Can We Develop a Farm Ecovillage Model?

We’ve recently been investigating the idea of working with an existing farmer to build an eco-community on their farm — both to help operate the farm and to consume some part of its production. This is likely contrary to most current zoning laws, but we think it’s a preferable solution to urban sprawl, and has benefits which may make it a model for future home developments. For one, it helps the farmer to have both customers and helpers onsite; and for the residents it provides healthy living in an organic environment.

The iconic Rodale Institute

We see this as a logical next step for a farm with a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) program; for older farmers willing to mentor and support younger ones; and for those farmers who want to increase the bio-intensity and organic productivity of their land.

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Posted in Agriculture, Cohousing, Community, Cooperatives, Ecovillage, Properties | 6 Comments

Ready for A Farm-Based Ecovillage? Time to Make Decisions

You might have heard that we have our eye on a particular 15-acre property located very near to the Montclair-Boonton line of NJ Transit. The property is suitable for agriculture and we’re envisioning a potential farming ecovillage on the site. But we have to move fast to make some preliminary decisions.

So rather than a full public Meetup in July we’ve scheduled a special meeting of the project’s core group. This will be an intensive decision-making meeting for serious players only:

Potluck — Sunday, July 9 at 12 noon – 4 p.m.
8 Revere Drive, Bedminster

Our core group numbers about ten individuals who have committed significant amounts of time and money over the years. They’ve guided the project, but they’d welcome more in the way of executive and administrative help. If you’re in a position to possibly offer such help, feel free to join in these special discussions on July 9.

Be cognizant, though, that this won’t be a regular social/educational Meetup, it will be a working meeting, and those attending should be prepared to become contributors at a core group level of commitment.

We will also be clarifying our approaches to identifying and vetting potential properties.

If you have any question as to whether or not you should plan to attend, feel free to call Victoria at 908-507-3150.

Please RSVP to [email protected].

Note: The property owner is also looking for help with some of the farm activities.  She writes, “If there are members who could provide assistance in installing the electric fence – that help would be greatly appreciated.  The fence-wire measures 1/4 mile, and each line must be attached – one at a time – to complete the circuit.” If you’re interested in this kind of hands-on activity, please contact Jonathan Cloud at [email protected]. Thanks

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June 4 Statewide Ecovillage Meetup at Murray Grove Retreat and Renewal Center in Lanoka Harbor, NJ

NOTE Special Time: 3 p.m.
& Location: 431 US Hwy. 9 at Church Lane, Lanoka Harbor, NJ 08734-0246

Joint Meeting to introduce plans to form the first Ecovillage New Jersey Cooperative

We’ll gather at 3:00 for a two-hour meeting and then enjoy a picnic-style potluck dinner starting at 5:00 (please bring a dish to share). The fun part will be an open-mic do-your-thing after-dinner jamboree (so also bring your guitar or tambourine or poetry to share).

As a featured part of the agenda, during the business portion of the meeting we’ll hear about a pending proposal to form the first “New Jersey Ecovillage Cooperative.” In preparation you could read about the growing and internationally sanctioned movement:

https://ica.coop/en/a-world-wide-strategic-plan-for-co-operatives

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Save the Date: June 4 Event Joins North and South Jersey Ecovillagers

We’ve had separate groups meeting in the north/central part of the state (Ecovillage New Jersey) and the southern part of the state (Ecovillage South Jersey). Every once in a while we should all get together to socialize, exchange notes, learn new things, and have some fun!

For the June 4, 2017 3 p.m. Meetup we’ve selected a location halfway between Bergen County (way up north) and Cape May County (way down south) — the beautiful Murray Grove Retreat and Renewal Center in Ocean County:

431 US Hwy. 9 at Church Lane, Lanoka Harbor, NJ 08734-0246

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Tamera Ecovillage Offers Unique Online Courses

Several months ago we hosted New Jerseyan Joshua Gottdenker on a Skype call about Tamera Ecovillage in Portugal.

Tamera is a School and Research Station for Realistic Utopia

The project was founded in Germany in 1978. In 1995 it moved to Portugal. Today 170 people live and work on a property of 330 acres.

Joshua wrote us recently:

Greetings NJ Ecovillage friends!

I’d like to personally invite you and your network(s) to join our upcoming courses:

More info about the September course is here:

http://terranova.tamera.org/ 

and a bit more about the June course here:
 
I hope life is treating you well!
And I hope you enjoy(ed) the event at Ricky Farm! Its great to hear about all your exciting engagements!

