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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Living earth village (permaculture eco village) forming

Living earth village (permaculture eco village) forming

Donanne D.
user 7366070
Portland, ME
Post #: 46
If you haven't checked out our website,, in the past two weeks we've made some changes. We've added a forum, updated the vision statement a bit and added some photos of the beautiful land we are currently investigating, about 1700 acres near Bridgton, Maine. The land has a 40 acre private, spring-fed pond (I went for a swim in it and drank the water - it was delicious), several smaller ponds and beaver ponds, artesian springs, rolling hills, many private, beautiful building sites, and even a private quarry to provide us with free gravel for our roads, boulders to build our homes with, and rock dust to mineralize our gardens. I spent a total of 4 hours there in 3 different visits and the only sounds I heard were birds singing and the breeze through the tree leaves - didn't hear a single car, airplane, or construction noise in that time.

We are organizing our next Living Earth Village meeting on Saturday, October 11. Let's meet at 11am in the Whole Foods parking lot in Portland and caravan from there to the land. Once we get there, we'll hike the property, study the maps, then come together and share our experiences in a circle. You're then invited to join us for a cooperative potlucky dinner on the land and camp out with us. Please email me or Donanne privately to RSVP.

Status with the Land: we are still investigating this land and have not yet made a formal offer to secure it under contract. The seller is willing to assist with the financing and our hope is that a relatively small amount of capital will enable us to close on the largest section of the property, the approximate 975 acres that includes the 40 acre pond, quarry, road access, and lots of beautiful building sites. Those of us who see this land as our home can come together to create the financial partnership to buy the land and begin the subdivision process. It will likely take 6-8 months to complete the subdivision process, so it is likely that we can complete all of this in time to move onto the land and begin planting our gardens and orchards and building our homes in late Spring 2009!

We send you so much love and hope to see you on October 11!
Scott McMahan and Family
Donanne Dean and Family
Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 580
Good stuff Donanne! Let us know if your core group wants to get some permaculture training (I think you mentioned that at some point...). The Advanced Course happening right now touches on EcoVillage Design but we can piont you in the right direction as you move into more of the planning phase.

Donanne D.
user 7366070
Portland, ME
Post #: 47
Thank you Lisa
That would be incredible! There is so much to learn. I am so excited!
Dick H.
user 6105531
Portland, ME
Post #: 16
Check out the latest issue of "Friends Journal," for October, 08. "Energy, Climate, and Building Community," a special issue. A very nice piece, "ZERI: A philosophy and Methodology to Reinvent the World," about Gunter Pauli and Gaviotas.
Best of luck in your venture!
In peace,
Merry H.
Portland, ME
Post #: 32
Donanne, I have the issue of Friends Journal that Dick is referring to, so you can borrow it if you like the next time we're both signed up for an event. Blessings, Merry
Donanne D.
user 7366070
Portland, ME
Post #: 49
Would love to MErry
Thank you
Merry H.
Portland, ME
Post #: 39
Here is what I have written about Living Earth Village in my upcoming book:

Agriculture-based, ecologically responsible, intentional communities are beginning to emerge in Maine. Donanne Dean and Scott McMahan found inspiration for Living Earth Village, the ecovillage they are beginning to establish here, far away in Russia. They were both moved by the Ringing Cedars series of books written by Vladimir Megre, a former Russian entrepreneur who changed his life radically after he met a Siberian recluse named Anastasia. Donanne says, “These books are an amazing resource for ecovillage living, permaculture, and many other topics from politics to relationships and raising children.”

She and Scott met at forums about the books, found that their ideas resonated with each other, and decided to form a subdivided ecovillage. They are currently investigating the appropriateness of two parcels of land in Maine’s Lake District. Scott says, “This community concept has been proven in more than 300 existing communities in Russia and worldwide in which tens of thousands of families reside. This will be the first of many communities using this model in the United States.”

At their website,, they invite us to purchase our own 2.5 acre or larger parcel within the proposed community.

Each family's domain will be as individual as a great artist's masterpiece and you may choose to:
• Build your own off-grid, green home, greenhouse, and root cellar
• Utilize permaculture techniques in your garden, orchard, and forest
• Create your own, large pond
• Plant a living fence of trees, shrubs, and berries around your parcel
• Construct your own simple beehives to pollinate your garden and provide you with yummy honey
• Design and plant a forest garden with rich biodiversity, including fruit and nut trees, conifers, oaks, cedars, berries, vines, medicinal and culinary herbs, flowers, legumes, grains, root vegetables, and all the veggies you can imagine.
There will be over 100 acres of community space that will include, with your guidance:
• A free-school designed and built by you and your children
• Community meeting and festival space
• Technology center
• Painting, sculpture, and other art studios
• Wood shop
• Recording and editing studios for music and video
• Small printing press
• Horse pastures and stables
• Spaces for other cooperatively owned animals, such as goats and chickens
• Parking for community-owned vehicles for your use
• A community lake and/or stream
Additionally, there will be commercial buildings at the front of the community where residents of nearby towns and cities may:
• Taste your exceptional surplus produce at a farmers' market
• Purchase the products of your creative work in a beautiful art gallery space
• Rejuvenate and relax at a healing resort and spa
• Learn from your expertise in our public workshop and seminar space
• Celebrate nature, life, and music in our public amphitheater
We are also assembling resources for an eco-agribusiness incubator, to create a thriving community, which will help any entrepreneurs in our community to establish thriving business that add value to what is grown on their land or market their creative output. Resources will include:
• Angel loans $5-20k LOANS Private investors
• Facilities and equipment
• Marketing, accounting, and legal assistance.

Scott believes there are many other families out there that, like his, are “disillusioned with society, finding family life too disconnected from the high places of their intention, and searching for true HOME.” These families may want to investigate living in such a community. Scott continues:
We aim to help create a truly prosperous community! People who choose to live in Living Earth Village will be choosing to live in a way that is not just environmentally sustainable, but environmentally regenerative. We will improve soil and water quality dramatically, restore and preserve wetlands, reduce runoff, restore aquifers, increase supply of good natural food, and raise healthier children.

Donanne knew she wanted to homestead, but was finding study of primitive skills in Tom Brown’s Child of the Earth too daunting. On the other hand, she says:

Anastasia makes it clear how simply and economically a sustainable homestead can develop within a community of like-minded people. I began to realize that if I don’t become active in forming such a community, it may not happen. So here we are in the process of buying land in Maine to make it so. I know it can work. My father has been homesteading individually here in Maine and pouring love into it for years with beautiful results. How much more we can do in community! What’s wonderful about our project is that it should market itself.
They stress that this is not an exclusive religious community. “We will never have a guru.” The website announces:

The founders have come together with the sole common beliefs in our individual freedom of thought and choice and in the divine nature of Nature. We will self-govern democratically initially and ultimately we'd love to learn how to make decisions consensually as a community.
Freedom of the individual and family is a crucial concept for the founders of Living Earth Village. Scott says:
We are starting with only two rules for every resident of the community. First, obey all laws of our local and federal government. Second, respect all of your neighbors as we are all part of one whole. These can be altered and added to by the form of government our residents choose to adopt.
Living Earth Village is just in the planning stages. Obviously, there are many challenges awaiting Donanne and Scott as they work to actualize it. Their plans and dreams reveal what is possible when entrepreneurship is combined with moral, sociological, and ecological responsibility. Donanne leaves us with this thought: “When families, individuals, and elders come together for the purpose of connecting with nature and creating in line with our highest desires and inspirations, the result will be a very exciting community!”
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