We are a family of 4 (Oliver, 31, Meike, 35, Emil, 2 ½ and baby Eva), seeking connection to the land and community. We value sustainability and want to live a satisfying, healthy and creative life. We bought a piece of property with the intent of starting an organic farm and forming an ecovillage. We moved to Jewel Creek in May 2012, started renovating an existing log house and building our homestead.
We would like to invite like-minded people in our age group (20-40ish) to inquire, help out, learn and perhaps join and create a wonderful interdependent community with us.
THE PROPERTY: It's located only minutes north of Greenwood and only an hour from Osoyoos, 142 acres with Jewel Creek running through it with plenty of water which we have domestic and irrigation water rights to as well as at least one artesian spring. It has great sun exposure, good top soil and is big enough for several families to live on self sufficiently. It has crown land on 3 sides and trails all around. About 2 km to Jewel Lake; a pristine lake in a wilderness setting with a beautiful beach, camping, swimming, and fishing.
We are planning to build a cluster of natural homes designed to minimize ecological disturbance and maximize use of the fertile, previously cleared areas for organic farming and gardening. We will use building material sourced from our land as much as possible. We are big fans of cob buildings and round houses.
We are already producing our own solar power and are going to set up hydro systems.
Grey water will be treated naturally and used for irrigation. Composting toilets will provide humanure for some gardens and plants.
We would like to host workshops, retreats, and small festivals related to sustainability, music and the arts, and healing. We hope that this will not only be fun and social but also bring the community some income for improvements, bills and further development.
We want to consume food that is produced locally, ideally on our own farm, but always sustainably. Our organic farm will supply residents and visitors with fresh, organic food; surplus can be sold on local farmer's markets (twice a week in Grand Forks) and to restaurants in the area. We will build root cellars to store fruits and veggies for the winter.
The organic farm will also produce some “cash crops” - Meike wants to try growing hops and Oli wants to brew beer.
We are going to incorporate Permaculture principles. Zoning, swales, terraces, composting, humanure, mulching, rainwater catchment, hugelkultur, just to name a few.
As for the community structure... It should be mentioned that due to our particular circumstances with this land we cannot sell shares or set up a land trust of any kind, however, we are also not charging any rent or joining fee.
We are planning to lease plots to members on a long term and renewable basis for no charge.
The idea is that if you join, build your home (be that a cob, straw bale or timber-framed house, a yurt, an earth-ship or whatever), you can live there with some work input on community projects expected. The legal rights and responsibilities will be laid out in the lease agreement, however, in short, with every plot the member will be able to build their green dwelling and household garden and share in communal gardens and spaces. This seems to be the fairest solution for both parties.
We are expecting prospective members to have little or no outstanding debts (be they credit card, car payments, mortgages etc...) and to have some financial assets to build your home and to share property taxes and other small governmental fees within the community.
We would like to invite people to join who have some of the skills and experience in community living, natural building, establishing off-grid energy systems, permaculture, organic/bio-dynamic farming, educational programs and/or are simply and wonderfully handy, hardworking, hands-on folks.
We are still trying to work out all the kinks and are learning constantly so bear with us.