Co-operation and community are key to creating a thriving and healthy future for all. Starting with a single property, with an eco-home and organic, sustainable permaculture garden, a project can grow to incorporate a number of independent homes and gardens sharing resources and working together to combine modern sustainability practices and traditional village life.
The creation of an eco village begins with a consideration of the needs of each family unit and their homes and gardens. With careful planning and a permaculture approach, each home and the area of land around it can be designed in such a way that it meets the needs of inhabitants and provides for many basic and subsidiary needs.
In designing the perfect permaculture homes and gardens, we can begin by looking at the primary basic needs of inhabitants:
- Water & Sanitation
- Energy/ Fuel
Moving beyond these basic needs, and the individual household, we can then proceed to creating a community to allow individuals to not only survive, but thrive by coming together in a range of interesting ways.
In addition to the individual homes and gardens, an eco-village can also have additional buildings and spaces for shared use. These might include:
- Areas of native forest where non-timber forest products can be harvested, and timber can potentially be sustainably coppiced for construction, crafting and the creation of charcoal (for cooking fuel) and biochar (for fertility) but where local wildlife can also thrive. These can also be pleasing areas for recreation.
- Areas of communal grazing land or arable crops in carefully managed systems. (Agroforestry techniques involve grazing animals or growing arable crops between productive trees to make sustainable use of the land).
- Communal forest garden and annual community garden areas.
- Areas for communal renewable energy generation, charcoal and biogas production.
- Communal community composting, biomass storage, mulch creation/ management areas.
- Shared hub space for community meetings, events, etc…
- School/ educational facility for the community.
- A community shop and swap shop building, where books, tools or other resources can be accessed and shared and goods from individual properties can be shared or sold.
- Community workshop & office space to foster entrepreneurs within the community.
The concept plan above is an example of eco-village design showing the features mentioned above for a client in the Caribbean.
If you are interested and would like my help with an eco village design in any region or climate zone, please do get in touch to discuss your requirements.