Designing for Community Resiliency and Emergency Planning Project Update

Report from the Partner Project of “Community Design for Resiliency and Emergency Planning”

This project is very excited to have the support of OUR ECOVILLAGE’s demonstration site for our organizational learning. As we move forward with this Provincial training program we welcome all community organizations who also wish to participate in designing for all ways to respond to neighbourhood community scale design and who might wish to work collaboratively.

We have just began an Amendment to this projects original contract and are now working on putting together a Planning Guide for: 4 Demonstration Project Designs related to 1) solar 2) drinking water, 3) waste [black/greywater, animal/human/kitchen compost], and 4) food security.  We are building a Neighbourhood size ‘Grab and Go’ kit which will be utilized to create neighbourhood community gatherings and asset mapping examples.  All great elements of the work which we are excited to share with anyone who is wanting to work together

As we closed 2019 we are taking a look back at what preparing food security has meant for the OUR ECOVILLAGE and the skills we have built up to create a greater sense of self-sustainability and resiliency.

This fall fermenting was added as daily task in the teaching kitchen. This includes making milk kefir, sauerkraut, fermented peppers and garlic from our garden, sourdough for baking bread, and continuing production of various kinds and flavours of kombucha. We recognize the important aspect of building resiliency is supporting the body to function at optimum health, and promoting healthy gut bacteria plays a big role in this. Keeping a warm pot of herbal tea on the stove, made from medicines grown on the land, always helps too.

During December we had the wonderful opportunity to learn how make homemade soap from ingredients harvested from the land. The team also came together to also learn how to craft various kinds cheese. And let us not forget, of course, the large amount of Christmas baking to keep our elves happy.

Working with local industry and regulatory support to skill build in the work with water mapping and design and greywater treatment has been a highlight of moving forward various project design work. Working with layout and systems of solar has also been a steep learning curve and something which will be shared forward for neighbourhood planning. The support from a variety of industry stakeholders and educational facilitators has been foundational for each of us as participants learning in this project. 

These skill-building experiences have taught us of the interconnectedness between all aspects of the farm, from Earth to kitchen to compost, and everything in-between, and then how the whole cycle begins again. Perhaps building resiliency and emergency preparedness is at least partially about recognizing the natural flow and connection of these cycles and seeing ourselves as a part of this whole.