Offer & Request
OFFER: The use of one GeoStudios dome for one night in a campsite in an off grid area with a natural spring and 50 steps to a river. The campsite is close to a newly built outhouse, there is a fire pit and a propane barbecue available. Plenty of firewood. It's a little rustic. Stay here for $35/night. OR offer your help and you stay for no charge.
REQUEST: We're building an ecovillage in a campground! We seek people who want to help us create a year round off grid getaway. We're looking for people wanting to spend time here and help us create that by sharing their talents. As long as you can share your skills, you can stay at no charge. We’re looking for people who are not only interested in alternate off-grid living but people who are willing to do something to make it a reality.
There is a long list of things to do. Some projects will be broken down into simpler tasks so you can enjoy some free time at the campsite. There may be other people around helping out - extra hands make lighter work! Here is only a beginning list of what we want to make; rock garden, solar shower, outdoor quiet space, compost areas, tree care, deck building for riverfront viewing, creating a beautiful garden space, finding a means of keeping the deer from eating the vegetables, a food forest, a “water ram” to irrigate those gardens, organizing future events and more.
As these sustainable permaculture projects get completed you will get to know the others involved and hopefully want to spend still more time there. There will be "work records" kept and those acquiring “seniority” will get first dibs on time blocks. That’s why it’s wise to get involved now - and really, little to lose if you decide to not to continue. BTW, if you just need quiet time let me know - the rate is presently at $35/night. Presently there is room for two adults and in a pinch, two adults and a child.
By now you may see that the bigger picture is about creating an ecovillage in a campground. And we’re doing it by exchanging people’s efforts for stays in the dome. Lots of work to do!
TO LEARN MORE: I need to know/meet anyone who wants to contribute their special skills to move this to the next level. My philosophy is that we all have something to contribute so if you tell me you don’t have a skill to share I will probably disagree. :)
Call me, we'll have coffee. 403.593.2030.
One life, live it well.
This summer something very special is going on at the Grow Calgary site. They are hosting a Micro-home building competition. Throughout the summer 15-20 groups will be building their tiny houses and micro-houses at the Grow Calgary site. Check out the details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/165800534149911/
The organizers see how micro-homes and tiny houses could be solutions to homelessness and an array of other social issues. This competition will shed light of what is up and coming and how people should start to take a serious look at this option to house ourselves. GeoStudios is on the same page with a view towards creating entire communities of tiny & micro homes.
But the homeless will not be the driver behind this movement. There is a growing population of interested future (tiny house and micro-home) residents out there who want the benefits of off-grid, lower cost housing. GeoStudios is working towards our own solution for off grid living/camping with it’s 100 sq ft model “GS3” at Good Spirit Acres. After placement at their riverside campsite, the GS3 model will have the comforts of an RV without the expense. This unit will be rentable by the day or week. Schedule of prices and availability will be created in April Stay tuned to this FB page for more developments or go to www.geostudios.ca
It’s gonna be an interesting summer!
Turin Days June 17th
Ya gotta love small towns and villages. I was brought up in a village of under 300 in southern Manitoba. As a kid I remember the freedoms of riding my bike to the nearby countryside, having a chance to explore the outdoors unhindered and enjoying the ability to visit my friends without relying on a mom chauffeur.
Back then the local economies of villages were also stronger with locals participating in an agriculturally-based economy. "Resilient economy" was the default setting.
Yes the world has changed a lot since then but there are elements still in place. Villages still offer huge tracts of land within their borders (for all kinds of uses) and average house lots are larger than what you’d get in the city so gardens can be much bigger. And with fewer cars on the roads kids can more easily navigate the streets. I’ve always felt that villages are a perfect blend of country and urban living.
The greatest difference between villages then and now is how their economies have changed. Todays villagers, like their urban counterparts, find their way to big box retailers. And many residents commute to work in the city. And there is no economy to speak of.
However with trends leaning towards more localized economy I believe there will be a shift in future years. Accompanied by cheaper house prices, fewer regulations (more chickens!), easier access to gardening and less driving - more people will be seeking a village lifestyle.
This weekend on June 17th the village of Turin will host their first of two “Turin Days”. (The other one will be in September) There will be live music, the largest Adirondack chair you’ll see in a long time, a soap making workshop (if there’s still room), a $5 pancake breakfast, a garage sale or two, a grain bin converted into a roadside stand, a portable geodesic dome and if the sun shines a working solar cooker.
Finally, you can be part of it! Just pull into the Southland shop parking lot and you’ll be able to sell right off your pickup truck (or the trunk of your car), your housewares, arts ‘n crafts and what-nots. We only can't supply tables and chairs.
