces from the day important to retention. Time length as well as quality of sleep affects our getting through all four sleep stages adequately in a night. In summary, brain zappers include poor nutrition (most often from eating processed food), environmental toxins, alcohol, bad fats (trans and saturated), excess protein, heavy metals, sugars, coffee, cigarettes, a sedentary lifestyle, as well as stress. Brain boosters are: eating the brain-support foods, eating organically, exercising to increase circulation, mental stimulation to the brain, relaxation, adequate sleep and meditation. The downward slide nationally of good brain health is connected with eating the products of big agribiz, toxins in everyday products and the environment, as well as overuse of the pharmaceutical industry. Although memory loss and incidence of Alzheimer’s at an earlier age continues to rise, many solutions for good brain health are within reach. Whether your interest is in avoiding diseases of the brain or in just being sharper, every day, good brain care is worth the time. Hey, we need to keep our brains to come up with solutions for the adaptation! Susan Guyette, Ph.D. is Métis (Micmac Indian and Acadian French) and a planner specializing in cultural centers, cultural tourism and native foods. She is the co- author of Zen Birding: Connect in Nature and the author of Planning for Balanced Development (

NEWSBITES Film Festival to Highlight Water Issues February 10-11 in Albuquerque

“It’s All About Water—Films and Conversation” will explore concerns about pollution and water sustainability, with a focus on the Southwest, New Mexico and Albuquerque. The festival will ask attendees to consider, “Are we running dry? Why? What can and will we do about it?” “Participants will have a chance to talk about concrete actions we can take to address those concerns,” said organizer Susan Selbin. In panel discussions following the screenings, local experts will discuss issues ranging from natural gas development and mineral rights to the infrastructure problems of area water systems, water rights and the effects on acequias of development and growing cities’ water needs. The hot topics of fracking and tar sands development will also be addressed. Panelists will include city and state water program representatives, members of community organizations, environmentalists and activists. Audience members will be encouraged to ask questions. The festival will take place at the South Broadway Cultural Center, 1025 Broadway Blvd. SW. Admission is free and light refreshments will be provided. The event is from 5-10 pm Friday and 9 am-5 pm Saturday. On Saturday, audience members are encouraged to bring a brown-bag lunch. Sponsors include the NM Wilderness Alliance, Amigos Bravos, the Sierra Club, and Food and Water Watch. For details and a festival schedule, go to

Agua Limpia, SÍ!—Clean Water Workshops

Ever wonder if it is safe for children to swim in your local stream or river or if water quality standards are being met there? The Southwest Rural Policy Network and Amigos Bravos are offering workshops designed to assist people and communities

throughout New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona in identifying the major sources of pollution in their watershed. The workshops will train participants on how to identify where all that water goes – and what it picks up along the way after a big rainstorm, how communities can participate in monitoring water quality and advocating for enforcement of water quality protection, and how to identify funding for river restoration projects. Amigos Bravos Executive Director, Brian Shields said, “The objectives of the project include educating and training rural community members on how to use the Clean Water Act to reduce water pollution by ensuring that industrial facilities, local governments and businesses comply with EPA stormwater regulations.” For information, contact Rachel Conn or Brian Shields at 575.758.3874, at rconn@ or

Groundwater Restoration Projects Benefit From NMED Mining Settlement

The NM Environment Department has announced that six groundwater restoration projects will proceed in Grant County. They will be funded from a $13 million settlement with Freeport-McMoran Copper and Gold, Inc. related to the release of hazardous substances from copper mining operations in southwestern NM. The projects will include removal of hazardous substances at the San Vicente Creek Mill, and work to prevent contaminants from reaching Santa Clara’s groundwater and wells. Sewer lines will be improved and infrastructure will be developed at the Bayard wastewater plant to make possible groundwater conservation by using treated wastewater for irrigation.

Prescription for Healing because of the splendid beauty of our outdoors, its clean air, the surprisingly diverse natural habitat and the seemingly endless space. I have been delighted with the rapid expansion of outdoor recreation opportunities across the state during the last decade. The rapidly increased protection of open space through conservation easements and public open space acquisitions or community preserves has allowed for the construction of a web of trails for hikers, bikers and equestrians. Trails are also being developed in urban areas for “alternative” commuting purposes. Bicycle clubs have formed to collaboratively maintain trail systems. Traditional outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, skiing and gardening are more popular than ever. Yet, much more can be done to make physical exercise part of people’s daily pattern of activities, especially in our urban areas. Santa Fe and many other towns are built for car traffic, and many roads are outright dangerous to travel on by bike or on foot. In many neighborhoods, the distances between residential areas and community facilities are too large to comfortably

reach other than by car. The ongoing construction of parks, sidewalks, bike lanes and trails, and plans for redesigning neighborhoods and commercial areas, are welcome solutions to outdated urban planning designs. A unique opportunity I treasure in northern NM is that within a short distance we can physically participate in growing food and in land restoration and stewardship activities. Growing food in school gardens, community gardens or in collaboration with a CSA farm offers great opportunities to reconnect with nature and get physical exercise. For young people it also is a valuable possibility to explore food and natural resource production careers. People with an interest in getting their hands dirty can also turn to organizations, such as WildEarth Guardians or the Santa Fe Watershed Association, to learn firsthand what it takes to become a caregiver to the land. During stream restoration workshops, educational walks, tree planting events, and other educational activities we can connect with interesting areas and learn from peers about the land. In turn, such stewardship activities help build a constituency for the creation and maintenance of our growing network of

trails, parks, wilderness areas, wildways and local farms and ranches.

Rest and Relaxation

Our predominant societies’ need for rest and relaxation has increased Rafting the Río Grande near Pilar, New Mexico land development and nect them in corridors for recreational the production of consumer goods. trails and to support the natural disMany of our recreational activities are persal of biodiversity is essential for consumptive, polluting and disruptive fostering human, as well as plant and of land and people. It is not unusual animal resilience. to find that people’s ways of rejuvenating their body and spirit don’t Areas where natural wildness, night include physical activity and are not sky and the soothing sounds of wind emotionally or spiritually renewing. and water are preserved are not far Instead, television, personal computfrom home. Trail corridors, city arers and mass entertainment centers royos, greenbelts in neighborhoods, offer cheap and mostly passive means and open areas between communities of relaxation. can all accommodate signs of nature and peace and quiet to relax the mind The protection of peace and quiet, and body. In turn, these areas are vital wilderness, wildways and night sky corridors for stormwater flows, pathin our NM landscape is essential to ways for animals— from bobcats to a more natural and simple way of ofmice, raptors to butterflies— and view fering rest and relaxation amidst the lines that help us see the larger majeshectic bustle of our society. We are tic landscape. blessed in northern NM with many remaining areas where these qualities Such areas and pathways help us foscan still be found. The conservation ter mindfulness of our outdoors as of these areas and the efforts to concontinued on page 18

February 2012 • Green Fire Times


© Seth Roffman

continued from page 10

Healing and Transformation in 2012

Michele Rozbitsky


umanity is in the midst of a great evolutionary time. We are nearing the end of 25 years of purification that began in 1987 during what is known as the Harmonic Convergence. It is a chance to evolve to the more conscious way of living spoken of by the Hopi, Maya and many other indigenous cultures. We have been experiencing a great amplification of the polarities of the dark and the light, the negative and positive, and the great energies of destruction and creation.

© Seth Roffman

Many have been experiencing being pushed to the edge of their sanity to deal with the demands and changes of this evolutionary vortex as we near the winter solstice paradigm shift of 2012, which will require humanity to take a leap in consciousness unlike any other experienced on the planet. According to many Mayan elders, the solstice of December 2012 is the epicenter of the alignment back to zero point, to Source, and a chance to rebirth to a higher level of consciousness. This date begins the possibility of a Great Cycle of wisdom, harmony, peace, love and the return of natural order. This won’t occur overnight, and there are cycles of preparatory initiations to assist us in resolving the old way of being. But the outcome is truly up to humanity. The spiritual impetus to evolve and take more responsibility for what we create is affecting all aspects of life, from the psyches of humanity to our society, our religions, our governments, and in the natural environment we call home. But it all begins with our inner work. It has been stated in many prophecies that the “Great Change Times” would be coming, and we have a choice as to how the changes will be carried out. The waves of the unconscious and shadow realms and the deep secrets of humanity are entering conscious life. The spiritual barriers that have kept the negative energies in the underworlds are being broken open as Mother Earth twists and turns, responding to her own evolution, releasing all forms of negativity from her elements and cellular structure. Humanity is being pushed to respond to the breaking open of these long-held negative patterns and emotions. We are being stretched to our limits to release our cataclysmic fears and trust our ability to create another more positive outcome. It is time to connect once again with our instinctual natures and the natural forces of Mother Nature, and to make a leap in consciousness, a paradigm shift unlike any we have ever been able to make in any previous era. This takes place by working on ourselves in very deep ways. As we heal, we heal the world. In order for healing to occur we must ask the big questions: Are we willing to bare our souls in honesty and truth when it is time to look at ourselves in the mirror of self-reflection? Can we love ourselves and others back to wholeness? It is time to gather and heal the energies and lessons learned from the hidden parts


