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What would your dream ecovillage look like?  RSS feed

 
master steward
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The Biodome Chronicles got me thinking and dreaming about what my dream ecovillage would look like. I thought this might be a fun mental exercise for everyone else, too!

This is totally a DREAM ecovillage. It doesn't have to be very realistic! Who would you have in your ecovillage? Where would it be? How would it operate?

 
Nicole Alderman
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pollinator
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I would want a bunch of people from the permies community in my ecovillage, because it would great to have people with a similar knowledge base and somewhat similar interests, but also good to have people with interests outside of my own interests so that many different areas be can delved into and worked on. So, I guess I'm getting at that i want people with overlapping interests and knowledge to myself but not complete 100% overlaps.

I'm not sure where I would want it to be, because there are soo many advantages and disadvantages to any different region or location that I could pick. There would, of course, be plenty of opportunities for projects no matter where the ecovillage grows. On a mountainside sounds like it would be awesome, considering the wonders sepp holzer does in the mountains! But I also like the the idea of a seaside tropical location, because of Hawaiian aquaculture and the possibility of doing permaculture both several stories up into the jungle with a many layered food forest and several stories below with a kelp forest and permaculture beneath the waves.

I am thinking that the independent-consensus-dictator hybrid that Paul talks about his podcasts (037 and 042) would be the model I would be most comfortable with. I appreciate the dynamic nature and effectiveness that comes with the model as Paul has been describing it. Most people can do what they within the rules set forward, and they bring up issues with the people they think will object and work it out separately without invoking consensus. then, when consensus is needed it gets invoked. And when trouble happens or stuff needs to get sorted out that consensus has trouble handling, the dictator steps in and sets everything back into order. I think this model is what I would be able to live within most comfortably and effectively. I would get the benefit of small group dynamics and being able to do my own things independently, which mostly how I like to do things and how I like to interact with people. I'd probably be a little annoyed or shy when consensus is invoked, because I do not handle large groups of people well. And a dictator is something I could probably be okay with, too. I appreciate having an authority figure here and there, because I really don't like conflict or being personally involved with conflict with other people. So, having an authority figure I could raise issues up to is something I would like. And if I'm not receiving orders ALL the time, and the dictator is generally reasonable, then, yeah, I'm going to be fine with taking those orders. And Paul's talked about a dictator in disguise of sorts of a charismatic older woman in a community who, when she spoke, everyone just automtically agreed with her or waited until she returned for any problems that were arising in the community. This kind of "dictator" is also someone I would probably get along with and obey. I'm not sure how I would handle being a dictator myself, because I rather despise people who seek authority or are in authority. So, being an authority-figure would make me uncomfortable. Now, if it I was a dictator doing the Lead by Example (or Lead from the Front), like in community service or business, that is something I would be comfortable with. Because I would much rather live out and act out my values and be proof of what I speak and get people to do what I want by being an example of what I am talking about, than argue or demand people to do what I believe. It is so much more natural and convincing for others when they have direct immediate and tangible proof of a concept. So, Lead from the Front is the only kind of dictator I could be.
 
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A village is 100 to 1000 people, so I am going to have my village cap at the often quoted magical number of 250 people.
About 50 house with an avg of 5 people (2 kids, two adults and an elder).
Each house will provide a service, so the main services will be.

Dictator/Village Chief/Judge/Wealth Manager/Banker
The Expert that run the village biz.
Physical Healer/Medicine
Spiritual Healer/Priest/Shrink
The scribe/clerk/record keeper
The Underground/Barkeep
The Enforcer
The Merchant (new money)
The Communication (Post Office/Internet/etc)
Jack of all trade fixer upper/uber guy
The Black Sheep, that everyone talks about shaking their head.

I would like everyone household to have
House (1st floor workshop, 2nd Floor living quarters)
Greenhouse, Herbs, Fruit Trees, Nuts, Mushroom, Tubers, BeeHive, Pond with fish
Cistern(RainWater, spring, well), GreyWater System, rocket stove/Oven/Heater, Solar Panel
Hybrid Learning (Unschooling/Distant Leaving/Online Learning/Play-Project Groups)
Main Transport Electric Bike/Walk

I want folks to spend 12 of their 16 waking hours doing stupid stuff (hobbies/sports/fights/gossiping/TV/Book/new random skill)
And only 4hours going work/school.

