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We feature topics including ecovillages, housing, permaculture, off-grid technology, children and more.  With an aim to educate about new technology, techniques, initiatives as well as available grants and loans, we want to bring awareness that eases the global transition for our local community.  See inside for more!
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Introducing our first issue!

Hello and namaste!  As a limited-run newsletter, this publication will focus on introducing the emerging "co-creative" lifestyle and present observations and facts about the benefits this lifestyle affords. It also aims to connect people and communities whose paths are following the global transition to a carbon negative community.  Inside you will find not only opinion, but reporting of those who have pioneered the way as well as highlights on members active in this new, emerging community. 

We feature topics including ecovillages, housing, permaculture, off-grid technology, children and more.  With an aim to educate about new technology, techniques, initiatives as well as available grants and loans, we want to bring awareness that eases the transition. 

Our net goal is to cultivate a favorable environment for the growth of climate resilient, food secure communities in Manitoba. 

IN THIS ISSUE...
  • Our Mission
  • What is an ecovillage?
  • Northern Sun Farm
  • Interview with a co-founder, Gerhard Dekker.
  • Norther Sun Photo Gallery
  • Meet your community: Justin Lecocq
  • Visit to Myriad  
  • Book: Finding Community
  • A Wider View
  • Editor Introduction
  • 'A New Story' Movie Screening
  • Word Find
  • A Closer Look
  • Upcoming: Ecovillages.ca
 
OUR ETHICS
  • Care for the earth
  • Care for the self
  • Fair share.
(Yes, these are derived from permaculture ethics.)
 
Our Mission 
  • Connect community members through literature.
  • Provide resources.
  • Provide online forums for discussion.
  • Highlight innovators, groups and people of inspiration who are actively working to mitigate food security, climate resilience and the reduction of carbon footprints in the local sphere.
What is an ecovillage?

[A] human-scale full-featured settlement in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world in a way that is supportive of healthy human development, and can be successfully continued into the indefinite future.

Gilman, Robert (Summer, 1991). "The Eco-village Challenge"In Context.
Local Ecovillages
Cooperative communities in Manitoba
Off-grid living in Manitoba for thirty years.
Gerhard Dekker is one of the founders of Northern Sun Farm Coop ecovillage. My interview was recently published in the Manitoba EcoNetwork's EcoJournal where Gerhard talks about living off-grid in Manitoba.  You can pick up the Spring 2016 edition of the journal in the EcoNetwork's office on the third floor of the MEC building on Portage, Millennium Library, and Hollow Reed Holistic on Corydon.  
Your Community
Meet the circle
Manitoba is home to a diverse group of companies and individuals who practice ecologically-sensitive visions and values.  You never know who might surprise you!
Justin Lecocq
Day Job: Field manager for Western Canada Wilderness Community
It was almost ten years ago when I became aware of ecovillages.  Soon I was volunteering on organic farms and homesteads, developing the skills for living a subsistence lifestyle.  In the past five years’ time I have acquired a permaculture design certificate, worked as a timber framer, volunteered on four organic farms, developed a career that I can bring with me to a rural area, volunteer on a co-op board, and fostered loving relationships with others who share my dream of living in an ecovillage.  I have been an activist and an artist for as long as I can remember.  To me, ecovillage life is living activism, a co-creative project I could dedicate my life to.

In fact, my friends and I have been laying the foundation for a new community, Myriad Village, for almost two years now.  Countless small sacrifices have humbled me, drawing out parts of myself that I've always wanted to manifest.

There was an epiphany, probably a few in actuality that started this path for me.  Humanity is at the precipice of many great challenges, the greatest of all being anthropogenic climate change. Many think we will drive ourselves to near extinction, continuing to live in complete disregard of the environment, thus exacerbating the issue. They live as if there is no future.  However, I choose to live as though there is indeed a future for humanity and the only future possible is one where we live as a member of the earth community and no longer regard ourselves as rulers of the earth.  An intrinsic part of this is the creation of models for responsible resource management and sustainable social organization. Within these one can find a far more joyful and meaningful life.

Visit to Myriad Village

October 1, 2016
Meet at Hollow Reed for 12:30 PM.