Green Fire Times • February 2012

of our psyches, as well as from the collective unconscious of our ancestors, our religions and our countries, and then to bring all back into harmony and wholeness, so we can move forward in a profoundly new way of being. We are being asked to operate from a much more divinely aware part of our beings. To the Q’ero, the descendants of the Inca of Peru, we are in the Great Cycle of the Taripay Pacha, the “Age of Meeting Ourselves Again,” a Golden Age during which we can step more fully into our energetic, spiritual bodies. Many techniques and processes that can facilitate this work with the spiritually unseen forces are appearing and being shared within the human experience. Some examples are shamanic healing techniques, meditation, healing ceremonies, Reiki, Chi-Gong, chakra clearing, Light Body, DNA activation and breathwork, to name but a few. It is becoming more natural for people to acknowledge and work with these energies in the quest for personal growth. In my 20-plus years as a psychotherapist and shamanic practitioner, working in alignment with the healing forces of Earth and sky of Santa Fe and the surrounding area, I have never seen such an amazing increase in the energies that are available for individuals to heal and transform at very deep and core levels, with much less processing and more profound rapid change as I have in the last few years. The Light that is present in the Santa Fe area for both artists and healers, and the many ceremonies going on by people of all colors and spiritual paths, visits of medicine people from all over the world, as well as the presence of so many types of healing modalities and the directive to keep working on one’s self, in the view of many of us, makes Santa Fe the mini healing capital of the United States. A Kahuna (Hawaiian medicine man) friend called me recently and shared a vision he had that Santa Fe had reached “the state of empty” and was ready for renewal. He said that there were sites known and unknown in and surrounding the town that need to be activated in order to open up the area to access even greater levels of healing energy. “The healing powers do not just come from the healers,” he said, “but also from the sacred Earth we live upon. They need to be worked with and not taken for granted.” He will be coming to Santa Fe to collaborate on this the week before spring equinox. Hopi prophecy says that whatever occurs in the “Four Corners” area, from which they believe the present world we are in was birthed, profoundly affects our awakening into the next era. So it is most important that we realize that we are in the time where we truly can become more conscious co-creators of our reality, with the use of our greater imagination and higher minds, and without the baggage of the past’s limitations, as we align with the spiritual energies awakening humanity and our beloved planet. It is not always necessary to experience internal and external earthquakes to shake up the old paradigm that no longer serves humanity. We can make the shift by consciously working on ourselves. If we focus on healing now, the growth pains of this great paradigm shift can be more grace-filled. Michele Rozbitsky, MALPCC, is a psychotherapist, shamanic practitioner, teacher and ceremonialist working in Santa Fe and long distance. She is the author of Journey to the Fifth World: Coming Full Circle in Healing and Transformation, a book that relates a healing path to and through 2012. You can see her on the OWN website on the Healing Dirt of Chimayo episode of Miracle Detectives by going to the links page of her website at For information on sessions, groups or workshops, contact her at or 505.988.7542 Michele is on the development committee for the September 13-17 Seed Graduate Institute conference on 2012, Wisdom from the Origins, in Albuquerque. The conference will feature many indigenous elders. For information, call 505.792.2900 or visit

Curanderismo Festival Healing the Planet, Healing Ourselves

Traditional Medicine

Tori Lee

fort with) modern Western allopathic medicine.

The Curanderismo Healing Festival and Workshop, held during the summer at the Institute for American Indian Art’s Center for Lifelong Education in Santa Fe, brings together two dozen healers from Centro de Desarrollo Humano hacia la Comunidad (CEDEHC) with homeopathic “The planet cannot wait any longer,” healthcare practitioners from the says Dr. Arturo Ornelas, Director Southwest. CEDEHC is a Cuerof La Tranca Institute of Healing in navaca, México-based training cenCuernavaca, México. “We must beter for traditional Mayan and Aztec Herbalist teacher Maestra Doris offers gin to address environmental and humedicine. Everyone in attendance at herbal remedies unique to each patient. man health problems holistically, not the healing fair is there to share, teach, The Curanderismo Healing Festipiecemeal. We must look to the natural learn and transform hearts and minds; val has taken place in Santa Fe for world for healing.” Yet, in many cases in short, to help people heal themthe past three summers, but 2011 we have lost the ability to speak with selves, while recognizing the need marked the first time a week-long and listen to messages of healing from to respect and regenerate the natural healing workshop was held there. At world, upon which the sessions over the weekend prior our collective surto the workshop, curanderismo healvival depends. ers offer their expertise to hundreds of local residents. Sobadores or sobadoras According to Dr. provide various types of massage to Allen Elkin, 80 relieve stress and rebalance internal percent or more organs so that anger no longer resides of all general docin the liver, nor fear in the lungs. Ustor office visits in ing a heated glass cup applied to the the US are stressskin to relieve stress, the massage related. The cost helps the body heal itself. Other masof stress-related sage techniques stimulate the immune illnesses, stresssystem to promote long-term healing. induced chronic A curanderismo healer carefully Tools of the healing trade—medicinal plants, smudge stick, conditions, menand sympathetically reads the tal health issues and copal resin, candles person and then acts accordlost wages and prothe natural world. Nature has given us ingly. By listening with the ductivity due to excessive absences, as the plants and the techniques to heal heart, a healer learns how to well as the personal and social cost of ourselves, but communication has sense another body, includstress and depression, run into billions broken down. Dr. Ornelas and many ing that body’s imbalances, of dollars annually. One of every six curanderismo healers consider the preswhether physical or emotional. women in this country regularly takes ent time to be an important period of Healers also perform limpias prescribed anti-depressants. Accordtransformation, one in which people or cleansings using raw eggs ing to curanderismo tradition, much must re-imagine patterns of organized or healing plants. [Personal of this suffering and expense can be religion, education and medicine to bedisclosure: I have moderate areliminated through energy cleansing come more holistic and humane. thritis in my left hip and knee. and rebalancing remedies and techWalking up stairs is sometimes One of the most sustainable, comniques. This means that in many cases troublesome. Walking down munity-based healthcare models is there is no need for expensive, inacstairs is painful and occasioncuranderismo, folk-healing by trained cessible insurance-driven healthcare ally not possible. After one healers who teach others how to help that treats only the symptoms of dislimpias treatment using a raw themselves using readily available ease, not the totality of an individual. egg to remove toxins from objects, the body’s own energies, and Curanderismo healing allows an indimy body, I walked down two various medicinal plants. This is often vidual to participate actively in one’s flights of stairs pain-free and a viable approach for delivering basic own healing and rebalancing of physiwithout breaking stride.] healthcare to poor and/or rural popucal, mental and spiritual energies. lations with limited access to (or com-

© Tori Lee (3)

lasts from the conch shell still reverberate in the ears. Copal smoke used in energy cleansings and healing wafts upwards, carrying the intentions of healers and learners who strive to impart and receive knowledge from nature. A soft drumbeat accompanies the sweet aroma of the smoke as it finds its way to the spirits of Earth and sky.

A curandera reads a patient’s body, physically and spiritually, before initiating treatment.

One of the most powerful forms of energy cleansing is susto to treat emotional shock or fright. The healer uses medical plants such as purple sage to sweep away negativity from the body. This healing technique is said to be of great benefit to veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as those returning from Iraq and continued on page


© Seth Roffman


Healers treating people at Tesuque Pueblo

February 2012 • Green Fire Times


Prescription continued from page 15 well as of our inner selves. These are good places to organize community collaboration events, such as ecological stewardship and restoration workshops, educational walks about wildlife or the area’s history, or art events, such as the 2010 Flash Flood in the Santa Fe riverbed that sought to stimulate community awareness about land and water use.

Imagination and Attitude

A path of healing is often an exploration of new territory, both physically and mentally. Our wellness is based on our power to rejuvenate, and our rejuvenation is dependent on our ability and mental energy to go beyond our conventional boundaries, to imagine a better future, to create new ideas and behavior and to realize that one has the power to pursue one’s dreams. However, in a society where our physical territory is mostly artificial and

Kids admire traditional acequiairrigated farm model at the New Mexico History Museum

indoors, where our information is fed to us by commercial media, and where our choices in life seem to be dominated by options limited to particular goods and services, it is possible to lose one’s natural compass. In the Geography of Childhood, Gary Paul Nabhan tells the story about his exploration of nature as a child, and how it shaped his critical thinking, his way of observing and asking questions. The book provides a strong argument for exposing children to nature exploration, and to the endless opportunities for wonderment and creativity. Yet, despite virtual travel opportunities, the geography of many children’s


Green Fire Times • February 2012

childhoods is shrinking, as may be their abilities to develop a sense of place, hope and resilience amidst the many challenges of our world. As a result, many people are unable to see the connections between their personal health and that of their community and their physical and natural environment. Many people have no hope or concept of their potential role in healing themselves or nature. As we have been told that physicians are specialized to heal you when you’re sick, and engineers or environmental experts will take care of the planet’s ills, healing has become the responsibility of others, and our own personal leadership and imagination are considered of lesser relevance. As health or wellness is increasingly confused with the service of healthcare, or even worse, with the means to acquire the service, i.e. money, we are often made to believe that money can buy us happiness, health and prosperity—regardless of our personal attitude. Yet, in the end, sustained personal health and sustained environmental and community resilience rely on unity of mind and spirit and an awareness and mindfulness about personal health, community, the Earth and their interconnections. As a center of the healing arts and a hub of many spiritual communities and gathering places, Santa Fe and its surrounding region offer exquisite opportunities for the exploration of the body, mind and spirit. Besides the many opportunities our region offers to be outdoors in nature, the native and historic cultures in this landscape can also offer great inspiration. The simple common sense prescription offered in the beginning of this article will guide us to wellness, especially if we make healthy choices about our food, our physical exercise outdoors, our ways of relaxation and our personal attitude. I believe that this will eventually lead us to a paradigm shift in which we will see that our ways to pursue wholeness, health and wellness are all the same for ourselves and for the Earth. Jan-Willem Jansens is an ecological planner and consultant, and the former Executive Director of Earth Works Institute. He lives with his wife and two children in Santa Fe.

Herbal Medicine My Own Garden

Healing with Flowers

Susan Waterman


ne of the greatest gifts of a garden and from nature is the healing power of flowers. Flower essences, imbued with the gentle subtle energies of the flowers and Mother Earth, are a readily accessible form of nature’s healing potency. Flower essences are a portal from nature into feeling comfortable with oneself and with others. They are made from freshly harvested blossoms, and the “active” element is the energetic imprint infused into pure water. Flower essences help harmonize a wide range of disturbing energy patterns and sustain emotional and physical well-being. For example, there are particular essences that help release fear; others relieve stress, help foster harmonious relationships or a calm passage through major life changes. Unlike herbal medicines and essential oils, flower essences contain only miniscule amounts of physical components from the plant source. Flower essences work according to their subtle energetic patterns, their life forces made available in potentized solutions. In contrast, herbal medicines are made from the roots, stems, leaves and flowers of plants. The part that is used depends on the medicine and the source plant. The actual plant parts are processed into powders, teas, extracts and tinctures, depending on the plant and the application. Specific compounds and molecules are active and effective in the extracts. Essential oils are usually harvested by distillation from leaves and flowers to collect concentrated aromatic oils for various healing applications. Flower essences can be made from flowers harvested from the wild or from garden-grown plants cultivated under pristine conditions. The 38 Bach Flower Remedies are the bestknown flower essences. Dr. Edward Bach discovered the first three flowers for his remedies in 1928 along the Usk River in South Wales. His research in bacteriology and homeopathy led to his understanding that a particular illness could sometimes be explained as a physical response to a negative emotional state. Ultimately, his research

led him to discover the remedies. Each remedy embodied a positive energy pattern that could harmonize or resolve a negative emotional state, often restoring physical as well as emotional health. Since Dr. Bach’s discoveries, several hundred flower essences have been described and are now available from different parts of the world.

immediately in the water— avoid contact with your hand by allowing the flowers to drop directly into the water or carry them on a leaf. Use enough flowers to cover the surface of water.