Clothing, communication, and other consumables would probably have to be imported, so the village will have to collectively 'export' something.
I am not too sure what the village could export?

Eco-Tourism, Be educators, be creators/inventors, entertainers (books, spoken word, songs, game-creators) Online Translation Service/Remote Coder/Helpdesk?

I wonder what public works project we could do?
Roads, Swales, Reforestation, Bio-char, Research, Stocking the ponds/lakes/forest so that we can wild harvest later.

 
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Maybe I am OCD but my ecovillage would be extremely clean and well organized. Something like a Shaker Village only without the religion. It would include people skilled in old time methods of doing everything. People would have numerous skills. There would really be no room for people who only want to do art, sculpture, or play music. All people must have a minimum of 2 skills that contribute to the basic sustainability of the group or be willing to learn. There can be no waste and that includes resources and people. Yes, music is important. Yes, art is important, however, putting food on the table, clothes on our backs and a roof over our head is far more important. In my ecovillage there will be no organized religion. What you do in your own home is your business but I would prefer zero religious beliefs. All religion does is cause conflict. I don’t think it would be such a bad idea to live in a village modeled on the one in the movie The Village (minus the monsters in the woods).
 
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Interesting and thought provoking topic. I have not yet read Jesikah Sundin's Biodome Chronicles but look forward to doing so. I am struggling to find a way to discuss this without veering into politics.
 
S Bengi
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To me an eco-village is all about the human side of stuff and less about building the soil/swales.
So share your human stories, the conflicts rules, social norms, and politics and it's fiction so even drop in some religious wars recruit some crusaders, lol.

I like it that 'my fictional ecovillage' would have electrical devices so that they can pump water vs sending the women for a 6hr hike to get a jar of water.
But by having pumps/blenders/tv/computers, that require parts that are not built onsite, we end up having to trade alot.
The same goes for education and entertainment. I wish the houses could be more self-reliant and import less (both from the community and externally thru amazon/etc)

I could probably easily add a shoe-maker and a dress-maker, but a cloth maker still seems hard to do.
I could give everyone 2acres of land with 3 sheep getting the extra acre so that we would have a source of milk+wool+leather.
Or maybe could have a community sheep farm.

I like the idea of almost everything being done at the house, aka make your own coffee vs going to local starbucks.
And if it is to be social make it a potluck vs restaurant.

Everyone should be able to change a tire vs going to a mechanic, everyone should be able to read vs going to a only educated guy.
But with 12 hours of free time (due to our electronic slaves like pumps, automatic feeders, electric fence, etc) we will still have people learning alot of different specialized hobbies/skill/education.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1759
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Food: $7,203, which can be further broken down into $4,049 of food at home and $3,154 on food away from home.
Alcoholic beverages: $484.
Housing: $18,886, which includes mortgage payments or rent, property taxes, maintenance, utilities, household services and products, furnishings and appliances. On a monthly basis, this implies that the average household spends $1,573 on all of these expenses combined.
Apparel and services: $1,803.
Transportation: $9,049. In addition to the cost of vehicles, this includes gasoline, finance charges, maintenance, insurance and public transportation expenses.
Health care Co-Pay: $4,612, which includes the cost of health insurance, medical services, prescription drugs as well as other medical supplies. (Employer Pay another $14,000)
Entertainment: $2,913. This includes in-home entertainment costs, as well as outside-the-home entertainment ventures. Certain other expenses, such as your pets, are included here.
Personal care products and services: $707.
Reading: $118.
Education: $1,329.
Tobacco products and supplies: $337.
Miscellaneous: $959.
Cash contributions (charity, for example): $2,081.
Saving/Other: $6,863
Personal insurance and pensions: $6,831. The largest expense in this category is Social Security payroll tax, but life insurance premiums and pension contributions are also included.
Personal taxes: $10,489, which includes the average household's $8,367 federal income tax bill, as well as state and local income taxes.
Total Pre-tax Household Income: $74,664



I am currently thinking of ways do more of these locally at the homestead site and outsource/import as few as possible from the community (eco-village/amazon/world)
 
