Local Economy, Ecovillage Style
Being out in “the boonies,” the concept of a local economy is a major focus for us. And as an independent incomes community, each of us is responsible for creating our own livelihood. In addition to over 70 Earthaven residents, about 100 neighbors are part of our local village economy.
Some folks work for companies located at Earthaven, including Useful Plants Nursery and the Southeast Wise Women. Others work for the community doing maintenance, bookkeeping, or office administration. A few skilled builders and technicians help keep our systems running, while a few folks work outside the community – commuting or consulting.
Many of us provide goods or services for each other, including farm products, baked goods, herbal medicines, elder care, window washing, and recycled or upcycled goods.
These goods and services are exchanged informally and through our Tuesday morning Coffee and Trade Hour, and at special events, such as the Bizarre Bazaar, which is highlighted in this newsletter.
Neighbors and residents are always brainstorming cooperative strategies they hope will morph into essential parts of the local economy. In this newsletter we present two examples: a Farm & Ecovillage Immersion program called SOIL, and a new landscaping company.
Some of us are looking to 2014 as the year of the entrepreneur, so if you’ve been thinking of setting up a business in a community setting, let us know what’s in your idea box and we’ll see if we have any collaborative ideas to share.