Oct 162016
 

Building the Good New Town as a non-dogmatic community – Good New Town

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Oct 182015
 

Had a real “moment of darkness” recently when got involved with a group set for the benefit of all the community. I had a growing feeling that only people who were benefiting were a few ones in charge of the group. I could only speak for myself so I told them all (in an email) that I as a member of a group have no benefits from contributing despite of the need, which was of course, selfish and far too personal and emotional, yet, I think, had to be done by somebody, or the things would go on indefinitely. Feel like hiding or leaving the town now – or joining with other partly like-minded members for a complete take over and make over of the whole enterprise. But then, we could end up with the same situation of receiving the benefits and telling the rest of community “let your volunteering be your reward”.

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 October 18, 2015  Posted by at 06:55 Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Oct 182015
 

Had a real “moment of darkness” recently when got involved with a group set for the benefit of all the community. I had a growing feeling that only people who were benefiting were a few ones in charge of the group. I could only speak for myself so I told them all (in an email) that I as a member of a group have no benefits from contributing despite of the need, which was of course, selfish and far too personal and emotional, yet, I think, had to be done by somebody, or the things would go on indefinitely. Feel like hiding or leaving the town now – or joining with other partly like-minded members for a complete take over and make over of the whole enterprise. But then, we could end up with the same situation of receiving the benefits and telling the rest of community “let your volunteering be your reward”.

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 October 18, 2015  Posted by at 06:55 Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »

May 032015
 


Here in Newtown (Powys), despite the rural location, many families have
tiny gardens, unsuitable for growing foods. This is why we, growers,
need to come together.We have an established Cultivate community
garden which provide a number of local people with fresh organic
vegetables. However there is lack of healthy nutrients for those of us
who are not vegan. Most of us! Many high energy organic animal products
(meat, eggs, fish, etc) are both expensive and often unavailable in our
area – this drives people into buying cheap ready meals, sweets and fast
food, hence damaging their health. Mid Wales is unfortunately quite
prominent on UK obesity map
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7584191.stm). To give people
both healthy food and outdoor exercise we dream to build a community
animal farm starting with a chicken coop, then venturing into a mini
fish or rabbit farm. Initially with only about seven participants, this
project can grow to impact lives of dozens local families. People would
learn about keeping animals and cooking healthy foods at our community
kitchen. Excess food could be sold at the market with profit either put
back to the project or shared between participants. The community will
be strengthened by people depending on each other, working together on a
common goal, and local inhabitants finally will get access to the
highest quality, natural, fresh products. Seeing the initial success,
more people would get motivated to join in. The project could grow and
develop indefinitely, adding new types of animals, new technologies, new
sites and increasing the scale. We really hope that working on a
project like this with change people’s mentality, e.g. replaces feeling
of scarcity and loneliness with feeling of abundance and friendly
support from neighbours.We would build creatively, mostly with
sustainable timber and clay materials, also recycling as much as we can.
We will need money to buy at least some of building materials and
animals. Already we have a skilful carpenter, an artist and an
experienced chicken rearer on the team. We will create a closed loop
system by using products from the community garden to feed the animals
and the animal waste to feed the garden. We will implement the latest
research about small scale, intensive yet organic and humane animal
farming, e.g. aquaponics, wormeries, etc. We will create a fun and
original design, attracting visitors, including kids. Imagine how great
this would be for our local schools to bring children to the garden and
to learn about animals! Please help us to bring our dream to life and by doing this to help many local people.

We have already achieved a lot. Created a thriving community garden with
micro allotments, hugelkultur beds, a forest garden. There is a
community of people interested in growing food, healthy eating, green
living and lifelong learning. We are ready for the next step – the
Animal House!
                                   

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Mar 052015
 

http://www.cultivate.uk.com/

(This weeks blog post has been sent in by Sasha our regular volunteer and art co-ordinator.)

