Life of an eco-settler through the eyes of a city man and answers to frequently asked questions

For an ordinary city dweller in similarecosettlements have many drawbacks, because household amenities here can vary significantly in terms of comfort. The presence of certain conditions depends on the site owner, his preferences and financial capabilities. As a rule, ecovillages are based on agricultural lands, that is, practically in a bare field. To conduct centralized communications there is difficult and expensive. As far as I know, the maximum that they do is fall asleep roads and sometimes pull electricity (What is the difference between ecovillage and village?). And because of the latter, disputes always arise, because not everyone has such money, and it violates certain concepts of settlements, for example, autonomy and aesthetics. On the other hand, if there is centralized electricity in the house, then all domestic issues are easily realized with the help of technical devices, progress allows. And for me, it is better to invest once and stretch the power line, if it is possible, and only then save on other devices. And if it is used autonomously, then there will be more spending on equipment, and all sorts of nuances will appear. But in any case, you can create urban conditions in the open field, if there is money and desire.

Since not a single household amenities fulla person, people in eco-settlements do not settle at all to create super-comfortable conditions. So we decided to check whether we would like to complicate, but give nature, the sun, fresh air and water from the well. We described our impressions in the article. Why you should go to the village and ecovillage. Of course, people are still engaged in home,plants are planted in the garden, go to the holidays and organize all sorts of seminars. This is also an important part of life, but it has not yet been possible to verify it. And at the moment we were only interested in being in nature because of ecology and raising a son, the rest is secondary.

The content of the article

roads

The main element of the infrastructure is the road insidesettlements and from it to asphalt. As a rule, the road is made everywhere, and here it was also. They did it recently, finally got together, threw money and did it. Very useful thing now we our car we pass in any weather :)

The main road is hard and gravel

The main road is hard and gravel

When everything thaws the entrance to the site turns into a mess

When everything melts, the entrance to the site turns into a mess

There is nothing to write about the muddy on the entranceneed is a superficial look and snobbery. I do not like? So drive a couple of dump trucks with gravel and fill it. Why didn't the guys do this? Without a clue, maybe they are satisfied, because their jeep is quietly passing, and you will not be walking along the road to the thaw, but along small paths. Or maybe because their site is only a couple of years old, and they only built a house six months ago, and there is so much to do that it’s not up to the road now.

Heating

The heating here is stove, and the stove is metal,slow burning. If it is completely hammered with wood, it will warm all day. As it turned out, the process of the firebox is not at all burdensome with firewood prepared in advance (you can buy them and not do them yourself). And from her such warmth is pleasant when it is dubak or chilly weather outside. You can sit side by side and warm yourself, which it does not occur to do near the battery in the apartment, or in the evenings you can watch the fire dancing inside (this stove has a very large door, everything is perfectly visible). Strangely, there was a general desire to do a lot, which you won’t do in the city and you won’t even think about it.

Strained in terms of heating only one thing - a big onetemperature variation vertically. The floor is still cold, and the face is already hot, and it turns out that you cannot continue to sink, and the child cannot crawl on the floor. In our country it was like this: at the level of the face 25, on the floor 19, that is, somewhere 5-6 degrees of difference, against 2-3 degrees in the apartment. The problem is partially solved with puzzle mats, but in general it is necessary to warm the floor more seriously than is customary, and to temper it so as not to be sensitive to such temperatures. Our other friends, 10 minutes from this house, are warm on the floor, and the stove is big and brick ...

Why it is worth going to live in a village or an ecovillage (14)

You can just bask, and you can watch the fire

I am glad that the humidity is always comfortable, without humidifiers!

I am glad that the humidity is always comfortable, without humidifiers!

By the way, the stove is fireproof, the required distances from the walls are observed, which are also closed with non-combustible panels. Wooden shields near the stove - our life hacking, so that Yegor does not get burned.

Electricity

Electricity in children autonomous, the mainThe source is two solar panels and a wind turbine. The windmill is kind of thin, but in sunny weather, and it is not really needed, unless, of course, household appliances are used a lot. Actually, if the autonomous power supply system is simple, then it usually has a small power, and there are limitations on the power of the devices or their simultaneous number.

