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PLANET EARTH: OUR LOVING HOME The Magic of Findhorn: An Eco Eden on Earth - P2/2    
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Hallo, eco-conscious viewers, and welcome to this week’s edition of Planet Earth: Our Loving Home featuring the last in our two-part series on the Findhorn EcoVillage, a global community that grew from the concept of environmental, social, economic and spiritual sustainability. A 2007 study found that the site has the “lowest-ever ecological footprint of any community in the industrialized world.” The EcoVillage is part of the Findhorn Foundation charitable trust.

In his book, “The Magic of Findhorn,” author Paul Hawken describes this Eco Eden on Earth as follows:
“There have been stories in the press and other media about a small community in the north of Scotland called Findhorn, where people talk to plants with amazing results – stories of vegetable and flower gardens animated by angelic forms, stories of plants performing incredible feats of growth and endurance: 40-pound cabbages, eight-foot delphiniums and roses blooming in the snow – all a short distance from the Arctic Circle on a cold, windblown peninsula jutting into the North Sea with soil as sandy as your local beach.”

The Findhorn Gardens started in the 1960s by people who weren’t gardeners at all, didn’t have any knowledge. So they needed to contact the intelligence of nature in order to help them to grow vegetables. We do organic gardening 100%. We don’t use any artificial fertilizers or pesticides, and our plants are looking generally quite healthy. So I think speaking to them and working with love in action is actually very helpful.

We now join Ms. Hansmann as she takes us to one of the main centers of organic vegetable production in the Findhorn Ecovillage – the Cullerne Garden, which helps to fill much of the community’s temperate vegetable requirements as well as supply 140 individual households.

So, Cullerne Garden is one of the three gardens of the Findhorn Foundation, and here in Cullerne Garden we grow mainly vegetables for our community, vegetables inside poly-tunnels and also in the fields. Inside of one of our poly-tunnels, and this is actually the end of the growing season, so in these tunnels, we can still grow vegetables until December. So we have here mainly lettuces and herbs. And also, that rests the soil to grow green manure, to recover the fertility.

And the people who work here are mainly staff of the Findhorn Foundation. And then every week we get guests coming to help us who are getting to know the Foundation, so they come and help us to work. And the food we produce is mainly for our own kitchens, for our guests and for the people who work for the Foundation. And we have some surplus, which we can sell in our local shops and restaurants.

What are the main crops cultivated in the gardens?

So mainly lettuces. We have a lot of Chinese greens we grow here, mainly vegetables which grow in light, sandy soils. In the greenhouses we also have tomatoes and cucumbers and beans and some root crops like carrots and beetroot. We also grow chicory. As it is the end, almost mid-November, so we bring our fields to bed.

And that’s why we cover them and put manure out to the fields to put nutrients back so they stay covered and warm until probably March. And some of the vegetables are still growing outside, which can actually grow during the winter. So we just protect them with straw and then we have the first vegetables ready in March.

The gardens uses 100% natural, eco-friendly compost which incorporates kitchen waste.

This is one of the best jobs in the garden. It’s great fun and it’s also one of the most important ones because we have very sandy soil and we really need to work on our soil fertility. And so here we’re making compost, where we use all the food scraps that come from the kitchen and we bring them over and then we layer them up with manure and with things that come from the garden. And we also use rock dust and various other ingredients.

And then later on we turn the compost, and then it goes onto the fields. So it’s ground-up rock that we’re using to re-mineralize the soil and the worms also love it a lot. It’s really good to add into our fields, and first to add to the compost. So we maybe mix that in a bit, and then we can put this one on.

Last week we learned about the energy conserving features of Findhorn’s eco-houses, and today we’ll take a look at what’s called an eco-mobile, an environmentally-friendly extension of a traditional caravan home, which marked the beginning of the Findhorn EcoVillage.

Here at Findhorn we’re developing what we call the eco-mobile. The front of the building, the porch, is built of recycled doors and windows. The rest of the building is mostly new materials. The roof has a rubber membrane, and my intention is at some point to put grass, a green roof on the top of that. We cross a bridge to enter the building underneath a pergola that will be covered in climbing roses.

So these are recycled materials. This is a polycarbonate, which is like a translucent material that lets lots of natural light into the building.

