Natural Earth Garden Villages

Eco Living

Project Description

To establish opportunities for everyone who wishes, to be able to enjoy an affordable eco house- living within the palm of nature.

Affordable Eco Housing Living.

 CreatIng affordable Eco Housing Developments, living closer to nature.

Establishing increased personnal security through lowered cost of living and local food security.

To protect and enhance existing environments and wild life.

 

Forest Garden Eco Village Projects are designed to create a way of living that gives the opportunity to live closer to nature, providing the oppurtunity for a low cost affordable house and adjoining plot for permaculture/ forest garden/ organic/ biodynamic/ flower garden.

          Supporting increased food security and low cost living - affordable eco housing.

These Garden Eco Living Projects will be living examples, that can then be adapted to different areas and different countries. This a way of living that increases our connectedness to nature, enhances our well being, reduces our indebtedness and helps to preserve the earth her living eco systems an resources.

 

Not everyone who wants to live in a Natural Earth Eco Village intends to be a mini farmer/permaculture/ forest gardener. People can still have a house and flower garden plot to their chosen size and enjoy the fresh produce grown and sold in the onsite produce shop.

Graham Bell has the oldest established forest garden in this country. His plot is one fifth of an acre and produces more than a tonne of food per year and is the most wonderful examples of what can be achieved in terms of food quality, quantity, and variety and also  how to increase biodiversity. The plot only takes around two days input a week.

 

“Can I commend you to make every garden and woodland you find as productive as this (his own forest garden). These will become our food banks of the future.” Graham Bell.

 

                               We are now looking for a site for The First Pilot Project -

                  To purchase a farm or suitable land or co- join with an existing farmer landowner.

    

We wish to find suitable plots for individual eco living plots and larger sites/ farms for several homes and also full village sites.

 

      Charter for Natural Earth Eco Living and Associated Projects

 

  • To provide the opportunity to own a low cost eco house and adjoining plot for a forest garden/ permaculture/ organic/ biodynamic/ flower garden.

  • To increase personnal and local food security in environmentally friendly ways, including seed saving.

  • To protect and enhance existing environments and habitats.

  • To ensure housing utilities and everyday living create a reduced environmental impact and lessened ongoing financial costs, through read bead system, low heating housing approaches etc.

  • Food plots and eco villages can become at least 50% self sufficient including reduced impact in terms of heating/ water/ food/ work, reduced packaging/ waste and composting.

  • To enable small holdings to be able to purchase land, within light living formats.

  • To enable projects big or small to be able to  own land for the purposes of living within the umbrella of the Natural Earth Eco Living Charter of light and connected living.

  • To weave the best of nature living with the best of modern advancements in living/ housing to bring together a comfortable, yet more self sustaining, integrated approach to life and living in closer relationship with nature.

  • To ensure high soil quality.

  • To create employment and livelihoods skills training.

  • To encourage eco tourism.

  • To encourage artisans, skilled makers and small food artisans.

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  • To support our farmers who feed the nation.

  • To help support and encourage small scale family farming,organic farming etc, helping to increase wildlife and supporting considerate animal welfare practices.

  • To evolve eco living projects in association with existing consenting farms, landowners.

  • To promote improved soil quality including the mycelium fungal layer.

  • To encouaging food growing in urban areas towns and cities, to increase personnal and local food security and nature restoration projects.

  • To use and promote nature seeds rather than modified seeds.

  • To promote low to no harmful chemical usage.

  • To encourage seed saving.

  • To ensure small scale family farming, farm shops, farmers markets, delivery boxes and small scale food outlets.

  • To ensure traditional small scale farming methods and skills not lost from farmers and growers.

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  • To help protect forests, living eco systems, encourage local eco food growing and eco living plots world wide.

  • To help enourage growing in small spaces,allotments, gardens,community areas and container/pot growing.

  • Courses on food storaging and perserving.

  • To ensure there is always high quality, wholesome foods available for all, wherever you may live on the earth, to be able to help and feed those who may be affected by by food shortages for whatever reason.

We are looking at small individual plot options and scaled down versions  of the full eco housing villages.
The first full village project to include:-
  • Residents choose up to  2.5 acres of permaculture plot - smaller and micro plots available. Each plot to include planning consent for an Eco House , to be designed to require little or no heating with workshop space and garage, if required.Your house can be a self build or chosen from one of our archiects designs that can be built for you.