Cheers,

Joshua Gottdenker
Ecotechnologist
Tamera Peace Research Center
  Monte do Cerro, Colos, Portugal
Phone: +351-283 635 484
www.tamera.org
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Attend our April 30 Meetup at Rickey Farm, Vernon, NJ!

We’re organizing carpools for this and future Meetups. Sign up through our Ridesharing / Carpool form.

Rickey Farm, 442 NJ 94, Vernon, NJ

Rickey Farm, 442 NJ 94, Vernon, NJ

We’ll be touring Rickey Farm and envisioning the property as an EcoVillage at our April 30 Meetup.

The place has gorgeous views of Vernon Valley and phenomenal potential for sustainable homes and structures, agriculture, businesses, festivals — whatever we can imagine! (For more information on the farm, click here.)

Seriously, this MAY BE our 1st EcoVillage!

Rickey Farm visit April 9, 2017

Rickey Farm visit April 9, 2017

Meetup Schedule:

  • 10 a.m.: Optional Pre-Session (see below)
  • 12 Noon: Potluck (and intro for new guests)
  • 1 p.m.: Main Program (including farm tour, weather permitting)
  • 4-5 p.m.: Optional Post-Session Networking

 

NEW !!  We’re testing out a new element to our Meetup format: an optional pre-session where we learn by doing a useful regenerative project. If you come at 10 am on April 30, you can help create a Back to Eden Garden — a “no-dig” type of farming that restores the soil over time. Dress appropriately, of course!

Paul Gautschi, Back to Eden Garden

Paul Gautschi, Back to Eden Garden

At noon we’ll have our traditional PotLuck.

Bring a dish and/or something to drink. If this is your first Meetup with us, please come at noon; we want to know what you’re passionate about, and we’ll share the EcoVillage NJ story. We’ll also connect you with other members.

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Now is The Right Time to Join Ecovillage New Jersey

EcovillageNJ Members & Guests at Lise Thompson’s barn in Hillsborough, March 25, 2017

Save the Date — Sunday, April 30 EVNJ Meetup at Rickey Farm in Vernon. Sign up and RSVP at our Meetup site


Want to become more involved? Please update your information here.
 

What We’ve Accomplished So Far… and What You Can Do

We have more than 600 subscribers on our mailing list, including folks interested in ruralurban, and town/suburban ecovillage locations. We’ve worked through a lot of issues, partnered with the Ecovillagers Alliance, put in an offer on a property, and organized educational monthly events for more than two years — with a several dozen people attending each event. Now, we’re asking you to join us in making this dream a reality.

We’re organizing into Functional and Location Action Circles. Continue reading

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Save the Date — Our Next Meetup will be Sunday, April 30, 2017 (Noon-4 p.m.) at the Rickey Farm in Vernon

Details to follow.

If you’d like to visit the farm before the meeting, please email [email protected]. We’re planning a visit on Sunday, April 9, at 2 p.m. The address is 442 NJ-94, Vernon Township, NJ 07462.

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Tobias Fox Special Guest at March 25 Meeting

We have a special guest joining us at the March 25 Ecovillage New Jersey Meeting in Hillsborough.

Tobias A. Fox is the Managing Director of  Science and Sustainability Newark, a grass roots organization implements various initiatives to increase awareness of environmental issues through educational programs and hands-on training. We strive to assist with the creation of self-sustaining communities by developing pathways for green jobs that contribute to self-sufficiency and community empowerment. We are achieving this by partnering with residents, community-based organizations and stakeholders, including local businesses

He will be talking about how to grow an urban Ecovillage that involves the neighborhood residents.   www.sasglocal.com

Please RSVP here. Thanks.

Posted in Community, Ecovillage, Ecovillagers, Empowerment | 1 Comment

Ecovillage Meetup Saturday, March 25, 2017 — Creating a Functional Organization

Plug In to our New Organization Structure!

We promised you that 2017 would be a year of action, and we’re delivering — through your commitment and involvement!

This month we’ll flesh out our organization structure.

We use “circles” as the basis for decision-making. We already have three location circles – urban, town/suburban, and rural. Each has begun to research potential sites for an Ecovillage. Where do you dream of living? Join that circle!

This month we’re creating three functional circles: People, Place and Prosperity. These three high-level circles will be further divided into circles (teams) to study and make recommendations that will lead to multiple NJ Ecovillages (e.g., Site Selection, Membership/Fundraising, Marketing/Outreach, Education, Budgeting/Finance, etc.).

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Posted in Agendas, Community, Dynamic Governance, Ecovillage, Education, Events, Organization | 2 Comments