Ecoculture Village{The Short & Sweet Version}
Re- [discovering, juvenating, & inventing]
small rural communities…
preparing, surviving, living!
~ Ecosustainable, Selfsufficient, Ethical ~

{The Long Winded & Wearisomely Verbose (but nonetheless valuable) Version}
Mission & Vision

The mission of Ecoculture¹ Village², a 501(c)(3) [pending] nonprofit entity, is increasing personal and community resilience {If prepared, then resilient.}… putting the rural back into community… rediscovering, rejuvenating, and reinventing small rural communities [to increase the quality of life for, and to increase public awareness of the actual and potential benefits inherent to, small rural communities].

¹ The word ‘ecoculture’ can most easily be broken down as a noun… to mean ‘ecological culture’, which immediately brings to mind traditional culture’s, past and present, of people who lived, or who are living, at one with the ecology; but also as a verb… to mean ‘to culture ecologically’, which not only implies the cultivating or farming of food, medicine, and utility species within an ecological framework, but also the human transmission of human lifeways from one generation to the next in an ecological framework as well. Ecoculture emphasizes ecology as the basis for all life, and is the ecoculturalist’s foundation for land use design and community values interpolation. Ecoculture is my main strategy, and for the purposes of Ecoculture Village’s mission statement, I define it as the demonstration, documentation, and dissemination of subsistence-level¹∙¹ self-sufficiency and ecologically sustainable¹∙² design and principles, and ethical intentional community practices.

¹∙¹ Subsistence-level, being understood as logically conceivable, here refers to all necessities inherent to whole being or real existence and is intuitively supportive of healthy individual and group human evolving.

¹∙² Ecologically sustainable here refers to the provision that all human activities be in the very least compatible with the healthy functioning of the natural world, and at most be somehow enhancing to it; and providing for that, that all human activities can be continued indefinitely.

² Villages are the smallest full featured rural settlements; larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town; often inherently offering religious and/or spiritual gatherings/services (possibly a separate or subsidiary non-profit interfaith [respecting and engaging in dialogue and cooperation of all religions/understandings] organization nearby or onsite) in addition to all other base necessities.

My original inspiration was and is, to communicate something along the lines of… a way to live fully without imposing personal spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof) on others; I believe ecoculture is how our… creator… wills for us to live our lives and that it encompasses all that we may need, might want, and desire.

Another way I define ecoculture is: the harmonious union of the environmental dynamic (ecosystem) and the social dynamic (culture), which I believe is both the underlying determinant for and the end result of rational land use. In light of this understanding, Ecoculture Village is intended to be a research and design study facility primarily involved in both being an example of, and also shining light on examples of… living excellence.

Another way I define ecoculture is: the relationship between human culture and the ecology, in the sense that human culture recognizes that it is a directly proportional function of the ecology.

There is a growing recognition that the diversity of life comprises both biological and cultural diversity. But this division is not universal and, in many cases, has been deepened by the common disciplinary divide between the natural and social sciences and our apparent need to manage and control nature.

Nature And Culture: Rebuilding Lost Connections goes beyond divisive definitions and investigates the bridges linking biological and cultural diversity. The authors explore the common drivers of loss, and argue that policy responses should target both forms of diversity in a novel integrative approach to conservation, thus reducing the gap between science, policy and practice.

While conserving nature alongside human cultures presents unique challenges, this book forcefully shows that any hope for saving biological diversity is predicated on a concomitant effort to appreciate and protect cultural diversity.

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While the most practical vision for Ecoculture Village is oriented toward solving the common problems of our community time/space… the ultimate vision for Ecoculture Village embodies achieving, maintaining, and teaching ways toward the highest quality of life (health, happiness, and longevity) possible for anybody and everybody on Earth. We will achieve this vision by way of the implementation of cooperative living, organic polyculture (both aqua- and terra-farming), appropriate technologies, wildlife habitat buffer zones, conservation of microhabitats and other sacred spaces, and other Earthfriendly tactics.

Although our nonprofit focus is interdisciplinary research, design, experimentation, and educational outreach, in striving to promote and engage multiple sources of initiative, Ecoculture Village dutifully seeks to be viably interconnected with the everexpanding networks of likeminded individuals and organizations both local and abroad.