Two solar panels - the main source of electricity

Two solar panels - the main source of electricity

Windmill

Windmill

We basically only used a laptop andCharges for phones and tablet. A couple of times a day still needed a blender and mixer. The light here is from LED strips, very bright and economical, although it was turned on for a very short time, for some reason I wanted to go to bed much earlier. And in order to use a washing machine, a pump for water, or an electric tool, a gasoline generator was started, it took just a minute.

I get the generator on the street for a set of water and start washing

I get the generator on the street for a set of water and start washing

All week we thought that we still have tothere is enough and nothing is invented, the above is enough, it is quite possible to live on autonomous electricity, sometimes connecting a generator for powerful equipment. Maybe it’s only worthwhile to put a refrigerator, although in this weather (on the street + 2 + 10) it was never needed, and even its absence stimulates cooking more often than eating food a week ago. And the kettle, by the way, is heated on the gas stove, like the rest of the food.

On the assurances of our friends such a scheme is quiteenough year round. Batteries are weak (they store electricity), which need to be changed periodically (special batteries change less often, but they are more expensive) and dead generators. The service life of solar batteries is about 20 years, the controller controlling the entire system also lives for a long time, windmills have different lifetimes.

Water

Cold water is taken from the well and used.for drinking and cooking, for washing dishes and yourself. Carrying it with buckets from the street in the old way is not necessary, there is a pump. True, even though it supplies water directly to the house, it is only when the street generator is working (the pump is powerful too), yes, and it is not connected to the tanks in the house. Therefore, they turned on the street generator and started to collect buckets from the tap, and poured them into the washbasin's tank, the furnace tank for water heating, and the drinking water capacity. But in general, this whole process can be automated, the owners just still have not reached their hands.

Washbasin with cold water, gas stove

Washbasin with cold water, gas stove

In the shower only cold water, so the old bucket and bucket

In the shower only cold water, so the old bucket and bucket

There is no hot water in the classical sense, butas I said, there is a tank at the stove, and there will always be warm / hot water when the stove is heated, that is, from autumn to spring. In the warm season, hot water is not really needed. The only thing I would do was not only the automatic filling of this tank, but also the supply of hot water from it to the shower. And while it turns out, just take a bucket of hot water and carry it where we want. By the way, the traditional dacha way of washing with a ladle and basin is not at all terrible, as I thought earlier, if you use a shower cabin with a sink instead of a basin. For everything about everything enough buckets of water and 5 minutes of time.

The furnace tank has to be filled manually with a bucket.

The furnace tank has to be filled manually with a bucket.

Egorush takes a bath

Egorush takes a bath

the Internet

After networks began to develop in Russia3G, I think many people have a problem with the Internet. Yes, the connection is not as fast as in the city, and sometimes the traffic is limited, but for work as a blogger or programmer, as well as for ordinary surfing and watching youtube, it is enough. And for movies, you can sometimes go to a city to visit friends, and immediately pump it there six months ahead.

The last two articles are written from here, the Internet from MTS

The last two articles are written from here, the Internet from MTS

In very remote areas you can useSatellite Internet. If you take a unidirectional system, then mobile communication is still needed for the outgoing channel. But technologies are becoming cheaper, and now you can afford to install a bidirectional system, and to make it even cheaper, costs can be shared with neighbors.

Restroom

There is no sadder story than the tale ofrustic toilet. Unfortunately, sewage is the most difficult to implement in the field. In the cottages put expensive septic tanks that require maintenance, and very few of the settlers follow this path. You can make a septic tank yourself, it will be cheaper and easier, but it will take time. As I understand it, most now use ala “bucket” and toilets. The bucket on the interval of a short time is normal, but if I could live like that for years, I'm not sure if the bio-toilet is much better. By the way, I can advise in a cold time to use a foam bezel, the bottom heats great! Although it is better to put a bucket / biotoilet in a heated room.

The network has a variety of schemes, how to make a septic tankon your own site. And the larger the area, the easier. What personally does not suit me in all these schemes, as well as in ready-made solutions on the market, is maintenance, that is, tanks need to be pumped out after a certain time. But still, I saw how in some schemes, it is possible to do without pumping with a special machine, but to do it myself, and then throw it all out on the plot to improve fertility.

