So I'm sure this is a common dream in these forums - get a bunch of friends/cool people together, buy a big piece of land, grow food and be self-sustaining, life off-grid, develop some kind of community. I'm trying to figure out how to do this, what steps to take, what things I need to consider.
My question is, what order do you start building in? Do you find people and funds first, then look for land that suits your needs and budget? Or do you sketch out the framework for what you want to build (physically and community-wise) to figure out what you need to be budgeting for, then seeking "investors"/community-members who buy into your vision?
Obviously people will have less direct input in the latter scenario, but we all know how group projects go and I'm afraid that nothing will move if I get a bunch of people together and it's too vague. That's kind of where I'm at now (big ideas, lots of talking/daydreaming, and no pragmatic steps taken), and I'm tired of waiting for other people to DO SOMETHING, so I'm leaning towards trying to take action and get this going myself in the hopes that people will be interested if they see things happening.
I had this same predicament a few years ago and based upon experience applying a zoning mentality to this kind of vision is the sanest approach, for me at least, cause they depend on a zillion factors specific to you and where you are that you will start to solve only when the jump from dreaming to action is made and applying permaculture design is always the best way to go ;)
Find a core, a zone 0, your home and center, define the principles which will determine everything and be very honestly crude with yourself before involving other people and what kind of community you want to create and be a part of, whats acceptable for you and what not? include the time factor and if its going to be a life long term project generate the necessary filters that you need. Start with yourself and create a design that works for you and this will dictate a framework that will attract the right people if that’s the case. Also know that the bigger the group, the site, and the intention the more you have to consider and solve, but hey that’s part of the fun too.
By doing this you will also narrow a bunch of technical aspects that will solve almost by themselves. Like with zoning you start expanding from that core out and solving with good design the needs that start sprouting to then start interconnecting them: from land search filtering (in my case I don’t like the cold and a tropical warm setting was a must for me) to budget (do you want to deal with the maintenance of a big site ie finding And generating more resources? Just the fencing factor for example exponentially grows with the size of the property and this will determine the budget too) to every other aspect.
In any case, jumping into it is always scary but usually its all that’s required.
Hi Cam Lee,
I think it's good to spread a wide net and just go for it... I am looking to do something similar here in northern Alberta and also decided not to just sit and wait and see if I found the right off-grid community and place, which might take forever. So I just posted some online ad's myself, including here on permies, and now I'll see what responses I might get. I have been, and still am, looking for a piece of land to maybe buy myself (then hope to find like minded others to join me), I've also looked at other people's land who want me to join them on it in exchange for some community work... and whilst I am pursuing various avenues, what I'm hoping for is that one 'thread' will become the clear one to put more energy into and will become something that could work out and come together kind of organically. There are so many variable factors and I'd rather take action now than wait and get my plan all picture perfect before acting at all.
Hope this makes some sense to you and wishing you the best of luck in your endeavours!
“Respond to every call that excites your spirit.” - Rumi
I am one of those who would come, but I want the hands on approach, where I would work on having the vegetation grow, for the things needed for food and materials. I would not be using animals still, and not take further from the environment, beyond having a home and the vegetation I would have growing provided for this, and I bring seeds with me for this. I just would still like community of people with this, but not be involved with any urban environment for that. firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Briggs wrote:Cam,
Where are you looking to start your Ecovillage?
I have some land and would welcome an ecovillage on it.
I'm currently living in Montréal, and would prefer something close by, but I haven't yet entertained the thought of moving elsewhere. I'm not super knowledgable about growing zones, but that would be a main consideration of mine. Let's exchange some purple moosages
Am I scavenger-hunting right?
This. Exactly this. This is what my therapist has been talking about. And now with a tiny ad: