Winter Newsletter 2022

Dear you !

How are you doing in this beautiful late autumn?
At Eotopia, the cold weather has crept into our homes and we spend more time inside than outside studying the 50 shades of grey that the sky offers us. It’s fascinating to see all the variations of this color… and how lucky we are to be able to witness it!

We ended our year after our last event, an Inner Expression Vol.3 that shook up all the participants as it should have, a nice invitation to introspection and questioning for the winter!
The organizers of this event are more convinced than ever that this type of encounter is necessary and we are planning another one for next year.

In the meantime, we have been looking for beauty and have launched ourselves into some overly ambitious projects. The Yoga room is being renovated… which deprives us of a precious space for meditation! But the result will be worth it, it will be the first room of the common house officially finished! ( 6 years later, it’s not bad…)


We have also started the embellishment of the living room and the results are quite nice. We will continue to work slowly over the winter and will tackle the bigger projects in the spring. One thing is for sure, we are finally giving beauty a place in our interior spaces (no pun intended), and it feels good!

At Eotopia, winter is a quiet and intimate time of year, with no visiting periods and little movement. If you can’t wait for spring to get to know us or to discover the place, you can always send us a little message… but please bear with us, we’re not too reactive with mittens on our fingertips.
On the other hand, we have already planned the year 2023. Before reading the dates, remember that the place is open all year long for immersion periods of one to several months depending on the requests. Contact us for more info!

March
From the 18th to the 26th: Garden Project! Come and join us in the inevitable annual renewal of spring to scratch the soil and sow seeds everywhere!
We have a big garden and lots of knowledge to share!
10 places

April
From the 15th to the 23rd: visiting period with different activities to choose from: clay construction, earthen plastering or gardening!
10 places

From 28 to 30: Open House! If you are just curious and are afraid of ten days in our company, don’t panic, you can just come for a day or two to discover us!
50 places

May
From 18th to 28th: the big construction site of the year, the mass stove is coming to Eotopia!
For this event, we invite you to contribute to the cost of the person who will come and train us to build an economical and sustainable stove.
12 places

June
From the 4th to the 11th : You are all waiting for it ! The fourth edition of the Inner Expression will be held in the warmth of the June sun… the theme has not yet been chosen, but the title says it all: we invite you to come and express what is inside of you, freely, without judgment, in self-discovery and love.
12 places

July
Nothing. Well… yes, nothing. We’re going to do festoches all over France… The place stays open for the immersions.

August
From August 11th to 15th : the festival of Eotopia finally found its definitive date. The celebration of the Virgin Mary’s ascension to heaven is particularly symbolic for us (no, I’m kidding!).
Come celebrate life and share your experiences/knowledge with us for a self managed and festive meeting.
100 seats!

September
It’s back to school! But it’s too far away for us, we’ll tell you about it later!

Notre nouvelle salle de Yoga !

The associative café Au Jolivert has also opened its doors!

We organize events and it is open a few days in the week. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get more involved in the local life and to meet new people. If it’s not always crowded, we are satisfied with the beginning. It is very encouraging. We have recently launched a website: aujolivert.eotopia.org
If you want to organize events, concerts, propose workshops or trainings, the space is really nice and in constant evolution, let us know!

Until we see you (again) during one of these periods, we wish you a very nice winter, soft scarves, tasty squash, good company and a lot of introspection!


The Eotopia family

Newsletter september 2022

Dear you,

Here comes some news from Eotopia at the end of this scorching August (but we breathe, we had rain!). More than ever, it seems that resilience is on the menu for the coming years and we warmly invite you to come and experiment with us other ways/voices.

The festival ended with a bit of rain to refresh the atmosphere and bring back some green to our drought-yellowed landscapes. We do not despair, on the contrary. The enthusiasm is there and we have confidence. Resilience is an art that is cultivated daily.

About 70 people took over the space to celebrate what makes them excited, from singing and dancing to yoga, breath work, sourdough bread and face painting, we had all kinds of rich and entertaining workshops to celebrate another year on this wonderful planet!

As the new season approaches, we have some news and reminders:

– Eotopia is reborn once again! As we are always questioning ourselves, we are rethinking the project and looking to reinvent ourselves. There is room for entrepreneurial minds who would like to participate in this beautiful adventure. Several axes of development: garden / ecological construction / retreats / artistic expressions… and an opening for other ideas!

If you are interested to come and try the adventure, don’t hesitate to let us know!

– We are also looking for people who want to live with us for several weeks or months to help us in the development of the place. If you are looking for a place to live and if the values here speak to you, write us!

The next events at Eotopia:

September 2-9: Visiting period with straw earth construction and garden refurbishment (depending on your tastes and desires).

There are still a few places left…

From September 19 to 25: Retreat on the deconstruction of patriarchy (reserved for people who were labelled male at birth)

The program will include cultural questioning, workshops and exercises, taking care and taking time, nature outings and moments of introspection, art and self-expression.

The objective of this retreat is to put words to what is inside of us, to meet our emotions, to learn to observe our behaviors, to understand them, to question them to reveal our true nature.

It is a common exploration of our vulnerability to show ourselves and others as we are.

It is also about learning to see systemic oppression as behaviors we can overcome.

It is about saying no to guilt in order to move forward in our full strength and face this patriarchal society that oppresses us all.

There are 5 places left.

September 30 to October 2: Dance Your Being

This event is not a period of hosting or visiting Eotopia. It is a workshop proposed by a resident:

“Come and reconnect to your way of moving, dancing and acting.

Through the body (and beyond words), come and connect to your authenticity.

You don’t need to know how to “dance”. You just need to have the desire to reconnect to your body and to movement: yes!

The Qoya (https://www.generation-transition.fr/fr/qoya) will be there!

More information from her: mylene@generation-transition.fr

October 8: Inauguration of the cultural place “Au jolivert” in the heart of Cronat! (see below)

From October 15 to 22: Visiting period with ecological construction and refurbishment of the garden (according to your tastes and desires).

From November 5 to 12: Inner Expression vol. 3 !

7 days to get together and explore what is inside us that needs to be expressed. On the agenda: improvisation, musical exploration, yoga, qoya, ecstatic dance, meditation, internal family systems, etc.

Some news from Au Jolivert

Meanwhile, the story of our project of a cultural place in the countryside continues to be written. Work is progressing, the ground floor is almost finished. We still need to do some plastering in the toilets and on the second floor, the kitchen and some finishing touches and we will be able to open this place to the public!

If you want to help us, it’s between September 12 and 18.  Although this project is separate from Eotopia, it is possible to come and live in the eco-place during this period.

The official inauguration is scheduled for October 8 with a big party!

And to finish, a special mention:

Hey, we are the Racines (Roots) project, we were present at the festival. We are in the very first steps of the co-creation of a new collective place. Here is our web page: racines.page. See you soon!

Wishing you a wonderful month of september,

The eotopians

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EOFEST 2022 !

Hi there!

As some of you already know, we have changed the date of our summer festival. The Eofest 2022 will take place from August 11th to the 15th! We warmly invite you to come celebrate life with us.

Like every year, Eotopia opens its doors for an inclusive event 100% based on the gift economy so dear to us. You come as you are!

The program is defined by the participants, the food is brought and shared by everyone, the cooking is done collectively, as is the emptying of the dry toilets!

You are invited to come and set up your tent or your hammock on site and enjoy a little interlude to dream of a world that suits you.

This year, we have chosen a theme that resonates strongly with us: Enthusiasm!

Enthusiasm is a word that comes from the Greek and originally means “divine transport”. The dictionary defines it as “a powerful emotion that seizes one about someone or something”.