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I've not read the book, so have no idea if my vision is relevant. ..
My ecovillage would look and operate much like the 19th century small town, minus the 'landlords' & royalty. However, with current tech, & ample solar, wind and hydro power on each resident-owned homestead for their own personal use, plus enough extra to pool & store with the community, as a whole, to help fill voids when someone is having technical difficulties or doing maintenance.
Each homestead is autonomous, with its own tech, building, and preferences - with the caveat of organic, planet & people safe practices being a must. Not a feudal system, nor an assigned labor base, but a cooperative one. Cottage industries would be encouraged, but not required. Want to work outside the community? Fine! Want to apprentice/work with someone within the community(who is willing)? Awesome! Bring your talents, your skills, your knowledge - everything counts. Want or need to retire? Great! You only need to take care of your own, unless there is need for the community to come together, for celebration, emergency, etc. I'm not of a hive mindset. I'm independent, and not changing. I'm not going to ask permission to travel, build an addition onto my home, add an out building, put in a hot tub, or ride my motorcycle on a gorgeous day - and, don't expect anyone else to, either. (Making arrangements with an employer, house sitter, and such is one thing - asking my community? NO.) Vegan? Ok. Omnivore? Ok. Carnivore? Yup - that's fine. Just clean up your own messes, be kind to your neighbors, pitch in, when there is need. Religion is fine, but private - no proselytizing, no demonizing, no vitriol. Period.

I despise HOAs - and anything that resembles them. My homestead is mine. Your homestead is yours.
 
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Dave Burton wrote:
I am thinking that the independent-consensus-dictator hybrid that Paul talks about his podcasts (037 and 042) would be the model I would be most comfortable with. I appreciate the dynamic nature and effectiveness that comes with the model as Paul has been describing it. Most people can do what they within the rules set forward, and they bring up issues with the people they think will object and work it out separately without invoking consensus. then, when consensus is needed it gets invoked. And when trouble happens or stuff needs to get sorted out that consensus has trouble handling, the dictator steps in and sets everything back into order. I think this model is what I would be able to live within most comfortably and effectively. I would get the benefit of small group dynamics and being able to do my own things independently, which mostly how I like to do things and how I like to interact with people. I'd probably be a little annoyed or shy when consensus is invoked, because I do not handle large groups of people well. And a dictator is something I could probably be okay with, too.



Interesting we went right away into the social structure. I am autistic, so that would probably be the last thing I would think about. I have a problem with the idea of a dictator in any capacity. When in all of history has there ever been a benevolent dictator? Dictators are humans, and humans have egos, and if a human with an ego was in a position of supreme power, how many have the moral fortitude to resist the temptation to use power in the service of ego? There needs to be some kind of system of checks and balances, so that the people can effectively protect themselves from the leader when necessary. Other than that caveat, this looks like an okay system.

Would there be differences in material status? If so, would there be a limit to how big a gap there can be between top and bottom? I am okay with a certain amount of material inequality, as long as nobody has to worry about going without the necessities.

As to location, I definitely would choose one with a year-round growing season. That is in large part a personal preference, in that I just don't want to deal with cold winter weather. But it has practical reasons, too, in that if there is always something in season, there is less need for storing food through the barren season -- and potentially having to ration toward the end, if supplies run low before the next produce comes in. I am a lactoovovegetarian, so chickens and ducks for weed control and fertilizer would also be egg producers. I can take a page from the vegan notebook and say, let them live in their natural flock structures, for their natural lifespans. Honestly, if the feathered ones were living in these conditions, why, exactly, would vegans object to using the surplus eggs? Don't give me that crap about what our "natural" diet supposedly is, because lots of mostly-herbivorous primates will eat eggs when they find them. I don't know about dairy cows, though; those can get very labor- and resource- intensive, aside from the ethical concerns a vegan would raise.

One detail which may seem trivial to some, but not to me. Possibly due to the sensory issues of autism, I can only wear clothes for so long before they become torment. So I would have to have the freedom not to wear clothes when that becomes necessary. I would, of course, not judge others in this regard, either. I understand PPE; but I also see people frequently wearing more "protective" clothing than they actually need.

I could probably think of a lot more aspects of a dream ecovillage. Such as: how to reduce our carbon footprint, without having to do excessive amounts of manual labor. Or: the proportion and distribution of public vs. private spaces. So much to think about, as long as we are talking about dreams and not what is right in front of us on the ground...
 
Nicole Alderman
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I'm also very likely an aspie, and I have to say that my brain kind of freezes at the thought of trying to figure out how to make the social structure work. When I started this thread, I was going to post what my dream ecovillage would look like...and then when my brain tried to tackle how I'd organize the social structure, and my mind kind of broke down. There's just so many ways that it could work, and I frankly can't figure out the "best" one.

