March 2014 Members Meeting

The next Members’ meeting will be on Sunday afternoon, March 2nd.  It is the same date as Perth’s Seedy Sunday (10:00 am – 4:00 pm, 26 Beckwith St.E).  Several of us will be going into town that morning to participate in the seed exchange.  Then we’ll come back for a pot-luck lunch and the meeting.  One doesn’t have to be a member to sit in on the meeting.

The topics below include:

  1. Musings on building possibilities,
  2. One Thing Changes All Else, a link to a recent posting from our educational non-profit,
  3. Next Members’ Meeting and Open House,
  4. Invitation to a Cattail Weaving Workshop, and
  5. The Bean Ceremony.

There won’t be an Open House this time.  However, if any of you are looking for an opportunity to see what is here, before the snow melts, give me a call or send an email and we can arrange a time for a walk-about and conversation.    (613) 482-1208

– Cattail Weaving Workshop:

While the leaves were coming off the trees last Fall, Michael G. and I went to the local cattail swamp and gathered up a bunch of their long leaves.  Sometime in the next few weeks, we will weave with them.

I’ve woven such material on several occasions and intend to make myself a big umbrella hat so that its shade will follow me around the garden this Summer.  We have enough material for four people and I’ll enjoy both showing whoever is interested the tricks I’ve learned and seeing what you might do with the medium.

– The Bean Ceremony:

As the planting season approaches, we plan to organize a bean ceremony.  The specific timing will be to accommodate the six or seven participants for whom we have room this year.  Three of the places are presently spoken for.

The plan is to put a variety of bean seeds on a wet blotter to germinate.  Sitting and watching while the seeds swell up, quicken and eventually push out a root, is an extraordinary experience.  It is a potent antidote to the modern trap of ever-changing stimulation, which distracts us from the natural world.  Anyone completing the ceremony will forever after have a revolutionary new relationship with every seed they plant.

Musings on building:

Joseph Campbell is known for identifying patterns in mythologies from around the world.  When he said: “The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature,” he encapsulated a moving force in the Eco-Village dream.

As I walked through the building area the other day I imagined our building emerging from the trees and clay right there, and straw from nearby.  Organizing those local resources to stand up, encompassing abundant living space, is the intent.  The day was as cold as this winter, but I got a sense of the warmth that we will be able to capture in that space.

Even now, when the Sun shines, my room above the shop doesn’t need a fire.  We could be looking out of the community building with the Sun shining in and more sunlight bouncing in off the snow to maintain a comfortable abode.  Any supplementary heat needed in the darkest of times could first be run through soups and stews, showers and hot tubs.  We could even fire a kiln making plates and mugs before letting the heat dissipate into the living areas.  With substantial cob (sand, clay and straw) partitions thoroughly separating accommodations, the warmth from the days would be carried into the night in the same way that the cool of Summer nights would be carried into the days.

A friend recently sent this amazing video showing the construction of a big cob house – 10,000 sq. ft. big.  (We’re only looking at 7,000 sq. ft.).  While the narrator seems a bit hyped about what is, without such comment, sufficiently awe-inspiring to be worth watching, it will give you a sense of what is possible simply by taking materials from underfoot, mixing them with straw and working them into useful shapes.   (Beware the advertisements.  You can skip them by pulling the time tracker forward until you see the building again.)  For the project here, extracting the necessary clay and sand will leave a big hole not far from the building, in which we can swim and on which we could skate, as the seasons allow.

 Which of us will be in the new space in the years ahead? 

– One Thing Changes All Else is a recent post from our educational non- profit.  It explains the fundamental change that has to be understood to make effective decisions in this new era.

The 7th Generation Initiative, from which the Eco-Village project is emerging, has existed as a not-for-profit entity since 1985.  In turn, it was a phoenix rising from the Institute for the Study of Cultural Evolution.

If you want, you can get updates here:

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