But for us, enthusiasm is mostly synonymous with life, with gratitude for being on this earth, surrounded by so many beautiful things, it is synonymous with celebrating and caring for what is, on all levels, emotional, spiritual, material.

So, Eofest 2022 will be about this intention and we invite you to come and share what makes you enthusiastic: games, writing, painting, music, yoga, psychology, astronomy, cooking, hide-and-seek, board games, debates, circus, theater, sack races, gardening, building, tinkering, endless discussions, meditations, internal or external exploration… This year we celebrate each other and everything that makes us happy.

Because for us, enthusiasm is an unlimited source of fuel that allows us to move forward, enjoy life and take care of ourselves. Join us in cultivating it!

Practical information:

Arrival (preferably) on Thursday, August 11 / Departure on Monday, August 15

Outdoor lodging, possibility to set up a tent or hammock in the forest.

A shared daily meal at 5pm, bring brekfast / snacks to last until then!

What you should bring:

Your bowl and spoon/fork/knife

A flashlight

Organic or natural soap and toothpaste

Bring food to share, the nearest organic store is 40 minutes away (Moulins), grocery store and bakery in the village 2 kilometers from Cronat.

What you can bring :

Music instruments and other items

A photo that represents you (real or figurative) to share

Chocolate for the residents of the place

Books/clothing to share/trade/give away

Enthusiasm (but if you don’t have any at the time, you’re welcome to join in! Enthusiasm can be contagious and masks are not allowed in the venue)

Here is the little 2022 edition survival guide to help you understand what you are getting into.

Pre-registration (limited to 80 places): https://tally.so/r/wzxXEq

Here is a link to propose / find a carsharing.

We will send you an email with more details and a program idea in a few weeks!

We look forward to meeting you or seeing you again.

With all our enthusiasm,

The eotopians.

Happy spring time !

(Photos Arthur Perrin)

Dear you,

Here’s some news, at last! It’s been more than a year since we last wrote a newsletter… but we are still here!

2021 and the beginning of 2022 has been a time of intense inner turmoil. Many of us here have gone through existential crises that have materialized in many ways. Eotopia has necessarily been impacted, but everything is experience, everything is change, and we are learning more than ever about resilience, whether it be ecological, energetic, alimentary or emotional!

Eotopia remains alive and the people who animate it on a daily basis are more motivated than ever to make this place, this dream, evolve.

When you arrive here, you might think that nothing has changed since last year, the building sites of the barn, the bathroom and the greenhouse are not finished yet… they have been put on pause for many months, just like the garden which has been almost abandoned. But internally, a lot has happened and confirms the direction we want to give to this place: a welcoming space propitious to personal transformation.

Ecology, veganism, the gift economy, free education, all these pillars remain important to us, but we realize that they are meaningless if they are not accompanied first and foremost by a full awareness of our emotions, our traumas or our conditioning.

Our priority becomes clear: slow down, observe ourselves, question ourselves, transform ourselves.

The (r)evolution starts within us, within me, within you, and Eotopia invites itself to the party by proposing a space of introspection and sharing, to support each other towards a better understanding of what is at stake within us and around us.

To this end, several objectives for this year 2022 which promises to be transformative:

  • Beautification of the place

We want to live in beauty, to celebrate the gift we have been given with this place by magnifying it with our creative minds.

  • Renovation of the buildings

Painting, cleaning, renovating the barn, the bathroom, rehabilitating the greenhouse, the projects are numerous and we are motivated to move forward on the material level.

  • Welcoming

Visiting periods to share nice moments with you, but also workshops and thematic meetings to transform all together.

And a festival, of course, to celebrate all together!

  • Art in our lives

It is a will to inscribe the project in a more artistic dimension, nothing concrete for the moment, but it is on the way!

  • Introspection and deconstruction

To remain within ourselves, conscious of our limits, our desires, to question ourselves and to open ourselves always more, towards an enlarged consciousness of the visible and invisible world. We also open processes of deconstruction on various subjects such as patriarchy, masculinity, femininity, sexuality, etc.

