My name is Jason and I have been living inside an eco-village for two years now in Costa Rica. After spending my first two years living in the little beach city of Jaco building and growing my business, I decided it was time to find a homestead where I could grow a my life filled with organic fruits, vegetables and herbs.
My village - Saint Michaels Eco Village - is a small sustainable community where permaculture is a way of life. For me the decision to make the move to an eco-village came after the fear-mongers of Youtube slapped some sense into me about the ever clear growing uncertainty in our world. This made me ask myself some questions, if a situation like what is happening in Venezuela now was reality tomorrow here would I be able to survive? If there were no grocery stores to count on, could I feed myself? The truthful and scary answer was, no.
Living within an eco-village isn’t like living in just any neighbourhood. It’s more of a tight-knit community so it’s very important that you get along with your neighbours which are known as community members.
The best part about living here is growing your own food. Waking up in the morning and having a fresh tea from your garden with the birds is a blessing. My favourite is lemon grass, holy basil, mint and lime but we have a variety that you won’t find at the grocery store.
Nothing compares to an organic pineapple that you grow and pick fresh, well maybe the watermelon, jackfruit, papaya, soursop or plantain.
Location is also very important if you ever were to choose to live in an eco-village. You need to choose a climate where you can grow year round. It is also advisable to look for land that has a cattle farm or other livestock animals for meat and milk just in case the crops are sparse or there are issues with insects and other diseases.
You must do your part when living inside an eco-village. When I say do your part, I mean do something to help the community. Nobody likes that neighbour that is sneaking into the chicken coop to steel most the eggs or taking all the other fruits if they aren’t doing something to help out. When I first bought the house it was clear from the beginning that I could help out with working on the website and writing. Luckily I had previous experience working in this field and it was exactly the skill that the owner was grateful to have found.
The biggest issue with living in an eco-village is how to solve problems, it’s important to find a group of like-minded people with the same end goal.
Living in an eco-village is all about becoming self-sustainable. We still have some work to do before we are 100% self-sustainable but that’s the goal. This is not an easy task and to become self-sustainable means that you are going to have do some labour intensive work.
What is self-sustainability? It means you produce 100% your own food and medicine and give organic nutrients back to the land so it can produce crops for your lifetime and beyond. You make your own soaps and detergents and have your own source of water. You create your own source of electricity if needed and you create your own gas for cooking (biogas). You also have to have a mode of transportation where you don’t need to buy gas or diesel.
If you are going to live in an eco-village you must practice the Rs which are reduce, re-use and recycle. You must be conscious about our environment and treat mother earth with respect. We just set up our own recycling centre to help the community members do their part in recycling.
It’s such a shame to go the beach and see all the trash that was just thrown at Mother Nature’s expense, all of which could have been re-used.
Another way of re-using is to collect the fecal matter from the cows and organic compost for the bio-digester. This will not only create gas for cooking but in the end will be one of the best organic fertilizers for fruits and vegetables.