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paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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- to strive for less than 1% of the toxicity found in an organic home

- At least ten miles away from a city to get away from the big brown cloud.

- less than 1% of the petroleum, paint and cement

- less than 1% of the carbon footprint

- less than 1% of the petroleum footprint

- less than 3% of the food comes from off-site

- on-site food is grown in polycultures without conventional or omri certified sprays

- home construction: 90% of the materials are found on-site

- big equipment might be used at the beginning, but then it becomes more of a bike/ped village

- heavy emphasis on a growies aesthetic

        o structures nearly invisible from space - just looks like plants

        o structures are nearly invisible from paths and roads - dominantly plants

        o it is as if people live within their gardens, or that people grew a home

        o earthen/green roofs

        o minimal solar panels

        o minimal greenhouse glass

        o lots of berms and twisty paths

- less than 1% of the garbage going to the dump



some plausible scenarios:


Emma has a large wofati. She has a magnificent kitchen and three tables. She makes it known that she is selling meals at fixed times. People come and eat or they don't. You could call it a restaurant if you want. Most people cook at home most of the time. Maybe Emma sends emails out with what the menu is for the day. She serves only village folk. Maybe Emma buys food, maybe she grows it herself.

Bert works about ten hours a week on his own business. He usually eats at Emma's. Ferd also raises guinea pigs and sells them to Emma and about once a month Emma's dinner is Cui.

Gert never eats at Emmas. She grows a LOT of food. She sells a fair bit of food to Emma, and to a few other people at the lab.

Barney has residual income streams and eats about 70% of the time at Emma's. Barney also likes to do green woodworking and sculpture. He might sell some stuff some day. Or not. He isn't too worried about it.

Kirk builds and sells a wofati each year. He usually eats dinner every night at Emma's. He sorta eats "snacks" the rest of the day - mostly stuff he has purchased from other people in the village that make canned goods, jerky and the like.

Jenny is 18 and offers a chop and drop service. She will come to your spot and go through your gardens doing a bit of chop and drop. So the stuff you want is encouraged and the stuff you don't want is discouraged. Jenny is renting a room in somebody else's wofati and is saving up to get her own spot.

Bobby has zero income. Bobby does zero work. Bobby has a deep roots package and Bobby does whatever seems cool all day, every day. Five years ago, Bobby built a humble wofati and some hugelkultur beds. Bobby has some money under the mattress from a long time ago, but Bobby has found a way of life that needs almost nothing. He might spend about $20 per month. At this rate it will be about ten years until he runs out of money. Bobby loves to read books and has quite a mountain. He trades books with others pretty regularly. He likes to play scrabble and chess with other folks. Once in a while he whittles something cool (not for sale, just to have such a cool thing). Bobby participates in potlucks a couple times a week - outside of that, most of his winter food is dehydrated.

Willa has a van and makes a trip to town about once a week.  She sometimes sets up a booth at the saturday market and sells some of her growies, and some of the growies of others.    She charges the others a few bucks to pick stuff up for them.   And she charges a few bucks to take people in to town and back.  About twice a month she rents her rig to somebody.  She grows a fair bit of food for the market and she is damn sharp at mending things, so she gets a bit of coin for her skills.  She has about $45,000 saved up and wants to start her own symboo village someday.



I am trying to word this so that this sort of thing could be anywhere.  Maybe ten years from now there could be a couple dozen symboo villages all over the world. 

This is not something for everybody.  This is something for, maybe, one person out of a million.  But with 7 billion people in the world, that means that 7000 people would grove on this.




 
Tracy Wandling
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Posts: 1663
Location: Cortes Island, British Columbia. Zone: 8ish Lat: 50; Rainfall: 50" ish; sand and rocks; well water
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I love it.
Just-my-mind.jpg
[Thumbnail for Just-my-mind.jpg]
Paul's mind - much like my own
 
r ranson
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Location: Left Coast Canada
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I would be Emma if I ever had an opportunity to live like that.  I've got the skills and I love to cook.

What a wonderful place.  It would be great fun to make it happen.  I like how everything is hidden and private.  It would be great to see how this idea can ​be adapted to different locations.
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 22362
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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When thinking about this, I think about the movie "The Village" where there is a few dozen people living far, far away from all the other people.
 
Tracy Wandling
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Location: Cortes Island, British Columbia. Zone: 8ish Lat: 50; Rainfall: 50" ish; sand and rocks; well water
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"Bobby has some money under the mattress from a long time ago, but Bobby has found a way of life that needs almost nothing. He might spend about $20 per month. At this rate it will be about ten years until he runs out of money."

Apparently Bobby is just hanging out, enjoying himself. He probably worked hard to save the money, and then worked hard to build his home and garden. Now he eats from his garden, preserves food for winter (apparently by dehydrating, according to Paul's scenario), and just takes in the beauty of the place and the serenity of village life.

I'd like to be Bobby some day.

Reading the scenario makes me feel very good. Some may see it as fanciful fiction that is unattainable. But I don't see it that way. There is absolutely no reason that this can't be a real life situation. No legitimate reason. Sure, there are ridiculous laws and bylaws, outrageous taxes, and downright stupid rules and regulations about what we can build and how we can live. But no legitimate reasons. And I don't think it's political. Disagreeing with the 'authorities' doesn't make me political, it makes me human. In my somewhat humble opinion.

