- What is an ecovillage
- How a community differs from an ordinary village
- What is a family estate
- How the family estate is arranged
- How to painlessly break away from civilization
- How to make dreams come true
- The largest and most successful ecovillages in Russia
- Rayskoye family estate settlement
- Settlement Generic
- Commonwealth of family estates Denevo
Is there an alternative to city life? Why is the quality of life in ecovillages considered better than in cities? What might a family estate look like, what are its main features? What is the difference between an ecovillage and a family estate? Read about this in our article..
More and more people are coming to the conclusion that urban life worsens a person’s physical and emotional health. Living in harmony with the outside world is the answer to many simple but serious questions that a person begins to ask himself at different periods of his life. These answers were found for themselves by those who decided to leave the city and live in nature..
What is an ecovillage
Ecosettlement is a conventional general designation of an inhabited area of a terrain with people permanently located there. They are also called communities. As a rule, these are families who live there without a break, with the exception of trips as needed – to medical and government institutions, shops. They lead a collective life, cultivating the land and using the crops. Livestock, beekeeping and so on are a source of nutrition and a resource of exchange for the settlement.
Distinctive features of the organization of ecovillage:
- Non-commercial use of land. Harvest and other products are sold in order to purchase the most necessary things – fuel, batteries, communications, or directly exchanged for them. Surplus is often distributed to those in need at open fairs.
- Respect for nature. The ecovillages do not use pesticides, chemicals and factory fertilizers under any pretext. The same applies to animals – growth catalysts and other drugs that affect metabolism are not added to the feed.
- Lack of desire for hoarding and enrichment. The settlers do not create surplus production. Planned harvest is limited by community needs.
- Lack of a rigid control system. The settlements are few – from 30 to 250 people, so the “governing bodies” are conditional – they are trusted people, elders, whom the community can change at any time. Alternatively, it is the Community Council, which includes family heads and elders. They do not cooperate with representatives of the state or any other authority, but represent, if necessary, the interests of the settlers.
- Autonomy. Each community strives to provide itself with everything it needs, helping others whenever possible.
- Freedom of conscience. The principle of the internal structure, the distribution of roles in the economy and the way of life – everything is determined by the members of the community. Many settlements have a religious basis – often pagan – and use the customs of their ancestors from the pre-Christian period.
How a community differs from an ordinary village
In ecovillages, there is no concept of division into “ours” and “aliens”. Fences, or rather, hedges, protect vegetable gardens and yards from forest animals, but not from neighbors. Due to the lack of a desire for enrichment and superiority over others, the following phenomena do not exist:
- Theft. It makes no sense – all things are created by collective labor and there are no “extra” things that are not used.
- Wage labor. There is no commodity-money turnover within the community. The ecovillage spends money only with external contacts. Spending is strictly negotiated and carefully planned.
- Property as such. The community develops its own rules, but in the overwhelming majority of cases, the land and property of an ecovillage cannot belong to individuals. The land is purchased or rented from the state by several like-minded families at their own expense. The heads of families make up the Community Council.
- Drunkenness, smoking, lust, foul language. In all ecovillages, these character defects are prohibited. The difference from the traditional approach of society to these personality problems is that the team helps a person to get rid of them, and does not isolate from him.
Tribal communities have absorbed the best traditions of villages and villages. One of them is the transfer of knowledge and experience from old masters to young ones. Achieving perfection in his work – whether it be blacksmithing or carpentry, agriculture – a person teaches this to his children, this is how labor (professional) dynasties are born. The unification of people of different professions makes a remote settlement viable – it has its own agronomists, biologists, teachers, doctors, technicians and specialists of many other professions.
What is a family estate
A family estate is a community consisting of members of the same family, which is replenished through the establishment of family ties with representatives of other families, clans and communities. Several ancestral estates can unite into a clan community. This is usually done at the stage of “project development”, when in ordinary life like-minded people meet and discuss common plans for the future. If two, three or more families come to the conclusion that living together in nature will benefit them, they acquire plots of land nearby.
