People Planting Paradise: Stephan Reeve on Maui
In October 2001 I made my 3rd trip to Maui to visit my good friend, dedicated horticulturist, and tree planter, Stephan Reeve, who, like me, is a long-time health and raw-organic foods enthusiast. His “Fruition” orchard-farm project is an inspiring ecological model.
This evolving Garden of Eden models the kind of conscious and natural human-Earth symbiosis which can enable us to outgrow our parasitic habits born of real or imagined threats of scarcity, hunger, and related fears; a symbiosis whereby people, like Stephan and co-workers, understand that giving wisely and generously to the living soil-Earth system initiates the powerful process of Earth Regeneration. Earth revitalizing and regenerating its health and fertility is Earth freed to give generously back to us, to all creatures, all the innate nourishment and beauty of this Paradise planet. “Heaven on Earth,” as I clearly saw at Fruition, is really not just a utopian or distant dream–it is an ever-present potential awaiting release, as soon as people learn to give to Nature all She needs, and to receive all She abundantly gives in return.
How did Stephan come to this co-creative relationship with Nature? Like many who experience the purity of body, clarity of mind, and closeness to Nature that go with the raw food diet, he dreamed of living on the land — “where Man belongs” — as British naturalist H. J. Massingham titled one of his mid-20th Century books. (“Man” being comprised of female and male, naturally.) After serving “apprenticeships” on various organic farms and moving to Hawaii in 1993, the opportunity arose in 1997 for him to adopt 11 acres of Maui land overlooking the Pacific, on the slopes of the Haleakala volcano.
My first visit was in May 1997, a month after he’d moved there. A small house and a scattering of predominantly “invasive” trees and groves, plus massive elder mangos, grass, and weeds, were about all that was present upon arrival. I enjoyed helping dig the first circle garden and ditches for water and phone lines, knowing that much living beauty and health was to spring forth there in time.
Four years later, Stephan (with help from a number of people) had brought in about 20 tons of Canadian glacial and Hawaiian basalt rock dust to remineralize the soil, planted about 200 fruit and nut trees, plus many other ornamental and edible trees, palms, and other plants, and had installed a solar system for all their electrical and hot water needs. A painstaking job of careful weeding and planting of perennial peanut in and around the orchards has resulted in a permanent, lovely green carpet of soil-holding, weed-suppressing, bare feet-massaging groundcover.
Many who’ve seen this model “health orchard” are inspired to do similar work on lands around the Hawaiian Islands and beyond, from remineralizing and using perennial peanut to growing an amazing diversity of orchard trees, both common and rare, such as atemoya, abiu, avocado, banana, canistel, citrus, coconut, dragon fruit, durian, jakfruit, lychee, macadamia, mango, mangosteen, papaya, mamey sapote, white sapote … and we might add: “you name it!” A vegetable garden supplies a diversity of raw salad vegetables.
The rock dust and compost fertilization and soil-building system helps all the plants and their produce to reach toward their ultimate potentials in quantity and, most importantly, quality of growth, fruitfulness, and health-building nutrient compounds. Not to mention “Great Taste” and “More Filling!”
In such a Paradisiacal environment, the conventional notion that it is “hard” to live healthfully and happily on a raw food diet becomes somewhat laughable. When all these young trees, and more being planned and nurtured in the large greenhouse, really come into “serious” bearing, it will be an explosion of Nature’s beautiful expressions of giving and multiplying, in fruitfulness and joy, to support the complete happiness of living. Here is the positive, proactive solution to 99% of Earth’s problems–mainly caused by obsolete “Man vs. Nature” and “ism vs. ism” paradigms of violence — with plenty of leisure time left over to work on the other 1%. Just a few of the problems I saw solved (or prevented entirely) at Fruition: soil depletion and erosion; loss of tree cover, biodiversity, and wildlife habitat; CO2 buildup and loss of our favorable interglacial climate (if such regenerative practices are embraced worldwide); malnutrition, sickness, degeneration, insanity, crime, terrorism, and war (on ourselves, the animals and all Nature, future generations).
It was my privilege to contribute to the farm’s and planet’s future by spreading an additional 20 pounds of gravel dust around each fruit tree in this Orchard of Eden. In this warm and moist sub-tropical climate, the resulting growth of foliage and luscious, mineralized, health-transforming fruits should be spectacular. Strong advocate of rock dusting that I am, I was glad to order another round of dust for the orchard, and I was even stronger after two days of carrying and spreading about 20 pounds or more of dust around each established fruit tree.
