Moderate climate: Moderate climate = long growing season.
Abundant rainfall: This makes it easy to supply our needs with just water catchment. It also obviously reduces the need for crop irrigation.
Excellent soil: Growing food is a top priority.
Low cost of living.
More freedom and less restrictive building and zoning restrictions than most other places.
Close enough to the city for all it has to offer but far enough away to avoid all of the restrictions.
Harmony Woods is focused on the values of sustainability, land stewardship, conservation/minimalism, local resource use, cooperation/interdependence, education and freedom. We aspire to be an example of how humans can live in harmony with the earth as opposed to the current model of destruction of and fighting against nature.
Unlike many communities, Harmony Woods Ecovillage will have very few rules since we believe very strongly in freedom. Instead of rules we will screen community members carefully to make sure that they share our core values so that only minimal rules will be required to protect our quality of life.
Here's how the community will work in a nutshell:
The land, communal buildings and infrastructure will be collectively owned and managed by all members through a land trust. Personal buildings (homes & outbuildings) will be owned by the individuals who build or buy them.
Membership cost will be a no-profit, flat fee determined by all investments including the cost of land, infrastructure and labor. This cost can be financed by the land trust through monthly payments and/or a work exchange.
Each member will have access to a plot of land of ample size (at least 1/2 acre) for a family to live self sufficiently. This will include room for a house, outbuilding, small animals (chickens, rabbits, etc.) and a garden.
The land will be encumbered with a set of ecologically based covenants and restrictions agreed upon by 90% of land trust members that will limit or restrict specific behaviors (eg no clear cutting the land or disturbing the peace).
There will be a 6 month trial period before prospective members can become full members. In order to become a full member, one will have to be approved by at least 90% of current members.
Members will meet regularly and make decisions on issues related to the community. Decisions will be made based on the modified consensus model. Essentially, this means that 90% approval of any decision is required.
For those wanting to "try it out" or be part of the community but not wanting to become a full member, a rental or work exchange arrangement will be an option.