I'd like to have my friends and my family all magically living near me, each with 0.25-10 acres. Some might want to live in small house with little-to-no garden and focus on other things, like providing medical care or wood working, or mechanics, weaving or other trades. They might not want much land, and I think that's fine! Other's might want to raise sheep/goats for fiber/milk and mowing "lawns." I think that'd be lovely. I think it'd be fantastic if people were able to range their animals on other plots if the other people wanted them to. Some might want acres to tend to fruit and nut trees. And, if they can care for those 15 acres, I think they should be able to have it. I'd like people to have as much choice in what they do as possible, as long as the earth is taken care of (of course, how do we make sure that people take care of the earth? That's where that pesky social structure-stuff comes in. Personally, I lean toward a "Strong Democracy" in a small village, where people discuss everything and form laws together for everyone to follow. I like an informed populous, and I think a strong democracy works for that...but I honestly don't know enough to know for sure).

I'd probably want my ecovillage somewhere in the pacific northwest. This is a comfortable place for me. I love snow, and it snows some. The summers used to never be too hot for too long. There's rain for plants to grow, and it's familiar and I know how to grow things here.


One detail which may seem trivial to some, but not to me. Possibly due to the sensory issues of autism, I can only wear clothes for so long before they become torment. So I would have to have the freedom not to wear clothes when that becomes necessary. I would, of course, not judge others in this regard, either. I understand PPE; but I also see people frequently wearing more "protective" clothing than they actually need.



I'm the exact opposite. I can't stand being without clothes for extended periods. Clothes act as a kind of security blanket. They make me feel cozy, comforted, and safe; and they save me from annoying sensory inputs like cats rubbing against my bare leg or my skin sticking together.  My husband (another aspie), on the other hand, is like you and generally is more comfortable being naked. It's fascinating how we are all different!
 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:This is totally a DREAM ecovillage. It doesn't have to be very realistic! Who would you have in your ecovillage? Where would it be? How would it operate?



Okay, here goes ...

Acknowledging that society requires more than 'Permies' to function effectively, my ecovillage 'Kingdom' would be similar in concept to a Hobbit community - large hairy feet being optional.

It would therefore consist of organic house and garden designs with a focus on growing a veritable cornucopia of produce, sympathetic to the surrounding natural environment.

An integral component would be a central meeting place for the community - a sizeable village green surrounded by huge oak trees and drifts of daffodils, freesias, tulips, and cannabis indica.

In the midst of this green space there'd loom a huge sandstone rotunda, where every Saturday a brass band would play relentlessly whilst families enjoyed BBQ's, mischievously merry games, and consume copious volumes of organic homemade cider, ale and wine - an abundance that would please Nero and Caligula!

Standing nearby there'd be an imposing, yet classically heroic, marble statue of me. In a short but respectful ceremony, the village maidens would genuflect and lay floral tributes to celebrate my unopposed greatness and godlike beneficence.

On Sunday's the maidens would again pay homage to this great statue by cleansing it of bird shit.

Socially, the 'kingdom' (now known as 'Valinor') emulates the Star Trek universe - money ceases to exist and people are encouraged to pursue personal betterment and contribute to society by doing what interests them: definitely a Ferengi and Orc free zone.

As a consequence, produce is always available, consumption of goods is simply on a need basis, and there'd be no disruptive forces to deal with other than nature.

This egalitarian system ends poverty and ensures no single profession is any more or less important than another; notwithstanding Accountants, Tax Collectors, Bank Managers, and Finance Companies who are now obsolete - huzzah!

Each group of trades/professions could be structured akin to medieval 'guilds' or the more complex Indian Jati (not varna or caste).

Civic order could be maintained by simply having a government made up of one representative from each guild/Jati. Unanimous voting must be achieved = hard negotiations.

Things that make a functional community e.g. Health care, aged care, clean reticulated water, sewerage, electricity, gas, etc would operate freely simply because it's in the best interests of the whole community - the needs of the many outweigh the needs of a few damn Vulcans!

Yes, in 'my world' liposuction, hair removal and facelifts would be FREE!

