Fall has passed and winter has arrived, and with that a natural slowing down of the pace. Yes, we have been busy here at Eotopia since the last newsletter in August. It is not always easy to practice a life of a slower pace when there are so many motivating things happening around us, so many interesting people that are coming to visit us and so many projects we want to be involved in! But that is why winter is here, to remind us to also take time to relax and put some of our projects on hold – while other projects, such as lactofermentations, little inside construction works and strengthening our social bonds take over.
The drought this summer was tough for us and for our garden. Our well dried out early in summer and not a lot of our vegetables were able to survive the lack of water. At some point, however, we noticed one particular part of our garden that seemed to be flourishing with flowers, seeds and vegetables. This was around our newly created phytopurification system. The system, as we had designed it, had not survived a week of drought with very few residents (and little water flow) which actually just meant that the greywater from the house now became more available to the plants and vegetables we had planted around the spot. This gave hope in the middle of the drought and we have spent many hours on planning and redesigning other parts of our garden to have more water retention, to harvest and store more rainwater and to release this when needed, next summer. In the midst of this tough period, it gave hope to see just how adaptable nature is when we work together with her! We also held a little ceremony to welcome water on our land – and we have definitely not been missing water since then..!
During the long dry period, Loona and Thor managed to put up their yurt, which they have bought second hand. Recently, they also finished their poelito, a little rocket mass stove, and they can now pass winter with comfort! The pallet cabin of Ben, Yazmin and Ada has also moved well forward and is now ready to be covered with clay when the spring comes, very exciting as well. We are very grateful for all the help we’ve had moving these construction projects forward! The common house has also seen some changes, we have made a quiet office space upstairs and we have moved a bit forward with creating a yoga/music/contemplation room next to this – this room has already housed its first concert with our very own Elsa Fôret! However, with the arrival of winter and the departure of the cats with Vincent and Juliette we currently have a bit of a discussion with the rats living in the house, and we don’t seem to agree on the standard of tidiness with the little creatures… Hopefully, and animal communicator can help us on this.
But this is not all on the house front! Our association, Vert de Terre, is now the owner of two houses! The one we’re living in and now also another one we have acquired in the middle of Cronat. This house used to be a meeting place for the locals, a place where you could have your coffee while reading the newspaper or chatting with your neighbours. Our aim is to make this place a space for welcoming people from near or far, for cyclists needing a stop on their way through the Eurovelo 6, for locals to come and hang out, take part in a workshop or sharing in other ways, for visitors to sleep over and for many other things. But we have also promised each other to take it slow with this project, because we do still have many other things we would like to progress on around and in our current living space!
And one final note for all those of you who have already contacted us or are considering contacting us for a visit: We really hope to be able to find ways of meeting you all! We will continue our open door days in 2020 as well as our different visit periods. Please check back here on our website and/or on our Facebook page in February for news and specifics regarding this.
Until then, and to all of you out there, we wish you a pleasant, peaceful and harmonious winter with time for reflections and introspections whenever needed!
The Eotopia family