Still Water Co-Director Joline Blais and Still Water Research Fellow gkisedtanamoogk both spoke at Building Sustainable Communities: International, National and Local Perspectives, held at the University of Maine from 24-25 October 2014. Both veterans of the LongGreenHouse project, Blais and gkisedtanamoogk brought long-term yet pragmatic visions to this gathering of lawmakers, architects, engineers, and activists.
Partnership between Permaculture and Indigenous culture
Many of us have important relationships with animals, be they the beloved family dog or the meddlesome raccoon that keeps getting into the garbage.
But what about plants? Their relationships to humans may be much less visible in popular media, if it’s conscious at all. Yet some people’s connections to a particular medicinal herb, houseplant, or tree have “deep roots.”
Starting in June 2013, the home of Still Water Co-Directors Jon Ippolito and Joline Blais becomes an experiment in sustainable living through digital feedback. This net-zero-energy unit in the award-winning Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage now includes a smart grid whose energy generation and use patterns can be monitored in real-time on the Web.
The Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage is featured on Ron Beard’s live call-in show Talk of the Towns on radio station WERU on the 25th of January.
Still Water Co-Directors Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito are partners in building this innovative community, whose net-zero energy homes and consensus governance aim to be a model for sustainable development.
A surge in new members this summer and fall has put Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage in position to build its Common House and complete its ambitious project to build a sustainable community on the coast of Maine.
Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage has grown quickly since breaking ground in the fall. As reported last Wednesday on Maine Public Radio, nine out of 36 homes have already been completed, and the scene already resembles the “friendly and sociable” village predicted by the Bangor Daily News and featured in the BBC, WCSH TV-6, and WABI TV-5.
The past few months have seen a spate of news stories that feature Still Water co-directors in TV, print, and online outlets. Here are some of the highlights:
According to Streetsblog Los Angeles‘ Sahra Sulaiman, Still Water Fellows Vanessa Vobis, Craig Dietrich, and collaborators are “saving the world, one garden at a time.” Their project LA Green Grounds continues to dig up both lawns and publicity on its mission to turn Los Angelenos into gardeners.
There are challenges to forming a harmonious community. But one thing everyone can agree on is the importance of food.
While the local food movement encourages us to shop within a hundred-mile radius, at Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage, we have the opportunity to produce hundred-yard food. If we wanted to, we could plant raspberry ‘sharing’ bushes between neighbors yards, spiral herbs outside our kitchen doors, alternate apple and peach trees along the driveway, and dangle grapes and kiwi from the Common House trellis. And if knowing your farmer is key to food security, being your own farmer (even for just a blueberry bush or apple tree) is even better, because then we know what it means to generate life, food and community.
The week culminates on Friday 2 March at the School of Cinematic Arts with Redesigning Reality, a hands-on session in hacking the “scripts” that govern us to make everyday life more sustaining and sustainable.
Workshop participants redesign their favorite foods and Web sites, looking to nature as a model for the victual and virtual.