  • Development of the Jolivert

The project of the associative café continues! We are not losing enthusiasm to open a second space of transformation in the heart of Cronat. More info here: Facebook / Instagram. You can also write at aujolivert (at) gmail.com.

Eotopia welcomes you this year for several dates :

  • From May 8 to 15 for the Inner Expression retreat.
  • June 6 to 13 for a week of visits (with clay construction if the weather permits!)
  • June 10-12, open house for all!
  • In July: no visiting periods, but the place can welcome people willing to get involved on a long-term basis (one month minimum). Write us for more information.
  • From August 11 to 16: The festival!
  • From September 2nd to 9th : Visiting period!
  • September 19 to 25: Retreat on the deconstruction of man (anti-patriarchy), reserved for those who were labeled male at birth
  • October 30 to 3: Retreat “Dancing one’s being”.

On the resident level, we welcome with great sadness (and joy for the moments spent together) the departure of Charlene. The yurt having burned down (by mysterious causes), she did not feel like staying at Eotopia anymore. She left for other adventures in Spain.

So much for the news! On the whole, we are doing pretty well. The little cold snap of early April has burned our flowers… while bringing us closer together around the stove! Ready for a new year!

To move forward with our projects, we need support. Several ways to support us right now:

  • pallets, tools (saw, nails, screws, ropes), paints, canvas, buckets…
  • money to renovate, to organize a mass stove training and to offer more comfort to the visitors
  • the sun
  • one person to participate in the creation and development of the associative café
  • the ingredients to make a vegan cake and a person to make it with Ada
  • a yurt
  • a law to re-establish family education without control

… and everything that comes from your heart!

Oh, and a little gift for the road too! Ben and Yazmin have written an ebook about building their cabin out of pallets, earth and straw. Here it is in exclusivity to inspire you to do the same. It’s in french for now… sorry ! The link : TerrePaillePalette

We wish you a wonderful spring, flowers, birds chirping and lots of hugs!

See you soon,

The Eotopians

Winterly springy newsletter

It’s 20 degrees during the day, the trees are budding, the landscape is greening at a rapid pace, nature is suddenly awakening, warming our hearts and eyes. Quickly, to our gardens, to our countryside, to our forests, let’s take the time to awaken ourselves too and to make all these ideas that abound in our minds bud. Each year is a new opportunity to free ourselves a little more from our conditioning and to sow the seeds of life with every wind.

With the covidian crisis that continues to rage and the future still as unclear, seeing plants springing up from the ground so suddenly is a source of hope. Whatever happens, life goes on.

The bear’s garlic, at least a month early, is already there, the cleaning of the stomachs can begin, it’s the great return of the wild salads, we were looking forward to it! It remains a little worrying too and we try not to fear too much the March giboulées and the sudden stop of all this effervescence. Purely human worries, mother nature is resilient, she proves it to us at every moment. It is up to us to adapt.

Visits

A lot of changes in the place, new faces, new dynamics, always so deep questioning that lead us to question more and more things like our relationship to the other, to nature, to gender or to childhood.

We are currently about ten people on the site. The winter was mild in our hearts, we were numerous and we played a lot! These last weeks, we finally defined the visiting periods for 2021, sorry for the delay!

  • The month of March will be dedicated to immersion. Each week, we will propose a maximum of 4 people to join us for a week. Places will be reserved for people who have already started a life change process and who are seriously considering an extended community experience. At the end of the week, if the feeling is good for everyone, we may consider extending this period for those concerned.

  • The month of April will host a participatory workcamp of about ten days from the 15th to the 25th on a specific theme. We are still hesitating between three workcamps: construction of the masonry stove and/or renovation of the bathroom with earth and Tadelakt plaster and/or renovation of the yoga room with the installation of a new floor and panelling of the roof. The construction site will last 10 days and 8 people can come. If you are interested, please register on this form. But only if you are sure you want to come. Withdrawals are natural, but there are always long waiting lists!

