The Next Generation
Sustainable Kashi is the next generation of youth from Kashi Ashram, an intentional interfaith community on 80 acres in Sebastian, Florida. Working to build upon their parent’s 30 years of life’s work, Sustainable Kashi believes the principles of permaculture will strengthen their family and friends’ unique culture, keeping it thriving for generations to come.
Kashi was founded in 1976 by spiritual teacher, Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati. Growing up in poverty in a Jewish family in Brooklyn, NY, Ma’s first teachers were the homeless people in Coney Island. It was there that she was taught “There are no throw away people.” She learned to live life fully and gained respect for all humanity.
Ma has always quoted her teacher, Neem Karoli Baba as saying, “Serve God’s children. Share, feed everyone, and never, ever have a dry heart.” She has put this to action by infusing all Kashi’s communities, teachings, and activities with this premise of helping others.
In April 2012 Ma passed away from pancreatic cancer. She was not only the founder, but also a mother figure to many in the community. Ma’s passing has fueled the passion of the next generation to bring the extended family back together and share with others what they have learned about community.
Sustainable Kashi believes that permaculture can help this community thrive in a new way, creating a more sustainable future.
Kwang Mae & Soo Se, Ma’s children and the driving force behind the creation of Sustainable Kashi, wrote:
We have both recently jumped full force into the wisdom of permaculture through reading, research, and classes. We have moved back home after many years away to share and implement this knowledge. We believe the next step involves showing people how to feed themselves and maintain our community in harmony with nature.
Originally, we started with the basics: educating the residents, creating a compost system and stockpiling organic matter for a mulching campaign. We are currently working on designing the Zone 1 Garden.
It is our hope that with help we can design a complete system based on our unique ecology and soils to link this Zone 1 into Zones 2-5. We feel that guidance from those who have practical knowledge can transform this already beautiful property into an energy efficient food producing system.
The long-term goals are to:
- Reduce community food costs
- Create a marketplace and cafe for our produce
- Develop an eco/green village with a youthful supply of WWOOFers and permaculture students to help with the labor while they learn
- Serve as a model and inspiration to others
Our passion is undoubtedly there. We have the community and the land. With a clear design and vision we can inspire more funding, designate lands appropriately for food-forests, apply for grants and open and create space for the next next generation to raise their children together in a vibrant and healthy community.
We look forward to meeting you and sharing in this adventure!