The above image is another portion of the permaculture design I was working on in New York State. This portion of the plan shows the scheme to create six multi-generational eco-friendly and sustainable homes. Each one has garden utility and functionality which enables a greener way of life. A community barn and farm stalls (to the top of the plans) will serve the needs to these residents, and also the wider local community.
The reason that I wanted to draw attention to this part of the plan is that it shows how we can create sustainable communities that will aid in transition to a greener and more ethical way of life. The homes, roadways, water management systems (rainwater harvesting, rain gardens etc..) and attendant planting will enable those who live there to fully commit to a permaculture way of life.
One of the ways in which permaculture seeks to create a co-operative paradigm and upholds permaculture ethics is through creating communities.
When like-minded people congregate geographically, they are better able to meet their own basic needs in ways which are consistent with a permaculture way of life, and benefit from collaboration and the pooling of ideas, skills and resources.
Families, individuals or small groups of friends can come together in wider groups in order to effectively manage land and become more resilient, self-reliant and sustainable. Homes on the individual lots on this plan will each have a garage/ workshop space with an annex above it that would allow for multi-generation living.
The community barn and the lot surrounding it is space designed to become a hub for the community that will be established on and around the property. As well as serving as a base for the sale and distribution of crops grown on the property and in the surrounding area, this community barn should also serve as a recreation, education and empowerment centre.
In this example, new, sustainable homes will be created, alongside new permaculture farmland and native planting areas. However, building new is not the only option. Often, community creation can involve existing neighbourhoods. It can involve retrofitting suburbia – the topic for tomorrow’s post.