  • The month of May will be the month of a big three-day open house on May 13, 14 and 15. A kind of mini festival whose goal will be to discover the place, share nice moments with small knowledge sharing, workshops and a big party! You are all welcome, but please register on this form so that we have an idea of the number of participants. We will then send you an email with more details.

The following months will be defined later, we are waiting to see how the situation evolves before organizing anything. A festival will take place, but we don’t know when yet.

New project

We also have great news, the Cronat house project is officially starting! What is this Cronat house?

An old coffee shop half destroyed in the heart of a small village of 500 inhabitants is becoming a multi-generational, multi-cultural, multi-dimensional space. The objective is to create more exchanges and more sharing in rural areas. Many activities are planned and more or less realistic projects (long live the dream!): tea room, toy library for all, film screenings, opening of a radio with, bicycle workshop, self-managed camping, food conservation and seed exchange workshops, shared work space, artistic workshops (painting, drawing, writing, music), recording studio, etc..

And all this on the principle of free participation, of course!

The place is located on Euro-vélo 6 and will allow us to create links with other audiences.

We have obtained funds from the region and work will soon begin! However, we need a little help… We generally avoid using participatory financing by trusting the universe, but the region requires us to contribute 30,000 euros to benefit from regional aid. So here we are! Thank you for sharing the campaign in your networks if you feel like it, there are plenty of nice counterparts!

We look forward to welcoming you at Au Jolivert!!! The campaign, here.

While waiting to perhaps cross you by here or elsewhere, we wish you all a happy month of March while taking full advantage of the sun to recharge your batteries.

Full of love and gratitude,

The eotopia Family

Newsletter fall 2020

landscape

After complaining so much about drought, we’re feeling quite blessed with the rain ! The garden is all green, it looks like it’s spring again ! A new start for life then, under our feet, above our heads with the dances of the birds and all over us with the ladybirds who run into our windows to flee from the cold. Life, as always, again and again.

This year was very rich and surprising, like every year actually. It’s not this virus and the political craziness that will change it ! The garden is getting a bit bigger, we’re preparing new beds for next year. Autonomy is still far ahead but we’re gaining experience. We’re full of hope for 2021.

Yazmin, Ada and Benjamin have finally quit the main house t settle in their little mud and straw house. They feel so grateful and happy there ! We can say whatever we want about individualism, it’s good to have a space for oneself… and especially with the confinement !

The main house seems therefore much bigger. We have a new dormitory, a library, a work space and a yoga room all insulated ! And soon… a new bathroom with an indoor toilet ! Revolution is coming in !

The group is also evolving a lot. Elsa and Liri have left the project to find a better balance near Grenoble and a democratic school. Thor and Loona are also on their way out of the project to seek new adventures. It’s a bit sad, put departures are part of life… and definitely part of ecovillage dynamics !

We also have a new member, Quentin joined the project in September to bring some new spirit to the place. We are actually quite numerous for the winter. Pierre, Yazmin, Benjamin and Ada are still here with some people decided to spend the winter and the confinement here. Overall, between 10 and 12 persons live here today.

We have some other news. We officially decided not to ask anymore 5000 euros to become member of Eotopia. We have almost finished to reimburse the people who lent us money at the begining and we can come back to a full gift economy.

This doesn’t mean we don’t need money anymore and we actually decided to open ourselves to receive financial contributions. Therefore, if you want to take part in eotopia’s adventures, you can come, of course, but you can also send us some money to become more autonomous, welcome more people and organize more events : More infos here (in French) : Nos besoins.

It’s moving also in our village. The social space we want to create in the village will be partly financed by the region. We’re gonna be able to organize more events and get more in touch with the locals.