As a rule, the territory of the community is chosen in such a way that there is a river or a large lake nearby (or along the border) and necessarily a forest. Community members are actively planting new trees, while carrying out preventive maintenance of the existing forest – they take old and fallen trunks for firewood. Deeply studying the ecosystem of the region, they enrich natural resources by raising fish and feeding forest animals.
How the family estate is arranged
There are no specific schemes for such settlements – everything is determined by the terrain and landscape. However, there are elements by which you can distinguish a family estate (RP) from an ordinary village:
- Arbitrary layout of buildings. By the location of its parts, the RP resembles a distant farm. They have no streets, and houses with outbuildings are not where there is a place, but where it is convenient for the owners. The remoteness from civilization gives a certain space, which allows you to dispose of the land in this way.
- Hedge. Refusal from any type of fence, or rather, replacing it with rows of living plants and shrubs. The explanation is simple – the lifespan of a wooden fence and a growing tree are not comparable (in favor of a tree).
- A body of water, sometimes an irrigation system. If there is no reservoir nearby, the settlers arrange it themselves. Sometimes you can see man-made canals and water towers.
- Forest area. If there is no forest, it is planted from the north and northwest sides. This is done to create a barrier to cold winds..
- Vegetable garden and garden. Without this, autonomous existence is inconceivable. The size of these plots is the sum of the number of family members. The vegetable garden occupies 10-15 hectares, and the garden is 15-20 hectares of land. If there is a need to grow and procure animal feed in large quantities (on collective farms), common fields are allocated for this..
- Wind turbines or mini-hydroelectric power plants. Eco-settlements also need energy, like cities, but it is unrealistic and unnecessary to pull the cable 200 km. Using the forces of nature, residents provide themselves with electricity themselves.
- House orientation towards the sun. The house in the Republic of Poland is located not for the best view from the window, but for reasons of insolation – it should be optimal.
A few words about the house itself. One of the ideas of the settlements is to maintain the flow of life with its changes, transformations. In other words, they acknowledge that things are changing. Therefore, capital large houses are not often found there. This is done for two reasons. First, the walls of the house (albeit made of natural material) separate a person from nature. The settlers consider the house itself more as a night and winter refuge. Secondly, the children who grew up on the estate will still want to arrange the house in their own way, and it will be easier for them to carry out reconstruction.
How to painlessly break away from civilization
Remote settlements are not as wild as they might seem. Modern technologies allow you to have any kind of communication, even in the deep taiga. 30–40% of settlers continue to work via the Internet, are engaged in gaining popularity of freelancing, analytics or journalism. Since life in the bosom of nature does not require constant expenses and the availability of money, the funds earned go to the development of the community (purchase of the necessary devices and materials) and charity.
Eco-settlements gladly welcome guests – those who want to learn more about their life or join later. Foreign ecotourists have the opportunity to look with their own eyes at that part of Russian culture that cannot be conveyed from the pages of a book or theatrical stage. Such settlements are rarely located closer than 200 km to large cities, but this does not stop the (wealthy) townspeople in their desire to purchase natural products – honey, propolis, oil and much more. There is also a developed production with elements of folk art – the recreation of old looms, forges, architecture. This is not demonstrative, but contributes to the creative realization of the individual..
How to make dreams come true
The “Family Estates of Russia” project is gaining momentum. Thousands of residents of big and small cities every year consciously choose a harmonious life in nature and leave cramped apartments. Interestingly, they are being replaced by “new townspeople” who have come from the periphery, villages in an attempt to improve the standard of living. Thus, mutual interest is observed and there is a “rotation” of the population in the cities, which receive fresh strength. This is an absolute plus for unloading megacities and deconcentration of the population in a country with such a huge territory..
The long-awaited Law “On Family Estates” has already been adopted in the Belgorod and Vladimir regions, and a federal bill is currently being considered. According to the idea of the project, every citizen of Russia will have the right to a land plot of 1–1.5 hectares for living and cultivating the land in order to obtain a harvest. The land is the basis of the family estate, this term has already been introduced into the workflow. In addition, the bill provides for the organization of settlements on the united plots of estates (clan settlements) with fully responsible self-organization. This means that the right of settlements to choose their leaders is confirmed by the Law.
