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Global Ecovillage Network News, SUMMER 2009

Global Ecovillage Network News, SUMMER 2009

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Published by: KotzagiozisIgnatis on May 09, 2010
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 No. 60
Permaculture Magazine
Women Pursue Dream ProfessionsSwedish Permaculture Forest Garden
 Apple harvest at Suderbyn ecovillage’s developing forest garden
GEN Meeting Marks Turning Point
 Alice and apprentice Paul Voigt
Suderbyn Permaculture Eco-village on the Baltic Sea islandof Gotland has began con-struction of what may be aunique forest garden design-inspired by the ideas of BillMollison and Robert Hart.The forest food garden, with itsown ecovillage integrated in thecentre, is to cover several hectaresof crop and pasture lands on theSwedish island. A 640 metre long,two metre high chain of sevenearthen sun traps are being builtto create a more hospitable micro-climate for the forest garden. Tomeet the soil requirements forbuilding these suntraps, some2,000m
of ponds will be exca-vated on site.”While this scale of excavationwould make any permaculturista bit uneasy, we see it as anecessary adjustment to createan enabling environment whereboth flora and fauna will thrive”says Robert Hall, one of theinitiators. “The wooded sun trapswill protect us and more sen-sitive plants from the occasionalicy northerly winds as well asfrom noise emanating from thenearby coastal road.” Hall hopesthat volunteer efforts will sufficeto get the sun traps planted withhundreds of fruit and nut treesand berry bushes.Even with the addition of thesesuntraps, the ecovillage sees anumber of specially designedsolar heated glasshouses as thecrucial next step to complete theforest garden and achieve greaterfood self-sufficiency.For further details see web:
The board of the Global EcovillageNetwork met at EcoArt Village inthe Rocky Mountains of Coloradoin the US, February 2009. Themeeting marked a turning pointin GEN’s history. With two newrepresentatives from Asia: SajiniPathiraja from Sarvodaya, SriLanka and Penelope Reyes fromthe Happy Earth project in thePhilippines, and with the formaladmittance of NextGEN rep-resentative Ali Rosenblatt as afull member, the board now has(for the first time) a majority offemale members and almosthalf (three out of seven) fromthe global South.The board reaffirmed its com-mitment to upgrading its websiteand database, with the aim ofcreating a highly visible andaccessible international infor-mation sharing hub. It alsoreiterated its intention to buildstronger links with the sustainablecommunities movement world-wide, both in intentional andmore conventional communities.GEN is also employing stafffor the first time in many yearsand an ambitious fund-raisinginitiative has been launched.For further details, contact thenew President of GEN, GiovanniCiarlo
 In Tamera, Portugal, eight women,most of them over 60 years old,are working together to build anew village, the Aldeia da Luz.While most of their contempor-aries prepare to retire, these womenare creating their own home basesfrom which they can pursuetheir dream professions.The women decided to buildwith straw bales and adobe as itkeeps the rooms cool in the hotsummer temperatures, is eco-logically friendly and produced inthe region. These materials arealso easy to work with, whichmeans the women can help thebuilders with the construction.Alice Lindstedt, now 74, is theoldest of the group. She spent along and often hard life as mother,grandmother and as a sewer andtextile worker. Now, in her oldage, she is making her dreamcome true. In her textile studio,old clothes will be repaired andrecycled. Alice says: “I am awareof the conditions under whichclothes are being produced.Clothes and other textiles shouldbe used as long as possible, bychanging, or repairing them andusing what cannot be worn asinsulation in construction.”The studio will not only be aworkshop but also a gatheringplace for women of differentages. There will also be a herbhouse for processing wild herbsinto medicine and kitchen spiceswith an adjoining herb garden.Here, seminars for the use andprocessing of medicinal plantswill take place. “We are a part ofTamera University” says Alice,“and we aim to pass our oldfemale knowledge about plantsand crafts on to the youth.”For more details, contact LeilaDregger:
Sandra sculpting at the studio

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