After Envision festival 2020, one of the last festivals to be literally anywhere before pandemic world closure, KaytiBunny came to Rancho Delicioso...
Meet KaytiBunny Roberts, Permaculture Pinup Mz. April 2021
J: It's been about one year after becoming the co-creatrix of the Permaculture Pinup campaign for Green Wave. What are you most proud of?
KB: I love that it is a rainbowey bridge. There is a gap of how and what we are expected to be as womyxn in both normal society and within the permaculture movement. And we are starting to see Permaculture Pinup become it's own micro-movement. We are doing everything really organically right now. Our focus has been on creating content over promotion but wowwhee! have we received applauding response from our circles. We have people - both that we know and don't -that can't help but contact us and enthusiastically swoon their adoration over what we are doing. People keep asking us about a future calendar.
J: A future calendar...
KB: I know I know. I will take that on when I can. We also have a secret project that we are collaborating on and can't talk about right now that will take priority over the calendar.
J: Right, so tell us a little about your 2020.
KB: Overall it was about settling down from my jet-set lifestyle that I created and entertained over the last decade. I mean, I've definitely become a socialite in my new area with the production of some very special events including bringing Leah Song from Rising Appalaichia to town and also the co-creation of Building Man, but 2020 for me has been grounding - literally, I got land! So 2020 was a constant reaffirmation that I made the right decision even though I knew this area in Costa Rica was always in my heart as I've been coming down for almost 10 years. 2020 was a wonderful year of getting to know so much. It's been a bit like attending University -- and I love attending University! It's "Plant U".
J: Tell us what you have learned so far?
KB: Well one of the first things we did, if you remember, was organizing a medicine making day. My co-creatrix, J, oh yeah that's you (wink wink with batty eyelashes), has an amazing Costa Rican plant bible book. It's actually quite small and short. Many of the plants are at your place, as you know, the Green Wave House. So it was easy to look through the book and identify ones we thought would be super-allies in immune support for respiratory illnesses and viruses and then we went to work! We called over many ladies in our community of Rancho Delicioso and the surrounding area and made tinctures. I helped organize extra herbs like Gotu Kola from the main farm. I have always loved medicine making. I got a lot of experience actually when I was volunteering as a Water Protector at Standing Rock but those were completely different plants. This medicine making workshop we put together on the fly helped jumpstart my understanding like a super-accelerated college course!
J: We are in shift and I know you are dedicated to documenting your process as you steward the land and develop your dream eco-castle. Tell us more about that.
KB: Well well well, I JUST got my first container in! It will be a two container eco-castle made with as much reused materials as possible. And yeah you know me, documenting this project will be SUPER important. As Green Wave says, we want to inspire waves of change by becoming a the example for a sustainable future. I lived in New York City for a long time and that city has the other half of my heart. As a previous city girl, I am learning. There is great power I see in recording the process of the journey that I am already embarking on and so I will be starting a Patreon campaign soon to help me fund the building of my eco-castle. My supporters will get first access to all the zany content I create as we adventure together through this process. Supporters will be guaranteed super sparkly but also super informative videos to help others, maybe also from New York City, to start their own farm or urban permaculture journey. Whether you are new to the game, a veteran, or from the city and wanting to make the shift in the way I have, you will love the journey I will take you on. I mean, come on, it's me.
J: Let's talk Rancho Delicioso and the land you got here.
KB: Rancho Delicioso is an awesome developing eco-village in the Nicoya Peninsula. We have 8 families so far of full time residents. There are cool features like a rentable container home, a rentable tree house, the "River Palace" or like your husband likes to call it the "Hula Rocket" available for retreats, a beautiful communal yoga/ movement shala, a community restaurant and boutique, and an upcoming digital nomad space. Most of our lots are already sold though we have a few left. We also have several more families getting ready to make their moves to start their build. Super exciting and I am so proud to call you my neighbors. Thank you for helping pioneer this amazing future village! So THE LAND... it wasn't even for sale I just walked it and I felt the magic right away. It spoke to me and so I had to speak to the founder of the farm and convince him this piece, that was going to remain "green zone", was the one I knew I belonged to. I think that conversation went something like this "Geoff, please, I KNOW I am the steward of this land". Anyway, the reason I fell IN LOVE with this property were the specific trees who live there! I am SO IN LOVE!!! There is one in particular that I developed a relationship with right away. I call her "Mama Shadow" and she creates this incredible shady refuge up against the ravine. Seriously, it is 20 degrees cooler under her. It is an obvious sacred space for serious contemplations. In fact, before I had the conversation with Geoff I had actually set up a meditation temple spot under her to manifest the acquisition of this piece. After I was given the blessing that I could indeed steward this property, I planted a line of psycotropic trees in front of Mama Shadow so that we "end" with her, the Maestress of Integration. I visit her often to listen to her whispers.
J: So far, at Rancho Delicioso, I would say you have the most guapinol trees out of all the lots. We could almost call you "Lady Guapinol". Please educate our audience about this fantastic tree.