In the porch here, we’re growing tomatoes. Inside the dwelling, the emphasis is on a kind of a minimalist esthetic. It's designed and constructed along minimalist lines, high levels of natural light, so there is a skylight in the center of this space, which brings in high levels of natural light. And then throughout the rest of the building, there is a similarly high level of natural light, which I think is one way to bring a sense of relaxation.

Materials; use of bamboo flooring, bamboo surfaces in the kitchen, these are sustainably grown materials. It’s energy efficient in the sense that the building is very well insulated and the heating is done with a single wood stove, and the wood stove is sufficient to heat not just this room, but also the bedroom and the hallway. The application of the polycarbonate material, which lets natural light down into this space, so the very high level of light we have in here currently is due to natural light.

There is a small bathroom here, a lot of wardrobes, storage space on the right here. The attention is to at least bring the qualities of a sacred space to this bedroom, which incorporates a hot tub and a hammock, and everything you need really for a simple, but in one sense luxurious, lifestyle.

A green roof is partially or completely covered with vegetation. It’s also known as a “living roof,” providing many benefits to the residents.

This building is our Universal Hall, which is our much loved cultural center. And we decided to install a green roof. So what you can see up there now is a roof combining sedum and mosses and lichens, different kinds of growing plants sitting on top of a substrate of about 200 millimeters of soil, and then underneath that is a rubber membrane. And the system has been in place for about three years.

The sedum which was the original plant that we put in there, which is an alpine succulent and supposed to be very hardy, in fact has not thrived But what’s interesting is that the roof is being populated by mosses and lichens which are the kind of indigenous plants of this area, and grow all over the local sand dunes, so ultimately in time it will end up being something like the appearance of the sand dunes covered in mosses and lichens, which will be delightful.

The Findhorn Ecovillage is also powered by sustainable energy systems – its community- owned wind turbines supply more than 100% of the community’s electricity needs. Many homes and community buildings have solar panels for hot water heating. Overall the Findhorn Ecovillage now receives 28% of its total non-transportation energy from green sources.

In addition, the Ecovillage has adopted an ecological wastewater treatment system using a state-of-the-art Living Machine sewage treatment facility, which replaces conventional, high energy, chemically intensive treatment with an environmentally friendly approach, that mimics the water cleansing process in the natural world.

What happens is we are treating the wastewater, so that is sewage, but also when people wash their dishes, when they wash their clothes, when they have a bath, everything that leaves the household, so we treat the majority of the park. So this is a hill. We've got three tanks here. There are 8,000 gallons each.

And what happens here is that the liquid that’s being ground down, it pushes through the tanks and this is anaerobic conditions, that means without air. This is where anaerobic bacteria first start to digest the organic matter that is in the water. That is the first stage of the Living Machine. So the Living Machine was actually built in 1995 and it was the first one in Europe, so that was very exciting for the community to have that here.

And then the water travels underground in a huge pipe and then it splits off down these two lines here. So the more lines we have, the more capacity for water we can treat. At the moment, we treat about 25 cubic meters a day of water and we have capacity to treat more than that. There's about 300 people, so it's actually one of the smallest Living Machines.

The treated water meets national standards and is pure enough to discharge directly into the sea or be recycled. Findhorn EcoVillage seeks to act as a constructive global model that shows how living sustainably can really make a difference to our beautiful planet, to our well-being and to all God-created beings that co-exist with us.

We now do a lot of work for the local community as in educational work. You see a lot of schoolchildren coming here, and we also have outreach programs we send out to around the community. There’s a lot of talent within this community that now works outside the community, benefiting both sides.

Our hats off to you, the wonderful staff of the Findhorn EcoVillage who have provided us with such an excellent tour of your magical place. To all its members and supporters of The Findhorn Foundation, we thank you for your transformative work in bettering our world, and leading us to a future where human beings live in everlasting harmony with nature and all its inhabitants.

So, hallo, everybody on Supreme Master TV.
Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet.

For more information on the Findhorn EcoVillage, please visit www.EcoVillageFindhorn.com
Find out about the Findhorn Foundation at www.Findhorn.org

Serene viewers, we appreciated your company today on Planet Earth: Our Loving Home. May all communities across the globe uphold true peace and virtue.
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