2) What (& News)


Our priority so far has been to raise the fertility, plant-cover & biodiversity of the land for the first 5 years of stewardship work here (we have not done the usual which is to put most initial resources into human comforts, so note that accommodation is very basic still, for this reason)





  • of the trees, many are mature & already fruit-bearing - many almonds, oranges, lemon, nisperos, cactus-fruit, pears, plums, figs, chestnuts.  The area is famous for its abundance of almonds which apart from the great harvest, create a unique spectacle of almonds in flower during january-march (not to be missed!)
  • we have added many trailing vines for shade & food, like passion-fruit & vines & we have also been increasing the biodiversity greatly with autoctonous species of herbs, trees & bushes
  • we have also planted a great number of new fruit trees in that time, like walnut, avocado, mandarin, apple, chirimoyo, banana, olive, sharon-fruit, carob, acacias, tagasaste, mango, date-palms, dragos, papaya, guayaba, mulberry, quince & tomatillo, all with full watering structures in place



a young guayaba tree



Creating Soil

The first & main job we've concentrated on during the first 5 years on the site has been the creation of soil: 
  • stopping erosion on slopes
  • repairing terrace walls
  • setting up a chicken tractor
  • and later a rabbit-tractor
  • collecting great amounts of mulch
  • planting many plants & bushes
  • putting down drip irrigation

Creating Community

We've also engaged in intensive research into what creates community soil. Taking the lessons from successes & failures of previous projects. Our own as well, as many colleagues' + studies into community building of all types, not just eco-villages. 

We set out to study by action-learning with the temporary communities of the action-learning programmes. Why post-modern people in the west are so volatile when it comes to making lasting commitments to projects we superficially agree, are of the utmost importance. 

We confirmed with experience that the lasting relationships & solid teams are created when a series of criteria are met, and we distilled these down to some basic models. Not techniques or recipes, but models that help in understanding what's going on under the surface, which is much more flexible. Those models are now taught in Module 1 (People-Care) of the PDC+++ Course.

Creating EcoEmployment

https://sites.google.com/site/butterflyemployment/
However idealistic a project, it has to work in the less than ideal current realities, if we are to have any hope of transforming those.

Our first priority is to find the ideal people for the self employment opportunities already identified and listed in more detail in this section of Butterfly Jobs. We think this inter-linking of skills and work-areas would ensure a solid EcoBusiness base to make the EcoVillage very viable & prosperous for all, especially the local economy.

We are also open to suggestions & welcome passive investors as well, as they would enable people who have the skills and wish to take on these jobs or be part of the eco-village, but don't yet have the money to buy a share.

People with a back-up online business and a genuine interest & wish to also do physical work in one of these areas would be ideal.

https://sites.google.com/site/butterflyemployment/





There are a number of possible businesses on site, for which we have done the basic market investigation by observing this area & economy for the last 10 years, with a very discerning eye.

This investment would get you prime quality land, one of the healthiest possible environments to live in and some interesting business opportunities. Should you also wish to set up an eco-business here, which of course you can also sell if you ever wish to move on, adding greatly to your investment.

The farm already supports a small carpentry (Julio's EcoBusiness) and a permaculture school (Stella's EcoBusiness - now moving to more online courses in order to preserve the privacy of our home), with several more businesses already investigated which could be viable here, given the right people to start them.