The Eofestival was also great : We had over a hundred persons coming to our place to celebrate collective horizons. About 15 projects have been presented and some are on their way. You can find more informations about them here : (link).

We’re gonna spend a quiet winter in our little paradise and we hope to see you in spring or later !

With love,

The eotopia family

Presentation of projects, Eofest 2020

The Eofest 2020 had the theme “Collective Horizon”. One of the afternoons included presentation from participants of their dreams and/or concrete (collective) project ideas. The projects are in different stages of development, some are based on an already existing group, others are individuals that are seeking to create. We invite you to read the descriptions and get in touch with people directly (contact details are in the descriptions), if you are also on the lookout for a collective horizon.

AutResArtLib by Aline

Harmonia by Olivia

Magari by Magari collectif

Reve Collectif by Caroline

Maison Bleue by Hélène

Revons by Julie, Franch, Cyril, Loona et Thor

Newsletter summer 2020 – come dream with us!

Dear you

The post-confinement is advancing and so are we at Eotopia. We are projecting ourselves into the future, however slowly and step by step. We are looking for new people to join us and we are dreaming of another great Eofest at the end of summer. See more below.

The spring without visits was actually good for us. We took the time to be together, to strengthen the bonds that unite us, to get to know each other a little more. We slowed down… well, a bit – not we couldn’t help moving forward though! Even if we are living a life of degrowth, we are also still aware of the generally difficult state the world is in. In this time we feel it more than ever, trying to abandon certain habits, certain comforts, both in the way we live on the land and in our way of being connected to the land and each other. So we’re working on slowing down, but staying active, keeping a certain rhythm. Plants grow, even when we’re not here, some (many!) are edible some are not. We do our best to take care of the ones that we can. It’s a good year for gardening with sunshine and much more water than the past spring. At the same time, we are busy with several other projects. We have started renovating the second floor of our house to insulate it (and to install a yoga room, music room, etc. – and later on a rocket mass heater!), we have built a new greenhouse with patio doors and pallets and the phyto-purification system is back in use – bigger, stronger, more active than ever! The construction site of the cob-pallet house is also progressing well, we are now in the process of the final plastering of the earth. More information later on (and an ebook in free access so that you can do the same if your heart tells you to!). Many other advances have taken place, more yin, more or less concrete, material, emotional, and certainly spiritual – and we’re queering more than ever. Come take a look for yourself!

Yes, we slow down, but we keep dreaming. About what? About the future, of course. And what’s in our future? Maaany things, but two dreams specifically:

1. We dream of expanding the Eotopia family! We dream of new residents but also new neighbours! So, if you vibrate with our values and want to join us, don’t hesitate to contact us! For visits, we will give priority to people who are potentially interested in moving in with us. If you are a fan of our values but don’t feel like living in a community… come and live close to us! Saône-et-Loire, Nièvre or Allier (we are at the crossroads of the three departments) are very nice departments, rather wild and very accessible financially and in terms of infrastructure. There’s also a lot of abandoned houses around here…

2. We dream of a hundred joyful and colorful people, dancing around a fire, talking circles, workshops, shared meals, crazy ideas, creations, everything you can imagine… but yes! We dream of a festival at Eotopia! Eofest 2020 will take place, when the blackberries are abound on the roads of France and the tomatoes are ready to burst.

What’s on the agenda? You, you, you and you and you and you, etc. … First of all, us, together with an idea that has germinated at the last festival and has been making its way since: Collective Horizons. We therefore invite you to come to imagine the eco-place or community of your dreams, to meet other people who share these dreams, these desires, and/or to share your experience of collective life and/or the creation of eco-places. Maybe this festival will inspire you to join Eotopia, to create your community somewhere else or right next door to us!