  • Community Spaces/Buildings 

  • Retreat and Learning Centre to offer courses for locals residents, schools and people from wider afield.

  • Childrens Natural Earth Schooling Centre. Offering Nature School Based Learning.

  • Eco café and Eco Produce and Product Shop.

  • Natural Earth Healing Retreat Centre and Spa.

  • Nature Meadows and Flower gardens.

  • Aromatherapy and herb garden.

  • Wildlife Reserve and Animal sanctuary.

  • Plots are to include fruit trees, nut trees, ornamental trees, berry bushes, vegetables, herbs, flowering plants, green houses/polytunnels and pond eco house and workshop.

  • Larger scale farming to be included.

Houses can be Eco houses, straw bale, hemp crete, wooden etc.

Whilst the design and size of the house is not necessary limited the emphasis is more  of our connection with the outdoors rather than the size and grandeur of the property.

People live independently on their plot as in regular housing settings, this isn't a communal living setting.

The eco villages will be brought together in phased developments timings over several years.

 

Natural Earth Eco Living and Associated Projects are based on a basic charter promoting ways of living that bring us towards a closer alignment with nature in our everyday living.The eco housing projects aim to bring the oppurtunity to own an affordable eco house, helping to eleviate and reduce current debt/ the financial pressure based way of living and high housing costs and utility bills. The housing plot is to include land for an adjoining permaculture / forest garden – helping to increase personnal and local food security, whilst at the same time suppporting and increasing biodiversity.

We wish to also support/create smaller development projects including - individual plots.

Costs and things to consider:

 

The plots would be sold at approximately  £5,000-£25,000 (using ethical banking such as Triodos). Further costs and transitions of money would include:-

 

Cost of the building of individual house.

Water supply.

Installing of reed bed/water filtration system.

Solar panels/free energies when available.

Cost of water supply/electricity to be worked out.

Cost of planting the plot with trees and vegetation.

To establish plots would vary in cost, depending whether planting was from seeds or from already established plants. The plots would have upto 300 different varieties of fruit and nut trees, herbs, berry bushes, vegetables and flowers.

Cost to plant up stock, trees, plants etc . A slower possibly more enjoyable way and cheaper way is to grow from cuttings and seeds enjoying taking things slowly whilst planting it up.

 

The aim is to establish housing and living that is affordable, sustainable and also nourishing to mind, body and soul.

 

There can be courses to help people to learn how to establish their own forest garden living area and also in learning how to preserve, store produce and seed save.

 

Aspects to food growing plots:

 

A large portion of the plot area devoted to an orchard space, fruit,nut trees etc.

Each village plotand housing plot can be encircled by a band of trees to encourage wild life.

Bees and hives can be used for honey and pollination. [Benign living beehives methods outlined].

The plots not big enough for animal rearing other than for free range chickens, bee keeping maybe a few goats for a little milk and cheese.

For people eating animal product foods, these can can be purchased through onsite eco shop, etc..

Local organic food vans could do house to house calls and also share any excess produce,  helping to reduce food waste, as people would be more likely to buy just what they need for a few days, instead of bulk buying from the supermarkets and food going off.

Wild and Native Fruits of Britain

Sea Buckthorn

Gooseberry

Apples

Hawthorn

Plum

Blackberry

Raspberry

Sloe Berry

Black Currant

Rosehip

Pear

Cherry

Crab Apple

Elderberry

Strawberry

Rowan Berry

 

Forest Garden Eco Villages to include -

Natural Earth Healing Retreat Center and Spa.

 

Healing with herbs, homeopathy and other holistic treatments [Similar lines to the Hippocrates Center, America.]

Nutrition - wholesome modern cuisine including- raw foods, forest foods, wild local plant foods to help achieve an alkaline diet.

Emotional healing therapies.

Healing through being in nature, flower/ aromatherapy gardens.

Workshops, group and individual treatments and sessions.

Spa and swimming pool area.

Garden and herb, therapy tuition.

Cookery and raw food preparation skills.

 

Also, included within the Forest Garden Area there will be a learning retreat centre and café.

Giving - Cookery and raw food preparation, foraging, preserving and storing food skills.

Skilling courses.

Eco Farming and growing centre.

 

Natural Earth Child Schooling System

 

  • Child Led Learning

  • Nature based learning

  • Empathy based

  • Children teaching each other

  • Experienced adults to bring in expertise when children show an interest in an area when necessary.

