Post your “COMMUNITY GARDENS, CO-OPS AND ECOVILLAGES” topical homework here:

  1. Note any important points from your book reading that connect with or inform your research topic.
  2. Post a link or citation for at least one article per week on your topic (you should have actually read it, and it will help your teammates if you add some comment as to what interested you).

Folks on other topic teams are welcome to make comments, suggest links, or anything else that would be helpful to this team.


14 Responses to “Community Gardens, Co-Ops and Ecovillages”

  1. mackenzierose Says:
    This is the homepage for the Global Ecovillage Network which is the largest network of ecovillages in the world. It is divided into different divisions now (ENA is the Americas one) and there are hundreds if not thousands of ecovillages around the world that are registered here are just starting or as already established. This will be a good site to let our class know about in our presentation.

    I have loved learning about these communities in conjunction with reading The Real Wealth of Nations because they are all really beautiful examples of ways to manifest the type of paradigm shift that Eisler is talking about.

  2. elizabethelder Says:

    This is a group called Mudgirls. They build houses for each other (I’m not sure if it is an ecovilage setting or not) but they also help people build houses for themselves. They use mud, recycled glass and rubber, driftwood (and other wood) and cob to build these natural homes.

    I found this to be pretty interesting. The pictures are great.

    This relates to cradle to cradle because they are being more environmentally aware in their building. Although Cradle to Cradle would say that technology is ok and you don’t have to go back in time (the ovens they use) to be ecofriendly.

  3. elizabethelder Says:

    I found this cool website that had information about building houses out of mud and hay. Some Ecovillages are using this method for their buildings.

    some of these homes look great.

    This relates to cradle to cradle because they are always discussing looking for other alternatives that can be applied in individual circumstances. This is one that could be applied to an ecovillage in dry, more desert like conditions.

  4. mackenzierose Says:
    This is a great site devoted to understanding and implementing consensus based decision making. It says that often times rather than just creating compromise what ends up happening is that more surprising and creative solutions often arise which are better than the initial ones.
    Also, very importantly it brings up the element of equality among participants which is central to consensus decisions. This is absolutely in line with the Real Wealth of Nations which is heavily devoted to getting rid of domination and top-down control.
    It says “Consensus is about participation and equalising power. It can also be a very powerful process for building communities and empowering individuals.” This is clearly how it is being realized in ecovillages.
    It also gives examples of societies that use consensus and explanations and directions for how to conduct consensus based decisions with small groups as well entire nations.

  5. mackenzierose Says:

    “Throughout history, progress and even survival, have at times depended on collaboration. When environmental conditions, competition, or other circumstances have made life more difficult or resources scarce, great civilizations and movements have been developed by people uniting together for a common purpose. Greatness and progress have often accompanied a unified effort through adversity. When Creativity, Skills, Self-Efficacy, and Motivation, accompany Collaboration, possibilities are extended, doors are opened, capacity expanded, and success realized.”

    This site was created to provide people with tools to aid in their collaborative efforts. It is not specifically about ecovillages but it certainly pertains.

  6. mackenzierose Says:

    I found that this site had some great information about ecovillages and about the community aspect in particular. It gives a list of many ways to facilitate community interaction within ecovillages but also just anywhere that you live. It also discusses group processes including leadership, talking circles, consensus etc. which are vital to the functioning of communities. There are many many links on this site for the various topics.

  7. mackenzierose Says:

    This website has a directory of ecovillages around the world. It is really interesting to look at the ones in California, we may want to try to visit one of them if we can. Also, its not just existing communities, but a space where people can post that they are seeking others who want to start an ecovillage or who are in the processes of forming one currently.

    The whole intention behind ecovillages remains very in line with what Eisler brings up in the Real Wealth of Nations about realigning our current system to integrate caring for each other and the environment. She might criticize it though as being to small-scale because Im not sure how far this whole ecovillage idea can extend in terms of solving our deep rooted economic and social problems of today. Could even a really good ecovillage weather the storm of large scale fall-out affecting the entire nation or world? Or is the overarching goal to serve as examples and practices of better ways of living?

  8. elizabethelder Says:

    I found this website and thought it was really interesting to surf. It is an international study abroad program for ecovillages. You can stay in many different countries. Scotland looked fantastic. Look at the pictures with the house built into the mountainside. So cool!

    I think the authors of Cradle to Cradle would agree that it is important to see how other cultures are living because we can apply what works for them to our building techniques. Both McDonough and Braungart (Cradle to Cradle authors) have done work in different countries.

  9. elizabethelder Says:

    Cleveland is under going a facelift and is redeveloping many of its old neighborhoods. They have set aside one neighborhood for an ecolvillage that is located on a transit stop. Because it is on a transit line it is very central compared to most ecovillages; which are typically on a piece of land removed from the city. This is a good role-model for other older cities that are going through a remodel. They have multiple community gardens and other community based events.

    The Connection:
    The Cleveland Ecovillage is a good example of recycling. Instead of building new building they are using old ones in the neighborhood. The authors of Cradle to Cradle would praise the effort but would bring up the fact that these buildings are covered in toxins from old technology. They authors would then say that industry needs to start providing consumers with safe ecological alternatives so the buildings could have been remodeled into healthier environments.

  10. elizabethelder Says:

    I found this website about an ecovillage in New York. I found the “reuse room” to be a great concept. Anything anyone in the village doesn’t want they put it in a room and other villagers can take whatever they want/need. 🙂

    The Connection:
    In Cradle to Cradle they talk about the benefits of putting native grasses on the roofs of buildings to prevent them from UV damage as well as making the house more energy efficient. The grasses also absorb rainfall, produce oxygen and it’s very attractive. This ecovillage planted grasses on the top of their sauna.

  11. mackenzierose Says:

    This is a link to an article titled “Redefining Community in the Ecovillage,” by Debbie Van Schyndel Kasper. It is a “study” done by a woman who visited many ecovillages and compiled data and her experience to form a comprehensive overview of the basic intentions and actions that ecovillages employ.
    The main conclusion is that ecovillages are a new way of thinking. They have alternative ways of living, but the main difference is their attitude and the intentionality that they bring to everything that they do and how they interact with eachother as well as their environment.
    It’s 13 pages so if you dont have time to read it all try to read some and skim some because its great.

    Connection to my book reading: The Real Wealth of Nations is entirely focused on establishing value for caring and creating space and attention for it in economics as well as on a more personal level. Ecovillages are an example of how this can work beautifully. There is clear intention and even rules for creating caring community and it is also extended to the environment.

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