From the University of Essex…

Ecocultures: Blueprints For Sustainable Communities, the first edited volume, a collection of case studies and analyses on established and emerging Ecocultures from around the world, details how communities are taking action to maintain or build resilient and sustainable lifestyles.

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Tell Me More…

What I believe Ecoculture Village can be… is nothing short of and nothing more than the super potential inherent to the general definitions I have attributed to my imagining sanctuary… a safe haven… an Earth haven… a home where I and others of like mind can live respectfully, to each other and to nature. Ecoculture Village need not be restricted to any aspect of its potential, nor need it be prematurely focusing on any aspect of it either… it will be, and is, an entity… the process and result of its utilizing us in creating itself.

That said… Ecoculture Village is in its beginning stages, in other words, needs people, organizing, and land… people have asked me where "the money" is going to come from in order to accomplish this. In reality, "the money" need not and should not be any other than the last consideration we might need make… even though… most people I have talked to seem to have financial worries on their minds. People want to know about "the money"… , so I’ll get this explanation over with promptly… without trying to sound insulting to anyone’s intelligence I tell them to imagine the image that hilariously and yet common sensically comes to my mind… ahem… concerning "the money", we are a bunch of dogs at a canine circus trying to earn praises and treats… and after we jump through all "the pooch hoops", aka the legal and business hurdles and expectations (incorporation articles, bylaws, business plan, executive limitations, financial statements, etc.), then "the money" will come…

pooch hoops
(image credit: unknown)

AND the more pooch hoops we jump through, the more funding we can expect to be able to be accountable for, especially as a certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It’s about establishing trust in ousincere legitimacy… encouraging people’s hearts.

This site is my strategy for attracting the energy to collaborate in jumping through all possible pooch hoops, which I believe needs to involve more than just one person (we need founders) in order for a wholesome community mindset and framework to naturally evolve from our paperwork and sweat… ecosustainable, selfsufficient, ethical community! This site exists in order to facilitate dreaming Ecoculture Village into action. With that in mind… Ecoculture Village is an experiment in creating an appropriate history of human cultural evolution, beginning with wilderness survival skills and the embellishment of those skills resulting in an ecovillage. For our home base, we will acquire some acreage (~50 to 100 acres) surrounded by wilderness, preferably National Forest and having a year round water source at a high point and enough south facing slope to farm and integrate water courses and ponds to support outdoor aquaculture and that will keep the deep soil moist throughout the planted areas. We will integrate living simply "off of the fat of the land" with more advanced appropriate technologies to the effect of achieving harmony between the ecosystem and human culture.

evolve(image credit: various unknown)

Showing how one way of procuring heat in an ecologically sustainable manner has evolved.

Ultimately relying on survival knowledge and skills to constantly remind us of the inherent necessity of a healthy ecosystem and each other, we will learn and show others how to truly live at one with the land.

We will have several bioregional sites that each shows how to apply abstractions for success to a multitude of natural environments and living challenges, as well as techniques exclusive to those bioregions. These sites will serve as an organizational network. This is a noble and worthy goal and lifelong endeavor which possesses enough inherent challenge to satisfy all but perhaps the most extremely selfcritical person’s desire for personal and group evolvement.

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Values, Strategic Principles, & Tactics

My values and consequent principles are inextricably bound to, being the result of, the ideal that the best intentions must be based on the most widely agreed upon standards of human conduct. To put it another way, my ultimate trueness of form is the goal I actively strive for. I believe I can accomplish this by way of ecoculture.

sacredhoop
This symbol, the sacred hoop (might be called* ‘the medicine wheel’ by some) represents the ultimate trueness of form of planet Earth. It is not merely "artistic"; in other words, there is nothing arbitrary about it.

