Mission & Vision
The main goal of the project is to set an example for a self sustainable living environment for humans, animals and nature. By providing concrete techniques and practices we hope to inspire others to adopt some of these into their own lives. Since its existence, mankind has learnt to live as an integrated part of nature. From this viewpoint we would like to highlight five aspects within the project:
Living from the forest
Living from agriculture
Living with animals
The magic of life
Throughout the development of mankind, these aspects have formed the base of our existence. Knowledge and practices regarding these, have been transferred from generation to generation for ages. Nevertheless, a shift has taken place that often causes economic growth to be more valued than a livable world for everyone to thrive in. It is undeniable that modern times gave us many great innovative technologies in the field of forest maintenance, agriculture, animal care, sustainable construction and comfortable living. However, the basic principles of thriving environments, societies and fulfilled individual lives seem to have been pushed to the background. Nowadays, the products that are offered to us, are often taken for granted. But where these products come from and who is responsible for them, is usually very unclear. Meanwhile, the impact of this attitude becomes more visible everywhere in the world. We all live on mother earth and she naturally provides us with incredible abundance. In a sustainable way, we would like to demonstrate how we can easily contribute to a thriving planet for everyone on it, and how by doing so, we can all create more personal freedom for a fulfilled life.
By wisely making use of the big diversity of soil and different positions of the land, we would like to share how to produce sufficient and diverse food in a sustainable way, preferably by stimulating an increase in biodiversity. How many square meters of vegetable garden is needed for this? How much grain is needed to bake our bread and feed the animals?
Simply put, on the 60 ha of la Resse we are going to create a self sustainable living system with everyone who visits. This way, it becomes tangible again what we truly depend on to live a good life.
By working with five concrete themes, we would like to make visible what we rely on to live a fulfilled life and how we can share this with others.
This is done by:
Creating and/or maintaining the right natural balance in the area where you live, so that there remains sufficient space for locally adjusted flora and fauna, an essential part of the more overall complex ecosystem
By following logic, common sense and by learning lessons from ancient history and different cultures, in the broadest sense.
By preventing depletion of the earth and learning how to sustainably live from the abundance mother earth provides us with.
By respecting natural and ecological processes and enhance these with creative thoughts and through physical work.
1. Living from the forest
About 40 to 45 ha of the domain consists of forest vegetations. Of this, 15 ha is spruce forest, 20 ha deciduous forest and 10 ha young or to be planted forest, that can be slightly managed. A diverse forest is a healthy forest! Here, you are able to experience the differences between managed forests and natural forests. Managed forests from the planting of trees to the end product and the natural development from young- to climax forest, with all we find there to feed ourselves.
2. Living from agriculture
In front of the house, there is a beautiful vegetable garden facing south, that can provide in a large production of vegetables and fruits. Moreover, the vegetable garden will serve as a learning environment for a self sustainable existence. Which vegetables are easy to grow and are easily maintainable in urban areas on the terrace or in a planter? How do I sustainably extent my harvest season to as long as possible? Furthermore, we will emphasize appropriate sowing and growing techniques, maintaining the compost heap, what is eaten fresh and what can be conserved, and how do you do this? We are following permaculture principles that maintain and respect the current ecosystem that we sustainably make use of.
Behind the house there are about 4 ha of meadows that will be adapted to farmland and where crops will be sowed on a slightly larger scale. A crop rotation system will be put in place with larger cultures like grain, corn, sunflower etc.
3. living with animals
Since ancient history, humans have deployed animals in labor, as food supply and as company. The way humans relate to the animal often differs. In our culture, this relationship is often obscured because of large industries determining our food supply, rather than the individual or small communities. On La Resse, we have space to sustain a variety of livestock in a respectable way, which allows the wellbeing of animals being a central aspect of the project.
4. Sustainable construction
In the last decennia, there have been significant developments regarding innovative and efficient construction methods and products. However, cheap alternatives from other parts of the world are more frequently preferred, and local energy sources from natural elements in place, are often overlooked. We can profit considerably by focusing more locally, on the existing resources and by creating a local water collection system and by generating renewable energy.
5. The magic of life
Within this theme, the central topics are personal growth, compassion, inner freedom, the way we experience reality, our happiness and our life fulfilment. We would like to serve as a platform where we can share visions and where the above will be approached from creative, philosophical, scientific, metaphysical and spiritual disciplines.
Work in progress 2018- summer 2020
The first steps towards self-sufficiency
In this first period, the project is provisionally called “le Rêve de Gaïa – Work in Progress”. In this phase, we will work towards the right starting position in order to fully initiate the project as a whole. You can also contribute to this! From spring 2018 on, we are able to let volunteers and students stay with us, where we offer a learning environment on the path towards self-sufficiency in incredibly beautiful surroundings. To give you an idea of the essential tasks that need to be executed in this phase, a description per theme follows:
In the upcoming period, six unique camping places will be created on site. On La Resse, we are dependent on spring water. In order for everyone to be able to make use of it, a larger water reservoir needs to be built closer to the house. Besides that, a reed filter will be put into place that will serve as a water purification system.
Living from the forest
Apart from the naturally preserved forest parcels, some plots need to be slightly managed In order to sustainably generate a valuable harvest. This is done by planting, trimming and pruning, and the final logging of certain trees, as well as removing broom which slows down the development of young trees. Moreover, a useful product needs to be made from the harvest, firewood needs to be sawed and split and tree trunks need to sawed to beams and planks.
Living from agriculture
In this phase, a rotation system will be put into place that provides for our food demand, year round. This means: planting a variety of fruit trees and plants, permanent work in the vegetable garden and greenhouse, and restoring old irrigation channels.
Living with animals
On la Resse, we now have dogs, cats, sheep, rabbits and some poultry. In this phase, we will work on enhancing the existing animal enclosures, hedging pasture lands and building barns for larger animals. In the summer of 2020 we will add cows, ponies and pigs to our livestock.
There are two buildings on la Resse. A large building of 40x7m and a smaller one of 12x6m. Both buildings are to be renovated extensively. In the “work in progress phase” we will first focus on the essentials. For example, enhancing sanitary comfort, making the small building livable and building an eco cabin with wood from the forest here. For this, we need to pour concrete, do masonry work, saw, batter, dig, repair roofs, place water pipes etc.