  • Nature deficeit disorder is now being recognized for the impact it is having on the wellbeing of children and adults, this way of living could certainly help to overcome that.

 

“Our children no longer learn to read the great book of nature from their own direct experience or how to interact creatively with the seasonal transformations of the planet. They seldom learn where water comes from or where it goes. We no longer co-ordinate our human celebrations with the liturgy of the heavens.” - Wendy Berry.

 

We may be asking ourselves what kind of a world we are leaving our children.

What skills, knowledge and priorities have we passed onto them.

 

Some of the reasons to live this way:

 

The Forest Garden Eco Living Projects - reduced impact living approach - ways we can help to increase the population in the countryside, without losing our countryside, enhancing existing areas and increasing biodiversity.

We can live and be in the countryside without using more concrete or building confining housing estates, or flats.

With a reduced cost of living and availablility to own and local food, people have reduced pressures and financial debts and worries.

 

Britain was once 85% forest it is now approximately just over 3% forest, forest garden living can help to turn this around.

A recent study stated that we have only one hundred harvests left in our soils as the mycelial fungal system is being broken down through over ploughing. Forest Gardening, permaculture and other low dig methods of growing do not destroy this fungal system to the same degree. The Eastleigh Study by John Reeves shows how a high mycelial level in the soil with organic growing methods produce increased levels of minerals.

Forest Garden growing has a high mycelial network helped by the low dig way of growing.

 

Regular farming systems use high levels of pesticides; they add nitrogen and phosphates to the soils and often become depleted of other minerals that are needed for health.

 

Other inspirational Projects we Can Learn From:

 

Monty Don’s visit to Cuba showed a wonderful example of people growing organic vegetables and fruits in every little available space in cities. People there achieved food stability after economic instability hit the country and they were forced to start feeding themselves. This example can be replicated in Britain and in other countries giving food security to all people, helping with rising food prices, the cost of living and would also be a security net in case of economic, world instabilities. I would suggest we move in this direction at the quickest pace. Land in towns, cities, villages and gardens can be used to grow food including the perimeters of surrounding towns etc. to grow food and plant orchards.

 

Many places have growing projects established worldwide, we can read about some of these in the Permaculture Magazine.

 

Pam Warhurst in her “Edible Landscape” projects in Sheffield have established food growing areas, helping to create more food secure communities.

 

Warren Draper in Doncaster is helping to reverse poverty with permaculture food growing. Transition Town and many other projects have made great inroads in creating community resilience and food security for people.

 

The work of Patrick Whitfield contributed so much to the permaculture movement. Martin Crawford’s, Forest Gardens books give us great direction and inspiration.

 

There are waiting lists for allotments, so we need to access, more available land.

 

In Britain 87% of people have access to a garden, which would allow them to grow some foods, garden share and food swaps, even if people don’t have a large garden space it is surprising the amount and range of foods that can be grown in a regular sized garden.

 

In war time people have grown around 80% of the nation’s food needs.

 

The project aims to help encourage food growing in many ways most people live in  urban areas, people can grow in their gardens and flat terraces and micro foods indoors.

 

Community Supported Agriculture provides opportunities for growing. 

 

More places and people are establishing local food growing areas, forest gardening etc,this enables more people and including people using food banks to benefit from the healthy foods that are grown.

 

Street parties,community bring and share meals and celebrations are also a great way of sharing food grown and people getting together without lots of expense.

Seed Sharing events and get togethers are also becoming more popular.

 

“Pay as You Feel” Café, often from donated food (which may have gone to landfill), or grown foods, are emerging to help share food, not dependent on money.

 

Projects in Tanzania have created plots that are now producing bountiful harvests.” We want to bring it back to Eden. This land once had trees all over it. We want to heal the land.”

 

“This natural, gentle, systemic approach manages to restore both the environment and people’s lives.” - Heather Tomlinson.

 

The Earth

 

Nature needs us as much as we need nature, nature reacts to us and we react to nature.

 

"Every plant, every blade of grass will react to you with love, and these plants, as living beings are capable of collecting for you all the best energies of the universe. They collect them for you. Plants feed on just more than the energy of the soil." - Anastasia the Ringing Cedars.

 

James Lovelock reintroduced the Gaia theory into western culture which recognises that the earth as self-regulating and not just a ball of resources for us to use up.

 

Gaia is the Greek name for living intelligent sacred earth.

 

More people actually live in cities and towns than live in the country side; Forest Garden Living would help to reverse this trend.

