The field trip began on B street, where I joined Doug and Vinod on bikes to pedal our way to the village. Early as we were, we took a about 15 minutes to drop by the fruit tree sale held right next to the eco-village at the Sustainable Living Coalition’s SEED Center; it was a beautiful sight, and the woody life-force in the building filled me with joy. I watched tree roots dangle like pulsating guts as they were transported from box to bag and off-site to a lucky back-yard or farm field. I witnessed the community that was happening in the woody barn-building, where people from all over town and all walks of life engage in the fruity marketplace. I watched with joy as my second-to-last dollar to was lent out to secure several bunches of Comfrey for Vinod’s senior project. What a wonderful feeling! Trading green for greener! Little did I know what permacultural wonders were to come!
As we toured the eco-village I was overcome by elements, functions, and interrelationships. It soon became apparent that “off-grid” living can be done in many different ways; whether “off-grid” life is lived sub-division style or tarzan-style (with fenced chickens), it seems that you’ll most likely be living an experimental lifestyle…which seemed pretty sweet (sour, bitter, pungent, astringent, and salty) to me. The whole eco-village was like a playground for earth-lovers (and “earth-building materials” lovers). I saw many permaculture principles in action during our field trip; chickens were used as biological resources -as was the sun, wind, and ground heat; natural water catchment systems performed many functions: storing runoff, feeding greenhouse life, and feeding ducks, and cooling the humans in the summer time. Energy cycling was displayed beautifully in the natural buildings built by our friend(s) Hal (and co.); glass/windows, wood beams, floors, joists, and even the wall materials were recycled from the garbage pile or picked up from the ground.
The field trip was inspiring to say the least, it was enlightening, and it was fun. Most importantly, it was fun. Building, developing, and maintaining all the aspects of the eco-village seems like a whole lot of work. I could tell just by the look of Mike’s brother Dave that an eco-village can be like an eco-work-boot camp. But hey, I’ve always liked camp…especially if its sleep-over camp. I remember going to my first sleep-over basketball camp in the Pocono’s in PA; it was a lot of fun. Anyway, I give three cheers to Brian and his crew of earth-loving, sustainability rebels with multiple causes. I hope to go back again soon.