Detailed study of the forms and gestures of plants and flowers reveals that each type of flower contains a quality that corresponds to a human emotion. The patterns of the flowers can be felt as life forces in nature and as observable physical characteristics. The close observation process unfolds through a personal interaction with each plant. “Flowers are the outward expressions of particular Flowers that can be grown and harvested in northern NM: chicory (top), California poppy (l) and columbine patterns of life force, patterns which express edies. Chamisa, Cosmos, Dandelion, The bowl should remain at the harvest themselves in us as thoughts and feelEchinacea, Evening Primrose, Mansite in full sun for three-to-four hours, ings” ( Julian Barnard, Bach Flower zanita, Mullein, Nasturtium and Yaror less if the blooms start to fade. Remedies, the Essence Within). Havrow are just a few that have also been When the flowers have transferred ing the direct experience of studying used extensively to make flower estheir healing potency to the water, a plant enhances the use of the flower sences, each addressing a specific state remove the blossoms with a twig or essence as a healing agent. The experiof un-ease. stem of a plant. Mix the potentized ence reflects the energy pattern that is water with an equal amount of branthe healing factor of the flower in the Julian Barnard, in his book Bach dy as a preservative. It is important potentized water. It is this energetic esFlower Remedies: the Essence Withto boil all glassware for 20 minutes sence that harmonizes and heals a negin, described the preparation for each prior to use. The source remedies are ative emotional state and a concurrent of the 38 Bach Remedies. There are a ultimately diluted two drops to 30 ml physical manifestation. number of online sources for flower of brandy, a dilution of about 1:400. essence information. The Flower EsFlower essences are easy to prepare. Combinations of three-to-six essencsence Society in Nevada City, Calif. Beginning the process with a few moes (two drops each in 30 ml) of several offers extensive examples of plant ments of quiet or a simple meditation flowers can be useful in addressing a studies and information on numerhelps create a receptive state before particular condition of un-ease. Genous essences on their website, www. working with the flowers. The energies erally four drops four times a day of the flowers are captured in water by der the tongue is a standard dosage. exposure to full sun in the garden or in Susan Waterman has The essences can also be sprayed in the field where they are harvested. The a Ph.D. in botany the mouth or in the environment. day should be clear, sunny and calm. and over 25 years of experience in A number of flowers that grow well Harvest the flowers in the morning. sustainable agriculture. in the high desert have been well deFill a glass or crystal bowl with about For more info, visit scribed as flower essences. Chicory, two cups (500 ml) of pure water (no www.harvestbyhand Rock Rose (Helianthemum nummuchlorine or fluoride here). Snip the Questions? Email larium) and Mustard are Bach remblooms from the plant and float them

February 2012 • Green Fire Times





Saneh T. Boothe, CEO of Eden Gardens Project and Cornucopia Enterprises and Ben B. Boothe S

How many days of food security do you or your city have? In the event of delivery disruptions, the average city in the US only has 2.5 days of food. The ancient Egyptians, Zoroastrians and Greeks, as well as modern scholars and scientists have known that food production, the distribution of energy, and independent sources of the other essential elements (air, water, land) are a matter of national security and basic survival. Yet we are dependent upon a supply chain that could collapse. This situation is a reflection of the fact that our modern society has separated the vast majority of people, especially city dwellers, from the production of food and energy, and direct access to clean water. This is the most profound violation of Homeland Security and to our way of life in our nation’s history. Free yourself from the current risks to the food and energy supply chain. We have a well-researched multi-faceted plan to address this situation. Please contact us to request an “Eden Gardens Project” proposal, which can include a campus design and layout complete with algae ponds, greenhouses, wind and solar energy generation, desalination plant, sub-soil heating, acequia, food canning, seed preservation—a completely energy-independent system for food, water and energy production. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE EDEN GARDENS PROJECT, contact Saneh Booth at sanehboothe@ gmail or call 800-379-8048, ext. 103 to request a meeting. We will be happy to make public presentations for interested groups if travel and venue arrangements are provided.


Green Fire Times • February 2012




© 2012 Eden Gardens Project Planning and Vision, Saneh & Ben Boothe • Illustration by Lisa Pelletier

Sr., CEO of Boothe & Associates, International Consultant (USIS, World Bank), BBAR Appraiser

February 2012 • Green Fire Times


Curanderismo Festival continued from page 17

Afghanistan in great emotional and physical pain. Susto is also used to benefit victims of sexual and other of Workshop participants learn types to make healing tinctures. physical and emotional assault. Curandera master herbalist Maestra Doris mixes herbal remedies based on the unique needs of each

person who comes to her for healing.

At last year’s curanderismo workshop, participants learned about medicinal plants and their uses. The Aztecs had a pharmacy of over 1,200 medicinal plants. Most interesting was instruction from curandera/herbalist Albertana Sanchez Flores on how to develop connections with the natural world to transfer the plant’s healing properties to the person in need. Communicating with the healing essence of a plant allows the healer to use whatever plants are locally available, even if that plant is not normally used to treat the specific condition presented.

The healing intentions of both healer and seeker are of primary importance. Workshop students also were taught how to make tinctures using the empacho technique to heal problems in the digestive system, including various eating disorders such as stomach cramps and excessive weight gain or loss. Students also learned how to prepare herbal remedies to dissipate the negative energy one may experience from mal de ojo or evil eye, which occurs when external factors cause pronounced physical and spiritual imbalance in another individual. Many of these healing techniques can

be adapted to treat babies and young children. All of the medicinal plants used in instruction are readily available in Santa Fe. As additional information on curanderismo events in Santa Fe and Albuquerque in 2012 becomes available, it will be posted on the website: http:// To r i L e e i s a freelance writer and would-be farmer in Pojoaque, NM. She writes on topics pertaining to social justice, sustainability and animal welfare.

Jim Kentch, Lawyer 215 W. San Francisco Street # 202-C Santa Fe, NM 87501-2164 505-660-9160

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Green Fire Times • February 2012

Alternative Healing

Reconnection Therapy:

Sustainable Health for Our Times Erin Sanborn


hroughout time, throughout cultures, there are always those born with the ability to heal, those who study how to heal, and those who, as they go through their lives, discover that they have the gift. That was what happened to Eric Pearl, a well-known chiropractor, when he began to wave his hands over a client’s body after a chiropractic adjustment and spontaneous healing began to occur. After years of exploration and scientific research into the phenomenon, Pearl began to teach others how to do the work of what he calls Reconnective Healing and The Reconnection. I am a Reconnective Healing practitioner here in New Mexico. I also work in the realm of sustainable business. Reconnective Healing is a unique form of healing that can shift the way one sees health into a paradigm of sustainability. As we consider making adjustments in our lives to live and work in ways more aligned with nature, our experiences of health and healing shift too. So what is Reconnective Healing? The official literature states: Reconnective Healing not only includes, but also expands beyond all known forms of “energy” healing. The Reconnective Healing spectrum is comprised of the full healing and evolutionary continuum of energy, light and information, and has brought about unparalleled world reports of healings from serious inflictions such as: cancer, AIDS-related diseases, epilepsy, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, cerebral palsy, and many mental and emotional afflictions. Reconnective Healing allows for healings that are not just physical, not just mental, not just emotional… it goes beyond that to bring you healing that includes the evolution of your very being and essence. The Reconnection brings in “new” axiatonal lines that enable us to standardize unique vibratory levels and frequencies for healing, and ultimately, for our evolution. These axiatonal lines are part of a timeless network of intelligence, a parallel dimensional circulatory system that draws the basic energy for the renewal functions of the human body. The Reconnection brings in and activates these new lines, allowing for the exchange of energy, light and information, or the reconnection of DNA strands and the reintegration of “strings.” In simpler words, a client comes to a practitioner for his or her first Reconnective Healing session. Ideally, the client does not tell the practitioner why he or she is there. The practitioner follows his/her hands in spontaneous motions over the client’s body, never touching it. Both the client and the practitioner enter into the realm of incredible possibility. As a practitioner, I experience this work as very palpable, strong and directive. It is real. It is about regeneration. It works with light, energy and information beyond our limited conscious mind. It allows all results. It is unique. It works with people, animals and the Earth. The very first Reconnective Healing session I did was with a goat—a goat less than a week old that had been trampled by a horse and left to die. On the second day without nourishment from its mother, the daughter of the household had her mom bring the goat to me. It appeared to have muscular and neurological damage, for its eyes rolled and it could not hold its head up nor stand. As my hands went over the goat, the goat began to respond with twitching and movement. On the second day, the goat had what appeared to be epileptic seizures. It would begin to roll its eyes back in its head, the head pulled back towards its rear, and then the goat would do uncontrollable back flips. Within the second day, as its head began to pull backwards, the goat would respond to my hands in the air by moving its head back to a normal position and walk forward. Within a

week, the goat was completely normal. Today, she appears to be somewhat blind in one eye, but can run, jump, play, eat, and is the sweetest goat you will ever meet. She is now 10 months old. I worked on a woman who was having a problem with her knee. It had been years, and no doctor of any kind had been able to strengthen the knee or cure the pain and discomfort. This woman had heard stories of the phenomenological experiences on the Reconnective Healing table. She wanted to see lights, hear gling and more all she felt was odd thoughts disappointed.

voices, feel the tinin her session. Alas, warmth and a few float by. She was

A couple of weeks later she had to talk with the team of doctors who are taking care of her father, who has Parkinson’s. She saw herself from outside herself talking to the doctors. She was present with them while observing herself at the same time. She gave them permission to let him die the next time a severe episode occurred. The next morning she woke up and called. She said, “My knee is healed! I can’t believe it. It was because of what happened yesterday with my father.” I worked on her father and he has not had an episode since and is still here going strong. I chose to become a practitioner in part because I knew this was the next step in my evolution, and because of the following elements: Anyone in the world can become a practitioner. This work is not limited to a special class of people. All people can receive the evolutionary continuum of energy, light and information and then work with others. This means that millions of people can spontaneously improve many physical, emotional, mental and spiritual ailments. A practitioner only gives two-four Reconnective Healing sessions to any client and only two Reconnection sessions. Once one is reconnected, one is reconnected. This means that each individual can access the evolutionary continuum of energy, light and information on their own. It changes the paradigm of dependency on those in the medical profession or the dependency on the expert/ patient relationship. Health is co-creative and sustainable. The cost is quite reasonable. A session encourages both the practitioner and the client to walk into the unknown, share an experience and rejoice in what may occur. continued on page

February 2012 • Green Fire Times



Appointments in the comfort of your own home. Dr. Audrey Shannon, DVM, has training in both Western veterinary medicine and in traditional Chinese veterinary medicine. Her integrated holistic approach focuses on acupuncture and acupressure, with nutritional and herbal therapy to ensure your animal’s optimal health and well-being. Treatment is available for dogs, cats, and horses.