The mycelium fungal layer and our soils vitality, nutrient and mineral content can be greatly supported and improved by a more connected relationship and understandings.

"The very concept of creating a scented garden is rooted in ancient history.From the earliest times,

the culinery and medicinal properties of herbs and aromatic plants have made them a vital part of human existence.From material necessity to aesthetic pleasure." The Essential Aromatherapy Gardens- Julia Lawless.

Our accounts each year, rather than being aimed at money and profits, could be seen in terms of our accountability to ourselves,each other, nature and animal species.

The earth goes through different cycles patterns in time, increasing our ablity to grow food, store and seed save can help us to be more equiped to get through challenges.

 
Quality of our Foods

We want every person in the world to have the highest of quality food. It is an injustice for their to be food depravation or for high quality food to be exclusive mostly to people with more money.

Forest Gardening, agroforestry, permaculture, organic, biodynamic and foraged foods all contain vital and improved levels of vitamins and minerals. See Rutgers Organic University Study.

 

Forest Garden Living

 

‘Evidence is mounting to suggest the Amazon rain forest was in fact sculptured by people, a huge forest garden slowly and carefully shaped to create an eco-system that sustains itself and the humans who live in it.’‘

 

In the UK we can transform our mono-culture landscapes into vast polycultures – food forests formed of native edibles as well as plants that provide timber, fibers, medicines and eco-systems services.’ - Amelia Lake.

 

‘Many indigenous communities do not have a word for ‘wild’ they recognise themselves as part of nature, not separate from it. The wild should not be a place we visit it should be something we are, an integrated whole that includes humans.’ - George Monbiot.

It is not that we should remove, exclude ouselves from living in nature quite the opposite, I believe we just need to tread more lightly and reconnect to the pulse of nature.

Plants and trees talk to each other they help each other too.

Plants sing they and create a harmony along with the birds.

The mycelium fungal layer has been called the "wood wide web", or the earths internet for plants and trees.

 

“For all mans supposed accomplishments, his continued existence is completely dependent upon 6 inches of topsoil and the fact that it rains.” - Confucius.

 

LivIng in a ways that minimze harm to life, people, animal, plant, woven into our ways of living.

 
Our Emotional Need for Nature

 

"I go into nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more.’ – John Burrows.

 

For the glory of the garden glorifieth everyone.’ – Rudyard Kipling.

 

From all corners of our thinking and living, from mental health to sustainability, the answer brings us back to living closer with nature.

 

Instead of being in a system that produces high stress and increasing debts and worries,we can easily direct our vision and energies into living and aligning with nature.

 

“Human beings long embedded within their environment, have always been sensitive to the meanings that surround them, those contained within plant communications, as with all communications, generate feelings in us in response. We know the touch of the world upon us, that we have been caressed by meaning.”

“The plants release the Earth’s subtle chemistries through their intertwined, interdependent synaptic feedback loops faster and more completely than researches or anyone, can write them down, their meanings pile one on top of another until the linear mind is overwhelmed. They shift the fabric of our world and touch us in ways too complex for our conscious mind to grasp. Nevertheless, we can grasp them- they come in gestalts to the attentive mind and caring heart, concise reflections of planet and earth inter-relationships. In knowledge whole and complete. The trees are the teacher of the law.”

"Chimpanzees actively test Aspilia plants for activity by holding a leaf in their mouth for extended periods of time before deciding to pick it or go onto another. As they sit, allowing VNO (vomeronasal organ) to analyse the chemical content of their chosen plant, in return the plant analyses the saliva of the chimpanzees. In a short period of time it begins altering its chemical production to enhance the necessary chemicals needed by the chimpanzees for healing."  - Stephen Harrod Buhner.

 

What is being done to people, animals and the earth?

 

As our relationship with the earth has become fractured, so too have our lives become fractured. We are over stressed, over worked with increasing levels of mental health issues, many unnecessary physical illnesses, despite all our progress, society still struggles, another way has to be forged, built on gentleness, caring and respect for life. This gentle way of living takes great courage to see within ourselves and our lives and then to change.

 

"No-one knows what the long term effects will be of trashing the planet’s diversity, exterminating plants, animals and micro-organisms in an orgy of vandalism for a short term profit. One thing is certain it will not be to the benefit of human kind” - Tony Wardle.

 

Social and domestic breakdowns become lessened when we have a support system in place that ensures people have access to enough food, feel safe and secure and are not living with financial debt worries and burdens. When people, societies know that they are secure can lives change for the better.

