This time the big pictures are of our nearest sea-pools, which we visited quite a lot last summer ...
Very much needed relaxing time, although on the way back home we also picked lots of greens for the sheep
our Facebook Group:
Happy St Valentine's! May this be the start of a year of more love for all of us: loving ourselves, our communities, & the Planet that sustains us. This beautiful valentines' card by our heroine Stephanie describes succinctly why we are creating the eco-village :)
14th February 2014 is the 8th anniversary of us getting the key to the farm we have at present!
Which were handed to us this day by Gloria (a big old key, very mythical in itself), when we were accompanied by Ambrosia who helped us clean up the old stone house it opened & later we had our neighbor Fortuna come welcome us.
These 3 local women are all in their 80s, & we always treasure the good omen of having these 3 wonderfully named Goddesses welcome us here on such an auspicious day.
And as we were celebrating our anniversary we heard (by total coincidence ... or more magic) a great news that will enable us to double the land & home-space for the eco-village, very soon)
+ we celebrated, by showering under the falling almond-petals, & brainstorming ideas for GIFTS for all people interested in joining or supporting the project.
Our share-prices have gone up! Officially on Valentine's Day (by 5%), as it's our anniversary, & we've done so much new infrastructure work this year ... BUT we're going to extend the date you can buy them at the old price to the 10th of March (because we didn't manage to get our newsletter out in time, sorry...)
See How to Invest page for more details, & if you are interested in this offer please email us at hola@8thLife.org
After the 10th of March, a mini-share will cost 2,100€ (instead of 2,000€)!
We started a new continuous skype conference called "A New Life" for people who have sent their application form &/or enrolled on an Integral Permaculture course in order to explore being part of the ecovillage, so that people who are interested in the project can get to know each other + have a flexible more intimate space for asking questions.
If you should be there & we haven't added you, please remind us or send us your skype name: email us at hola@8thLife.org
We're also starting two new membership options
for those who want to support the project in a small but significant ways.
These were inspired by the crazy phenomenon of Farmville, an online game where people spend real money (as well as 'FarmCoins') to play on virtual farms.
& there are thousands of people playing this addictive game, which is pretty crazy in our time of climate change emergency where real sustainability-farming is so critical, and so totally under-funded. So this is a kind of saner farm-ville game, if you like, in which you can take part in following, supporting, developing a REAL farm.
You can do so in two ways, depending on how much involvement you prefer:
We will also include you in a private organization blog + discussion group where you can take part in the decision-making, & work together with the people involved in the eco-village project.
Here an examples of the mini-videos we regularly share with family & friends, which we will make available to those who wish to subscribe to the new options A) & B) this year:
13 Jun 2013 - Ducks recently put into the Flora Garden, after it was weeded by the sheep
our Facebook Group.
Happy 2014 to all the interested people & especially those who have supported the 8thLife project during this year which has been very important for the development of the EcoVillage.
We come to an end of a super-productive year with various 'good & news', & this is one we shared in our Facebook group at the beginning of the year:
from January we started offering Orientation Weeks for people who are interested in exploring the project & get to know us personally, in which you will be able to know more of the island, the ideas, to stay a few days in each of the places of our community network & discuss all the aspects of the project that most interest you ... & more.
Yolanda & Kristian multi-functioning a beautiful walk in a gentle rain
with picking lots of greens for the sheep + clearing the famous Dragos walk
(Dragos are the majestic prehistoric trees you can see in the background)
Our very first guests for the Orientation Week were Yolanda & Kristian.
We were delighted to meet them in person & get to know them in more depth whilst sharing some very fun adventures with them.
Kristian picking the oranges harvested by the wind on the farm >>
This is what they had to say about their experience:
Kristian: Just came back from the 8th Life orientation week together with Yolanda ... it was magnificent, I had the good luck of being able to see close up an excellent permaculture project, am very grateful for the kindness & great welcome received from all the hosts, Celi, Lola, Stella, Jose & Dácil.
The living conditions were great ... it's a unique experience for getting to know the ecovillage close-up & the magical island of LaPalma.
Without a doubt I want to be part of this project & I hope to be there again soon, a project with a lot of future & thousands of things to do & to create!