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Green Fire Times • February 2012

Reconnection continued from page 23

This is sustainable health! It is incredibly empowering for all, with potentially aweinspiring results. Instantaneous health is possible. All a Reconnective Healing practitioner can do is invite clients into the mystery and discover what happens. Both the client and practitioner must be open to outcomes. The healing process may not be linear, nor may the outcome be what one asks for. And no one can claim to cure anything. We all still get colds and may still die of an incurable disease, yet with Reconnective Healing and The Reconnection we do see many miracles. Here are a couple of testimonials: “During my Reconnective Healing session, it felt as if every cell was activated. I could not lay still as tingling, warm power coursed through my body. I have since been more attuned to my energy field.”–CB “When I did Reconnective Healing work I wasn’t sure what to expect. The session was comfortable and relaxing and very subtle. It wasn’t until after the session, that evening and into weeks later, that I felt uplifted and energized. That feeling of a sort of ‘quiet power’ has stayed with me till the present time, months later.” –MS I’ve seen illnesses that have been diagnosed to take months to heal, leave the body in a week. I’ve seen people become clear in one session about a career direction they have struggled with for months. If you ask other practitioners about their experiences, the stories they can tell will astound you, make you shed tears of joy, and make you wonder if it is really possible. If you go to a seminar or training you will hear the stories of people who have had severe illnesses that are now gone. They can show the medical test reports and the x-rays of the before and after results. Hopefully then, your curiosity will peak, your heart will open and your mind expand. Reconnecitve Healing and The Reconnection is an amazing healing opportunity for our time. It sustains the mind, body and soul in ways many experience as completely new. And it changes the seemingly impossible into the possible.

Resources to Investigate

There are currently about a dozen practitioners between Albuquerque and Taos to speak with about this work. They are listed online at Seventy-thousand people all over the world are currently involved in Reconnective Healing, and the numbers are growing. Founder Eric Pearl’s book is called The Reconnection. His website: http://www. You can watch the DVD, The Living Matrix, at: http:// and see a young boy’s life change. Enjoy the journey! Erin Sanborn is a Reconnecting Healing practitioner. She has studied healing modalities since 1980. Her simultaneous professions are Alternative Healing and Organization Development. Erin lives in Taos, NM, and provides Executive Coaching and consulting services through Collaborative Green. 575.770.2991,

Alternative Healing

Symptoms: Your Body’s Secret Healing Messages

Reorganizational Healing Dr. Amanda Hessel


hat does healing mean to you? Perhaps it is removal of a symptom, alleviation of pain or being cured of a disease or condition. Many people believe that this is what healing means. But, what if your symptom, pain, disease or condition is the answer you have been looking for and could be used to get you where you want to be in life? What if your symptom or condition has a message for you that could help you grow, gain deeper meaning and help you connect more to who you really are? There is a healing process that works with these indicators. It is called Reorganizational Healing. Most of our culture believes that, when a symptom or condition arises, something is wrong with them and that they need to be fixed or the symptom removed for their health to be restored. However, in Reorganizational Healing, we see the symptoms that our bodymind produces as messages that something needs to change, and those very symptoms and conditions provide us with the fuel that we need to make that change. When we choose to alleviate a symptom or remove a part of our body that is expressing a condition, we fail to receive the message and instead remove the fuel for our growth or change. We then, at best, remain the same as we were prior to the condition or symptom being present. If we do not receive the wisdom of our body through what it is expressing, it will find another way to get our attention. A new symptom or condition may manifest or the same one may return. When we choose the path of ridding our body of symptoms, we go through a continuous cyclical process of chasing symptoms. We must start the healing process where we are. Often that means experiencing the sensations of discomfort that we have been trying to avoid feeling. When we avoid feeling sensations in our body we disconnect from parts

of our being. In this state of disconnect, the brain and nervous system may not be able to fully respond to all the parts of our body. That means it may be unable to send appropriate signals to those parts to help them heal. The first step in this process is to help our brain respond to all the parts of our body again. For this to be possible, we need to create safety in our bodies so that it is safe to feel what we have been avoiding. When we don’t feel safe our bodies go into defense. The muscles start to hold tension, the joints feel stiff, we lose range of motion, our posture moves into protection and our state of physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing declines. There is a healing system called “Network Care,” which includes Network Spinal Analysis and Somatorespiratory Integration, that works at the level of the nervous system to create new neural pathways for connection and healing. This system helps the body move from a state of defense and overwhelm into safety and growth. Only when we feel safe in our body-mind can we heal, grow and create new choices for ourselves. When we are feeling overwhelmed we cannot hear our inner healing intelligence and wisdom, and we look outside of ourselves for answers and solutions. Through developing connection to our body and being we can create a healing experience that allows us to express and be who we are, and connect to ourselves and our world in more meaningful ways. Dr. Amanda Hessel is a chiropractor and wellness educator specializing in Network Care. She may be contacted at the Scher Center for Well Being, 1602 4th St. in Santa Fe. 505.989.9373,

February 2012 • Green Fire Times


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Green Fire Times • February 2012

Equine-Assisted Therapy

Healing Through Horses

Seth Roffman

Most equine sessions at the ranch are two hours in duration. Over the years, Healing Through Horses has witnessed life-changing events in children, teens, adults, families and groups. Here are a few examples:

Equine-Assisted Counseling

A mother and son arrive for their first session. They are introduced to the horses and enter the arena to begin their journey. They are asked to simply walk up to the horse and say hello. The dynamics begin: Mom tells her son what to do and how to do it—without giving him an opportunity to explore and discover his own style. The child gives her “the look” and walks away angry. She, in turn, yells, “Come back and finish what you started.” The family is observed and meets up with the coach in the middle of the arena. The mother is asked, “Where else does this appear in your life with your son?” She begins to cry. Her son says, “Every time I try to do something, she corrects me, and I hate it!” Because they have a difficult time communicating, a suggestion is made for them to come up with one word that will signal when someone is interfering with their forward motion of selfdiscovery. The son figures that if you can tell a horse to “whoa” and he stops, then his mother will know what this means and will follow the verbal cue. They both laugh and give each other a pinky shake to seal the deal.

They are offered another opportunity to walk up to the horse and say hello. This time they negotiate how they will approach the horse, and in essence develop a cooperative relationship with a mutual goal. In a very short amount of time, they are able to identify how they get into power struggles that fuel arguments and unnecessary stress in their family. As their therapy progresses, they are more successful in speaking with each other and have perfected their “magic word,” which has meaning to both of them and allows for a bit of humor to decrease tension in their relationship.

Equine Retreats for Women

Healing Through Horses offers daylong or weekend retreats for women. These experiences allow them to get away from everyday demands and explore the extraordinary ways their interactions with the horses can rejuvenate their spirits and assist them in personal growth. Time is provided for personal reflection with like-minded women. As the day begins, each woman is offered an opportunity to create a sacred space for herself by sharing a sage blessing. Throughout the day they listen to what each has discovered about herself. For example, some women share they were afraid when they arrived. This is explored, and it is not only related to the horses, but, in essence, how they walk in fear every day. This awareness is taken into the horse arena. A woman volunteers, saying that she wants to become less fearful of horses. She hesitates, begins to shake and cry. She is encouraged to feel her fear in her body, recognize the somatic sensations and embrace it. As she approaches, her horse turns, looks at her and patiently waits for her arrival. She slowly places her body next to the horse and without hesitation, embraces the horse and sobs. Her healing partner remains with her until she is able to speak. She looks up to the sky and says out loud “What is the big deal? It is only a horse!” At this moment, she realizes she created barriers and limiting beliefs that have

prevented her from doing things she has longed to do. Why? Because she makes it larger than life! Continuing to share her thoughts, she says she fears that the horse will run her over, step on her, and she will end up in the hospital. She then is asked to put her “true” experience into words. She describes a sense of freedom she has never before experienced.

Equine-Assisted Coaching

During a recent equine-assisted coaching session, a woman wanted to explore why she felt stuck and depressed. She described her experience: “Recently I spent time with Judith Schneider and her three horses. It was a pivotal experience. I had been dealing with feelings of loss and anxiety. I knew a lot about my situation, but I was still stuck and it was really painful. I am a good talker and thinker. I can talk and think my way into and out of any number of situations, but I didn’t seem to be able to talk or think my way out of this one. With the help of Judy’s compassion and the innate wisdom of the horses, their gut feelings

Photos courtesy Healing Through Horses


ealing Through Horses (HTH) is an Abiquiu, New Mexicobased program dedicated to healing the human spirit through the horse. “Horses have the ability to read you without saying a word,” says Judith Schneider, HTH’s director. “The horse has a way of deeply touching people’s hearts and spirits. The experience can have a profound effect on one’s healing process.” HTH offers a collaborative and alternative approach for those who have a desire to resolve past traumas, are willing to take an honest look at limiting beliefs, wish to embrace their mental and spiritual health in a courageous manner, and are ready to make changes to create a fulfilling life.

and reflection, I came to know myself better, and best of all, to accept my feelings. The result? Hope. By the time I left Healing Through Horses, I had made some genuine shifts in my thinking; but even more important, the way I felt had shifted. I felt heard and I felt hope.” Healing Through Horses’ season has begun. “The horses,” Schneider says, “have been eager to get back to work.” For more information, contact Judy Schneider at 505.685.0596, Judy@healingthroughhorses. net or

Healing Through Horses’ director Judith Schneider with therapist

February 2012 • Green Fire Times


Organic Farm Conf. Feb. 17-18 in Albuquerque

Members of New Mexico’s $67 million organic farming industry, as well as ranchers, researchers and gardeners will be among those gathering on Feb. 17-18 for the Southwest’s premier conference on organic and sustainable agriculture. The two-day NM Organic Farming Conference, to be held at the Marriot Albuquerque Pyramid North, provides more than 30 production and marketing workshops, an organic food luncheon on Saturday and a large exhibitor hall for producers to learn about organic farming. Jeff Witte, New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture, and Jon Boren, NM State University Cooperative Extension Service director, will welcome conference participants on Friday. Bu Nygrens, co-owner of Veritable Vegetable in San Francisco, Calif. will be the keynote speaker on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. She will speak on “Transforming Our Food System: Honoring Hope and Hard Work.” Veritable Vegetable, established in 1974, is the nation’s oldest distributor of certified organic fruits and vegetables. Woman-owned and operated, Veritable Vegetable serves organic farms and independent retail businesses throughout California, Hawaii and the Southwest. Each day following the opening presentations, there will be 36 workshop sessions on a variety of topics in six categories: soil, crop, livestock, farm support, market gardening, managing problems and petite production. Highlights include: Permaculture Case Studies on the Farm, Soil Whispering: Making Your Soil Do What You Want It To Do, Organic Grape Production, Native Pollinators, and Seed Growing 101. A few of the other workshops include: Ruminant Preventative Healthcare, Mushroom Production, Integrated Pest Management, and Cover Crops. Kyle Skaggs and Teague Channing will discuss working with draft horses and mules on their farms. The event is organized by the nonprofit organization Farm to Table, the NM Department of Agriculture and NM State University’s Cooperative Extension Service. Registration is $100 for the entire conference or $65 for one day. For more information visit http://www., call Le Adams at 505.473.1004, ext. 10 or Joanie Quinn at 505.889.9921.