The story is beautiful, and is just a different version of one I've played over and over in my own head.

"You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one."
 
David Livingston
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Location: Anjou ,France
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I think lots of what you are suggesting is happening plus other stuff too http://gen.ecovillage.org/en/article/what-ecovillage although maybe not all at the same time or place plus they have other ideas as well . I do think all these ideas will be tested by evolution - what works will last what doesnt will fade away so any attempts at being too prescriptive could fail in the long term .
Are you thinking of setting up a village at the base ?
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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David Livingston wrote:Are you thinking of setting up a village at the base ?


I think that what I am describing here is what I have been shooting for all along.  Only now I have written it down in a much clearer format than before.

 
Mark Tudor
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Location: SoCal USA
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I'm a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright's (FLW) architecture, and he also came up with a community design based on James Duff Law's term Usonian and Usonia, a better fitting name for the USA. Some of FLW's houses like Taliesin and Fallingwater blend into the landscape, and FLW also made various designs for planned community layouts. He effectively anticipated suburbs decades before they sprouted up, but instead of what we got (long commutes to work in city centers, and little access to services within walking distance of homes) FLW suggested a business hub in the center of a community, with homes built out around it on 1 acre lots with winding walking paths and roads that wind between them. No home is more than a mile or two from the community center, so everyone can walk to work. An excerpt from http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/usonia-1/ includes this description of the intent: "For Wright, housing the American people was a matter of individualization, mass-customization, rather than cookie-cutter mass-production . He saw America as a country of individuals, and his vision for the nation was one of decentralization, where people would spread out away from cities on private lots (a Utopian vision of suburbia), living independently, humbly, within nature." Usonia New York was built around some of these concepts.

I can see this working very well in a Permies sort of way, with a wofati on each acre, and hugelkultures providing both food and privacy from community walking paths, bike trails, and the few roads that might be needed. Covered bikes with carts>>>cars in most scenarios in my humble opinion, but such a community could include a car share/rental opportunity, perhaps a couple hundred inhabitants might find a couple cars handy, to rent by the hour or day to take a long distance trip or to haul something too heavy for bike transport. This could be located at one end of the community hub where deliveries arrive like outside mail and deliveries and borrowing one could be scheduled. Paths would have taller trees growing to shade pedestrians from too much sun, with perennial snacks for passerby to eat, and if thick enough even block some rain as they walk between home and one of the community kitchens for group meals, or a rec center where the kids gather for movie nights or other activities. Willow sculptures could be made to allow "fully enclosed" paths where winter snow can be avoided, and stronger structures like foot bridges made from woven living plants could cross the various streams that weave throughout the community and between the numerous ponds.

One of FLW's designs for minimizing wasted space for home plots was to place 4 houses on a shared wall shaped like a + and have a low wall or hedge extend out from each point and each has a driveway along a hedge for the car. This put all the remaining yard into a single space where it could be most efficiently used. I can't find an image of that design, but Price Tower's floor plan follows the same idea to a certain extent. I could see this being an option for combining multiple homes into a single structure, to also merge the remaining acreage for more efficient paddock shift systems, say several families are really into raising livestock, then they could share the duties this way and take turns with the duties, and if a given family took a vacation there is still 3 other families that know what to do on the same 4 acres to look after things. You could also have some set up for a single larger structure like community buildings, with more outdoor space around it for those community activities or perhaps market stalls where each person sets up to sell/trade.

Having some other system of "money" like Paul's fysh which could be used for tracking input/output, each person would have a balance available to them. Perhaps a new person/family joins the community and they can convert money into fysh, as the money will be needed to pay those pesky property taxes and insurance on rental cars etc. Then the newcomers can either use their fysh to purchase an available wofati or have one built, and then start producing things the community wants to buy with fysh or live as independently as they wish. Maybe they arrive with a pension or receive dividends, and they will just convert that cash into fysh as needed to buy what they don't produce on their own. Or they work with others to earn fysh that way.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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The above writings about FLW reminded me somehow of something. In North Vancouver, I met a guy who invited me to his place for tea. He gave me the address and it was in a place called Ashley Close. I had never heard of a place called a close before, but he told me that it was an English term, used in modern times to mean a street that does not go through. Generally in Canada, such streets are called Cul de sac. But, then he went on to say that the name originated in medieval times when a street that was once a thoroughfare has had so much refuse deposited in it that it is no longer traversable by cart, and thus became closed, or a Close. Close's, he continued, were often not reputable places to hang out, and as such were often the home of non conformists of various persuasions. I immediately envisioned that the medieval refuse mounds would have been full of broken wooden furniture, tattered rugs, buckets of excrement, and all the other great things that could potentially make up decent hugulkultur! So the Close, in my fairy tale, could become a garden, where a street once was. In regards to the FLW post reminding it,

    I can see this working very well in a Permies sort of way, with a wofati on each acre, and hugelkultures providing both food and privacy from community walking paths, bike trails, and the few roads that might be needed.


I see that maybe on a 1 acre parcel, the outer fringes could be surrounded by small wofatis with an inner courtyard that is all a bungle of hugulkulur gardens. Each little acre circle would be a close unto itself. A larger acreage could have many such mini hugul hamlets
 
His brain is the size of a cherry pit! About the size of this ad:
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