We are getting about 1200 – 1600 hours of sunshine every year here in
Powys. It is better than in Northern Scotland or Iceland but worse that
in most of the Europe. Mediterranean region gets more than 2500. While
the gloomy skies will probably stay for generations to come, jobs and
income situation (not brilliant in Mid Wales either) is something people
could improve.  It is well known that sunlight not just gives us
vitamin D but makes our mood brighter. If we can’t get sun to shine more
on us, what could we do?

People need people. We are all social beings, and our mood improves
when we feel needed, appreciated and cared for. More than other “places
under the sun”, this area needs a strong supportive community.
Cultivate gardens and community spaces help; giving places where people
want to come again and again to feel better?

People working and earning money together form sort of communities.
But is your relationship with the closest friends and family has much to
do with money? I doubt so. And we won’t die defending a shopping
centre. Shop owners could possible do this but not the customers. So I
would say that building a strong, all-inclusive community can’t be
primarily based on a concept of spending and earning money.
Unfortunately majority of us have to do this but I think we ought to
create other ties between people as much as we can.

Down to Earth. There are already great “get together” lunches for
Cultivating folk at the Newtown community garden: free cooked lunch on
Tuesday and on Wednesday “bring your own food”. Great opportunities for
people to talk and to feel like a family. Anyone can come and garden
together, making friends and learning important skills in the process.
Learning what we love certainly cheers us up and there are courses and
groups around gardening, green living, arts and crafts, Spanish and
astronomy which are already doing that. Lots of events are affordable to
anybody. Could we do even more?

Growing food together for our needs would help. Allotments are fine,
but individual plot owners don’t really need each other. What I mean is
taking turns to work on the same plot, then sharing crops. Some people
are thinking about raising chickens in this way. We have seed swaps but
maybe we need swapping possessions and skills too? Not counting hour for
hour or potatoes for carrots but developing generosity towards each
other? It is difficult but could we at least try? If life is tough maybe
we could share the information about foraging opportunities or even
organize trips (and helping car free people too)? We could have more
barbeque, campfire and live music get together events. Anybody who
learned something interesting and useful for others could do an
affordable talk, demo or workshop on that subject. So we all can learn.
Again, most of us need money and maybe we need more donation-based
activities rather than fixed prices? This way people could give what
they can and what they feel good to give. It may turn out to be more
than that fixed price!

I think there are many opportunities to build a stronger community,
to brighten up people’s lives and to be a shinning centre to which
people would be attracted, even from far. To escape gloom, isolation,
pretense, standardisation and commercialisation, to replace the feeling
of scarcity with feeling of abundance.

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Mar 052015
 

http://www.cultivate.uk.com/

(This weeks blog post has been sent in by Sasha our regular volunteer and art co-ordinator.)

We are getting about 1200 – 1600 hours of sunshine every year here in
Powys. It is better than in Northern Scotland or Iceland but worse that
in most of the Europe. Mediterranean region gets more than 2500. While
the gloomy skies will probably stay for generations to come, jobs and
income situation (not brilliant in Mid Wales either) is something people
could improve.  It is well known that sunlight not just gives us
vitamin D but makes our mood brighter. If we can’t get sun to shine more
on us, what could we do?

People need people. We are all social beings, and our mood improves
when we feel needed, appreciated and cared for. More than other “places
under the sun”, this area needs a strong supportive community.
Cultivate gardens and community spaces help; giving places where people
want to come again and again to feel better?

People working and earning money together form sort of communities.
But is your relationship with the closest friends and family has much to
do with money? I doubt so. And we won’t die defending a shopping
centre. Shop owners could possible do this but not the customers. So I
would say that building a strong, all-inclusive community can’t be
primarily based on a concept of spending and earning money.
Unfortunately majority of us have to do this but I think we ought to
create other ties between people as much as we can.