There's no real reason why this eloquent system can't work, it seems a logical progression for society:

1. Fiefdoms were replaced by empires
2. Empires were supplanted by a mishmash of dysfunctional governments (mostly after WW1)
3. The current mishmash is showing signs of failure with broad scale inequity
4. Social awareness, like the Nordic Model, is perhaps a stepping stone to eliminate personal greed and the desire to accumulate 'stuff' - hoarding is therefore pointless. Bartering could still be used to acquire that 1967 Corvette you've always wanted!

It doesn't have to be a 'Holodeck' simulator pipe dream; though, based on our chequered history, it'll probably take another war or two to achieve that sort of radical social change.

History has proven that when a society is freed of such basic constraints, progress occurs rapidly - sometimes at 'warp speed'!

A prospectus will be compiled shortly for interested customers. As a token of membership to this elite community, I will be distributing a number of specially minted, limited edition, gold rings. Though I will retain the single ring that binds them all contractually.

In the meantime: 'Scotty, one to beam up ...'






 
Dave Burton
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Well, being human, a lot of it is I think the social stuff. I think S. Bengi put it nicely,

S. Bengi wrote:an eco-village is all about the human side of stuff and less about building the soil/swales



And, I'm currently reading The Permaculture City by toby hemenway, which is definitely influencing how I am thinking about permaculture and communities right now. And I do think Toby makes some good points that now that there are soooo many people in this world, it is not all about just applying permaculture to natural systems but applying permaculture to social systems. We can use permaculture to design better ways of living with each other. Right now, I'm at the section where he is talking about foodsheds (kinda like a watershed but instead the zones of where your food comes from). And he applied zone and sector analysis to how a city operates (on page 42), which I found to be pretty enlightening. And the zoning of relationships on page 39 by frequency of interaction.

Ok, anyhow, I'm getting sidetracked. So, going to your questions Jason.

Jason Hernandez wrote:When in all of history has there ever been a benevolent dictator? Dictators are humans, and humans have egos, and if a human with an ego was in a position of supreme power, how many have the moral fortitude to resist the temptation to use power in the service of ego?



Well, yes, that's part of why it is a hybrid system. An absolute dictatorship will, of course, have many issues and has significant historical precedent against it. That's where the independent and consensus part of the independent-consensus-dictator hybrid system come into play. For the majority of the time, people will just be doing their own thing as independent people. Then, if they think something will be an issue with others, they bring it up with those people specifically. If that doesn't work, then consensus gets invoked. And lastly, if consensus is too slow and inefficient and nobody can come to a consensus the dictator gets invoked and settles the issue. Why, for example, Paul talks about this hybrid system is it gets the best of all the different worlds. You get the efficiency of single-person autonomous action, which is the quickest way of making progress. You get consensus for developing community and human relationships. And lastly, when issues in the community arise, you get people mad at just one person (the dictator) instead of being mad at each other, which can completely spoil and dissolve a community.

Jason Hernandez wrote:Would there be differences in material status? If so, would there be a limit to how big a gap there can be between top and bottom?



This would probably be all up to the community on a consensus basis and up to how each individual or household unit in the community chooses to live their lives. That's part of why I like the hybrid system (and that is how permies.com is being run right now, too!). The dictator would probably be the landowner of the ecovillage (just how Paul is the owner of permies.com). the independent part is everyone makes what they want of it (like how on permies.com, everyone posts and interacts as they want to and can). The consensus part is the community self-regulates (we interact with each other). Yeah, there is some hierarchy (like on permies.com, apples, pollinators, gardeners, master gardeners, stewards, authors, etc etc), but none of that gets invoked too often or too frequently, because we are mostly following the one rule that a dictator (Paul) set down: be nice. Why I appreciate the dictator part of the hybrid system is that it smooths out some of the crinkles and issues that arise from pure consensus, and it smooths out some of the crinkles from a pure independent system.  The hybridization of independence, consensus, and dictatorship makes for a sweet system, in my opinion. And of course, the beauty of the independence and consensus part of this three-way hybrid is also that "hey, if you or the community don't like the dictator", then, everybody can pick up their things and pack up to find a new place to live and make a community. So, there is a natural sort of balance that comes into play with this hybrid system. The dictator will be all alone and by themselves if nobody likes them or their rules.
 
S Bengi
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In my eco-village we have
Dave running for benevolent dictator for life
Jason running for egotistical dictator for a 4year term.