While we may not all be able to live where the durians and mangos grow ’round our door, we can still try to grow our own Garden of Eden as a gift to Life and our local planet, and allow Life to share its gifts with us. Life giving to Life in an endless cycle is, for each of us, “the opportunity of a lifetime.” For example, although I live on a 1.5 acre Northern California property with limited growing spaces, I’ve been able to plant about 35 fruit trees so far, including apricots, apples, Asian pear, cherries, figs, grapefruit, lemon, lime, loquat, mulberry, nectarine, oranges, peaches, pears, persimmons, pomegranate, and plums. Also growing are grapes, blackberries, strawberries, and wild plums. Two small vegetable gardens produce lots of tomatoes, greens, cucumbers, and a variety of other vegetables and flowers. While the food produced is not yet enough to supply most of the produce needs of myself and four others who share the property, the fertility and quantity grows each year and the quality, due to generous application of the “original fertilizers” of gravel dust and compost, is consistently excellent.
I encourage you to join this most serious work and greatest fun of helping Regenerate the Earth, whether on the smallest of garden spots or the largest of farms, orchards, or forest lands. Considering the sad state of Mother Earth: she urgently needs us all, and who can doubt that we all urgently need what a truly healthy Earth can provide us for personal and societal health, sanity, and happiness. Who is ready for the fulfillment of “Peace on Earth?” Everyone who is ready to experience true health and inner peace, I would think.
For more information on soil remineralization and Earth Regeneration (as I’ve also written about in past issues of Living Nutrition), you could start at Joanna Campe’s website, www.remineralize.org, where I offer two books, The Survival of Civilization by John Hamaker and myself, and To Love And Regenerate The Earth, which I’ve written and compiled over the last four years in an effort to convince everyone, including the world’s scientists and political representatives, that Earth Regeneration and eco-climatic stabilization has become, most probably, a “now or never” choice for humanity.
If you’d like to contact Stephan Reeve, and thank him for doing such beautiful work on behalf of us all, I suggest you e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don Weaver is a lifelong student of health and life, a gardener, ecologist, researcher, writer, and speaker in advocacy of Earth Health Regeneration. In 2002, Don celebrated being very healthy for 25 years on 100% raw plant foods. He is available to assist others with our collective work of human and planetary health transformation, and encourages the formation of Earth Regeneration Centers everywhere. To contact Don: email@example.com, or Earth Health Regeneration, P. O. Box 620478, Woodside, CA 94062 USA.
About Rock Dust
Rock dust, along with water and atmospheric gases, has been the primary natural food of soil and water microorganisms since they began creating Earth’s first World Wide Web about 3.5 billion years ago. Mixed rocks such as river and glacial gravels, along with basaltic rocks mixed in the molten interior, generally insure the broad, balanced spectrum of over 90 minerals shown to promote outstanding health and longevity, the Hunza and Vilcabamba valleys being examples of such potential “Shangri-Las.”
The ethical and ecosystematic contrast between the practice of generously providing the soil-life system with approximately 92 mineral elements of Earth’s crust, and the unnatural attempts to “improve on” (short-circuit) Nature via incomplete and imbalancing chemical “fertilizers” is self-evident. So is the contrast between the health of plants with fully nourished systems of hormone, enzyme, vitamin, sugar, and protein synthesis, and the fields of ignorance where sick, stressed, low-nutrient content plants are doused with biocides to “protect” them from Nature’s recycling teams of insects and disease. I hope you’ll personally experience the contrast in taste between average chemically-forced, or even average organic, produce, and the deeply satisfying mineralized-organic produce. The increasing experience of vitality from eating–perhaps for the first time?–healthful, delicious, and beautiful real food may be physiologically enlightening for you, as it was, and is, for me.
Along with analytical evidence over many decades showing soil and food depletion at the root of these contrasts, you may find out for yourself that “the proof is in the eating.” Naturally, the better the taste and nutritional qualities of real, mineralized produce, the less people will feel a “need” to cook, spice, and otherwise “flavor” or “prepare” them. Why not cooperate with the natural design on Earth via total-replenishment soil care to prepare produce right the first time, enabling that master solar chef, Mother Nature, to grow and ripen our natural foods to perfection?
As awareness grows about the foundational need of soil remineralization for Earth Regeneration and concomitantly, for human health and survival, commercial sources of rock dust are increasing. Many nurseries and especially organic gardening suppliers carry good products like Spiral Stonemeal, Azomite, and Summa Minerals (a.k.a. Agro-Winn), among others. Local gravel pits are also likely to carry rock dust, or as it is also known, “crusher dust,” “gravel crusher screenings,” or “rock fines.” While it may not all be as fine as “dust” — material approximately small enough to pass a 200-mesh screen — it should be valuable and inexpensive if about 20% or more will pass 200-mesh. Personnel at the gravel pit should know the particle-size range. Much more info and a growing list of rock dust sources worldwide is at www.remineralize.org. You may state your needs now at the web site forum, and I welcome your inquiries for leads to sources in your area. Good actions bring good harvests!
This article appeared in Living Nutrition Magazine, Vol. 13.