Creating Eco-Village

My mother had a children's art program in Winnipeg when I was a child. She tried out all kinds of creative techniques on my siblings and me before she found students from a local classroom to demonstrate the technique live on TV.  (There was no TV recording in the 1960s)  As a result, my brother, sister and I are familiar with lots of ways of doing magic.  It took me quite a while before I realized that not everyone was as familiar with turning things imagined into physical reality. All the same, anyone can.

Imagine living where a full spectrum of nutritious foods can be sustained by working with the natural cycles of nearby soils and where comfortable shelter can be fashioned from on-site forests, earth and sunshine. This is our Eco-Village vision. We are looking for others to build it with.

The challenge is to create the infrastructure for such living. It's not so much about knowing what can be done, as it is about organizing the cooperative effort to draw the vision into material form.

Due to the minimalist approach at the core of eco-living, the infrastructure is less complicated than what is required for a consumer lifestyle. Nevertheless, gardens need to be initiated, nutrient cycles set in motion, buildings built, and food systems established. The spaces will need to be equipped with furniture and utensils and the wherewithal established to keep everything clean. While some of these things can be collected from the over-productive world around us, much will have to manifest through the channels that lead from imagination to three-dimensional reality.

There are numerous skills to be learned as we groom the forest, convert logs into boards, boards into buildings and furniture, rocks into masonry structures, and preserve, store and prepare food grown from the soil in our care. Add to this the knack of restoring broken things and we'll be well on our way toward better living.

Eco-Villages aren't available in catalogues to be selected and purchased in the way that most things are in the consumer world. We will have to make them ourselves. While there will be items that we have to select and buy, the bulk of the envisioned reality needs to be created.

Magic is causing things to happen in accordance with one's will.

If one wants a peanut butter sandwich, for example; one must first have a vision of such a sandwich.  Once the vision is in one's imagination/heart/mind, one can picture what it will take to create it: bread, peanut butter, a knife to cut the bread and one suitable for spreading peanut butter.  Maybe a cutting board and a plate.  Then one must take the physical steps of cutting the bread and spreading the peanut butter.  AlaKazam! – a peanut butter sandwich.

While there is nothing supernatural about making a peanut butter sandwich, the process is magic.  Through the application of will over time, that which was imagined becomes real.

What applies to a sandwich applies to gardens, buildings, villages and civilizations.  They differ only in scale. The larger the scale the more people, material and time needed.

On our Open House tours, I often stop at the irrigation tower and explain that only $5 worth of hardware was needed to create it.  A few summers back it was so dry that we had to use water from our well to keep the garden growing. Instead of running the cold water directly onto the plants, I built a six-foot tower to hold a dark barrel where water could warm up.  The structure consists of cedar poles from the back woods, a hand full of lag-bolts from the hardware store and a vision/design.  Once the materials were assembled, it took only a few hours of cutting, notching and drilling before it could be bolted together.  The barrel was filled at the end of the day so that the water could absorb heat from the warm night air and the next day's sunshine. AlaKazam! – warm running water for our parched garden every evening until the rains returned.

Would you like to live in an Eco-Village? Together we can build one.

Not only can we enjoy the thrill of bringing such habitation into existence, we can benefit from the practicalities of living with a perpetual supply of quality, local food, homes that keep warm and cool without imported energy and community life; all while stepping away from the waste and dangers of the conspicuous consumer world.

Are you with us ?