The conflict is set, Dave has been hosting wonderful parties with free Vodka for all
Dave has been mandating that everyone to be independent and making new laws saying that it is illegal to posses plastic one use water bottles. He has been bribing people with tax breaks/free money/grants to get Heat Recovery Ventilation Units.

There has been rumors that Dave has been colluding with the Vodka makers and we will be in for a pleasant surprise once ...
 
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I am new in this forum, and might as well start with this for starting communication. It did not help losing my password and figuring out I would not find it again, and would need a new one. The ideal for me is with simplicity as far as possible, for the sustainability I see is needed, with yet comfort to be happy with. I agree with a few statements I saw that there is good reason for veganism, better than any basis for not having veganism. Skills are useful but won't be required for each coming to it with willingness by pretty much all that are able to share simple work in simple farming, with natural methods for growing many different things for what is needed, not as crops, but scattered among compatible natural growing vegetation, avoiding any great pestilence problem that way. It will be then far more sustainable to not depend on using animals, or hunting animals, so this should attract others knowing this and valuing the pursuits for sustainability. Clothing or lack of any should not be an issue to me, the ideal would be for all to be comfortable still. Things should run more with community agreement, with meetings. Compatible people for this would be needed. It would need to be where much can be grown, with good soil in the location, adequate water available, and favorable climate.
 
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For me, it would be privately owned and mostly built by people who come to stay, in a motel or campground sort of arrangement. People can pay to stay or they can work it off, doing something useful, under supervision of someone qualified. I don't expect that I would ever give some hippies a bucket of cob and say build whatever you like. The main reason for doing it this way, is that I wouldn't want to have anyone ever establish any sort of tenancy rights. I don't think that make sense where I live. It's very expensive to get rid of non-paying tenants.

So this would be eco-village lite, for many people. They could experience the communal living and the sorts of work that might be involved, but there wouldn't be any meetings or elections, or head-scratching about how things are to be done, because that would all be decided by The Dictator. There would be no need to have a committee to decide anyting, including who may come and who must leave.

I think I'd want an 11 a.m. check out time as is common with motels. The entire Arrangement must be renewed for it to continue beyond that time.

I think this eliminates many more headaches than it creates, for a single owner Eco Village. So then it's just a matter of semantics. Some people won't consider this an eco-village at all and they wouldn't want to come. So I'd be left with the other 7 billion people, to see if they'd like to come.

My brother is in the middle of setting up just this sort of arrangement on and 18 acre parcel that he recently bought. He's looking to retire and run a sort of Campground. We talked about it quite a bit, and the most important thing that we both agree on, is absolutely avoiding falling under the landlord tenant Act.
 
S Bengi
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What do you think of these motel floor plan
 
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My ideal permaculture village would be in New England, near a small town with some higher-paying jobs and decent infrastructure.  This lets some people work "real jobs" and support the community when it's coming together.  You would need to strike a balance between low land prices, access to water, access to town services, and access to jobs.

Family households would be largely independent, with the option for some group households (like at Earthhaven).  Decision-making would be consensus-based between the founding members who bought the initial land and have legal responsibilities for it; this group would be fairly small, to minimize inefficiencies (under 10 founding couples on about 100 acres.  Each household gets an acre, and there is group land for festivals, workshops, orchards, animals, water, wood-lands, all your higher Zones).  Newer folks (the "ant equivalents") would have the option to work and learn on the village, and potentially get leases for more permanent stays.  So you have WWoofers to help with labor, and trusted workers get the option to stick around if they get along with everyone.  Benevolent Feudalism if you will.  The land purchase would be via co/op or HOA lines, and then founding members get life-time leases for certain areas.  Most of the land remains in group ownership, and decisions on developing it would require consensus.

The Dictator/hybrid model is attractive, but would require one person to have a lot of resources to start things up.  Starting things with a few people might be more feasible financially... but the downside is that you would need a pretty defined vision in terms of permaculture principles, ethics, cultural norms, and land design to really make that work well.

Village income might eventually come from value-added activities such as classes, camping, tours, and festivals.  Food  production would be more subsistence-based.

Compared to much of the US, IMO, NE is more pleasant in the summers, more resistant to climate change, more egalitarian, and more community-minded.  Nice cold winters are also a plus. :)
 
Dale Hodgins
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My answer has changed. That's because there's a little village in the Philippines with only about 15 houses in it and they are all occupied by relatives of a woman that I'm likely to marry. Houses are made of bamboo in an area where typhoons are a regular occurrence. Fish farming has not yet come to this place.

