Facilitating the development of regenerative communities
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.African proverb
There is a growing epidemic going across Australia and the world. It is the increasing level of disconnection that people are facing from modern life. Disconnection from nature, from each other and ultimately from themselves.
This is leading to increased mental health challenges that is experienced by most people at a low level and for many acute to point they have functioning in the modern busy world. Family separation, burnout, anxiety, depression, suicide and many other forms of social breakdown. Across all ages.
Let’s not talk about the cause (that is another page) yet solutions. One of them is working with others to grow healthy life restoring food and sharing happiness.
This page outlines the key areas of development of the farm concept currently that are aligned with the processes of forming community that are covered during workshops.
Over time as more people join to cocreate the picture the detail will be clarified and documented so that it is also be available to prospective members and partners. Where it sits now is ‘good enough for now, safe enough to try‘.
The vision is to create a regenerative farm that provides an example of how growing healthy food together helps people of all races, genders, life stages and backgrounds to ground, heal and rebuild themselves.
About the founders
We have a philosophy for purposeful care of the land, building long lasting community connections and being of service to the world. We care for our health with passion and experience for organic food growing and clean living life choices. Each of us has a commitment to being better people, investing time in developing practices of respectful communication and honouring the needs of the group as a whole. We have a vision of home life that supports us and others to remember who we truly are as members of the wholeness of nature. We have an intention to live by a common ground similar to that of the Findhorn Foundation and continually co-create this with others.
Nunumunganah (Garry Lawler) is a respected Elder of Men’s Wellbeing and Mankind Project, is a and permaculture trained bush regenerator with decades of experience in Sunshine coast area working with Sunshine Coast council in caring for land and waterways aligned with the ways of nature.
Nunumunganah’s journey is calling people home.
Djason (Djalmbu) Hilder is an organic horticulturist and land manager with passion, experience and training in community development. Over decades Djason has been involved in Men’s Wellbeing and through understanding and recovering from health challenges has learned compassion and care for himself and others.
We each have our own daily spiritual practices that connect us to that which is greater than all of us. We have a respect for the lore of the way of things and emulate life choices aligned to that. We can speak up to injustice when needed.
We are visionaries. We are doers. We are lovers of life. We are healers each in our own ways and walk a path connected to the ways of nature. We are also realists that know when work is to be done to get on with it.
Are you interested to be part too? We welcome women, men and other genders of all ages to come join this venture bring balance and harmony to ourselves, or communities and to our world.
How we intend to operate the farm community
This farm is intended to be operated as a social enterprise meaning that we have balanced direction of achieving outcomes across the four dimensions of ecovillage regeneration – social, ecological, economic and cultural – as shown in the diagram to the right. This also means a strong connection with other communities and farms in Australia and overseas via the Global Ecovillage Network Australia.
It will have a mix of horticultural (fruit and vegetable) and agricultural (grains, fibre, animal) production that both provide for the needs of the residents and offer excess to the community for sale or exchange supporting local economies in a variety of ways.
On a daily basis there will be farming operations that involve residents and enable visitors, students and those regenerating their lives to be part in as little or lot as they are able.
Courses and workshops will be offered by those within the community and aligned others using the facilities of the nearby community. This is one of the reasons for the desire to be in or near Crystal Waters.
We prefer to be located in South East Queensland due suitable climate and soil types and community networks yet open to other locations in Australia
The land that is coming
We are offering to join with others who may already have land and property or are looking to establish a communal living arrangement based upon custodianship of the land.
Ideally this is on Sunshine coast Hinterland with a mix of flat arable land for food production, treed landscape for wood production, nature reserve and space for fire circles and outdoor gatherings. Our preference is to be close enough for bike riding to nearby community hubs such as the village centres and other services.
It is preferred that the land already has a clean well maintained main house for dwelling and shared services. The remainder of the land is preferred to be suitable to build or install two or three well designed and constructed small self contained dwellings under a pavilion style house that meet (and even exceeds) council requirements.
How we will manage and care for the land
We will employ a mix of creative mix methods gained from experience that draws from permaculture, bio-dynamic farming, syntropothy and organic production. We’ll also be guided by the seasons, the land, the traditions of the place. This will include chickens or other fowl, goats, fish and insects depending upon the land suitability to balance the nutrient flows. If these animals are not on this land then nearby with other connected farmers.
