Formed: 1984 Established: 1985
This page last updated:7/3/2013
Steyerberg, Lower Saxony,
(nearest railway station: Nienburg/Weser, then bus to our main entrance)
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Under the impact of the worldwide financial crisis of finance in 2008, the community Lebensgarten decided to turn an adjacent field into PaLS (Permaculture Park at Lebensgarten Steyerberg), initiated by Declan Kennedy, founding chairman of GEN.
Then Jean-Philippe, an engineer and farmer from France, moved into the community with his family, having run an eco-farm for 15 years - the best experienced man for PaLS.
The PaLS site covers about 8.0 hectares (20 acres) of a very low rated cropland and woods which was formerly cultivated by orthodox farmers. As the youngest and biggest of our projects, PaLS now shares its cropland with 28 gardeners of the community who cultivate their plots mainly for self supply and produce a stunning wide range of highest quality vegetables, herbs and fruits on a strictly organic basis. The main crops are sold to community members, our community and guest kitchen. PaLS is now has customers in the region outside our community village, delivering a vegie-box.
PaLS also has problems and challenges. Jean-Philippe cannot yet generate an adequate income for himself and his family out of his daily hard work in the gardens. He still depends on voluntary assistance and financial support from community members.
The argument that a lot of people cannot afford the prices of high quality food is not persuasive if we consider that orthodox cultivated produce externalizes all its subsidies, its impacts on the environment, exploitation of resources and subsidies by government.
Another member, Annette, is a Dutch expert in vegetarian cooking and a highly experienced gatherer of wildflowers and herbs, with an impressive knowledge of their benefits for human health, and of local conditions necessary for their growth.
A few years ago she started her own business: creating a wide range of different and new varieties of natural flavoured salts and blends of spices. Her project ‘Wildes Zeug’, Wild Stuff, is designed to support the PaLS project, which serves as a vital field for empirical research and is a pioneering example for the implementation of permaculture. Wild Stuff is mainly dedicated to two tasks: re-naturalization and education.
With great enthusiasm and commitment, Declan and his team invite people to different kinds of work camps. We cooperate very closely and contribute our knowledge and experience to promote the planting and seeding of wild herbs. On the terrain, we work on the soil, and the vegetation quickly recovers, and we gain an increase in bright, colorful and diverse areas of land.
We invite individuals, groups of interested people and school children to join our guided tours on the PaLS property for learning about edible wild plants that have high nutritional value, such as minerals, vitamins and enzymes. They gather the ‘wild stuff’ and, working in practical teams, prepare a delicious meal using various methods of cooking, including open fire. Salads, soups, dips and pesto are part of our healthy meal as well as bread from our own hand-built oven. In a ritual, we give thanks to the plants and elements with a sort of thanksgiving dance. Such mutuality brings us joy and enables our visitors to re-strengthen their bond with nature and encourages them to deepen their appreciation of what we gain from it.
Further projects have been initiated over the past 2 years, They will be described in the next report.
| | Contact:
: Mostly in German but with some English translations - includes Seminar and Cultural Programms
Money Network Alliance
: Margrit Kennedy's Money Suggestions in different languages - her book INTEREST AND INFLATION FREE MONEY can be downlaoded at www.margritkennedy.de/pdf
Community location is placed at the center of the zip/postal code, city/state, or city/country (not based on street addresses)
This page last updated:7/3/2013
(We have teo B&B's for visitors and plenty of seminar week-ends - see our programm on the web.)
Visitor Process: Every month, we have a guided tour for visitors. This happens on the second Sunday of each month, starting at the entrance/ bus stop at 14 hrs. and finishing (2 hours later) with a visit to our Sunday Café with hot drinks and organic cakes. Here the newcomer gets views of the community as well as exchanges of ideas, both during the walk and in the Cafè; cost is €6 per person. Larger group or theme (e.g. Living in Community; Eco-Building; Eco-village Network; Permaculture) tours for school classes or associations with 10 or more people (with lunch or afternoon tea, as desired) can be arranged over the telephone with Frauke at +49 5764 2000 (best: Tuesdays 20-21 hr.). For overnight guests, please call the office: +49 5764 2370 (Mon., Wed., and Fri. 10 - 12 hr.; Tue. and Thu. 17 - 19 hr.) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
GEN - Global Ecovillage Network
Statement of Housing Non-discrimination:
Our community does not discriminate in regards to housing based on race/color, national origin, religion, sex/gender, family status (i.e. having children, not having children, or being pregnant), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, ancestry, source of income, age, creed, personal appearance, political affiliation, HIV infection, military/veteran status, unfavorable military discharge, gender identity or expression, receiving public assistance, or being the victim of domestic abuse.
Comment: US non-discrimination laws do not apply to our community, but we are glad to say that our goals fit
Members(adults and children):
(A dozen more supporting members who mostly live within 10 kilometre distance)
(Partner of members or people who were living here before the community was established.)
Open to new members:
(We are pretty well full within the original settlement but new members are renting and buying houses nearby.)
(we call our system qualified consensus)
Leadership Core Group:
(steering committee - elected every 2 years)
Labor and Money
Members have independent finances
(Communal facilities carried by members' monthly contributions and donations)
Open to Members with Pre-existing Debt:
(at least 4 to 6 hours/ month)
(new members pay double fees per month for the first year while on probation)
(Membership fees mainly for upkeep of communal grounds, buildings and communal events)
Land and Buildings
(but in itself is densely built)
74.1 acres (30.0 hectares)
Land Owned By:
A subgroup of community members
(and a foundation: Paradise Now)
Percentage of Food Grown:
(we cooperate with bio-farmers in the region)
Share Community Meals:
Dietary Choice or Restrictions:
Diet is up to each individual
(communal meals are vegetarian)
(other dietary options are provided on prior request to visitors and seminar guests)
(mainly alcohol free, except for our café)
(mainly smoke free, except designated outdoor areas)
Common Spiritual Practices:
(Tolerance is one of our common paths)
Which Spiritual Traditions(s):
Eclectic (integrates pieces from many religions)
(Many different spiritual paths)
Private school off the property
(Steiner + public school off property, own kindergarten in our forest, free school being planned in the region)
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Current editor(s): declankennedy
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