Green Fire Times • February 2012

NEWSBITES Two Major Renewable Energy Projects Announced

US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, in a statement, said the government has approved 25 renewable energy projects during the last two years. “We have made swift progress in carrying out President Obama’s initiative for a rapid and responsible move to large-scale production of renewable energy on public lands,” he said. President Obama’s stated goal is having 80 percent of the nation’s energy needs met by clean, renewable sources by 2035. Salazar announced two new renewable energy projects last month: a 300-megawatt solar project in Arizona and a 62-turbine wind farm in California that is projected to produce about 186-megawatts of electricity. The two combined, will produce enough energy to power 150,000 homes, the equivalent of nearly several coal-fired power plants.

Renewable Energy Passes Nuclear as U.S. Power Source

Renewable energy sources—solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, wood burning and biomass—passed nuclear generation as a sector of power in the U.S., according to an Energy Information Administration report. The report, which covered nine months ending in September 2011, showed 6.944 quadrillion Btus or “quads” of energy generated from renewable sources, compared with 6.173 quads from nuclear power. In the prior two years, nuclear power was significantly ahead of renewables. Total energy production in the U.S. was 58.123 quads in the first nine months of 2011, with most of that—45.006 quads—coming from fossil fuels. Despite a tough year for the solar industry with the solar panel maker Solyndra scandal, solar generation continued to grow significantly.

Wells Fargo Finances Massive NM Solar Project

Wells Fargo & Company is providing equity financing for a 53.5 megawatt solar project in Lea and Eddy counties in southwestern New Mexico. The five site project, one of the largest photovoltaic power projects in the US, was fully activated in December. It was made possible through a power purchase agreement between SunEdison and Southwestern Public Service Company. The construction and permanent equity financing was Wells Fargo’s largest renewable energy construction loan to date. The company has invested more than $2.7 billion in RE projects since 2006. Energy generated from the solar farms is being sold to Xcel Energy, Inc. subsidiary of Southwestern Public Service Company. According to a news release, the solar farms are expected to produce more enough electricity over the next 20 years, to power over 8,000 homes per year, while offsetting 2.9 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 20 years.

Appeal of State Energy Efficiency Building Codes Rollback Filed

Last month the New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) filed an appeal arguing that the NM Construction Industry Commission violated numerous laws when it rolled back the Energy Efficient Building Codes adopted in 2010. The NMELC asserts that the Commission did not meet requirements that give the public the right to effectively participate in the making of laws and that require decision-makers to explain their actions. “The original Energy Efficient 2010 codes were adopted after over a year of weekly meetings and extensive review of technical, energy, and economic feasibility studies,” says Tammy Fiebelkorn, President of eSolved, Inc. “After all of this, consensus was achieved. The Commission did none of these things when it rolled back the codes. If the rollback wasn’t based on technical feasibility, energy use analysis or financial impacts, what was it based on?” The filed brief argues that the comments that the Commission received in public meetings and in written submissions show the Commission had no substantial evidence to support the rollback of the 2010 codes, and that the Commissioners made their decisions before their meeting on the codes, thereby violating the Open Meetings Act. “It seems that these commissioners do not understand how New Mexico law handles rulemaking,” says Douglas Meiklejohn, NMELC Executive Director and lead counsel on the case. “They do not have the power to change regulations that

have been adopted, simply to suit the current political climate. Agencies must follow the basic laws governing substantial evidence and public processes. Otherwise, regulations could drastically change with every election.” The NMELC is representing Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, Environment NM, Sundancer Creations Custom Builder, LLC, eSolved, Inc., the Sierra Club and individuals in the appeal. Responses by those mentioned in the appeal are due in March.

Climate Adaptation Strategy Released

Despite an ongoing debate as to whether global warming exists and whether carbon dioxide should be considered a pollutant, federal, state and tribal agencies believe climate change is here, and are working on strategies to help communities and ecosystems adapt. The National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Adaptation Strategy was released on January 20 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the New York Division of Fish and Wildlife and Marine Resources. The coalition’s website states: “Climate change is already here. It is clear from current trends and future projections that we are now committed to a certain amount of changes and impacts, making climate adaptation planning a critical part of responding to this complex challenge.” The increasing frequency and severity of wildfires, rising sea levels and catastrophic natural disasters such as floods and drought are all indicators of climate change, according to scientists. In the Southwest, a long-term trend is predicted for less mountain snowpack, faster snowmelts, warmer night temperatures and drier summers. Prolonged drought and increasingly frequent wildfires are forecast for New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains. The Nature Conservancy is working with land managers, biologists and others on adaptation plans for the area. In Santa Fe, city planners are taking climate change factors into account as they model water resources for future development. The Wildlife Adaptation Strategy website seeks to provide a blueprint for collective action that promotes collaboration and communication. The site includes detailed international studies and information on what states and tribes are doing to ensure sustainability of resources in a changing climate. The public has until March 5 to comment on the plan.

IAIA to Host Climate Change Conference

The Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe will host a conference entitled “The Art of Change: Climate Justice and Indigenous Solutions” on April 2021. Internationally acclaimed author, economist and activist Winona LaDuke (Ojibwe) will be the keynote speaker on April 20 at 7 pm. The conference will include intergenerational dialogue about climate change and its effects on Indigenous peoples locally and globally. Participants will consider questions such as: How are Native peoples and communities responding? What are some of the Indigenous values, knowledge and stories that Native communities and others can draw on in this transformational time? How can art be a force to fuel and inspire solutions and transformation? The workshop will include speakers and dialogue about these topics as well as hands-on workshops on creative and practical responses to climate change. The conference will be open to anyone who is interested in dialogue about these issues. Details and a schedule will be released soon. Contact Annie McDonnell: 505.424.5733,

General Mills’ ABQ Plant Achieves LEED Gold

General Mills plant in northeast Albuquerque has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification. There are fewer than 10 food production facilities of the 8,000 around the world that have been designated LEED gold. The 160,000-square-foot expansion includes a recycling program that has greatly reduced the plant’s waste paper, plastics, cardboard and packaging. There has also been a 30 percent reduction in indoor water use. The facility loans bicycles to employees for commuting and preferred parking spots are reserved for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles in the company lot. Chávez Grieves did the engineering. The project’s contractor was KBR Build Group.

February 2012 • Green Fire Times


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Divine Dental’s Eco-Friendly Office “Green Dental” Solutions

Skip: 505.471.5177 Anna: 505.982.0155

We use the DIAGNODENT laser cavity detector. Over 90% accurate, which means early detection of cavities, fewer fillings, and lower cost of dental treatments. Bio compatible Restorations using CEREC 3DCad/Cam system (chair side economical restoration of Esthetic Ceramics). The Cerec system allows us to be conservative in preserving the natural tooth structure as well as delivering a metal-free restoration in one visit. Mercury FREE office. We follow removal protocols for mercury fillings by following the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology guidelines. Special water filtration system that separates the mercury so it does not pollute the environment. In addition we use filtered water in all of our dental procedures.... not city tap water. Digital Radiography reduces radiation up to 90% more than traditional x-rays.

Esmael Valdez DDS


Jacquelyn Gomez DDS

471-7000 Green Fire Times • February 2012

Christie Baca RDH, CPDH

550-B St. Michaels Drive Ste. 2 • Santa Fe

Hablamos Español


Credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring

Planetary Healing Begins with Each One of Us

Blue Marble 2012 NASA


ith an expanding sense of urgency resultant from so many important issues that are present in this time and space, each person needs to take a step back and determine the most efficient use of their energy and effort. If we choose a course of personal activism as a means of adding our voice to the exploding dynamic of public outcry, we are aligning in purpose with the need for cultural transformation. Still many believe that nothing short of a paradigm shift in how we think, live and act, will bring about the necessary changes that will insure sustainability for future generations. The corporate machine in partnership with much of the mass media has done a masterful job diluting the most important issues of our times. Over the past forty years our environment has become increasingly ill despite the numerous protections, including the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. Our air, water and land are continually compromised by federal and state government and the legal mandate of free commerce allowing the unobstructed extraction of fossil based resources. Of course this approach allows for massive profits by utility and extractive industry monopolies, but the trade-off for this exploitation of our environment and its inhabitants, was never considered for the long haul, only shortsighted gain.

