(dedicated to the memory of Salvatore Iaconesi who deceived in 2022)

May 2013

Eco Village at Ithaca, NY gives you a good reflection of what values you want to live by…

I was their guest with my fellow friends and we had opportunity to get to know them, their living and their values.

Liz Walker, author of “Choosing a Sustainable Future” and the founder of the Eco Village at Ithaca states that the aim was to establish a “social support system” that is there for you for the rest of your life.. http://www.liz-walker.org

This is an eco-village mirroring a co-housing system where you have standards to live by and which mitigates your environmental impact and creates a collective social being.

They started the initiative in 1991, first by finding and getting the land with loans from people and funds. Half of it was “forgiven”..  First residents moved in 1996. The history and all the steps they have taken are detailed  in their website: http://ecovillageithaca.org/evi/

The address of the Eco village is named after Rachel Carson. (Rachel Louise Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement) They must have wanted to be related to her to highlight their activist character and ecological sensitivity..

Each neighborhood gets to decide on their own set of rules and standards as seen at Frog, Song and Tree neighborhoods. Tree neighborhood was being built when we were there. They shared details with us on the features of the eco-efficiency of “german passive houses”..

2 main aspects of the village are: Village Culture and Consensus decision-making

Village residents have the opportunity to share common dinners several times per week in the two Common Houses, and volunteer about 2-3 hours per week on various work teams to keep things running smoothly: outdoor maintenance, finances, governance, future projects, and more.

As is typical in co-housing, they make community decisions through a consensus process. Liz stated that they have gone through difficult times. The longest consensus reaching issue took 1 year!

An organic agricultural farm and a berry farm in their land feed 250 people at the CSA system.

CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a model of food production, sales, and distribution aimed at both increasing the quality of food and the quality of care given the land, plants, and animals while substantially reducing potential food losses and financial risks for the producers.

CSA customers are supporting farmers and invest in farms and support local economy and are first to get what is produced at the farms, they also sell at the Ithaca Farmers Market open every saturday and sunday..

The berry farm acts as a “You Pick” Farm where you get what you pick at certain dates when berries are ready to be picked..

Healthy Food For All!

Food is at the heart of this movement. Everyone gets good food. The approach of “you are what you eat” prevails having ethical connotations which leads us to food justice. Food justice seeks to ensure that the benefits and risks of where, what, and how food is grown, produced, transported, distributed, accessed and eaten are shared fairly.

This eco village is mainly putting emphasis on community living revolving around social support and food. Other eco villages in the world are striving to incorporate these values to rural community and  create a local economy that leverages the rural.

All attempts should be respected since these people are trying to reach sustainable living systems that become models that inspire others and each carry within itself valuable lessons to be learned from…