October 21 Trip to visit the Ecovillage at Ithaca

Last year our group sponsored a one-day trip to visit and tour the Ecovillage at Ithaca (EVI). This year our colleagues in the New York Back-to-the-Land / Ecovillage Movement Meetup are sponsoring a similar trip, but it will be a two-day excursion involving an overnight stay.

It’s too much driving to go to Ithaca and back in one day from NYC. But it’s do-able from most points in northern New Jersey. So we NJ folks have two options if we want to piggyback on the arrangements being made by our New York friends: Some of us could sign up for the Saturday tour, drive up to Ithaca in the morning, eat dinner with the New York participants, then drive back to New Jersey at night. Others might want to allocate the weekend and join in with the full two-day program.

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Posted in Carshare, Ecovillage, Events, Ithaca, Visit | 4 Comments

NY Potluck Picnic & Speaker Event: Intentional Living Co-housing Development

Date & Time: Saturday, September 30, 2017, 1:00 PM — 3:30 PM
Location: NY Central Park
RSVP: https://www.meetup.com/New-York-Back-to-the-Land-Ecovillage-Movement/events/243326861/?

Martin Tomczyk visited and researched extensively about co-housing (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohousing) groups and eco-villages in the New England region.

Coupled with his knowledge and experience in architecture and construction, a vision for a co-housing (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohousing) group in upstate New York was born: Harmony Hudson Homes EcoVillage Cohousing, and a plan for that group has been developed; with an emphasis towards: passive housing, arts & crafts, yoga/meditation, permaculture/gardening.

Martin is currently enrolling members interested in participating in the formation of the co-housing (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohousing) group, and is in the process of securing land for the development of that group.

For more information and to RSVP: https://www.meetup.com/New-York-Back-to-the-Land-Ecovillage-Movement/events/243326861/?

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Why Sign Up for a Carpool?

Many people have asked about carpooling to EcoVillage Meetups. We now have a way to do this and request that you sign up — whether or not you need a ride or you can offer a ride. Why?
  • You may enable someone(s) to attend that wouldn’t have come, otherwise.
  • You’ll save carbon emissions — we are about living lightly on the earth at Ecovillage NJ!
  • If you share a ride, you’ll be able to share your interests and meet like-minded people — who knows what connections and opportunities you’ll come away with!
Click here to add your location and contact info to our Carpool list. You’ll immediately be able to see others needing/offering a ride. Please call or email each other to make arrangements.
If you have a better method, please let us know at [email protected] and [email protected]!
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Working with a Builder / Developer?

Join us in Basking Ridge on Sunday, September 17, from noon to 4 (the usual potluck, of course) for an enlightening conversation about cohousing — that will now include the possibility of working on an Ecovillage project with a professional builder or developer. RSVP here.

If you want to carpool, please add your information to our sign-up sheet. After you’ve submitted your response, you’ll be able to see all the other responses and coordinate directly with other drivers and riders:

Sign up as a driver or rider (or both) here.

If you want to save carbon and don’t want to make the drive, join us via Zoom at

https://zoom.us/j/8283857296

Adding to a growing list of possibilities, we’re in discussions with a South Jersey developer about creating an Ecovillage as part of a larger housing development project. We’ll share what we know about this opportunity at the meeting.

Both for-profit and non-profit developers are becoming interested in building new Ecovillages and cohousing neighborhoods, and converting older developments into a new vision of community living for the current generation. We believe it’s possible to combine the best of the ecovillage community creation process and the work of the builder / developer, which includes commissioning the design around the desires of the first cohort of eco-community residents.

 

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September 17 Meetup: “What is Cohousing?”

Sunday, September 17, 2017, 12:00 – 4:00 PM

Zelin / Cloud Home (8 Revere Drive, Basking Ridge, NJ)

Let’s get straight on all the buzzwords of the movement!

We’re part of a worldwide movement.

The movement is based on a recognition of how modern lifeways are stressing people and stressing the planet. It promotes remedies that are all about rejuvenating local community life while “living lightly on the earth.”

Within the movement there are a variety of models, methods, and concepts, like:

* intentional community
* egalitarian community
* cohousing
* commune
* ecovillage
* pocket neighborhood
* community land trust
* community land cooperative
* consensus
* sociocracy

For our September Meetup we’ll be exploring what these concepts mean and how they relate to each other. The starting point for our discussion will be a short slide-show called “What Is Cohousing?” It raises issues that will enable us to touch on all the concepts listed above.

So: if you’ve heard the “buzzwords” and you’ve wondered what they mean . . . join us on September 17! Bring along your list of questions. And a friend or two. Also a dish to share! As usual, we’ll start with a potluck luncheon/social hour at Noon. Our discussion will begin at 1:00.

And in the meantime, check out this 8 min PBS story on cohousing, very powerful — and addressing the heart of the matter in dealing with social isolation and aging. ​

Posted in Agendas, Cohousing, Community, Dynamic Governance, Ecovillage, History, Organization, Sociocracy | Leave a comment

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 | 7 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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