*called; meaning "falsely referred to" as in ‘name calling’, but also "summoned" as in ‘called forth’; so for practical purposes of argument here, the sacred hoop and the medicine wheel are the same. Even so: concerning them, they are part and parcel to each other, and yet distinct and separate entities unto themselves explaining two very similar yet different ways of looking at various aspects of life, and perhaps even the whole of life as we know it. The medicine wheel, may it be that its blessed epitome’s time has already come, is wholly centering and grounding and functions communicatively most well as its name signifies, medicinally, more a cure rather than prevention, best used at home where healing can be full, in anticipation of great celebration of all life! It can be also further understood that a sapling is not… well, ‘fully well’… until it produces fruit. Whereas the sacred hoop is a more advanced and less lucid understanding, for warriors equipped to go out into the world and change other’s hearts and minds so as to be goodness ready, as well as to further evolve their own understanding and place in the world, in anticipation of great celebration of all life! This is of course, just my opinion, a conglomerate insight, no more loved than anyone else’s, but perhaps better suited to my own understanding than that of another, perhaps not…

My basic understanding of human nature is thus: the more morals we share (the greater our ethic), the more we collectively inherently value, and by way of the subsequent cooperation that naturally ensues, the more individually understandable our principles naturally become, and the easier should be our attaining our ideal (as high a degree of appreciation [to increase the inherent value of] for the Earth as possible). When something is understood, that something is assumed to be successfully (implies uniquely and also essentially) communicated by those who understand. Knowledge is of course passed on to others by way of understanding.

It can be argued that all the solvable problems we humans face are the result of ignorance (the inverse of understanding, a lack of appreciable knowledge). Ignorance is consciously defeated when the knowledgeable intentionally raise the ignorant to a certain level of awareness as many times as it takes for the ignorant to realize truth. Realizing truth is not a mere awareness of truth; it is being able to reiterate it, to communicate it on and in one’s own terms.

Ecoculture comes about when mankind realizes, firstly, that the social dynamic does not even so much as exist without the environmental dynamic; secondly, that the rise or fall of both culture and the ecosystem are always proportionally related to each other; and thirdly, that the ecosystem must remain, or become and then remain, the active (static, dominant) principle; and that culture must remain, or become and then remain, the passive (specific, submissive) principle.

As ecosystem provides for culture, culture must be assistive to ecosystem. In order to establish and/or maintain this balance between the ecosystem and culture, all true situational facts must be taken into consideration. This relies upon an interdisciplinary approach to understanding, and necessarily encompasses the widest observational range possible, in the very least in terms of the relevant local bioregion(s).

The situational elements of any relevant scenario always form the basic vocabulary of intentional design, the individual meanings of which are reflective of collective values. We continue to appreciate (to increase the understandability of) our values by establishing principles (foundational concepts). The principles constitute the structural aspects of the individual system components, the collective of which defines the system that is Ecoculture Village, for example. Values and principles are the basic drive behind all intentional design strategies, to put it another way, behind all intent to achieve an ideal. Strategies are supported by initiatives and are achieved by implementation of tactics.

Within the context of universal design, which must be naturally understandable to all people to the greatest extent possible without the need for adaptation or specialization and which I simply think of for the sake of brevity as my collective values, is bioregional design, which necessarily incorporates adaptation and specialization and therefore relies upon the oftentimes very much less abstract idea of the application of unique strategic principles and tactics.

The following list of strategic principles and associated tactics is arranged alphabetically, as they are all equally valuable, even though some are more bioregionally applicable or specific than others; and is a work in progress. Tactics are by no means, as a general rule, exclusive to any one principle.

Appropriate Technologies
Typically thought of as hydro, solar, and wind methods of energy acquisition and storage, but also wood; only technologies that fit within the ecologically sustainable ideal will be utilized.

Examples:
Aqua and Terra Polyculture Greenhouses
Evaporative Salt Production
Residential Passive Solar Heating/Thermal Mass
Solar Cookers/Solar Water Distillers/Solar Water Heaters
Wood Stove (Catalytic)/Oven/Water Heaters

Bioregionalism
All subsystems, including home energy acquisition, food production, sanitation, soil fertility management, waste management, etc., will be designed and integrated in a manner compatible with, reliant upon, and non-disruptive of the local bioregion (climate, habitats, indigenous species, soils, etc.). Food and other goods will be produced locally, a surplus of which may provide the basis for economic independence. These ‘endemic’ goods should ideally be exported only via ‘clean’ methods of transportation; and if less than ideally, only so far that they remain arguably within the ecologically sustainable ideal.

