Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog

Inspiration for Writers & Building A Community ©

Alternative Living – Native Villages…

May 4, 2016
mandyevebarnett


indian village

We have all seen the documentaries and ‘discoveries’ of native people living far away from the trappings of modern society. Some of us may wish we could escape and live a simple life but in reality these ‘lost’ people have a hard existence. Food has to be gathered, hunted or grown, they do not have the convenience of food stores, in fact no stores at all in many cases. Bartering with other villages and meager supplies from other sources can supplement their provisions but it is not an ‘easy’ way of life. However, they do have structure, incredible skills and do not waste anything. It is a completely different change of pace and cultural experience, if you happen to be honored with acceptance by these indigenous people.

All processes are hands-on, such as grinding corn for flour, carrying water, or chopping wood for a fire. The majority of the day is taken up with hunting, fishing, gathering and then the cooking of meals. Planning for the day’s activities to ensure everyone is fed is followed by actions and then sharing across the generations, playing with children and the telling of stories complete the day. Everyone has a vital role within the village no matter their age – a real community. The wisdom and skills of elders are revered and passed from generation to generation.

Many tribes live within certain areas, utilizing known seasonal fruit and plant provisions as well as animal habitat. Others follow the seasons for grazing and other sources of food. Housing is created using natural forms and materials found nearby while others are made from skins and other natural fabrics and reused time and again.

In reality could you live this kind of simple life?

native hut

Alternative Living -Community-Supported Farms…

April 13, 2016
mandyevebarnett


Community-Supported-Agriculture-button

A community-supported agriculture group (CSA for short) is an association of people who pledge to support local farms and share the risks and benefits of food production. The growers and consumers share the produce once it is harvested after investing at the beginning of the year. Some CSA’s also provide products such as eggs, fruit, flowers, honey, and meat. The subscription costs vary and a portion may even be in lieu of labor contributions. The term CSA is mainly used in Canada and US but there are other subsystems worldwide.

 

Biodynamic agriculture was formulated in Europe by Rudolf Steiner in the 1980’s. The system was brought to the US from Germany by Jan Vander Tuin from Switzerland and Trauger Groh in the mid-1980’s. Vander Tuin and associates formed the CSA Garden at Great Barrington in Massachusetts and The Temple-Wilton Community Farm in New Hampshire was created by Trauger Groh and his group.

However, an earlier system was created in the 1960’s Dr. Booker T. Whatley, a professor of agriculture in Alabama called the Clientele Membership Club. There also existed in Japan a similar model called a teiki in the 1970’s.

csa-boxes

Today there are some 13,000 CSA farms in north America, mainly in the  upper-Midwest, the Pacific coast, New England, the Northwest, and Canada.Their popularity is in direct correlation with environmental awareness as well as urban projects to grow food in cities for the homeless and disadvantaged residents. One such project is the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, which is spread across all five boroughs. The largest CSA is the Farm Fresh to You in Capay valley, California which supports 13,000 families. The oldest (17 years in 2012) is the Quebec CSA network.

This unique non-profit system provides finance to the farmers for improvements and new infrastructure as well as technical support and guaranteed customers. With involvement and funding from the consumers and stakeholders, it is a stronger consumer-producer relationship.Thus ensuring the quality of product and reduction of food waste.

 

 

Although each CSA has its own unique structure and marketing strategies the core ideology is the same shared funding and shared risk. Any surplus produce is sold at farmers markets, to local restaurants, on-farm retail and natural food stores. Unsold produce is sometimes given to local food banks.

share map

Have you experienced or worked with a CSA system in your area?

 

Alternative Living – A Nomadic Life…

April 6, 2016
mandyevebarnett


nomad

no·mad
The meaning of the word nomad is a group or tribe of people having no permanent abode and who travel from place to place finding fresh pasture for their livestock. Today not only do traditional tribes live this life but many ‘modern’ people decide to leave ‘normal’ settled lives and roam free. There are a number of words to describe this kind of person, traveler, migrant, rover, gypsy, Bedouin, itinerant, wanderer, roamer, drifter, tramp, vagrant,vagabond and transient. No matter the label it is a need to experience ‘freedom’ from the accustomed lifestyle so many cultures expect.