The largest and most successful ecovillages in Russia
The very concept of “successful” here consists only in the fact that people do not leave the place they once occupied, but on the contrary, more and more actively arrive and settle there. Therefore, “successful” means “growing and developing”.
Tribal ecovillages are always increasing in width – the arrival of new settlers does not lead to the compaction of buildings or housing. Each family immediately builds its own courtyard and house. All ancestral settlements and individual estates always have a sonorous name, which speaks of the mood of the founders, who are usually called the creators of the estate..
Rayskoye family estate settlement
Founded in 2006. Location – Tyumen region, pos. Metelevo (2 km). Area – 260 hectares.
Nature – mixed forest, hills, ponds and rivers Tura and Olkhovka, suitable for bathing people. More than 100 types of medicinal herbs.
Population – total families 180 (780 people), of which 70 families wintering (180 people).
Settlement image. Residents of Rayskoye are members of the Ringing Cedars of Tyumen voluntary non-profit partnership (DNP). This form of organization allows:
- to legally own land and use it for the purpose of harvesting;
- to commission buildings and assign them addresses for registration;
- choose an acting collegial governing body with a seal and the right to sign;
- regulate the rights of ancestral inheritance of estates in accordance with the laws of the country;
- build roads, supply communications.
This is a completely modern settlement, which has all the advantages of civilization – gas, water supply, constant voltage, cellular communications, wired Internet. The main continent of settlers is urban entrepreneurs, like-minded people. Rayskoye rather resembles an elite suburban settlement, but in reality it is a generic ecovillage of a high level of communication.
Cost of 1 hectare – 7.5 million rubles.
Founded in 2008. Place – Tula region, Leninsky and Dubensky districts, Aleshinsky rural district, with. Borshevka and Baboshino. 1st, 3-7 fields are located in Leninsky district, 2nd field – in Dubensky district. Total area – about 600 hectares.
Nature – on the plots the forest is 5–7 years old, in the district there is coniferous, deciduous and mixed forest. Lakes suitable for swimming.
Population – 150 families (380 people), including 49 wintering families (140 people).
- private kindergarten;
- school and shop in the village (6 km);
- there is a cellular connection;
- some have electricity;
- no gas and not planned.
Settlement image. There is no charter or internal rules. The settlement is actively developing, plots have been allocated for the construction of their own school and general needs. New fields are being mastered.
Cost of 1 hectare – from 100 to 160 thousand rubles.
Commonwealth of family estates Denevo
Founded in 2004. Place – Pskov region, Loknyansky district. Area – 220 hectares, another 40 hectares are being developed.
Nature – many different areas with forest, copse, clear fields, coniferous, deciduous and mixed forest. Rivers Lovat and Loknya, suitable for swimming.
Population – 120 families (470 people), of which 47 wintering families (130 people).
Infrastructure: there is a cellular connection, public springs, shops and a school – in the nearest settlements. The settlement is developing, a school is being built.
Settlement image. Internal order – oral laws that are based on universal human morality, tolerance and mutual respect. For an applicant for a place for his own family estate in Denevo, much depends on communication with the families already living there. The main idea (in addition to harmonizing life) is the development of relations between like-minded people from other countries.
Eco- and agritourism is developed in the settlement. The Denevo families are trying to decentralize and minimize the control element of their own society – each family decides for itself what and how to do on its site. Cost of 1 hectare – from 8500 to 15000 rubles.
As can be seen from a cursory review, ecovillages can be different – from high-tech and expensive to as close as possible to natural living conditions. But the main factor in the success of a settlement will always be like-mindedness. Today, in Russia alone, there are about 120 ecovillages, 90 of which winter. The number of those under construction is about 100 more. And, finally, about 50 settlements are in the planning stage, that is, a team of like-minded people is selecting or is already looking for a suitable site. Ukraine, Belarus and other countries with fertile lands are also actively developing in this direction..
Autonomy and minimization of resources for life are becoming a decisive factor in the complex relations of the participants in the world economy. Eco-villages and ancestral estates can become a way out and even salvation for hundreds of thousands of people.