For example:
  • a pottery - there is local good red clay on site, we have a small kiln & an electric wheel + a great place for a workshop.  We have also tested local markets & the only reason we have tried but abandoned this business option for now is that we have plenty of work with our existing other businesses - and we like a simple life
  • growing & selling organic produce, grown on the very fertile land which can be sold in the popular local markets (nearest is 10 minutes away) & other outlets we already have personal contacts with
  • or even more profitably sold processed & on site (3 times more profitably) in a juice-bar/café (a well-frequented tourist walk passes nearby). These are some of the produce possible:
  • fruit & vegetables - 6 large gardens with excellent fertile earth are already in place, complete with spring water supply. Some are with full irrigation system in place and accessible to the chicken-tractor system we are designing
  • nursery plants - there is a small nursery on site which can be improved & extended. Nursery production is even more profitable than selling produce
  • there is a large commercial kitchen in the market nearby, which can be used by local people who wish to make conserves. This is another way of enhancing the value of organic produce
  • there is a local variety of disease-free bee. We've been steadily increasing the quantity & variety of flowers to make possible small scale honey production 
  • poultry - we currently have 9 chickens & are building a structure to house 50-60 chickens. This way, we'll increase the production of organic eggs & meat for the local market
  • it is possible to breed rabbits, guinea pigs & goats here, since there is much surrounding wild land. We have also increased variety & quantity of forage-plants on site. In April 2011 we finally decided we couldn't let all the huge abundance of lush herbivore-fodder go to waste & got our first rabbit-pair. In autumn 2012 we got guinea pigs, which are more resistant to diseases.
  • the site is ideal as a small ecological camping site, with basic facilities already in place and stunning views all around, close to some of the most popular tourist attractions. La Palma tourism is more for the discerning nature-lover, health-conscious or sporty type and ideal for walkers
  • we are very keen to have eco-builders / engineering enthusiasts, especially those that are excited about working with recycled materials.  Possibly the most important tasks for next generations, together with re-creating soil & regenerating vital eco-systems, is to find ways to use the huge quantities of 'rubbish' that our industrial societies have generated, and transform those once again into valuable resources. Making small-scale windmills, water-pumps, water-collection infrastructures and solar-power tech is an important addition to all of the above, as well as finding innovative ways to make our small 'Hobbit-Domes' beautifully from 90% waste materials.
  • the place is perfect for whoever already has or wishes to develop an online business or is a writer for example, as the peace & quiet of the surroundings, combined with the great beauty of the place & high-speed internet connection already in place is very supportive of this kind of work as well. Complete with green-gym on the doorstep so you don't risk becoming a desk-potato! As you can  contribute to the farming whenever you wish.






Butterfly Jobs is the evolutionary employment agency we set up to advertise the eco-business opportunities being created.

News Items

  • Spring Blossoms This spring we are having quite an interesting bunch of interns and volunteers here at 8thLife, and before some of them leave, having finished their times here, we decided to ...
    Posted 21 Mar 2017, 09:42 by Jose Lorenzo Zamora
  • Exciting Opportunities We have 4 wonderful young Europeans arriving in September for a year-long internship programme - and had so many applicants (65!) who are such interesting people ... that we didn't ...
    Posted 14 Sep 2016, 16:17 by Jose Lorenzo Zamora
  • Integral PermaCulture in the Canary Islands Thank you for sharing this with your friends and on social media!The 8thLife EcoVillage Project is offering a unique chance to learn, live & breathe applied permaculture design for a ...
    Posted 16 Oct 2016, 14:55 by Stella Ne
  • EVS Experiences and Growing Gardens boletín en español aquí                          newsletter that we sent by email,  thanks for sharing it! In this newsletter you can read about the experiences of Nicola and Maja - the interns that ...
    Posted 14 Sep 2016, 11:44 by Jose Lorenzo Zamora
  • Spring News boletín en español aquí                          newsletter that we sent by email,  thanks for sharing it!After a very quiet winter period when we chose not to have guests whilst we prepared ...
    Posted 27 Jul 2016, 07:39 by Jose Lorenzo Zamora
  • Diary of a Guest boletín en español aquí                          newsletter that we sent by email,  thanks for sharing it!Brio delighted us with his visit for just one week, and was one of the many ...
    Posted 26 Jul 2016, 05:43 by Jose Lorenzo Zamora
  • The PeDreTea Project boletín en español aquí                           8thLife has started a new project through our (also newly created) 8thLife Medias, and we are asking for your help – in fact, we may be asking ...
    Posted 18 Nov 2015, 16:00 by Stella Ne
  • CoCreating under the Summer Sun boletín en español aquí                          newsletter that we sent by email,  thanks for sharing it!One of the delightful things about our work is living in harmony with the cycles of ...
    Posted 28 Jan 2017, 21:00 by Jose Lorenzo Zamora
  • A Year Full of Blessings boletín en español aquí                  newsletter that we sent by email,  thanks for sharing it!2014 was a year full of planting new seeds and providing them with shelter and plenty ...
    Posted 24 May 2015, 02:54 by Stella Ne
  • Courses, Hospitality & other News boletín en español aquí                  newsletter that we sent by email,  thanks for sharing it!We have had a very peaceful, beautiful cool summer, cheered by the visits of family & new ...
    Posted 26 Oct 2014, 15:42 by Stella Ne
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