It has been the business as usual mandate that resource extraction overrides the need to protect the Earth and its ecosystems. A random example is the current coal mining going on in Washington State. This “resource” is being extracted with irreparable damage to the environment, and subsequently shipped to China for their coal burning power plants, adding greatly to the emissions and toxic fallout on the populace. What does Washington State gain? Environmental devastation in exchange for the profit gained by a private corporation that has masterminded this operation. Our governmental and judicial systems long ago adopted policies that provide these types of companies to make profits at the expense of the land and its peoples. Unless we continue to align in purpose to tip the scales toward fairness, quality of life and real protections for the Earth and its inhabitants, future generations will face a world dangling in the balance.

else, and we’re all on this ride together. Humankind can learn much from the “primitives” who understood that basic stewardship of our home planet is essential to our wellbeing, and, you know… bears don’t dump their steamy waste in their own caves. So why has this intrinsic lesson become so far removed from reality? Here’s my answer based on a forty-five year journey in environmental issues and personal development. We have systematically been alienated from our connection with each other and our environment. Over recent decades the citizenry was purposefully reclassified as consumers. We have been driven from our inherent sense of community and imprinted that competition is the ultimate motivator, sort of the flip side of working in harmony and cooperation with others. We are now disenfranchised by government

that upholds the rights of the ruling few, while allowing the rest to feel downtrodden and powerless. We’ve been programmed to be motivated by fear, continuously reminded of our enemies, either real or imagined, and as a result we’ve allowed the exploitive policies toward the third world, and nature overall, to be the driving motivation of our culture. But as we walk amongst the populace focusing on what Earth citizens share in common, rather than being immersed in our differences, we begin to observe how nature inherently provides an abundance of life’s goodness and the fulfillment of our needs. This awareness brings a presence, a deep appreciation that allows for an easy flow of intention for what is right and good. We can more fully view the potential of tolerance, coopcontinued on page


It is obvious that this imbalance, now so measurable throughout nature, began within the minds of men. And, no doubt, greedy bastards disconnected from the greater good and hell-bent on profits at untold costs. Yet, we have seen throughout history that when the people find their voice and work together in solidarity toward the accomplishment of worthy goals, for what is right and good, the energy begins to move favorably in that direction. Even though tyranny appears to be riding high, well funded, fortified with armies, tanks and whatever, the expanding will of the people will ultimately win out. We have now begun in earnest toward an evolution of consciousness. Though in a stage of early infancy, this time of expanded perception will continue to grow and more of the populace will move toward a greater understanding of unity consciousness. This awareness allows for a new understanding, we are all an integral focal point of creation, everything affects everything

February 2012 • Green Fire Times


Elektrik. Eccentric. Eclectic. An eclectic mix of informative and entertaining programs await you on KUNM – your passport to the worlds of news, music, community and culture. Publicly supported. Publicly responsive. KUNM is an essential part of New Mexico’s day. KUNM 89.9FM | STREAMING LIVE 24/7 AT KUNM.ORG


Green Fire Times • February 2012

Op-Ed: Ingrid Lane

There is no invisible barrier That separates air


limate change is at the forefront of our global political dialogues. It is difficult to confront the overwhelming amount of data and the abstract nature of climate change. The effects are observable on the large scale, but human sensory perception is too limited to observe the sheer magnitude of the problem. Air quality offers one tangible indicator.

they care about “poor New Mexicans.” Gov. MarSan Juan Generating Station near Farmington, NM. tinez’s administration is backing PNM’s claims without any real analysis.

The Environmental Protection Agency, with Lisa Jackson at its helm, has taken on a new angle in its battle against air pollution: haze. Now air quality is a matter of national aesthetics. What politician can argue that the pristine sight of the Grand Canyon and the structural integrity of Mt. Rushmore are not worth fighting for? Haze and acid rain directly result from nitrogen and sulfur oxide emitted by coal power plants. We see smog EVERYWHERE. We are all familiar with man’s recent addition to the American landscape: the thin hazy line of air pollutants.

For now, the issue is tied up in court. This is the first and only plant-specific regulation. No other coal generator has fought against the EPA’s requests. Every day PNM spends avoiding the inevitable means higher NOx emissions, more air pollution, and more money in the pockets of PNM’s executives. New Energy Economy, National Parks Conservation Association, Diné CARE (working on behalf of the Navajo Tribe), the San Juan Citizen’s Alliance, and the Sierra Club have intervened, petitioning on behalf of the people of New Mexico.

The EPA’s recent mandates have met with overwhelming compliance from coal power plants across the country. In New Mexico, however, Public Service Company of NM’s (PNM) San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) refuses to comply with proposed emission limitations. Our actions over the next several weeks and months could turn a new page for NM’s coal dependence. Millions of dollars are on the line, but the real cost of this decision is not in the short-term figures industry and state officials toss around. Will PNM spend the money to get a few more years out of the aged SJGS, or will they invest in renewables? PNM only mentions a fraction of SJGS’s costs. Billions more will be spent by NM’s citizens as our state faces increased drought, lung disease and water quality degradation due to increasing carbon dioxide levels. Coal-burning power plants are the largest emitters of C02 in America.

The Clean Air Act harkens to the cruel reality: our air is not our own. We must take responsibility here, as it has effects far and wide. PNM’s arguments are constrained to NM, but state and national boundaries are arbitrary when environmental degradation is concerned.

The EPA has proposed a method for reducing the nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels: The Best Available Retrofit Technology Act requires that PNM comply with the regulations by utilizing the most reasonable, cost-effective technological solution available. PNM is balking and wants to maintain the status quo, while claiming

PNM says that the cost of any undue regulations will be passed down to consumers. Save money on your next energy bill, they argue. Save and create jobs, they cajole. We are not saving money; we are spending it as our state’s citizens and national parks’ tourists fall victim to lung disease. PNM’s actions are not creating jobs in coal, but in healthcare. We pay for PNM’s executive salaries with our lives. Join us in lobbying against dirty coal. Visit our web site and become involved. Ingrid Lane, a student at St. John’s College, is an intern with the nonprofit New Energy Economy.

EPA Report Lists NM’s Major Polluters

New Mexico appears to be just like the rest of the nation when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The Environmental Protection Agency’s first-ever list of high-polluting industries nationwide shows that 77 percent of pollution comes from power plants. In NM, the 16 power plants put out a total of 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in 2010. The highest producer of greenhouse gas emissions was the coal-fired Four Corners Power Plant, which released 13 million metric tons. That plant is operated by Arizona Public Service Co. on Navajo Nation land. The company has announced plans to close three of the plant’s five units. The second highest emitter listed is the San Juan Generating Station, which provides much of the power for PNM customers. The state’s 44 natural gas processing facilities were the next highest greenhouse-gas emitting facilities, along with three oil refineries. Methane is the most emitted gas at the state’s landfills. Santa Fe’s landfill has a gas collection system that can collect up to 917 metric tons. The report comes out as PNM is fighting an Environmental Protection Agency order to clean up its operations. The EPA is seeking a significant reduction in nitrous-oxide emissions to reduce haze and air pollution in the area. PNM says that the type of technology the federal agency is requiring is too expensive. On another front, PNM is challenging two state rules that would reduce or cap carbon dioxide emissions. PNM is also asking state regulators to grant permission to charge customers an annual fee for the cost of providing electricity from renewable sources. That matter is before the Public Regulation Commission. New Mexico’s Renewable Energy Standard requires that 10 percent of energy provided to customers come from renewable sources. The standard will increase to 15 percent by 2015 and 20 percent by 2020.

February 2012 • Green Fire Times



Green Fire Times • February 2012

Local Economies

The Local Voice: Community, Heal Thyself Vicki Pozzebon


e’re well into 2012 now, and I hope I’m not the first to say that everyone, everywhere seems to be going through major transformations. In December, 2011, I made a huge leap and decided that, based on my own interests, knowledge and skills, I would jump into the world of freelance, independent consulting on local economy issues. Since 2006, the economy was my head-on, my rock-up-a-hill, my cross, my work, my duty. Little did any of us know that the bottom would drop in 2008, and pushing the rock up the hill would only become more difficult. But what I am feeling and seeing today, as we settle into 2012, is the need to push the new local economy movement even further, in every city across America. What is the new movement? Look around you. It’s Occupy Wall Street, it’s Move Your Money, it’s Buy Local, it’s Eat Local, it’s green jobs and climate change, it’s triple-bottom-line business, it’s waste streams into money streams, it’s sharing your best practices with your biggest competitor, it’s social media, it’s social capital. It’s a new and emerging economy. It’s a new way of doing business. I love the idea that a new economy is emerging all over this country. I want to continue to help those who are envisioning a future for their own communities that can be better.

The Santa Fe Alliance has had such great impact that I can now watch TV and see a commercial from a locally owned appliance store using Buy Local as their message for the holidays. We linked farmers and chefs to each other. We made Local a household idea again. We’ve explained the multiplier effect so that a fifth-grader can understand it. Literally. I have taught fifth-grade classes about local economies. Congressman Ben Ray Luján put out a public announcement in support of Buy Local as a way to keep New Mexico’s economy strong for years to come. Santa Fe County commissioners adopted a resolution to Buy Local. I don’t believe we’ve reached everyone. And that’s ok. My goal is to help other communities now, to heal and transform their own economies and job losses by thinking Local First. Across America we are seeing more businesses take matters into their own hands to pay living wages, provide good benefits and give back to their communities. They care about climate change and green space in their towns. They want more jobs, better jobs, more meaningful jobs in their own back yards. And I want to help them achieve that transformation through community activism training, policy changes, business networking events and campaigns for Local First.

Transformation is a big concept, and while I feel like the results of our work on local economies are not easily measured, I do believe that the impacts are long lasting. It seems to be me that more businesses are taking on local, even advertising it more, than ever before. This is it. The time is now. The economy will not return to the old days of yore. It’s a new economy. A transformed one and we are all a part of it. It takes a community to heal its own economy. What I hope for is a community to learn the impacts of supporting itself. Buy eggs from your neighbor, create a product for a local store to sell, be a responsible business owner and pay a living wage, give your employees the benefits they deserve so they can be happy participants in our community. Be good to each other, think local first, buy local first, eat local first, hire local first, think of our community first. That is how an economy is transformed, one person, one employee, one business owner at a time. Now that’s a multiplier effect!

The Local Guide is available at locally owned businesses.