Clean Energy Reliance
The use of forms of energy that do not pollute, such as hydro, solar, and wind will be prioritized.

Conscientious Consideration

Conservative Use of Precious Resources
Native plants conserve water.
Greywater systems conserve water.

Cooperative Living
The ability and willingness to work together toward achieving common goals encourages independent thinking which is of great benefit to group decision making. Sharing knowledge and teaching skills:

First aid
Preparedness & Survival
Bushcraft

Form Follows/Fits Function
The design and/or implementation of any system component must reflect, firstly and foremostly, that it serves a specific purpose inherently necessary to the viability of the system. This provides for less ‘breakdown’ of system components and also that only the necessary amount of materials, time, and energy is used. Another way of saying it is: KISS (Keep It Simple Smarter).

Impoverished Soils Improvement
Composting
Phyto-stabilization & -remediation

Interconnectedness of Personal Space
Having mutual respect for each others’ personal space, both physically and mentally, as well as spiritually, is integral to the interconnectedness of life. It is our interconnectedness that enables us to appreciate the beauty that is our diversity.

Examples:
Community meals
Meditation paths and sitting spaces

Maintenance of Wild Habitats
Wild habitats are to be maintained, adapted to, lived harmoniously within, and at times altered in order to enhance; never wasted and never destroyed. Whenever possible, and insomuch as is possible, all existing wild microhabitats will be conserved as sacred spaces; and wild habitat buffer zones will be utilized to the effect of maximum biodiversity.

Non-Toxic

Organic Polyculture
Organically farming many species integratively…

Prioritize, Preserve, and Perpetuate Indigenous Culture
Whenever possible, and insomuch as is possible, the whole body of traditional knowledge and lifeways indigenous to the local bioregion(s) will take precedence in terms of understanding and expanding public awareness of the inherent, communal, and sacred value of the land, water, and sky.

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Waste
Compost Piles
Greywater systems conserve water
Moldering toilets reduce water consumption and produce soil
Native plants conserve water
Worm Bins

Renewable Resource Reliance
The use of renewable resources will be prioritized. New ways to use available renewable resources will be found whenever possible. There are limited exceptions to renewable resource reliance. For example, concerning permanence; a house can be built out of wood and it might last more than two-hundred years with regular maintenance, whereas if it is made of stone it might last more than two-thousand years. Because a wood house is vulnerable to fire, rot, termites, etc., and in any case will probably have to be rebuilt every century or so, if it is determined that the use of stone is harmonious, it might be a wiser choice in terms of sum total materials and energy to build with stone.

Virtuous Habits
This is simply the principle of living a principled life. A principled life is one composed of virtuous habits, grants good luck, and enables achievement of ideal.

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Other Reasons Why… ?

Dans les champs de l’observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés.
~ Translation: In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind.Louis Pasteur

Whether or not Ecoculture Village (or something similar) appeals to you depends on your individual selfevaluation… your needs… what you believe/think you desire and want for yourself and your dependent loved ones… and what strengths (and what weaknesses you must overcome) you have in order to achieve your ideal. Accurate selfeval requires real understanding of existing limiting factors, and real honesty… in a world so full of complacency and conformity that reason seems to have been abandoned for the foolishness of lemmings. It may be difficult for some to realize the relevance of the following question: Are you really going to let the status quo determine for you and your dependent loved ones your socioeco attitude and thus what the quality of your life should be like? Your carefully chosen attitudes and practices will spell the difference between crisis and resiliency. Let’s solve our problems before we’re faced with predicaments.

With ever so many conspiracy theorists and doomsayers out there expressing a multitude of panic driven reasons why we need to "do something", it can be difficult to find intelligent reminders that most problems only become predicaments if we let them.

If you need a real world starting or reference point from which to determine for yourself how relevant ecoculture or any other proposed solution may be to you… watch the video… ‘Crash Course; Chapter 1: Three Beliefs‘ by Chris Martenson, PhD, MBA, an economic researcher and futurist who speaks to audiences around the world on The Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future of Our Economy, Energy, and Environment — Information You Can’t Afford To Live Without… enjoy all 20 video chapters of Chris’ straightforward and commonsense approach to understanding our global situation from the perspective of economy, energy, and environment.