As most people live in urban areas our projects also aim to support and encouarge urban greening and growing initatives,forest gardening, permaculture, agroforestry,orchards, organic allotment areas in and around cities, towns and villages, wild growing, foraging, seed saving and tree and garden planting.

 

It is a crime, to me, that everyone is not able to step outside into some form of garden, it is especially sad for children.

 

The raping of the earth’s resources, the plundering of the seas, the destruction of the rain forests, the disrespect and cruelty to the earth, plant life, and animals and to man, has reached a peak. A new way of living, a more fulfilling life has to be made, forest garden living can help to offer us part of this new way.

 

Reasons to move to Forest Garden Living Projects

 

In any event of indivdual, local or world instability it is vital that people have local food security, creating worldwide local food networks.

 

With an increased need for food banks, forest garden food space  projects could help provide high quality fresh produce .

 

I suggest we need not remove man from nature to ensure nature’s survival, in fact man and nature should inter-twine. Man needs to retrain itself to live more lightly and in harmony with nature and no longer destroy and ignore nature, and then we may witness a way of living that so far has not yet been realised.

 

Over population in not necessarily a world’s curse but the manner in which we live on the earth is.

 

In so many instances the old outdated systems have turned people, animals and the environment into a life of slavery, servitude and explotation- denying us all full expression and our potential for health, happiness, wellbeing, creativity, rights and freedom within a debt based financial bondage .

Most of us feel that the world and life should and could be better. Forest garden living can help us live the dream we have largely been denied.

 

What does it mean to be human? A true human being can be known because he truly cares, not just in word but in action. The true human being is magnificent in nature he is a creator and a manifestor, but surely he is only truly great when he creates without harm and with respect.

 

“Establishing forest (garden) in most of the places people actually live is probably the most important step we can make to human survival”- Graham Bell.

 

The Natural Earth, Garden Villages Eco Living Projects can help establish ways for people  to feed themselves, no human being should have to worry about food and no one should have to go hungry.

Many people want to feel more connected to the earth and to each other, no matter what their living situation may be, big garden or no garden. For most of us, myself included this is a new journey and there is a lot to learn, learning from each other, together we can make the way easier and more enjoyable.

 

For what are we

Without each other

And a world worth living in

For what are we

Without the bird song

The rustling of the trees

The flowers that fill our senses

The pollen that feeds the bees,

For what are we

That we may have forgotten

That the earth is our garden, our home

Given to us, to protect

From all that destroys

But to share

With all life, animal, plant and man

For us to make beautiful.

For what are we if we have gained all the wealth

Fame and power

Of the world

But we have sold our soul

And the soul of people, animals and the earth.

 

H. Louise Ashley.

 

To Find out more about the Project and to see what stage we are at-

 

We are also looking at Projects that could be put together where farmers/landowners can participate in the project by selling off up to 50 acres of land for the Forest Garden Eco Living Projects. 

With assurance that the integrity of the project will be maintained and the land would not be able to be sold off for regular housing developments/shop/retail/industrial developments etc.

Ideally we would like to buy/own a farm./share part of a farm/ land which we could then develop gradually into a full garden village or a scaled down smaller version.

The pilot project could then be a blue print adaptable to different areas, settings, needs, locations and countries.

We are now looking for financial backing, sponsors, donators, farmers, possible suitable land and hopefully soon people that might be interested to own a plot within the develpoment projects.

Many people are interested, initally we may only be able to include a small group of people for the first farm / land project so that under the worst case scenerio we couldn't get full planning permission on the first site we would still be able to live use the farm for eco growing,farming, retreats and courses etc. between us.Whilst we still continue to move ahead for full approval for plots and sites big or small, to be granted full permission under the Natural Earth Eco Living Charter for Light Living, umbrella.

We show that there is good reason why people should be able to have access and to own their own land to be able to live within the guidelines of this of this charter.

         

 

    Hope this project may also inspire others who wish, wherever you may be, to create something similar.

H. Louise Ashley. Concept Designer for Natural Earth Eco Living.

Poet and author, wisher of a better world.

“Survival in a Wounded World.” Poetry.

”Finding a New Way”

Designer and Founder - Natural Earth Eco Clothing.www.naturalearthecoclothing.com

Singer Song writer for Loula Lain Bandcamp.

Public Speaker on World Improvement Issues.