I am honored to have helped move it forward for Santa Fe, and to be a part of this community that embraces it so adoringly. I have described Santa Fe to many national colleagues as “fiercely local.” Be fierce in your localism, Santa Fe. Be fierce about community. Vicki Pozzebon practices blatant localism as an independent consultant. She is the former Executive Director of the Santa Fe Alliance. Follow Vicki on Twitter: @vickipozzebon

Planetary Healing continued from page 31

eration, peace, love and harmony as fundamental in our capacity to heal ourselves and our communities. By honoring Mother Earth, we honor ourselves and all of life, and we find contentment in knowing that as we heal so does our environment. Unicopia is spearheading a petition for a Renewable Municipal Energy Grid for Santa Fe and Santa Fe County. Though it is well known that Santa Fe has some of the least polluted, if not pristine, air anywhere, this comes at a large price. Most of Santa Fe’s electricity is sourced from coal burning power plants on Navajo land near the Four Corners. The toxic fallout of mercury, arsenic, lead, formaldehyde and more has caused major health issues to the populace. We have over 300 days of sunshine a

year! Together we can move away from this antiquated energy source. Let’s build the necessary groundswell for a renewable, publicly owned utility for Santa Fe and SF County, and create a viable model for our clean, renewable, energy future. Go to and click Petitions. And while you’re there, support our mission and become a member. Also sign NM State Senator Peter Wirth’s SB9 petition, closing the corporate tax loopholes and leveling the playing field for local New Mexico businesses. Faren Dancer is an award-winning designer, builder, educator and activist. His UNICOPIA GREEN RADIO show is each Saturday at 4 pm on KTRC (1260 AM), simulcast at All the archived shows are available at Email:

February 2012 • Green Fire Times



Please go our website and study the articles presented in the new issue. We welcome your comments and suggestions.


Green Fire Times • February 2012




© Alan Hoffman

Bruce Poster


his is the first in a series of articles on “The New Retirement” and how to prepare yourself for this major life transition. While many retirement advisors focus solely on financial planning, I will address 15 factors (including finances) important to a successful retirement. Having recently “retired” from my former life work as a research and planning consultant and business coach, I am eager to help others create their own retirement plans and find personal meaning in retirement. According to Dr. Richard P. Johnson, a nationally recognized sociologist who has specialized in the field of retirement, “The New Retirement is not an ending; it’s a new beginning, the start of a new life journey of vastly expanded proportion.” Your retirement will probably not resemble that of your parents. The whole notion of retirement has been radically changed. We used to think of retirement as the beginning of the end. Today we need to think of retirement as a new beginning. The Old Retirement was viewed as more of a prolonged vacation that gave only shallow satisfaction, filled with endless television, golf and bridge. Society viewed retirees as no longer adding value to the world. People are now retiring earlier than ever, with an average first retirement age of 57. Second and even third careers are not uncommon. Labor participation of persons over age 60 has been rising since the mid 1990s. This trend is likely to continue due to the loss of assets that

many persons experienced during the recent financial meltdown, which is causing some people to return to the workforce after initially “retiring.”

that this stage ushers in something entirely new, something exciting, something fulfilling, something invigorating and animating for the “retiree.” This is The New Retirement.

If you are currently 60 and married, one of the two of you has a 41% chance of living to age 90. The New Retiree may be “retired” longer than he or she actually worked. Moreover, the New Retiree seeks life enrichment, self-ownership, physical wellness, self-esteem and positive involvement. He or she can be said to have found a new life purpose.

In future columns I will address 15 life arenas and factors that contribute to retirement success. The 15 life arenas and factors include:

A complete cessation of work will not be the desired goal of the New Retirement. Rather there will be a new phase, or even new stage of life emerging, a stage of life that Dr. Johnson calls the Renewal stage. The Renewal stage begins at the point where early retirement formerly began... probably around 50-55 years of age. At this point the majority of workers will shift from their full-time active career to enter a new life endeavor that better aligns with their internal self, i.e. their interior or spiritual inclinations. This Renewal stage will provide an opportunity to finally get around to doing those things that one put off while working and raising a family, which could be anything from learning to play an instrument to traveling to taking up photography or painting.

To achieve fulfillment in retirement, each of us must consider many factors and look deeply into him- or herself. This self-inventory is critical to identifying a mission for one’s remaining years and creating a New Retirement lifestyle.

• Work reorientation and replacement of work functions • Attitude and life satisfaction • Self-directedness • Health • Life meaning • Leisure interests

• Financial Security • Adaptability •Dependents and relationships • Perception of age I will also discuss the importance of creating your own personal retirement plan prior to your retirement. Such a plan will provide you with your own roadmap to retirement. This will help you experience a purposeful retirement and avoid the boredom and even depression that all too many retirees face. B r u c e Po s te r i s a Certif ied Retirement Coach who has lived in Santa Fe for 34 years and previously owned Southwest Planning & Marketing. He can be reached at 505.690.8921 or bruce@retireyourway. biz; or you can visit his website: www.

This new life endeavor will take as many different forms as there are retirees. While some will seek paid employment, many others will create life endeavors of a different sort entirely. This renewal phase has many facets: leisure activities, pursuing life goals, community service, interior spiritual growth, and a forum for finding personal meaning. What’s important is that the individual finds personal renewal and

February 2012 • Green Fire Times


What's Going On! Events / Announcements

ALBUQUERQUE Feb. 1, 5:30-7:30 pm Green Drinks Hotel Andaluz

NM Green Chamber of Commerce hosts its monthly networking event.,

Feb. 2, 7 pm Protecting NM: Elevating Community Rights Above Corporate Rights UNM Student Union Bldg.

A presentation by Thomas Linzey, senior counsel for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. Info: 575.666.2529, or visit

Feb. 3, 17, 7:30-11 am Urban Shaman: Gathering the Healers of Albuquerque

A group for shamanic practitioners and healers of all varieties. Patricio Domínguez offers ceremony and teachings to support higher consciousness for healing.

Feb. 4, 9 am-4 pm Intro to Sustainable Green Business Practices CNM Workforce Training Center 5600 Eagle Rock Ave. NE

What does it mean to be sustainable in today’s competitive, resource limited environment? Discover green business winners and the operational, marketing, human resource and lean operational strategies that are working. Explore green values that are turning gold., 505.224.5200

Feb. 5, 2-3:30 pm Poetry Reading and Art Exhibition Domenici Education Center, Natl. Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 4th St. SW

Performances by NM foster care youth and NM CYFD youth poets and mentors. Artist-to-Artist Program with Littleglobe, Inc. Info:

Feb. 6-11 Holistic Management in Practice Training

With instructor Kirk Gadzia of Resource Management Services. First 3 days are an introductory training. The following 3 days are an advanced session. Participants will work through case studies detailing financial, grazing and land planning. Learn to make better decisions on behalf of your financial, land and people resources. Services/2012 HMCInformation.html

Feb. 10, 5-10 pm; - Feb. 11, 9-5 pm All About Water Films & Conversation South Broadway Cultural Center 1025 Broadway Blvd. SW

Screening of award-winning films with ex-


pert panelists to discuss water and related issues in the Southwest, New Mexico and Albuquerque. Free admission. (See story, page 15), Detailed schedule:

Radnovich, Ryan Daniell, Richard Perce, Cheryl Kent, Mark Brotten and many more. Raffle drawings. Free and open to the public. Parking: $5. Sponsored by the Xeriscape Council of NM.

Feb. 15-16 American Rainwater Catchment Systems Assn. Accredited Professional Workshop NM State University ABQ Center

March 9-10, 8 pm Dancing Earth Disney Center for the Performing Arts, NHCC, 1701 4th St. SW

Open to the public and industry professionals. Accredited level 200 level class. $625. Scholarships available (www.greenjobs. 505.577.8899, Registration:

Feb. 11-12 or 18-19 Pine Needle Basket Weaving Indian Pueblo Cultural Center 2401 12th St. NW

With Mary Lou Olivas (Ysleta del Sur) $60., 1.888.855.7902

Feb. 16, March 1, 12:30 pm Yoga & Urban Gardening

Rainbow Warriors, a 4-year educational program offering a holistic approach. Sessions include traditional farming and gardening, aquaponics, natural building, nutrition and more. Collaborations with students to develop gardens and curriculums at educational facilities. 505.382.5275

Feb. 17-18, 7:30 am-5 pm NM Organic Farming Conference Marriott Pyramid North 5151 San Francisco Rd. NE

The Southwest’s premiere conference on organic/sustainable agriculture. Over 30 sessions taught by organic producers and experts on crops, livestock, weed & pest management, market gardening, farm support. Registration for one day: $60; two days: $100. Presented by Farm to Table, NM Dept. of Agriculture, NMSU Cooperative Ext. Service. Info: 505.473.1004, ext. 10 or 505.889.9921.

Feb. 18-19 Albuquerque Home Expo State Fairgrounds on Central Ave. (see ad on page 2)

Feb. 23-24 17th Water Conservation Conference Crown Plaza Hotel 1901 University Blvd. NE.

“Collaboration for New Solutions” Integrated Architecture, Community Organization, New Technologies, Adaptive Agriculture, Urban Forest, Landscape Ecology, Sustainable Sites. Speakers include William DeBuys, David Gutzler, Ph.D., Karlis Viceps, Nate Downey, Miguel Santistévan, Stephen W. Kress, Kathleen Wolf, Ph.D. and many others. Registration: $200, $100 students.

Feb. 25, 9 am-5 pm; Feb. 26, 10 am-4 pm Xeriscape Expo Manuel Luján Building, Expo NM

Over 200 exhibitors and 18 speakers. Sessions on drip irrigation, appropriate plant selection, xeriscape principles, soil and more. Speakers include Judith Philips, Nate Downey, George

Green Fire Times • February 2012

“Nights of Stars-Moon-Water” - Awardwinning international indigenous contemporary ensemble. 12 dancers, musicians, plus songstress Sina Soul, performers from SF Indian School Spoken Word Team and special guests. Tickets: $15-$25 at NHCC box office or through

Daily Degrees of Change: NM’s Climate Forecast NM Museum of Natural History & Science 1801 Mountain Rd. NW

With a focus on NM and the SW, this exhibit reveals current and predicted impacts on humans, landscapes and ecosystems. Tickets: $7, $6, $4. Info:, 505.841.2800

Student Interns for Ag Project

The nonprofit Center for Natural and Traditional Knowledge is looking for student interns interested in a hands-on urban agriculture project., 505.382.5275


Through March 27 Business Assistance Classes for Artists SF Community Gallery, SF Community Convention Center, 201 W. Marcy

A series of evening classes and one-on-one consultations by appointment for artists, artisans and craftsmen interested in working with the Creative Tourism program. Offered by the city of SF Arts Commission and SF Creative Tourism. 608.792.5746, RSVP:

Feb. 4, 9 am-4:30 pm American Rainwater Catchment Systems Assn. Workshop Genoveva Chavez Community Center

Accredited level 100 class. $35 includes lunch. Vendor open house 1-5 pm. 505.577.8899,, To register:

Feb. 4, 3 pm A 20-Year Perspective on Monogolia Tipton Hall, SF University of Art & Design, 1600 St. Michael’s Dr.