So I may have a project. I'm looking at buying a compressed Earth block machine, so that I can replace first her mother's house, and then possibly every house, as they become dilapidated. I have to make a trip there. I could build a house better than what her mother lives in, for $500. So, it could be that we get together some work parties of all of the younger relatives, most of whom have moved to the city for employment and we replace the entire Little Village that is occupied by mostly grandparents but also a few young people. This will make this little village a little more safe and ecologically sound since they won't have to chop down all of their trees for building.

They cook with charcoal which has caused some deforestation. I would build a large biogas plant and pipe it to every home. It's only for cooking since heating is unnecessary during any season.

And I'd like to put in a big fish pond. Something that could easily supply all of the fish needed for this many people, and the dirt dug out of it would be more than enough to replace every home with a CEB home.

I haven't been there yet, but this is a real Village that is already owned by the family. They already produce almost everything they need on site, since nobody has any money. Imagine 80% of all you own, being made out of bamboo. So it's already about as Eco as an eco-village could be. Once we get them in safe, durable and eco-friendly houses, burning biogas for cooking and eating fish that they raise themselves, I think it could be considered a proper eco-village. Then it's just a matter of trying to figure out some way to get foreigners to show up and spend a little bit of money. That might require some sort of guest house, where we would teach people about how this Village works. And that could make some employment in this place that doesn't have even one job available, other than working on your relatives farm at a subsistence level. Places like this don't even enter the statistics for unemployment. Apparently they are very common. But they aren't actually unemployed. Her mother raises chickens and grows vegetables. And other relatives do other things with whatever materials nature provides. I'm a very primitive man in some ways and I think I will fit right in.

We're going to sell the idea to the relatives in little dribs and drabs so that they don't feel that I'm completely taking over their home. I have no Financial Designs on this place. I doubt that anything we build would have much market value, no matter how nice we make it. But it will be a very nice project if we can pull it off, and her family will probably be satisfied that she has married well.

I hope to go there by Christmas time.

Eco Village. Don't build one, Find one that already exists and make some improvements. :-)
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It's down there somewhere, a one-hour walk from the ocean.
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I assume this person is related but I forgot to ask
 
pollinator
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Here's a preview.



More details of my circular plan later this winter. It requires much research & documentation.
 
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I like Dale's idea, but I don't want to move to the tropics full time.

I think that I would have a double circle of houses with a street for emergency access between the circles.  Outside the outer ring of houses would be a circular path that is surrounded by forest with managed coppice/ and lumber woodlots and wild pockets/areas, as well as small clearings for grain or straw production.  Over time, the clearings could be rotated into and out of the coppice.  There would be two or three main roads running through the forested area into the inner street for emergency as well as common access. 

On the edge of this forest space on the path that separates it from the outer ring of houses and on the edge/corner of one of the access roads, would be the commons building.  The commons serves as school, preschool, daycare, elder carel/senior center/senior housing, health clinic, library, gynasium, winter use swimming pool, community center, youth center, as well as larger food processing and composting/biodigester center.  The entire building would be heated via a combination of bio-digester (sub floor heating), passive solar, and rocket stoves.  Another building across the street would have a biocarbon electrical generator as well as cottage industries, including glass recycling, candle making, and flax/nettle/hemp/wool fiber fabrication, woodworking and metal forging, and other shops like glass blowers and other arts, as well as a central storehouse/cellar/pantry for all to utilize, and a general store/post office for both outsiders and villages to visit/trade/purchase.    

In the middle of the smaller circle of the double ring would be the communal gardens/main food producing areas.  People would have a 1 acre lot where their house is, and where smaller kitchen gardening would be encouraged at the house, as would bee, bat and bird housing.  The inner circle of houses would open onto another ring path, which went around the fenced communal garden space, which would have serious acreages of land.  The middle of this area would be an animal house, where the lower level would have divided stalls, for pigs, sheep, goats, and cattle (these larger animals would be small in number and mostly for utilitarian purposes/work but also, in time, and with respect, for meat) and the walk in off the back berm 2nd floor would have chickens, guinea pigs, and rabbits.  The upper floor would have turkeys and pigeons.  There would be a smaller biochar processor, a manure/bedding/garden waste composter, a windmill for pumping water and for running a chipper and saw for bucking up wood, an elevated water tank, a large fish pond nearby, and a side building/commercial kitchen for processing, in separate rooms, animal products, and food/medicine. 