Down to Earth. There are already great “get together” lunches for
Cultivating folk at the Newtown community garden: free cooked lunch on
Tuesday and on Wednesday “bring your own food”. Great opportunities for
people to talk and to feel like a family. Anyone can come and garden
together, making friends and learning important skills in the process.
Learning what we love certainly cheers us up and there are courses and
groups around gardening, green living, arts and crafts, Spanish and
astronomy which are already doing that. Lots of events are affordable to
anybody. Could we do even more?

Growing food together for our needs would help. Allotments are fine,
but individual plot owners don’t really need each other. What I mean is
taking turns to work on the same plot, then sharing crops. Some people
are thinking about raising chickens in this way. We have seed swaps but
maybe we need swapping possessions and skills too? Not counting hour for
hour or potatoes for carrots but developing generosity towards each
other? It is difficult but could we at least try? If life is tough maybe
we could share the information about foraging opportunities or even
organize trips (and helping car free people too)? We could have more
barbeque, campfire and live music get together events. Anybody who
learned something interesting and useful for others could do an
affordable talk, demo or workshop on that subject. So we all can learn.
Again, most of us need money and maybe we need more donation-based
activities rather than fixed prices? This way people could give what
they can and what they feel good to give. It may turn out to be more
than that fixed price!

I think there are many opportunities to build a stronger community,
to brighten up people’s lives and to be a shinning centre to which
people would be attracted, even from far. To escape gloom, isolation,
pretense, standardisation and commercialisation, to replace the feeling
of scarcity with feeling of abundance.

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Feb 102015
 

I’d love my insurance in life to be that: community, friendship, interdependency, as part of a people who look after each other unconditionally, no matter what. Instead we opt for official documents that do nothing to increase the bonds between ourselves and our fellow humans.

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 Permalink  February 10, 2015  Posted by at 12:34 Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  No Responses »

Feb 072015
 

In addition, cultural, religious and spiritual beliefs in these societies provide a context in which symptoms of depression and other mental illness can be understood outside of the label of medical disease or pathology. Possession and rites of passage are two examples of such contexts.

In the West, however, these traditional support structures have been replaced by new cultural norms that do not offer support or therapeutic value to people experiencing mental distress. Among the socio-cultural factors identified by researchers as having a negative influence in Western societies are: extreme nuclearization of the family and therefore lack of support for mentally ill members of the kin group; covert rejection and social isolation of the mentally ill in spite of public assertions to the contrary; immediate sick role typing and general expectation of a chronic mental illness if a person shows an acute psychotic reaction; and the assumption that a person is insane if beliefs or behavior appear somewhat strange or “irrational”.

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Feb 062015
 

In spite of the complete lack of evidence supporting their use, one still often hears the familiar refrain “yes, but drugs are necessary in some cases!” This statement may in fact be true, but not because drugs have been demonstrated to be effective for certain types of depression or with certain patients. Instead, drugs may be necessary in a society where traditional social support structures which play a therapeutic role have completely broken down.

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 Permalink  February 6, 2015  Posted by at 03:30 Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »

Feb 022015
 

community is not some add-on to our other needs, not a separate ingredient for happiness along with food, shelter, music, touch, intellectual stimulation, and other forms of physical and spiritual nourishment. Community arises from the meeting of those needs. There is no community possible among a people who do not need each other.

Charles Eisenstein

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 Permalink  February 2, 2015  Posted by at 03:30 Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »

Feb 012015
 

We find in our culture a loneliness and hunger for authenticity that may well be unsurpassed in history. We try to ‘build community’, not realising that mere intention is not enough when separation is built into the very social and physical infrastructure of our society. To the extent that this infrastructure is intact in our lives, we will never experience community.

Charles Eisenstein, in The Ascent of Humanity 
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 Permalink  February 1, 2015  Posted by at 03:30 Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »

Jan 312015
 

Cultivating more ideas for the Newtown Community garden. The meeting to discuss the matter will be held on Tuesday, 3 to 6 pm.

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