  • The dates: 27th to 31st August.
  • The place : Eotopia land
  • For who? Everyone (but especially those who want to start/join/co-create/open an eco-place)
  • Where to register? Here
  • How much does it cost? Very expensive: your time, a little bit of your life and energy.
  • Rules? Yes, we do have rules! And not just one. We’re vegan, alcohol- and drug-free. Take a look at the website for more details…
  • More info? Look here

The entire Eotopia family is thrilled to have you here for this… event. Since all our visiting periods have been disrupted because of you-know-who, we are thirsty for meetings, exchanges, sharing.

Join us – for short or for long!

Until then, we wish for you to be able to celebrate the summers coming!

With love,

The Eotopians

Newsletter spring 2020

Dear friends!

Spring is coming to Eotopia (and registrations for the visit periods are open, see more below… :-))! The trees are starting to bloom, the lovely scents are in the air and all around it is getting more green. This winter has seen much more rain than the one last year, which makes us very happy because we can see how nature is able to stock up on water before the summer! The fields in front of our land have been inundated now for several weeks – honestly, we wouldn’t mind it staying like that… It brings birds, frogs and other wildlife and just shows us the transformative power of water!

Photo: Juliette Pavy

Yazmin, Ben and Ada have returned from Mexico and things are generally starting to get busier again here at Eotopia. Last week we had our first experience of hosting a course. The five-day forest garden design course, facilitated by Rakesh “Rootsman Rak”, brought loads of interesting knowledge, good and inspiring interactions but also challenged our facilities to accommodate a larger group of people during the cold season. Everyone, participants as well as residents, did their best to make the energy warm!

The room during the course (left) and after the course (right)

But now, one week later, the room that was used for teaching has changed drastically. We are in the process of tearing down the old insulation – it was a rat heaven – to change this to a more long-lasting option. This is part of a bigger project of renovating the house, which will also include a project of a rocket mass oven that we hope to start to construct this summer! In general, we have reorganized and are trying to work more with small sub-groups on different projects, to help us move forward and spread the responsibilities as best as possible. This also means that we will have loads of things to suggest for visitors to take part in during the coming visitors’ periods!

And talking about that. The registrations have opened for the four visit periods of 2020. You can find more info here: https://www.eotopia.org/wordpress/en/visit-us/. On the website, you will also see the dates for our open door days and info about the process for those of you who might be interested to join the project.

We hope you will all have a great transition to spring, and maybe we’ll meet in 2020, maybe another time!

With love,

The Eotopia family 

Photo: Juliette Pavy

Forest garden course 2020

Dear friends!

We are very happy to announce that we will be hosting a forest garden design course here at Eotopia, starting the 29th of February!

If you are interested, you can take part in either just the two day introduction the 29th of February and the 1st of March or the introduction and the 3 day design and practical part from the 2nd until the 4th of March. Below you’ll find the full description from the course organiser, our friend Rakesh “Rootsman Rak”.

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Imagine your garden looking as lovely as a woodland edge. Imagine that on top of looking nice, it produces an abundance of nutrient dense food and will ultimately need very little digging, weeding, manual watering or pest control – all in harmony with animals and other beings around. This is ‘an edible vegan forest garden’.

Forest gardening is a way of growing food where nature does most of the work for you. Modelled on natural woodland, crops are grown in different layers from high and medium sized canopy to roots, ground cover and climbers.

Through careful planning, plants are chosen which have beneficial effects on each other, attract beneficial insects and create a healthy biodiverse rich system that maintains its own fertility. Once established, your main task will be harvesting!

This workshop will give you the tools you need to design your own forest garden. You will learn about its history, its benefits, and soil fertility, nutrients, valuing diversity, surveying and map making, observing and learning from nature, how to place the right plant in the right place.
We will apply the theory as we go to the land around us, co-creating a forest garden onsite.

The course will be run in English with a possibility of consecutive/simultaneous translation into French.