Traditional nomadic tribes roamed following the seasonally available wild game and plants, a hunting and gathering way of life. Some raised herds of animals and drove them to fresh pastures allowing the recovery of the land. It is an efficient strategy for exploiting scarce resources or for the members of the group to offer services or crafts to the places visited.

With no settled home most nomads live in tents or portable shelters of some kind and travel using animals, motor vehicles or even canoes in some instances. Most groups are based on either marriage or kinship or some kind of formal cooperation.

festival-nomads-day

Mongolian nomads move a couple of times a year, usually summer and winter and have set areas for each. These sites supply shelter for livestock in the winter and open pasture in the summer.

Gypsies or traditionally known Romani’s traveled across Europe but originated in India. Their covered wagons contained all their worldly goods and also housed whole families. In modern times there are travelers who live in much larger caravans and like the Romani’s move from place to place in groups.

Rheinland, Sinti und Roma mit Wohnwagen auf Landstraße

Zigeuner am Rhein. Aufnahme 1935 22523-35

Today’s nomadic lifestyle can encompass single people, partnered couples or whole families. These people chose to forsake modern convention and travel the globe with no fixed abode. As with all types of lifestyle there are pros and cons but it is a personal choice. You can travel with all your belongings in one back pack and find casual work or create freelance opportunities that allow you to earn money as you travel.

pod

The most recent addition to this movement are the tiny houses on trailers, which can be sited anywhere, whether semi-permanent or not.

Does the nomadic way of life appeal to you? Which option would you choose?

 

Alternative Living – The Rainbow Family…

March 30, 2016
mandyevebarnett


rainbow 1

The Rainbow Family of Living Light (also known as the Rainbow Family) is actually a group of individuals committed to non-violence and egalitarianism, or in other words want everyone to be equal in social status and worth. The group hold Rainbow Gatherings which are peaceful assemblies and events for free speech.

Formed by Barry “Plunker” Adams, known for his book Where Have All the Flower Children Gone and Garrick Beck, son of the the founder of The Living Theater. These young men were inspired by the Vortex I gathering in Oregan in 1970 and the first Woodstock Festival. Their first Rainbow Family Gathering was held in 1972 at Strawberry Lake, Colorado.

Nowadays, the gatherings are held throughout the year either in the United States or in dozens of countries around the world as national or regional events. As the gatherings are non-commercial, attendees participate peacefully for approximately a week. The primary focus is on World Peace and the week is full of prayers, mediation and observation of silence for global peace. In the US the meetings are on 4th July but in other countries they can last a month between new and full moons emphasizing spiritual focus on unity, love and peace.

Common interests for people that attend are New Age spirituality and entheogens, intentional communities and ecology. Attendees use ‘sibling’, ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ to refer to each other. Group meetings are used for decisions and general consensus for groups wanting to attend. Money exchange is frowned upon in favor of bartering. There is no organization or leaders just a common goal for peace and love on Earth.

There have been controversies and claims of The Rainbow Family Gatherings being unfavorable to the areas they attend and to indigenous peoples heritage. Any alternative lifestyle attracts public skepticism or even authority intervention.

“Love is all you need.”

rainbow 2

 

Alternative Living – Floating Farm…

March 23, 2016
mandyevebarnett


floating

I have to admit this is a lazy post but the concept is just too cool not to share.

A floating farm in British Columbia, Canada. Home to a couple of artists who have made self sufficiency an art form in itself.

http://www.overgrowthesystem.com/blog/2016/1/8/freedome-cove-a-floating-farm-hidden-away-in-the-bc-wilderness

Floating 2

This is a unique alternative kind of living. Would you live there?

 

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