October 5, 2010 Entry #3
Chakra and chacra
I was recently reminded of another chacra: a garden. The fact that chakras and chacras sound identical is intriguing. Both are about a healthy lifestyle through balance and integration. The photo shows my friend Oscar Santillán in his family’s chacra at Pakarinka Sisari in Agato, Ecuador.
In the chacra, many fruits and vegetables are planted together, instead of separated. Chacras are sustainable as defined by the Triple Bottom Line: economy, social equity, and environment. Families produce their own food, reducing reliance on fossil fuels for transportation and lowering costs. The nutrients in the soil make the foods more nutritious as compared to foods from the agro industry. The environment is also protected because chemicals are generally not used. Each plant takes certain nutrients from the soil and puts back others, resulting in each of the plants making a different contribution to the system. Also, the plants are much more resistant to disease as compared to plants in a monoculture (one crop planting). Today, agricultural experts experiment with polyculture: planting multiple crops in the same space. Planting chacras is a mature, sustainable agricultural method.
Copyright © 2010, by Paulette L. Stenzel for the text and photo.
Paulette L. Stenzel
I am Professor Emeritus of International Business Law and Sustainability at Michigan State University (MSU). I am also a mom, learner, writer, violinist, environmentalist -in -process, traveler, and avid reader. I continue to teach part time at MSU and coordinate the Broad College Ethical Leadership program Additionally, I advise Spartan Global Development Fund - a microfinance organization.