By Szilvia Rév
Issues in connection with climate change has become an everyday topic in media. While some years ago even greater mess of the leader scientists did not want to openly side in this question, now more and more studies come to light what declares that global climate crisis is not a question but a fact. These studies urge international steps and cooperation.
All of us can feel the effect of climate change: we see extreme wheather phenomenons, we hear about natural disasters and we also see the rapidly increasing price of food. We get the news of riots because of hunger from a number of countries.
Leader sustainability scientists got to the conclusion that the only proper answer to the crisis could come from self-sufficient farm communities. Their common stand is that all human beings should reduce its need, reduce the consumption, but the best solution would be he himself would start cultivating the land. If we produce our food, then we will not be defenceless to global food provision system. Further more we know exactly what we eat: we can use ecological methods, we can pick fresh vegetables and prana-enriched foodstuffs. Beside all this we do not contribute to the maintanance of nature devastating intensive agriculuture and to the unnecessary transportation of foodstuffs. Everyone should make effort to have at least a little vegetable garden.
But the complex and long term solution is more than this. It is when village communities are joining and working together. The strength is there in the cooperative communities. In Hungary 15 years ago Krishna-valley was established as part of the ISKCON farm communities. This project presents us with an alternative as to how we can tackle not only environmental problems but also pressing social and economical problems. The village-size experiment involving 150 volunteers, the community have built up a full range agricultural system. As part of the extensive organic gardening the farm has vegetable and fruit gardens, grainfiled, a cow protection center and apiary. It is astonishing how small field is enough to provide food for 150 people: 8-8 acre vegetable and fruit garden, 6 acre of grain fields,
125 acre of forest can provide enough firewood. The farm has wide range of experience how cow manure can be used to increase the soil’s productivity and the vitality of the plants. The experiences are also diversified in the fields of associating different plants so that they give shelter to each other from different insects and to be more productive and how one can use herbal extracts to enhance the resistivity of the plants. Also there are experiences how oxen can be used on grain fields to cancel the oil and other industrial need for maintaining tractors, and how is it possible to get milk from heifers (cows what never had calf) and to have fat-rich milk from pleased and happy cows. Further more there are experiences in research of those plants what can adopt to dryer, warmer weather due to climate change, and what can be grown productively in smaller plots.
The wells at all the houses are providing safe, sufficient and pure drinking water, the planned reed-bed zone wastewater system is environment friendly and gives independence from public utilities. The simple life close to mother earth does not need endless amount of electricity. Solar panels and small size windmills are sufficient to provide the basic needs of the families. Candles and other oil-based lamps could be made at home. For the heating, wood is the renewable energy. The foundation of the healthcare of the community is based on Ayurveda. The main stream is prevention. Proper nutrition, lifestyle and the natural healthcare.
The Eco-village has become a well known experiment internationally. It’s aim is to emphasize sustainability on every level of life. The goal is to reach full range self-sufficiency and to share the experiences to a broad audiencies. For this purpose the community established a Foundation called Applied Ecological Sustainability Research Institute (formerely the Sustainability Sciences Research Institute) in 2007. Through the Eco-valley programme (EVP) – the main programme of the foundation – the community is in collaboration with research institutes, universities, colleges, intellectual workshops, NGOs and leader scientists. The EVP is developing dinamically. The number of the participants, the number of the running and the planned project are rapidly increasing. The incomparable international collaboration programmes are giving opportunity to answer complex ecological-economic-social questions.
The residents of the eco-village realize the practice of sef-sufficiency in everyday life through their social- and private life considering ecological-, economic-, social-sustainability. The participant researchers, NGOs contribute to the project with their own research and experience on different fields like education, eco-tourism, gardening etc. Their aim is to execute the different research programmes to be able to synthetize the results and to propagate it to a wide range of audencies including the leader scientific world. The EVP includes scientific conferences, establishing a network of educational centers, educational paths, courses, versatile communication so that other communities could start developing their own self-sufficient farms. Beside this EVP gathers information and experiences through organizing study tours, members of the EVP are participants of conferences and are maintaining international relationships also.
Members of the EVP are ready to receive volunteers and to share the experiences of applied ecological sustainability.
For more details: www.ecovalley.hu