Yolanda: Just returned from a great experience in LaPalma with the Orientation Week; I've discovered a developing project with great promise for the future, with clear & solid objectives & wonderful people around a project with lots to learn from.
I was impressed by the nutritional experiences, with delicious flavors & meals made by Jose (they deserve an additional commentary), the energizing open-air shower, the welcome, the walks, the experiences with Celi & the conversations with Stella, the Island of LaPalma.
I encourage anyone to live this experience in order to get to know something more than a project, a vital commitment with the earth & the future.
<< Yolanda & Kristian during a compost-toilet mini-workshop we did
We had very interesting discussions about de-colonizing our bodies (our diet + many more aspects of our life) & both Yolanda & Kristian were very adventurous in agreeing to give up some of their food addictions whilst with us, helped by Jose's healthy & creative cousine. This resulted in Kristian stopping smoking here (& we hope he'll keep it up now he's gone back home...)
Here are more photos from their stay (as there are such a lot of them...)
The rocky mountain scenery above the clouds is from the Roque de los Muchachos trip, as seeing various parts of the Caldera was especially requested (see the videos about this wonderful natural park which we shared before the holiday, below).
Other Friends & Visits
We had a great end of summer with several dear friends & colleagues visiting us. Here are some pictures & introductions to some of the other people who make this project possible, through their loving support, committment & expertise. Pepa & Esther are long-term supporting members & also on management committee of the association that holds the 8thLife ecovillage project.
Pepa visited for two weeks, with her two daughters, Maria & Julia.
Here with Jose on our patio on the last day, all feeling very sad
because we didn't want the great time we spent together to end!
Pepa is a lab technician & shop steward, originally an agricultural engineering graduate,
she's an apprentice teacher with the Integral Permaculture Academy & also a member of the management committee of GaiaTasiri with a particular interest in the 8thLife project, which she has helped to set up a few years ago.
<< Here admiring a wonderful double rainbow
whilst visiting the nearby cave project of a friend
As one of our external assessors & 'fairy godmother', like Esther (below) she is part of a group of 8 people who include some of our founder share-holders, who support us greatly by donating their expertise & support, especially when we need to make difficult decisions. All together this group networks many projects together as each person is involved in doing practical permaculture somewhere, & all the cross-fertalizing of practical know-how is immensely valuable.
On the lovely way down to the beach
Pepa was one of the first students of the online Integral Permaculture Certificate course a few years ago, who so deeply resonated with the vision & the science that she became more & more involved with the Academy as well as the 8th Life EcoVillage project. She is involved in some very interesting eco-projects where she lives (those who take part in the online courses can see all the details in her design portfolio), like bringing permaculture to young people in schools, developing the complementary currency of her area & the transition project El Jannat, an educational permaculture farm she is a founder member of.
Julia, Pepa & Maria laughing & joking as always, in the nearby small town
She is one of the many people whom we dearly love & who would (like us!) love to join us in the eco-village but for life, work or family circumstances cannot do so.
So we support & encourage her with the projects she runs in Seville.
We especially love Pepa for her huge heart, deep wisdom & commitment to our common goals, which is all so beautifully wrapped up in a wonderful & seemingly endless sense of humor!
Thankyou Pepa, we could not have so much fun doing this without you :)
Esther graduated in Environmental Sciences but discovered permaculture with the Integral Permaculture Academy in 2008, did her first PDC with us, which she says was for her "a magical window which got her closer to her way of seeing the world" & then helped out on two more PDC courses as apprentice teacher.
In 2010 she participated in the Action-Learning program in Finca Luna (the current site of the eco-village) in La Palma which she says "was a quantum leap in her awakening & evolution".
She decided to start her Permaculture Diploma process, so as well as keeping up to date with her various permacultural projects, Esther is an active part of the ongoing support group for the students, as well as of the GaiaTasiri association and the 8thLife eco-village project.
From 2010 she is working at an established eco-project in Almería, the Cortijo Los Baños Al-Haman, living in a community of 15-20 people. The Cortijo is an educational farm, where courses & meetings are held, & large groups are catered for. Esther has been volunteer coordinator there for several years, and is now in charge of the food-groowing there.