The course will be led by Rakesh “Rootsman Rak” – experienced Permaculture designer, teacher and Forest Garden specialist, yoga teacher and homeopath. He has been growing food for 40 years, and has been designing and teaching edible landscaping, permaculture, forest gardening, etc. Rakesh has designed and implemented forest gardens from small-scale private gardens and schools, to farms, community gardens, communal nature gardens, as well as designing a forest garden on part of a 30-hectare ecovillage in Croatia.

** 2 day Introduction Sat and Sunday
– History of forest gardening
– Why make a food forest
– Layout of a forest garden
– How to ensure your food forest has enough nutrients
– Multifunctional pathways
– Creating abundance and resilience
– Low maintenance food growing
– Patterns in nature for forest gardens
– Understanding and maximising edge

** 3 day Intensive Design and Practical Monday to Wednesday
– Creating your personal detailed designs
– Creating and implementing a design for the host site
– Water management
– Succession planning
– Implementation plans
– Tree and plant guilds

NB: If you want to design your own place, then please make sure you bring accurate detailed maps of your land.

Evenings are free for discussions, films, or anything that you propose. It is entirely up to you to decide how you wish to organize the free time.

THE VENUE

The course will take place at Eotopia. At Eotopia, we see ourselves as part of a living forest in which all beings are necessary for the forest to grow. As residents, we identify as a mix of big trees, growing bushes and wide-spreading mushrooms. We invite you to imagine yourself as part of our ecosystem during the days that you are here for the course.

We are alcohol and drugs free, including tobacco but tolerating sugar and coffee. We request that this is respected during the duration of the course. This is not to create taboos, it is simply to have a sanctuary, where those who might try and get out of certain habits and addictions can feel safe. Smokers are for sure also welcome, but we ask you not to smoke on our land to keep the sense of sanctuary alive.

Kids are very welcome at our place. In fact, two inhabitants are less than 5 years old and we will try to find ways to accommodate other kids during the course. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Eotopia and/or Rakesh if you have questions regarding this.

All the common heating and cooking is done using wood as fuel. In fact, the only heated common space is the living room. So please be ready for fresh temperatures and somewhat cramped living spaces if the weather is cold or wet – but this might just help us bond better as a group. 🙂

ACCOMMODATION

The accommodation will be in either caravans, a camping car, in dormitories in our common house or in your own tents. Note that none of these spaces are heated, and end February/beginning of March might be really cold and humid, so we ask you to bring proper sleeping bags and covers to stay warm during the night.
Eotopia works with gift economy. We believe there are many ways to give, and if you feel a need to give back, we are ready to propose ways to do so. We will also have a donation box for those who feel like using such a system.

COURSE COSTS

We want this course to be accessible to all and are therefore working in a conscious contribution system, inviting you to pay what you can afford towards meeting the needs of the facilitator. We therefore invite those who can pay more to help those who cannot afford as much. Please contact us if you have any questions about this. Suggested contributions of between €30 to €100 per day (an average of €60 would help us to meet our needs i.e. €120 for 2 days or €300 for 5 days). All contributions will go directly to Rakesh.

FOOD COSTS

To create a deeper sense of community, throughout the course we will create teams who will help cook every day. We will create a system which allows us to express what our dietary needs are, so that we ensure every meal is ideal for everyone.

To ensure we keep the food costs and quality at a level the students require, we are adopting the tried and tested self organising method. This means we will ask you to either bring enough food to cover your food needs for the duration of the course or bring a mix of food and cash. The cash will go into a pot which will be used to buy food as and when required, which will be managed by a self-elected group of participants. We kindly request everyone to only bring vegan food, which we will pool together. The food could include vegetables, grains, preserves, etc. If appropriate, fresh organic veg will be contributed from the venue.

This method has proven to be very successful, as it promotes collaborative decision making and collaborative working. It also allows people to contribute in a way that suits their budget. Participants from previous courses have taken well to this method and noted how the food budget was significantly less than what they would have expected on any other course.

SIGN UP

To sign up for the course, please fill in this form: https://forms.gle/gL2QkfWJokE3Roty5