I am here to initiate a dialogue with any folks who are interested in entering a joint community-building venture on the Big Island of Hawaii. The community model we have in mind is a low impact, permaculture based eco-village divided into separate, manageably sized (~2.5 acres each) homestead plots tended by individuals/families/couples, centering around a small area (~10 acres) of community-shared land. The shared portion of land will house a community center (and possibly other community shared & supported facilities, such as pastureland for horses, a gym, etc), which members can utilize for both individual and collective efforts. The inspiration is to generate 100% of food and energy from these intensively managed, small individual plots, with the (eventual) surplus being directed into income-generating opportunities. We feel confident that this model of eco-village is the wave of the future, as it allows for both maximum personal freedom and sovereignty (design your own homestead layout, choose your own plantings, design/choose/build your own housing, and so on), as well as valuable community support and collaboration, skill- and resource-sharing.
We are currently looking at a $750,000 property of around 56 acres, bordering Waiakea Forest Reserve, about 15 miles south of Hilo. There is a house on the property which would be converted into the first community building. The land is mostly pasture right now (irrigated), fenced into several paddocks, with a small orchard in need of some tlc, consisting of many different exotic species. The climate receives an annual rainfall of about 150 inches, which is a lot, so bear that in mind if you are interested and not yet familiar with the area. The temperatures stay between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit all year round.
At this stage, we are looking to build an interest list of persons who are aligned with our goals, values, and vision, and who have the financial capability to carry their share of the land payments. This means having a significant sum of cash for a down payment (we project around $9000 per member) and a means to contribute a minimum of $300 per month to the land payment (with a portion being used for community infrastructure development). This is based on a conventional 15 year mortgage from a bank with a 20% cash down payment upfront. I want to be specific and upfront about the financial aspect of this endeavor because I have encountered many (especially young) permaculture practitioner with a lot of energy, ideas, and enthusiasm (which is wonderful and welcomed) and at the same time, little capital. We are anticipating recruiting about 18 individuals/couples/families (including ourselves, a couple) to live, design, and work/play on their own plots and share in some level of community activities. Having said that, here are some of the ideas we have for the development of the land:
-Primary food production system is small individual food forests/forest gardens and perennial crops
-A vegetarian, plant-based based dietary focus
-Flexibility on the part of all involved, especially when it comes to working with and/or around permits, zoning laws, land use, etc. for creating housing & infrastructure
-Willingness and desire on the part of all involved to live, promote, and perhaps teach the permaculture principles
-An interest and focus on personal health, development, and pursuit of knowledge and skills
-Some level of spiritual practice/awareness/philosophy that can be individual and based partially on earth stewardship
-Open mindedness in regards to the beliefs and practices of others
-"Alternative," natural, low-impact housing (yurts, domes, bamboo, tiny homes, local resources)
-A family-based value system that recognizes and embraces children as the future stewards of our beautiful Earth
-A minimization of technological, mechanical inputs and systems, and a focus on organic, holistic systems
-A philosophy of community interdependence and co-empowerment
-A focus on living a natural lifestyle and encouraging our development into fully conscious, purpose driven human beings embracing our relationships with all life
-A shift away from fossil fuels (automobiles, tractors, energy grid) and toxic technology (television, portable devices, etc) and into responsible technologies, and even better, independence from technology
-Hyper-diversity of plant species and conservation of rare, endangered, and exotic species
-Providing ecological niches for all forms of wildlife
If this sounds of interest to you, and/or there are people you know who may be interested in the project, and/or you have other networks of people you are involved with who may have an interest in the project, please send me a private message so we can start e-mail and phone conversations on how best to move forward, deal with financial and legal issues, and begin the land acquisition process. Mahalo and many blessings!
I think it would have been much better if Newton had contemplated how the apple got up there in the first place!
Hello Johnathan, how do we exchange contact info? We are a small family from California with plans to relocate to the big island to live the principles of permaculture in an Eco village type setting.
We will be there to visit 12/2-12/8 to visit, and plan to move 9/2015.
We would like to meet connect and see your land.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Regards