Infrastructure, medicine, education, communication

Initially, these subclauses were not in the article, but based on some comments to previous article, I thought it was worth it and tell about it, at leastit is to life that is irrelevant. First of all, I would like to say that the settlement owes nothing to anyone. This is not a cottage village, where you, looking at a handout with promises, have the right to demand their execution. Ecovillages are an initiative group of people who come together to do something to create something from scratch. Therefore, it will depend on the activity / passivity of each participant, what will be realized in the current settlement, and what will not, and how long it will take.

Settlements are different, as with clear leaders,as well as with an elected council, both those who want to abandon most of the benefits of civilization, and those who are wishing to progress, both the fanatical and quoting books of Megre, and those who are tolerant to the “religion” of a particular person. But in most of the settlements there are certain rules that include a healthy lifestyle, moving for a certain number of years, a ban on the breeding of animals for slaughter, mandatory contributions to the road and so on. The rules are different, sometimes they are respected very zealously, sometimes not. Here you can still write for a long time various nuances that you will not learn from the outside, but I wanted to say something else. A certain contingent of people moves to eco-settlements, understanding why they need it. Although, of course, part of the disappointed and leaves back. The main goal is to live alone with nature among like-minded people, cultivate the land according to the principles of permaculture, plant plants that are not really in Russia, give birth to and raise children, lead a healthy lifestyle. That is, people are going there not at all for urban comfort, it would be stupid and expensive. So they live in “summer” conditions, even in winter and with children, it does not bother them. There is, of course, a small percentage of people with serious money and just wanting maximum comfort with a jacuzzi on each floor of the house, and so they are building their own cottages with full technical stuff. True, such people do not spend the winter there, but go as if to a dacha, but those who wanted simplicity and “peasant” life spend the winter. This is from experience, as they say.

Infrastructure

Those who need every day clubs, bars,restaurants, theaters and museums, then, of course, it is worth living in the city. But I personally do not know of a single person who hangs out at clubs every day if he has a child. When children appear, you think about other things. For example, we are looking forward to the summer, so that Yegor can crawl on the grass, dig deeper in the sand and with pebbles, so that we can show him trees and leaves, all kinds of insects. These are our mundane dreams, where we are dark to the theaters ...

In the immediate vicinity, my wife and I only need a grocery store. And, if we talk specifically about Nicethen there is a supermarket, a vegetable market, a building materials shop, a photo studio, Sberbank, a swimming pool, a gym, yoga and dancing in 30 minutes from it. This is from what I managed to notice when we lived in Pushchino week. Sure, almost every small town hassimilar infrastructure, and half an hour to get to - this is quite close. For me it is beyond what I have ever used. And once a year, to the theater or to a lecture of some kind, I don’t go to Moscow for 100 km.

The medicine

After being unable to help us in the vauntedMoscow, even for money, I was a little disappointed in Russian medicine. And considering that the psychological factor doesn’t give a damn at all, then I thought hard about treatment abroad. Now I know, if some nonstandard situation happens, there will again be no one to help us. By the way, there are no other situations in our life along the way, they are always such that the diagnoses differ, and doctors only build a smart type, but know only your placebo is prescribed. And this cart with “find your doctor” along the way is only in our country, where everyone decides for himself what this way he can treat based on his own fantasies. Thank God that there are still normal specialists who did not drink beer in pairs at the university but studied the textbooks, and then after the university, realizing that the textbooks were 30 years behind, they also went to all sorts of conferences, increased their education changes. In principle, if you set a goal, and stock up on time, then in any large city you can find such doctors, well, I hope ...

In short, you have to live near a large city, and that'severything. From Glorious to Moscow to go only half an hour. Yes, and such a moment - why those who spoke about ambulance or medicine in Moscow, do not bother how the rest of Russia lives (yes, not only Moscow in our country), the remaining 120 million. It seems that they do not complain much, many would not want to move, they live and raise children ... And if to be honest, then you have to go to Germany or some kind of medicine for medicine.

Education

A rolling stone gathers no moss. If you want a school in the settlement, do so, organize the people, build the building, invite the teachers. One of our good friends is doing just that, really in another settlement. By the way, when the settlement is large, there are always teachers there, both professionals and not quite. I won even Daria in the Montessori school managed to work in primary school. In addition, home education up to a certain age is quite a lifting topic. Just do not need me to talk about socialization, I see living examples. And it is better to form a child at home than in Moscow schools, where lezginka will soon be a compulsory subject. Well, and if the child is your usual most, without neurological problems, the sweetest thing is distance education in English from Oxford, which will then be quoted everywhere. True, the last infa is not proven, good people told me about it. In general, I am sure this issue is being resolved, it would be a wish to find an option. Well, and if it's too lazy, then you can carry the private tutors to the city nearest to the school.

communication

Someone wrote to me about sociopathy ... Um, do you even know the definition of this term? A person living among like-minded people and close to friends suffers from personality disorder, right? Oh well.