Email myriad.village@ecovillages.ca for more information.
Books
Education to help rise above

Finding Community is a book about visiting ecovillages by Diana Leafe Christian who lives in Earthaven, an ecovillage in Virginia, USA.  I will briefly cover what she mentions in the book about visiting ecovillages.  I have used her suggestions in my visits and they are always good to practice.

  1. Call ahead!
  2. Pack as if camping
  3. Be ready to work.
  4. Pets stay at home.
  5. They just want respect
  6. Figure out what you want.

Call ahead!
Make sure to call before you arrive.  Get the address from the person you are speaking to.  Never just show up.  If you plan on sharing your experience or any photos you take in a blog post or somewhere online, mention this ahead of time.

Do your research
Doing research ahead of time is a good thing.  People feel like you’ve done your research, and in this context that’s a good thing. You’re not coming in to it with glassy, overwhelmed eyes and are able to be more present.

Pack as if camping
Of course, this is based on how long you want to stay.  If you are going for a short afternoon visit, not much may be needed.  For an overnight, bedding is a sure bet.  Bring according to the environment.  If it’s rural, pack as though going camping. A first aide kit and afterbite is a good idea.Remember that you are going to an ecovillage and the point is to be as self reliant as possible.  Set a good example.

Bring work gloves
These communities require a lot of effort to create, maintain and sustain.  If you’re planning on staying for any more than a short visit, come prepared to work.  By showing a propensity to work, you are setting a good example if you do decide you want to put yourself on the guest list.

Leave pets at home
Different communities have different rules and policies concerning pets. New animals disrupt any existing balance that animals or kids in the community may have.  Play it safe and leave your pet at home.

What hosts really want: Respect
If someone came to your home for a visit, what would you expect?  You’d expect them to follow your rules of the house, and play easy with others, right?  An ecovillage is a large home to many people.  Hosts want visitors who come in and treat others with respect.  Respect the land, the community and remember you are just passing through.  Be very conscientious about how you treat people’s property.

Ask if you can ask questions
It’s a great way to break the ice and establish equal footing.  You’re letting the tour guide (who is probably not trained to be a tour guide), know you’re curious and want to know more. You’re also not jumping in and being rude about it. Unless it’s a dedicated tour guide, they probably have other things on their mind.

How to get what you want
You will probably want to get a feel for the regular activities of the community and find out what they do together. What makes their community unique?  You’ll also want to know how the community handles conflict when it does arise. Knowing how they handle decision making is also a big question to ask.

Come here, go away
Being a larger version of a person, sometimes communities can get burned out. It’s also easy for one person of the community to snap or severely misrepresent the group and what they are all about.  Read more about this complication in the book.

Did you hear about the visitor who…?
You don’t want to make the community stories, in a negative manner.  You’ll want to ask questions about alcohol before you come for any duration of a stay as well. And most definitely do not bring a moving van.

Originally posted on ecovillages.ca.

You can also purchase the book on amazon.ca.

A Wider View
Like humans, each ecovillage is unique with it's own soul, it's own individuality.  Like the soul, a few elements are consistent between them, but they vary wildly with experience, maturity and integration. Take for example Twin Oaks in Virginia, USA.  It has a 48-year history, over 75 people, several very successful businesses, a health benefit plan, an outreach program and governance by something called participative democracy.  Ploughshares, a Manitoba community has four families sharing chores on farmland.  Each family has one adult working in town, kids are homeschooled when young and attend high school in town, and it is exactly the scale the people involved want.   Northern Sun Farm has a group of about 12 people living off-the-grid in a cozy, DIY setting.
Housing in ecovillages is often represented in different sizes, shapes and accommodations as well.  Sometimes land is subdivided so individuals can lease parcels frothe community and build on their own.  Sometimes the community builds a dorm for co-housing, other times the community might build individual housing to be rented out.   Strawbales and rammed tires are materials that make an appearance in Earthships and other passive buildings.  Other times people simply set up yurts, tents or park a camper trailer on the property avoiding zoning issues with permanent structures.  Many communities give time and attention to creating space specifically for shared meals and other community events, and others do not.