I’m sure many Lethbridge residents are just not aware of what is outside their city. Agriculture in it’s many forms is just minutes away. From hemp crops to hashcash to honey there is more beneath the surface than what most city folks realize. We want to celebrate that.
So this Saturday decide to take a drive to the country. Turin offers a glimpse into village living that many have either forgotten or never experienced. Come for the breakfast, stay for the fun. Pancakes on at 9!
When was the last time you purchased an item at a big box retailer, brought it home and marvelled at the item like it was a piece of art as if someone had spent a LOT of time constructing it with care and attention to detail? Chances are you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times this has happened.
Several hundred years ago, before the advent of the industrial revolution everything was made by hand, more or less. Skilled people, from blacksmiths to shoemakers to bakers to woodworkers, were called craftsmen or artisans. Their product was what we would call custom work today. Each and every piece was individually made.
Fast forward to the 20th century and virtually every household item, from what was worn to what was eaten, was made in a factory with very little skill required. The art in making goods was lost to high output assembly lines. Craftsman became a casualty of modern day industrial processes. And the ones that survived the transition were renamed tradesman because whatever artistic leanings they had were lost in the onslaught of technical efficiency.
Today, cabinet makers, door installers, painters and metal workers have been forced to productive ends only, with the craft of their work being put aside due to the rush towards productivity and economic efficiency.
So we now have an interesting divide between the trades and art. If tradesmen were paid more by how their work looks and craftspeople were paid more by how their work functions you would once again see a merging of function and form. There are indeed small signs of just that happening.
There appears to be a resurgence in Farmers Markets, crafts vendors and home made products. Despite the fact that these people are going “against the grain” economically, the transition is important to our cultural evolution. We need to transition towards a civilization that can harmoniously live on the planet in a sustainable, nurturing and yes, artistic way.
If the system we are familiar with crashes or becomes in some way crippled - an oil price shock or climate disruption could do that - we will see the backbone of local economies become those very people who are returning to those “lost” crafts. I say, let's just move in that direction anyways, it makes our purchases that much more interesting. Support your local artisan.
Have you ever sat on a non-profit board? Everyone should be a director at least once, it gives one a good perspective on organizational function.
I sat on the board of the Lethbridge Sustainable Living Association since 2012. I’m proud to have been part of the original creation of this non-profit society. Proud to have co-drafted its statement of objectives. Those objectives are; to create and support local food initiatives, fossil-free energy projects and eco-friendly, affordable housing. Oh and to use these ideas to build an ecovillage in southern Alberta.
In September 2016 I started to think about resigning from the presidency. It was a position I served for 5 years. While I was on the fence with my indecision and having my doubts about the future of the LSLA, a friend said to me, “you can’t resign the LSLA is your baby”. To me, that was a green light. Because if an organization becomes one person’s baby, that person hasn’t done their job. Their job should be to encourage accountability, lead so that others will follow and bring in others to share that dream. Basically, to make it “everyone’s baby”.
I had never been a particularly effective leader (I have that much self-awareness). I mean, I did stuff but I’ve always lacked that special ingredient that brings people in. And it’s probably due to that awareness that I knew exactly the type of person the LSLA needed. I figured we needed someone younger, with good media savvy, exceptional networking skills and a demonstrated background in environmental concerns.
I was so happy that the right person showed up at the AGM along with a strong contingent of supporters, new and veteran. Today, it's hard to find people with the drive and passion to create their dreams within the framework of a non-profit society. But when you do find the right mix it can be so inspiring. And so it is true for today’s board on the Lethbridge Sustainable Living Association. Thanks Mandy and thanks to all those who stepped up to be on the board of the LSLA!
Today I feel like an elder more than a board executive. It is with both rue and excitement that I look onto this board and it’s incredible growth. On the one hand so happy to see the seeds that were planted years ago starting to spring forth. AppleFest poised to become a really fantastic event, Permaculture Lethbridge (formerly Urban Farmers) finding its place as a creator of gardens and the ecovillage project rebranded as the Agrihood Project, beginning to take root.
All this, with that feeling one has when “the baby” grows up. This baby has not only grown up, it’s now running a brisk jog! I have gratitude for being able to witness this wonderful unfolding of a great organization, one that has relevance and meaning for the 21st century. One that is key to our transition towards a civilization that nurtures the planet.
Gilles Leclair is the founder of GeoStudios. Somewhat eccentric, fairly environmentalist, politically aware, he believes the world should have more off-grid communities... many more.