At least two sources of water will be part of the system using sustainable water management technologies and practices. If the structures need repair that is OK as we are handy and capable. If the structures are needing knock down and you are open to starting from a clean slate that is OK too.
In doing so we believe that we can also learn from others to sequester carbon and achieve carbon credits to generate income and help heal our planet.
The financial aspects for members
The detail of this is currently being co-created to be equitable and achievable for any and all that desire to be part. The intention is for those that can afford the time or financial investment or life stage can. Those that have a need in one area yet can offer in another can too. Being part means putting investing in some way or another.
Based upon research from many regenerative communities it is likely that the land will be owned in a community or company title ensuring it retains the same model in perpetuity and can never be in the open market for speculation as a whole community.
Custodianship as opposed to ownership means that people can invest financially in a share and also sell that share in future if it does not align with them anymore. Their investment and return will be determined by market conditions, less a calculated value for the benefits they have enjoyed as part of community life and the efforts they have made over time. This calculation will be agreed by founders and clearly communicated to all so as to be up front. In doing so it enables people to move in and move out to other living situations with a reasonable ease albeit some processes to go through. It also prevents against profiteering either by the community or the individual and aims to maintain the integrity of the community as a whole.
How we intend to interact
We intend to use an inclusive form of decision making and governing ourselves similar to that used in GEN Australia and other community venture that ensures every one has an opportunity to be heard and input into decisions that are relevant to them. The tools that most supports this is the circular governance tool – sociocracy – although this is still to be decided.
Visioning and directing the community will involve all members and likely once or twice a year with a facilitated process that is then shared across the groups.
The week to week and day to day functioning of the community will be managed by smaller groups of those involved as they have an agreed scope of what they are headed towards and empowered to make decisions on the nitty gritty. This enables each working group to get on with what they are doing and processes to share their progress with the other groups.
As this requires a learning and having a go at circular governance it means members will be training in the process with both commitment and patience. The end results will be worth it.
Although anyone that is aligned with the vision and common ground principles is welcome to visit and be part, it takes time and getting to know each other before becoming members with responsibility for making decisions on behalf of the community.
Once again this is drawn from the experience of numerous intentional communities throughout the world and also traditional cultures.
There is likely to be a staged process for membership that enables people to try living communally and also existing members to assess the benefits and challenges of the intending member. As with other parts of the community this will be following principles of respect for each person. The actual process is still to be decided.
The people we welcome to open connections with
If you’re reading this and inspired to meet then you probably are the right people. If you mostly resonate and there parts of what is said that don’t gel with you, then you are probably still the right person so let’s meet and co-create options. If you don’t align then that is pretty clear, thank you for taking the time to read this far and if you know of others who might be interested please forward on to them. By sharing you can help us and others and it will return to you many fold.
If you are intrigued then please let us know via the contact page and we can arrange a time to hear each other’s vision and needs to see what aligns.
As this vision and practice is much greater than us and has benefits to many, we welcome support, investment and resources. Your support in any of these areas would be greatly appreciated. Please make contact and we will be happy to discuss what is possible, practical and purposeful.
To continue building this vision to be a reality we will need financial backing in the following areas. If you have the capacity to support the venture we’d appreciate hearing from you.
- Supporting us to meet our living needs of $100,000 and project start up costs of $50,000 in first 2 years while continuing to lead this venture
- Support the venture by investments for land, infrastructure, equipment and ongoing wages. We estimate land and resources being $2million
Offers of land to be managed and regenerated. Degraded land is an opportunity to heal us and also the planet. No serious offer will be rejected.
Ideally land would be:
- 1 to 100 hectares
- close to a regional centre
- close to a train line or major road network
The mantra for these times is collaboration and cooperation. We are experienced at forming agreements with others that support the greater good. We are also out of the box thinkers and open to novel solutions.
We welcome partnerships with:
- Mental Health services providers
- Farming organisations
- Councils and governments
This is an evolving process that is expected to improve and get clearer over time with the involvement of others. We will be hosting regular meetings to develop this further.
If you would like to be part please make contact for meeting times.
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