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Walden Ecovillage/the Farm
"Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple."
To responsibly develop, manage and rejuvenate all natural resources to which we have access, in order to provide for the immediate and long-term needs of our community and the ecosystem on which it depends.
"The history of human thought recalls the swinging of a pendulum which takes centuries to swing. After a long period of slumber comes a moment of awakening. Then thought frees herself from the chains with which those interested- rulers, lawyers, clerics- have carefully enwound her.
She shatters the chains. She subjects to severe criticism all that has been taught her, and lays bare the emptiness of the religious, political, legal, and social prejudices amid which she has vegetated. She starts research in new paths, enriches our knowledge with new discoveries, creates new sciences. "Peter Kropotkin, Anarchist Morality
Despite the waxing and waning of Anarchism's influence and popularity among the proletariat, we are, as a global community, moving in the general direction of greater individual autonomy and collaboration (even Capiitalists are recognizing the inherent advantages [E.g. The Fifth Discipline]); and we understand that this evolutionary trajectory will necessarily advance toward the realization (and evolution) of Libertarian Socialism.
Everyone wants material and physical security, the freedom to satisfy their individual desires and the support and appreciation of others: Libertarian Socialism is the only sociopolitical scheme that delivers the political and ecological environment necessary for everyone to meet their (individual, social and biological) needs- now and far into the future.
As the global (social, environmental and spiritual) consequences of Capitalism get increasingly worse (which they must do), Anarchism's star will once again light the darkness, and expose the path to ecological and social well-being. Then (and only then) having shed our shackles of helplessness, will we emerge from solitary confinement with the energy to both, take back all that's been stolen from us, and work together to rejuvenate (as much is possible) that which has been destroyed.
However, the degree to which these progressive changes will be realized- and mature, is directly related to when (or if) humans meet with a man-made, catastrophic end. Global warming, desertification, natural resource and biodiversity depletion, pollution and contamination are but a few of the factors that are contributing to the demise of our species. If we are to survive, we must reverse these trends.
"The exponential growth of human activities is raising concern that further pressure on the Earth System could destabilize critical biophysical systems and trigger abrupt or irreversible environmental changes that would be deleterious or even catastrophic for human well-being." Stern N. (2007), Planetary Boundries
Ecology, Agriculture and Anarchist Communism
Taoist philosophers and later many Anarchists (at least since Fourier and Thoreau), have discussed nature, ecology and man's place in the natural order of things. Kropotkin, in addition to advancing this discussion, wrote about how contemporaneous (modern) agriculture could feed the world: in The Conquest of Bread, he outlined, in great detail, how this was possible. Green Anarchists have since taken-up the ecological mantle, and Walden Farm will make continuous, systematic and empirically derived contributions to the practices necessary for environmental rejuvenation and sustainable agriculture.
Walden Farm will not (as is typical), be an area of land located somewhere on campus for the purpose of growing vegetables, raising animals and conducting agricultural research. The farm will instead, consist of all of the land and natural resources to which our community has access. The Agricultural College, within the Ecoversity, will be responsible for orchestrating the rejuvenation, management and development of these resources, and for conducting research and education activities related to environmentally sound natural resource management, agriculture and sustainable development.
We have outlined our justification for sustainable self-sufficiency on the Businesses page. Our strategic development plan prioritizes developing the capacity to feed ourselves and building infrastructure with on-site resources; so we will (prudently) strive to balance development with our self-sufficiency objective.
Our approach to Sustainable agriculture is based on Permaculture, and includes Masanobu Fukuoka's, Natural Farming and Allen Savory's, Holistic Management. We will, through experimentation, continuously work to validate and improve on those systems, and then share those findings with the global community. Christopher Alexander's work in architecture and design will likewise have a significant impact on the design of our infrastructure: particularly with regard to layout and aesthetics. These comprehensive systems are sufficiently developed to provide us with the tools we need to design and plan the infrastructure, and begin development of our community.
Form & Function
Our Permaculture design plan will integrate: Agroforestry; Mycology; Ecological Aquaculture, Microponics and Aquaponics; and a variety of animals. Animals will be raised for their contribution to our agricultural practices, for slaughter, for eggs and dairy products and for recreation; our horses (or donkeys) will be available to Members and Resort guests for transportation and recreation. Members will not keep pets.
The Farm will provide year-round organic produce, meat and fish, eggs, dairy products, processed foods (e.g. syrups, canned and pickled foods, soy products etc.), non-timber forest products and biomass to Walden Ecovillage and our Guests, and for sale to the outside community. The Farm's retail operations will likely include a produce market, a health food store, a nursery and a lumber yard.
Hamlets & Food
It is likely that our community housing will be organized as a network of small 'Hamlets' (see Infrastructure) that surrounds the main campus (the Ecoversity, Wellness Resort, our larger scale farming operations [Zone3] and ancillary businesses). Each Hamlet will produce the majority of its own food by collectively maintaining small agricultural facilities (Zone1[s]), that are encircled by the housing units; their surplus production will be contributed to the Ecovillage.
Obviously, this functionality will not provide all of the Hamlet's food; the common agricultural facilities (Zones 2, 3 & 4) will supplement their diet. We intend to eat together, as a community, as often as possible (likely via festivals: a superstructural function) but Members will routinely eat in the housing units (each unit will include a common kitchen) or where ever they are at mealtimes (e.g. picnics, pot-lucks or bag lunches at work, meetings etc.).
Spirituality & Farming
"One basic way to expand our efficacy is through modern science and technology. But another is through integrated (emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual) growth and enhanced wisdom. This means growing in our sense of connection with nature and one another and learning to live in ways that naturally cultivate our capacity to be human."
Communal farming is one the primary sources for experiencing spirituality at Walden. We hold that by engaging in this collective, creative, nurturing and physical activity, every one of us will maintain a connection (in both time and space) to the earth, exercise our bodies in the fresh air, and simultaneously witness the humanity in each other. To that end, every Member will become familiar with, and participate in, the production of our food.
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Grammatical edit: "Communal farming is one (of*) the primary sources for experiencing spirituality at Walden" ~mwaulife, Jan 29, 2017.