During these two weeks in the settlement, we communicated withmore people than we do in Moscow. Do you know why? Because in the city, we need to go for two hours in traffic jams to visit someone, and then also back. And for us now it is a feat to go to friends, and most often they all have to go to us when they can, so we almost never see each other. And in the settlement I crossed the road, and you already drink tea at a party. As a last resort, you got on a bicycle and a car, and after 10 minutes you were on the other side of the settlement for other guests. Yes, you can say that this is our special case, that we already have friends in different eco-settlements. Maybe. But I see how they settled there and not knowing almost anyone, they made good friends for themselves, and how they communicate there every day. How many people do you need to communicate, how many? We have close friends can be counted on the fingers. Is it different for many? I am sure that most people do not have 100 friends for constant communication, and also do not meet 50 new people every day. Main What is the difference between ecovillage and village? - these are people, their community, and if the interests of this community are close to you, there will be much more communication than in the city.

Not 160 families still live in Nice, asit is assumed that only 20-25 (this is in the winter, and in the summer 100 families arrive), and it saddens many. But no one bothers to find a settlement where the rules require a mandatory move within a short period, or where many people already live. But we must understand that the settlements are all young, many mistakes are made, some people leave. The trend for life outside the city appeared not so long ago.

findings

In short - we really enjoyed living in nature,although the living conditions have become harder and we are tired because of this. But! We are tired not because of the conditions themselves, this is a time to spit and doesn’t bother at all, namely, because it takes time, which we now have catastrophically little. Actually, he is not enough for us in the apartment, where all the conditions exist, we are already thinking about the housekeeper and the nanny. In any case, I understand perfectly well that “living” and “living” are completely different things, so we are not in a hurry and look at my friends, who decided to check everything out the hard way. Fortunately, the views are similar and we trust them.

In general, I see that to make life more suitablenot so difficult, even considering that it will only be autonomous communications. I have already figured everything out, and the system that the guys have can be slightly improved and automated: add electric power due to a couple more panels, make one big tank in the house for water instead of several, throw the pipe from the furnace tank with hot water into the shower cabin, as well as put a gas column for heating water, put a bio-toilet, and a little later you can be confused on a home-made septic tank, the benefit of a large area allows you to use cheap design.

Judging by the comments to previous article, it became clear to me that not all our advantages,are pluses. In principle, it is understandable, now the trend for comfort, so that the body feels as comfortable as possible. But since this concept is not close to us, and it seems inappropriate to spend your life on honing comfort in a home, there are more advantages in life in nature than disadvantages, especially for young children. Actually, “life in nature next to friends”, which manifests itself as fresh air, clear water, the forest outside the window, and friends 5 minutes away, this is such a fat plus that all the minuses pale, and all problems are solved sooner or later, there would be a desire to solve them. Therefore, we may someday decide to live in a similar settlement or village, but not now, there are reasons. At least we decided for ourselves that living in our own house with a large plot of land is great and a great replacement for the city!

P.S. Please refrain from comments in the style of "pathetic shacks", first do something yourself, and then criticize. A lot of questions need to be solved, and it takes years. And, probably, people understand why they do it, the desire appeared not from scratch. Of course, if you do not want to do something with your own hands, then it means that you pay the loot and you will have a truncate. But, as I said above, those who want to bask and work only with intellect do not live in the settlements, but only build palaces here, apparently investing in the land. No need to go to the village / village for comfort, the goals are different. Comfort outside the city is to be found in turnkey cottage villages.

P.P.S. Nevertheless, there is a slightly different view on moving out of town, read, also interesting, our friend blogger moved from Moscow 15 years ago to her home. Interestingly, even those people who want exactly the urban living conditions in their home, still consider that the move is justified.

P.P.P.S. Most importantly, I forgot to say, I do not persuade anyone to move anywhere, but simply tell us why we did it. :)

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