We keep learning a great deal from the valuable experience she brings from this intensely lived experience within a sister project, but especially from her huge heart, great integrity & courage, as a very gifted human being.
Esther says: "being part of the online permaculture students group and the 8thLife eco-village management committee allows me access to this action-learning resource in the place where I live, without traveling, with the support of people who are facing in their day to day the same difficulties I encounter, talking the same language, y participating in significant co-creations for a sustainable world".
Esther has lived with us on the farm for long periods in the past,
so we were especially delighted to have her join us for a few weeks
in november 2013 for a much needed rest, as we love being with her
& she could see the big changes we've made during the last few years.
Together with the others here at the time, she ended up helping out with the finishing touches to the new rooms we've been preparing in the refurbished house
Here with Cecile applying the finish to the wooden floors.
The sea pictures are from the day we took a trip with Esther to the boat she was taking to get back home.
Jose's grandparents are enthusiastic visitors to the farm as they live in a big city in Tenerife, but actually lived most of their lives in rural Cuba. So they help us a great deal with the farm work as they are very experienced in invaluable skills like butchering animals & how to plant & harvest all kinds of produce. And always bring us lots of presents too :)
Jose with his grandmother Maria, a cuban revolutionary & healer who loves to come to visit with her husband Lorenzo whenever she can. She is very proud of her grandson taking up family farming traditions & they help us a great deal with their expertise & experience. Thank you Maria & Lorenzo!!
During February (now) we are enjoying the wonderfully creative, peaceful company of Derek, who joined us on the permaculture course in november last year because he was interested in exploring a partnership with the eco-village project. As he progressed in the course, we discovered he had lots of experience in setting up eco-structures, as he has worked in the building crew for festivals in Britain for many years.
As we discovered that his particular expertise & passion was setting up luxurious SPA structures at festivals, from which he carried a frustration that they always had to be dismantled again after each summer event ... we tried our luck by offering him our camping site as a place he could leave any of his creations for posterity. And he accepted :)
Derek has many other talents, as we keep discovering to our continuous delight, but some particularly useful ones for us here, in this fairly chaotic, half-built place, is that he is incredibly patient & loving, has a permanently positive disposition (at least so far ...), is very inventive, immensely practical & loves just getting on with things, and he started creating beautiful & very useful things from any materials he found on site as soon as he landed ... and he hasn't stopped creating since.
click on pictures to enlarge
For example he has been finishing off the kitchen rocket-stove + oven, modernizing the camping site toilet & shower areas with elegant & very useful, minimalist stone & wooden sculptures, as well as planting some of the trees that have been hanging around in the nursery for far too long.
Thank you Derek! You're a rare type of gem :)
These are photos we took on a trip we took with Derek to see the snow in the Roque
Derek says: "I'm really enjoying the creativity & physical work in such a beautiful & peaceful place. Nice to meet Jose & Stella & see all they have achieved at 8th Life. Also there is lots for me to learn & understand about the different plant species & spectacular environmental conditions that seem to be very specific to La Palma. Looking forward to creating a well resourced visitor camping area so that others can enjoy spending time here."
... & introducing Canarina :)
During the summer Stella was interviewed for this article on Women in Permaculture, which was published in Permaculture Activist. It explores why, even as the majority of permaculture projects are in fact designed & led by women, it's mostly our male colleagues that get the recognition. The old traditions of women's work being undervalued & mostly invisible continues in Permaculture as in most other areas that aren't considered specifically 'feminine'.
They wanted pictures of Stella for the article so we sent them one of these with Canarina - so called because she was born on Canaries Day, 30 May, 2013
Canarina is our first born Canarian Milk Sheep, a relatively rare breed which gives a lot of wool, as well as milk.
Here she is in the foreground, 9 months later, grazing in the pastures around the farm with the other sheep (we have 6 females at present). We are experimenting with the intensive grazing methods so beautifully presented by Allan Savory, Tony Lovell & others as one of the most hopeful & intelligent things we can do to reverse climate change.
End of Part 1 of our Birthday Newsletter, February 2014
Part 2 coming soon!
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