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The converging crisis of climate change, energy depletion, and environmental degradation poses a serious threat to our species survival.

Over the past century, we've altered the Earth's surface more than in the past 300,000 years.

As a result, half of our world’s forests have vanished, freshwater resources are running dangerously low, and the majority of our farmland has been depleted, compacted, and poisoned.

It's imperative that we begin to reintegrate our modern cultures with the patterns, networks, cycles, and balances of the natural world.

Through the process of facilitating beneficial and regenerative relationships between living organisms and natural systems in the local environment, any human settlement can be designed to produce an abundant and resilient source of food, medicine, water, energy, fuel, textiles, and building materials.

Using, intelligent, ecologically-integrated design strategies, the intensive re-localization of production and consumption can mitigate the effects of our environmental crisis, invigorate our economy, and improve the health, security, and well-being of the general public, for generations to come.

 

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Over the next 3 years, I'll be using ecological design strategies and natural building techniques to create a sustainable, self-sufficient settlement designed to produce an abundant, regenerative source of wild edible plants, fruits, fungi, herbal medicine, bio-fuel, natural fibers and building materials, throughout the year.

The entire design and construction process will be documented, in detail, through design sketches, time-lapse photos, Essay, and short documentary-style videos in order to create a comprehensive manual for developing ecologically-integrated settlements.

Once the site is up and running, it will function, primarily, as a self-sufficient Eco-Restort, offering a diverse line-up of educational programs, and musical performances, throughout the year.

Site Description

 

10-20 wooded acres on the south-facing side of a mountain. Ideally suited for maximum solar exposure, gravity-feed rainwater systems, and diverse microclimates.

The property will be divided into four, 1-acre properties and 6+ Acres of edible forest gardens.

Each 1-acre site will feature an Earth-integrated cottage surrounded by a dynamic edible forest garden capable of feeding a family of four throughout the year.

 

 

Site Functions

Ecological Education Center

Offering classes on Ecology, Wilde Edibles, Ecological Restoration, Permaculture Design, Natural building, and Holistic Herbal medicine

Farm and Nursery

Supporting a 20-30 member CSA, a small edible landscaping business, and retreat/concert guests.

Ecological  Retreat

Offering a Small cottage, 3 full meals a day-fresh from the garden, Fresh Juice, Guided nature walks, and a diverse lineup of musical performances and story-tellers throughout the year.

 

Forest Garden

Unlike a traditional farm with large machinery and row upon row of the same crop, forest gardens flourish, year-round, as a fully-integrated living ecosystem.

Throughout the site, land will be sculpted to improve the circulation of water, sun, and air; to encourage diverse ecosystems through niche environments; and to increase cultivable acreage through contoured, as opposed to flat, land.

Trees, shrubs, vines, herbaceous plants, ground cover, fungi, and root crops will be planted in self-regulating clusters capable of cycling nutrients, stimulating growth, improving the soil composition,  and warding off pests and disease.

Using ecological design strategies and perennial plants the crop yield will grow exponentially, each year, without the need for any additional expenses or external inputs in the form of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, or seed. (Read More...)

Earth-Integrated Structures

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Each Structure will be built using time-tested, earth-integrated building techniques in order to reduce building costs, lower property taxes, and virtually eliminate the need for heating and cooling.

Similar buildings made out of cob -a mixture of clay, sand and straw- are some of the most long-lasting, and durable structures in the world, lasting up to 1000yrs.

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Earth-Integrated structures are safer, sturdier, and more aesthetically pleasing than conventional homes.

Floors, walls, bookshelves, desks, and alcoves are hand-sculpted out of compacted clay…a free, non-toxic, fire-resistant, natural resource found on-site; and timber-framed roofs are layered with compacted clay, soil, and vegetation, in order to provide a cool, consistent temperature throughout the year. (Read More...)

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Water

15,000 gallons of pure, clean drinking water will be provided to the home, garden, and farm, each month, through a comprehensive gravity-fed rainwater harvesting system supplied by greenhouse roofs.

The quality of rainwater is unsurpassed when it comes to watering plants and landscapes. Captured rainwater is free of the salts and pollutants associated with ground and surface water. You’ll also notice a remarkable difference when showering with rainwater. Rainwater is much softer than tap water, in effect, making hair conditioner and moisturizer obsolete. (Read More...)

Energy

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Energy will be available throughout this site using a combination of small portable solar panels, hand-built wind turbines, bio-fuel generators, and mini hydro-electric systems built into the gravity-fed irrigation system.

The Primary source of energy and fuel will be high-proof alcohol made from Cattail, Reeds, Bamboo, and Algae. One acre of the site will be dedicated to producing enough fuel to power the entire site and more than 500,000 highway miles, each year. (Read More...)

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Waste

Food scraps, paper, cardboard, and landscaping waste will be thoroughly composted and reintroduced to the soil.

Wastewater from sinks and showers will also be filtered through bioremediating plants and used to fertilize the fuel crops: Cattail, Reeds, Bamboo, and Algea.

Composting toilets will provide a clean, odorless, low-maintenance solution for eliminating human waste on-site. (Read More...)

Security

The outer perimeter of each home garden site will be surrounded by six-foot high deer-proof wire fencing concealed by prickly edible brambles.

Bamboo will also be planted around each homesite in order to provide privacy and protection from strong storms.

Maintenance

Forest gardens require minimal maintenance and upkeep. Using ecological design strategies, herbicide, pesticide, and fertilizer applications are no longer necessary, and all farm work can be done by hand without the need for large machinery.

With a crew of 3 people,  the site will  require about 3 hours of work, a day, from March to November, for the first 3 Years.

After the first three years, once the ecosystem has stabilized, the landscape will require only a few hours of work a month mulching, pruning, and harvesting. Less time than most people spend maintaining their lawn.

The modern notion that “living off the land” is a difficult, time-consuming job is based on an outdated understanding of Ecology, Agriculture, and Indigenous lifestyles.

Through the process of incorporating multipurpose perennial plant species into the landscape using intelligent ecological design strategies, anyone can provide all of their basic needs -food, medicine, energy- through a dynamic ecological system with an ever-increasing yield.

An ecologically-integrated environment allows for a lifestyle with lower costs, and lower expenses, so that the income you make becomes actual income and savings. By producing your own food, herbal medicine, energy, fuel, and building materials, and living in an energy-efficient, Earth-integrated home, anyone can double their net income.

For the average American making around $50,000, an ecologically-integrated lifestyle can allow for the same net income as someone making $100,000 who spends half of their paycheck on food, energy, fuel, pharmaceuticals, and expensive, inefficient housing.

Currently, I’m looking for individuals, families, and groups of friends interested in participating in this project as either a full-time or part time resident.

Residents will have a private, secluded homestead, free access to all events, Alcohol fuel for $1 a gallon, a wide-range of employment opportunities, and an abundant perennial resource of fresh food, herbal medicine, biofuel, wildflowers, and water, year-round.