Overwhelm can be easy during a visit to a community.  Research ahead of time will help provide an idea for how and why things are structured the way they are and make the visit easier and prepare yourself for what you will see.  When present at an ecovillage, one will likely want to be relating, asking questions and adventuring, not rooted with the realization of fundamental differences that work when people want to cooperate.

The spirit of what one looks for in a community will be different from person to person as well.  A young single person will have different wants and needs than an older single person, or even family.  Another factor that comes into play is employment.  Some ecovillages have businesses that one can work for.  At others one will need to find work in a nearby town or be able to work online. 

Communities can be a kaleidoscope of unique experience, color, texture and feel.  Your best bet is to be educated.  The more you know the better off you'll be. 
Meet the Editor
H Jacob Buller
Day Job: Swamper for All Weather Windows
I grew up in a cooperative, creative environment.  From my family environment to my friends, a great part of my life has been surrounded by people who are cooperative, and have creative interests.  However, in the early 2000s  I became involved with people who were manipulative.  After having experienced first-hand alienation and severe narcissism, I find that part of the healing process is to bring my skills and talents to bear in a way that is socially constructive.  A high degree of curiosity and fascination in the many fields represented in this publication fuels my drive. 

I also do this as something that my family will gain from.  In my immediate family, we want to ensure my two year old and his future family has a future.  My partner and I visit ecovillages, exploring different lives in different communities.  We engage these alternate, co-creative lifestyles, learning what works for us and what doesn’t.  Writing about these experiences and their elements is a way for me to apply my gifts and share an experience of the world that tells a unique story.  A fiction writer by birth, I hope in the future I can write novels that utilize what I have learned.

I also do this for the human family, one that is mired in the messy divorce of Father Sky and Mother Earth.  For sons and daughters who have lost their way, but know in their hearts that we can do better.
You are invited to a screening of 
A New Story for Humanity

This film is a gift to humanity by the Findhorn Foundation.

View the trailer and learn more here.

October 23 @ 3 PM

Radiance Gifts 
7-875 Corydon Ave.

Word Find

 
S P O R C L L I M D N I W A N
N O F F T H E G R I D W L O E
O E E R E T N I W S N A I K K
I Z V U B G A X E O S T F I C
T D I R T O P E I A A E E N I
N S T A E A R T H Z U R S D H
E G A L I T A R I A N Z T N C
V Q R W N R L N L L A F Y E O
N R E T E J O S M U R D L S W
I V P P D B S B U S I N E S S
N G O E R E H T E G O T S G I
J O O A A B I M S H A R I N G
C T C L G N I R P S U M M E R
E E L B A N I A T S U S K P Y
D O O W E R I F N O B U N U Y
air 
axe 
bonfire 
business 
chicken 
coop 
cooperation 
cooperative 
cows 
crops 
decarbonization
dirt 
drums 
earth 
egalitarian 
fall 
farm 
fire 
 
firewood 
garden 
goat 
inventions 
kindness 
lifestyle 
offgrid 
rural 
sauna 
sharing 
solar panel
spring 
summer 
sustainable 
together 
trees 
water 
windmill 
winter 
A Closer Look
Upcoming: ecovillages.ca
As a side project, ecovillages.ca remains forthcoming.  While there is a public-facing site at the moment with limited functionality and hosting, it is not ready to be announced.  There is further styling and functionality to be coded.  If you are interested if helping out, please visit the opportunities page on ecovillages.ca.

http://www.ecovillages.ca/about/opportunities/

Some articles published in The Co-Creator may have been posted to ecovillages.ca originally.  The relationship between The Co-Creator and ecovillages.ca is mutual.  The theme of the final issue of The Co-Creator is planned to include highlights on the December 2015 Paris convention as well as ecovillages.ca. 

Depending on the reception of The Co-Creator and ecovillages.ca, it may become the official newsletter of ecovillages.ca.

If there is anything ecovillages are, it is community.  The website, when ready, will aim to bring greater interaction among this emerging community in Manitoba.
Beautiful Manitoba...
Before enlightenment, carry water, chop wood.
 After enlightenment, carry water, chop wood.  
-- Zen proverb
Thanks for reading!

If you received this email from a friend and would like to sign up for future issues,
please sign up on my family's website. 
 
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