The water system would be set up so that all house roofs drained into tanks and overflowed into a system that first fed their internal homes then their home gardens and then any excess would be piped to the central large fish pond.  From there the large pond would be pumped up via the windmill to the elevated tank and gravity fed to all other ponds.

This central building hub would have paddocks with fences extending like spokes for rotational grazing.  The entire spoke paddock system would consist of sun scoop hugulkulture, food forest-ish orchards, stone walls for sun absorption/reflection, main crop gardens with deep organic soils boosted with biochar and compost, small star-shaped chinampa ponds with edible or feeder fish, frogs, crayfish, freshwater clams, and the electric fences would be in the middle of fedges which also produce wood for rocket fuel, char and woodchips. Each paddock would have a path winding through it from the outer ring to the barn.   Animals would be encouraged to free-range in the spoke area that they are channeled into from the multi-storied barn, or they could be guided by a tender to spend time in a specific part of it.  Other spaces in the spoked wheel would have no animals and would just be growing this year's main crops and whatever the food forest/orchard and fedges were producing.  There would be enough space in the system that only a few areas would be free of animals at any given time, but enough that the hazard of excrement would be eliminated due to rotation of animals, time, and the scooping of excess for the biodigester.

Anyway, that's a start. That's all I got, while eating supper here.

Oh, and if you are looking for a country with a benevolent dictator check this out.  Bhutan: where instead of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), they have a happiness quotient. and they are Carbon Negative     
 
Mike Barkley
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Robert is warm. Very warm. Think bigger scale. Much bigger.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Robert is warm. Very warm. Think bigger scale. Much bigger.

  Ok.  20 of these hamlet circles around a central area of the woodlot coppice of feral, domestic and wild forest types and meadows, and all surrounded by a further ring of the same forest type systems or Zone 4/5 wilderness.  :) 
 
Mike Barkley
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Well basically yes.

Idea started shortly after I converted my garden into a circle so my neighbor could water it easily when I traveled. Which was pretty much always except weekends. Then I went on vacation to Nebraska & the Dakotas. Hundreds upon hundreds of miles with nothing but square corn fields & every now & then a small herd of fenced in buffalo. Considering how important buffalo & other wild migrations are to our environment it just struck me as wrong. Very wrong. People can barely walk or ride horses safely these days without danger or trespassing. Might not be able to get to a grocery store that way let alone cross country. So I devised the circular plan for world peace & animal happiness.

Rules. Everyone has to be nice. No greed allowed. Without those 2 rules the plan will fail. The idea is ALL land is divided into circles. Tiny circles for homesteads, a larger circle around a neighborhood, with an even larger around the whole city. A space minimum exists between all circles of various sizes. The bigger circles have larger buffer zones & vice versa. No circle touches another. The space between circles is open to all for non motorized travel. The mountain ranges, the rivers, & the coastlines are free travel too. Buffalo & large animal migration routes get even larger space minimums. Animals & people could safely & freely travel between any 2 points outside of the circles. Maybe learn to appreciate nature more in the process. Some details obviously need to be worked out but this could work people. Remember the rules.
 
S Bengi
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I like your circle in a square idea, land ownership/stewardship idea.
The circle inside the square is 'exclusively mines' but the space between the 'bigger' square and my 'smaller' circle is public domain, similar to the sidewalk.


Legally, I have to shovel the sidewalk.
If people start loitering in front of my house on the side walk I would feel uneasy, if I didn't understand and agree with their reasoning.
As in if it is a parade/festival okay, but if it is secretive at 2am. I would tend to be alot more defensive "flood light, request to move along, calling in some support (family/friends/coworker/police/etc)






 
Mike Barkley
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If people start loitering in front of my house on the side walk I would feel uneasy



This is where be nice comes in. Being nice includes using some common sense. It's one thing to walk past someone's home. Entirely different to linger at 2am. There would be plenty of less intrusive places to linger.

Two people on board. Only need what? ... 3.7 billion more.
 
And now I present magical permaculture hypno cards. The idea is to give them to people that think all your permaculture babble is crazy talk. And be amazed as they apologize for the past derision, and beg you for your permaculture wisdom. If only there were some sort of consumer based event coming where you could have an excuse to slip them a deck ... richsoil.com/cards
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