Speakers: Dr. Candace Kaye and Captain Barry N. Kaye. Presented by the SF Council on Intl. Relations. $15 members/$20 nonmembers. 505.982.4931,

Feb. 9, 6-8 pm Santa Fe Girls’ School Open House 310 W. Zia Rd.

6th, 7th and 8th grade girls can discover the benefits of a single-gender educational experience. 575.613.0536,

Feb. 9, 7 pm Split Estate Screening Center for Contemporary Arts 1050 Old Pecos Tr.

Emmy-winning film looks at what happens when oil companies own minerals underneath homes and private surface property. Discussion moderated by director/producer Debra Anderson. Bioneers’“Walk in Beauty,” a short film about Navajo renewable energy potential will be screened first. Presented by New Energy Economy 505.989.7262

Feb. 9, 7 pm MountainFilm On Tour Lensic Performing Arts Center

A mix of films from mountain sports to amazing wild places. Be inspired, informed and challenged. Hosted by WildEarth Guardians. $15. 505.988.9126, ext. 0

Feb. 11, 6 pm Thrive: What on Earth Will It Take? Performance Space, La Tienda 7 Caliente Road, Eldorado

Creative discussion after screening of acclaimed film. Free.

Feb. 11, 8 pm Songs of Peace & Justice UUCSF, corner of Galisteo & Barcelona

Charlie King and Karen Brandowo have received kudos from Pete Seeger and Tom Paxton. Suggested donation: $10.

Feb. 13, 6 pm Acting Together on the World Stage Tipton Hall, SF University of Art & Design

A documentary film and panel discussion. Courageous and creative artists and peacebuilders working in conflict zones. Presented by Theatre Without Borders and the SF Art Institute. $10/$5. http://sfaiblog. org/2012/01/20/acting-together/

Feb. 16, 6-8 pm Reiki Healing Circle Studio 11, 705 E. Alameda

Led by Wendy Jordan. Open to anyone with Reiki training. $8 donation. RSVP: 505.466.3040,

Feb. 18, 10 am-4 pm Gardening 101 Center for Spiritual Living 505 Cam. de los Márquez

The basics of gardening in Santa Fe. SF Master Gardener course for beginning and new to SF gardeners. $40. Details, registration: 505.471.4711,

Feb. 18, 2 pm Forks Over Knives Screening Southside Library Community Rm., 6500 Jaguar Drive Documentary examines possibility of controlling and even reversing degenerative diseases and weight loss by making plant-based food choices. Discussion and snacks follow.

Feb. 23, 6:30-9 pm Inviting New Insight Academy for the Love of Learning 133 Seton Village Rd., Seton Village

What’s Going ON! Free evening of exploration: an interactive dialogue on learning and transformation. RSVP: 505.995.1860,,

for transition to a renewable future. Each show explores the issues, politics, science, and the evolution of consciousness impacting the balancing of life on our planet.

Feb. 23-26 Women Trauma Victims Retreat Dream Catcher Retreat Center 68 Calle Enrique

Sustainable Growth Management Plan for SF County

4-day, 3-night workshop retreat. 505.474.4007 or

Feb. 27 scholarship Deadline Sustainable Skills Internship Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center

Cerrillos, NM From May 18-July 12 classes include: Passive Solar Design and Solar Cooking, Native Plant Walk, High Desert Gardening, Rain Harvesting and Greywater Systems, Land Stewardship and Erosion Control. Internship cost: $475/mo. Internship work projects include: Sustainable Food Systems, Natural Building, Organic Gardening. Details: www.

Feb. 29, 7 pm Carbon Nation Film Screening SF Farmers’ Market Pavillion

An inspiring look at many recent advances in clean energy and green technologies. $12, $10 for SFFM Institute members and students. 505.983.7726,

March 1-4 Family Connections – Animals and Art Workshop Dream Catcher Retreat Center 68 Calle Enrique

For fathers and daughters ages 7-10 with artist/presenter Eric Zerkel and his daughter Kira. First in a series. 505.474.4007, www.

March 2 Entry Deadline Landscape Design Competition

Open to all builders, architects, landscape architects, nurseries, installers or teams. Winning entry will install their design at the entrance to the 22nd annual Remodelers Expo at the Shellaberger Tennis Center, April 28-29 and be prominently featured in Haciendas Home Remodel magazine. RSVP to 505.982.1774,

March 5 Application Deadline Local Sustainability Matching Funding

Eligible entities: Partnership between sustainability directors and local, place-based foundations. In partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities (TFN) has announced the Local Sustainability Matching Fund. TFN is a membership organization that helps grant makers across North America advance strategies to create fair, prosperous, and sustainable regions and communities. Info: http://www.

Biodynamic Compost

Made from manure from alfalfa-fed cows, available for pick-up or delivery. 505.9826879. For info, see Susan Waterman’s My Own Garden article in March 2011 GFT.

Saturdays, 4 pm Unicopia Green Radio KTRC - 1260 am

A weekly show with Faren Dancer. Our culture is requiring a major shift in how we relate to the Earth. Our fossil fuel-based economy is poised

Hard copies $20, CDs $2. Contact Melissa Holmes, 505.995.2717 or the SGMP is also available on the county website: www.santafecounty. org/growth_management/sgmp and can be reviewed at SF Public libraries and the County Administrative Building, 102 Grant Ave.

EcoVillage Project 45 minutes from Santa Fe

Create a thriving Center where people come to learn about a new kind of future. 30-40 core members needed to begin in spring. Rotating teams will camp out and implement a collaborative vision for long-term sustainability, mostly based on traditional handtended agriculture and permaculture techniques., 505.382.5275

HERE & THERE Through March 13 “Menu for the Future” Los Alamos Co-op, 95 Entrada Dr. Los Alamos, NM

Seven session discussion course explores connections between food and sustainability. Dinner & Discussion Series hosted by Los Alamos Cooperative Market. The food we eat, its history and by-products of our food systems. $25 for members, $30 non-members. 505.695.1579, LosAlamosCoop and

Feb. 1-4 2012 EcoFarm Conference Asilomar Conference Center Pacific Grove, CA

EcoFarm’s flagship event brings food system stakeholders together for education, networking and celebration. org/programs/efc

Feb. 3, 11 am Dedication/Ribbon Cutting 56C County Rd. 65, Dixon, NM

Ceremony celebrating successful construction of solar PV system by Los Ebanistas Construction Inc. and Sol Luna Solar, with USDA Rural Dev. State Dir. Terry Brunner. 505.579.4512,

Feb. 5, 2-4 pm Art Opening for Evolutionary Motherhood Zuly’s Expresso Bar/Restaurant, 234 State Rd. 75, Dixon, NM

Rebekah Tarin’s show and sale of new and selected artwork. The transformative nature of engaged parenthood. 575.613.0536, www.

Feb. 6-9 2012 Wind Power Finance and Investment Summit Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, CA

Wind industry deal-making and networking event brings together leading project developers, lenders, investors and others to discuss the latest developments. Provides a valuable forum about upcoming projects and opportunities. www.

Feb. 7, 10 am State Engineer Motion To Dismiss Hearing Socorro District Courthouse

200 Church St., 2nd Fl., Socorro

Important Catron County / San Augustín Plains water transfer case.

Feb. 8-9 Southern Plains Conference Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge Muleshoe, TX

Dwelling in the Natural World. 23rd annual conference presented by Ogallala Commons. Landscapes, plants, animals and soils of the Southern Plains. Tours, workshops, presentations, discussions, music, locally produced food. 806.945.2255

Feb. 9-11 Integrative Healthcare Symposium Hilton Hotel, NY, NY

Join 1,200 practitioners in the integrative healthcare community to hear from nationally recognized practitioners and experts in the fields of women’s health, environmental health, ayurveda & traditional Chinese medicine, functional medicine, homeopathy and more.

Feb. 10 Space Reservation Deadline Taos Thinks Local First Guide

Business directory marketing green business and educating consumers will be posted online and published in the Taos News on March 8. 575.770.2991,

Feb. 12, 1-4 pm Camino de Paz School & Farm Open House Santa Cruz (near Española)

Meet the faculty, students and parents. Info: or 505.747.9717

Feb. 14-16 Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo Convention Center, Long Beach, CA

Awards given for new or remodeled homes that have sustainable features or demonstrate green building. Applications at or 505.227.0474,

March 3, 4-10 am-4 pm Rag Rug Festival & Gift Show Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum Las Cruces

Handmade textiles, recycled, knitted and woven fashions, traditional woven basketry. Presented by the NM Women’s Foundation. 505.983.6155,

March 7-9 Green Energy Summit and Expo Frontier Airlines Center, Milwaukee

The New Economic Wave. 9th annual event. Attendees comprise a broad spectrum of business, energy, water and sustainability stakeholders. Post-summit workshops and tours.

March 22-24 Drylands Design Conference Burbank, CA

Innovations in planning, landscape, engineering and architecture. Presented by Arid Lands Institute, Woodbury University.

Incubating New Mexico Rural Food Producers

Free one-year project aimed at helping small food producers looking to expand. USDA and South Valley Economic Development Center have partnered to help small food producers in NM gain access to larger markets, received business training and assistance. Benefits of the program include: Access to SVEDC partners in areas such as marketing, distribution, micro-lending and business assistance; Access to SVEDC retail buyers such as Whole Foods, John Brooks and more. For info, contact, 505.301.3689.

“North America’s leading all renewable event” Also there: Solar Power Generation Conference. www.renewableenergy

Feb. 15 Application Deadline Paddle Nation Project Grants

Individuals between the ages of 18-28 or nonprofit organizations may apply for a program that aims to connect young Americans with their waterways through recreational paddling. Outdoor Nation is an initiative of the Outdoor Foundation. The project will award 10 grants of up to $2,500 each. Winners to be announced on March 9. Info:, www.

Feb. 19-20, 9 am-1 pm Intro to Pueblo Weaving Española Valley Fiber Arts Center, Española

Workshop explores a brief history of the Pueblo textile tradition with expert Pueblo fiber artist Louie García (Tiwa/Piro/Ysleta del Sur). Examine Pueblo weaving styles and designs. Learn warp-faced weaving technique. $170/$210 plus materials. For more info and other related workshops: 505.747.3577, info@,

March 1 Deadline Call for Homes for 2012 GreenBuilt Tour

USGBC-NM is now accepting applications from builders and homeowners for the June 9-10 “Healthy Living, Healthy Families” tour. Educate the public and future customers.

February 2012 • Green Fire Times



Green Fire Times • February 2012

February 2012 Edition  

Healthy Living Issue

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