KB: Let's put it this way. It was considered more important than gold to the indigenous tribes of the area (the Chortega, I believe). They are slow growing but live for a long time. It grows from Mexico down to South America. Some people know this tree as "stinking toe". I think it smells like blue cheese. Anyway I'm learning how to process it and what to do with it but the reputation it has for being good for the body comes with a long list of benefits. I know it's high in iron and I can't wait to figure out how to keep our community healthy with the giant-beanpod-fruit-gift from this tree.
J: Let's touch on "listening to the land". It's a concept that some people have heard of and others not. You mentioned Mama Shadow whispers to you. For me, "listening to the land" is intuitive knowing. Neither visual nor auditory but like a clear thought stream that seems inspired not a product of normal thinking. Can you explain what listening to the land means to you?
KB: I'll start with an example. I was on my property with J. We were "walking the land" which is often a first step, pun intended, in listening to the land. We saw a structure in the distance that seemed strange to us. Rancho Delicioso is a developing eco-village, we thought we should know if one of our neighbors had recently built a structure. As we were trying to figure out what it was, I had this feeling that we should walk toward the ravine. As we did, I started to see a pathway open up for us. As we got into the ravine I then was shown what looked like a carved out path. We decided to take it. As we came up the other side of the ravine, we noticed we came out onto a decorated path. "There's a path here!", I shouted to J. As she, well you, came up to see it you realized we were on your property and you started laughing. "This is a path to nowhere that I planted last rainy season". So maybe this is also a lesson in destiny, but basically the land showed me how the land I steward connects to the land my best friends steward."
So going back to my process for listening to the land. For me it starts with no expectations and a sense of collaboration as I open my heart to connect with the land. It's not always about inspired images that pop into your mind or audible whispers you may hear, it's sometimes sitting with a plant or a place and just observing. It's about trying to understand it from its perspective. How the elements interact with it. What the relationship is with the surrounding environment. It's about forming a deep heartfelt connection with that relationship. When you decide to steward property or even if you have a piece of property you alreaady have and you just want to put in a small garden, it's about understanding where the sun hits at different times of the day, understanding the rain cycle, understanding all the different flora and fauna beings that are already there and then trying to understand their purpose. Sometimes we come in with ideas of what we want and then if we pay attention on a deep level, we will be shown how to do it in the best way possible.
J: Not everyone will be able or willing to leave the city life and do what we are doing. What thoughts do you have to offer to those who choose to stay more urban?
KB: We've been disconnected for so long we don't even realize how destructive we are with what we might consider simple everyday habits.
The first thing I would recommend is to just go out and make a more regular practice of visiting a natural setting or nature reserve. Spend the whole day. Put away your electronic devices. No screen time. You don't need to take photos. Observe and see if you can "hear" the voices that are speaking to you and in both audible and inaudible ways. I think a lot of it is an opening up your heart and mind. This is necessary training if you want to tend land in the future.
J: What other suggestions do you have for city dwellers who have an interest in urban permaculture?
KB: Collaborate with other people or projects! It's so easy now to find ways to do this by using the technology we are on all the time anyway. You can find those that are near you who have the same interests say in conservation, land stewardship, organic food, or permaculture. Since I used to be a "city bunny" I used to have the excuse for so long like "I live in the city so I can't connect with Nature". I didn't think I could take care of plants. But we can! You can actually start in the city. You can introduce plants into your home. Or there are community gardens and vertical gardening. I mean, there's all sorts of ways to get involved. It's probably a great way to be social right now and possibly get some fresh air. I think it's really super important to start taking care of plants in some capacity now if you have any desire to one day return to the land in the future. We see people coming down here from the city and they are bringing their city mindset and habits.
J: If someone is moving down and they don't have experience with the land or plants, what is some advice you might give them?
KB: Please please please keep the trees! This is the Lorax speaking. Seriously, trees are our teachers. They provide so many benefits. You can read an amazing article I'll make sure we attach to this interview about all the benefits that trees provide. My advice is when you are looking for land that you envision your development plans in collaboration with the natural topography, you know, what is happening on the land as it is. This is very permaculture. We want to work around trees not cut them down. Just in the last year I have seen a lot of people from my beloved New York coming down, buying large pieces of land and then engaging in tree slaugher! Yeah maybe they're putting up a wellness retreat center for yoga but they're still cutting down trees for a capitalistic gain and what kind of holistic mentality is that anyway? It's out of alignment. We all need to make a shift towards conservation and teach each other. Collaboration with Nature is where its all at. Everything really does start with with Mother Earth.
J: What else is exciting for you coming up within the next year?
KB: Envision Festival 2022! I have been producing, performing and curating epic experiences at this amazing Costa Rican festival for 10 years straight! This year we are unveiling my favorite project yet... ‘Mermaid Tank’! Think ‘Shark Tank’ style live show, bringing funding to eco- projects and regenerative solutions to Costa Rica. I will be combining all of my favorite super powers performance art, mind blowing production, mermaid entertainment, celebrity panel and philanthropic action to inspire conscious crowds to pay attention to solutions for the Earths greatest needs.
J: How can people support you?
KB: Follow all my handles, of course. Stay tuned for my upcoming Patreon campaign. And definitely check out my AH-MAZE-ING Spectrum Therapy Mats. They're like those on Goop but better and I have several VIP and celebrity clients who are loving them. If you are in the market for recycled bottle yoga pants, you can buy them here from my store boutique.
Written by J