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10belfast Coho Proto Night ill

For the past several years, Still Water Co-Director Joline Blais has been working with two dozen other families to found Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage. Now the prototype home for this self-developed, self-financed community on the coast of Maine has been declared 2011 Project of the Year by the US Green Building Council.

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11orono lgh Digital Humanities 11 illTo coincide with Digital Humanities Week 2011, Joline Blais joins permaculture experts Julia and Charles Yelton, social media hackademic Craig Dietrich, Rural Maine Partners’ Claudia Lowd, and members of the Wabanaki community in hosting “Social Media and Sustainability” at LongGreenHouse, a clearinghouse for sustainable culture on the edge of the U-Me campus.

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Nrcm LogoFor the last several years, Still Water Co-Directors Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito have been working with 20 other families to found an ecovillage on the coast of Maine. Now Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage has won the National Resource Council of Maine’s 2011 People’s Choice Award “for exceptional efforts and tireless work to establish a model environmentally sustainable, affordable, multi-generational cohousing community.”

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Still Water co-director Joline Blais trades a 45-minute car commute for an hour and a quarter on an electric bike.

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09orono spr lgh was Perma 16 illThe Still Water Permaculture Guild, located at 5 Chapel Road in Orono (LongGreenHouse), is inviting anyone who is interested to come to their “field days” this Friday (April 22) and next Wednesday (April 27), from 12 noon to 4pm. The Guild has been working to transform a normal residential yard into a perennial garden with edible fruit, vegetables, and herbs, using permaculture techniques.

If you would like to see a model of “edible landscaping,’ want to learn about permaculture gardening, or just want to get your hands in the soil, this a great opportunity.

Please send a e-mail to william [DOT] giordano [AT] umit [DOT] maine [DOT] edu, or just show up. For more information about the Stillwater Permaculture Guild, visit PermacultureUMaine.wordpress.com/events/

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10agrigento Kolymbetra Garden 3 illThe permaculture philosophy of dynamic preservation turns out to have ancient roots in Sicily. Last December Joline Blais surveyed a Permaculture site near Caccamo founded by noted Australian sustainability gurus Julia and Charles Yelton, as well as a reconstructed citrus garden originally cultivated by the ancient Greeks of Agrigento.

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10castelbuono Donkey 16It almost seems like cheating for Italians to declare Castelbuono an ecovillage. In this medieval town in the mountains of northern Sicily, the houses are already made of heat-exchanging stone and residents already walk everywhere through winding cobblestone streets. A donkey picks up recyclables and food compost headed for local farmers.

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Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito presented models of open governance on November 12 at U-Me’s Promise and Problems of Transparency conference. Organized by Desiree Butterfield-Nagy, the event featured a “hyperblog” organized by Blais and Ippolito with help from Still Water Senior Researcher Craig Dietrich.

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Joline Blais in Belfast 2010At the 2010 ESTIA conference “Ecovillages Redefined” on 22 October, Still Water’s Joline Blais gave a presentation on the Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage and conducted a discussion on the role ecovillages might play in a sustainable future.

Also presenting at the conference were Roger Kelly of the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Wales and Daniel Greenberg of Living Routes at the University of Massachusetts. Local luminaries featured at the conference included farmer extraordinaire Mark Fulford, LongGreenHouse veteran gkisedtanamoogk, and Belfast Cohousing Equity Member Jeffrey Mabee.

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This fall, five UMaine students will practice sustainable living as part of their education  in a permaculture homestead at the south edge of campus .

Inheriting a greenhouse, coldframe, swaled garden beds, perennial gardens and the planting of food forest trees along a corridor into campus from former student projects onsite,these students will model green living as an education option.

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