Wednesday, July 18, 2007

dacha brainstorm

Your probably wondering what all this dacha stuff is about. To find out check the thread in "Architecture" I'm randomly making notes on ideas for it, so please excuse the lack of organization...

Ideas of ownership have come up. The co-housing model may not work for something like this as people don't live there full time. Gardens would suffer without people present. Also in North America we have so many responsibilities at home - and many people have a garden and lawn and get sick of doing yard work - the last thing they want to do on holiday is to be stressed about it. (The reason it works in Russia is the extremes. People live extremely urban lifestyles in the city, in apartment building with very little green space. The contrast of outdoors and lots of outdoor work is a break for them)

One solution may be to run the place as a learning center, with sort of simplified time share options. You buy two weeks there, (for one or many years) and you volunteer some services while you are there, and you get some benefits - like a share of organic veggies and homemade jam in August. The place would be managed by various caretakers and teachers - who could also be educators for people while they are there, to learn about how to care for the perma-culture gardens. Maybe there would be a way we make the stay as inexpensive as possible, and everyone agrees to offer a certain service while they are there.

Maybe someone like me would just buy the land, and build the dachas, and the place would grow over time, with input from everyone.

One major aspect would have to be the learning center - for both sustainable living, and of course the various arts. Some people can share their many talents and others can learn. We can have crafting, music making, dancing art and design - for adults and kids. Cooking can be similar to co-housing, in that you can eat on your own, or join the group as you wish, although there would have to be a main fridge and 'updated' cooking facilities for the group. child minding can also have some sort of rotation, so some moms can have a break and make stuff too!

I'm going to base my efforts on the theory the "if you build it, they will come" I just need a major inheritance...or generous gift.

Oh yeah and I had another idea, I was thinking that if the whole place was full there may be the option to have a dacha alternate to be available for "underprivileged" families to come too. They would benefit from the environment, the organic food, and the learning and community. The family could be friends suffering from illnesses, financially struggling, or people in need. I don't know how all this would work, and sounds mighty altruistic and philanthropic, but there gots to be some more of that in the world.. don't there?


Bruce Rout said...

Ah yes, if you build it they will come. Where have I heard that before. A beautiful concept mamma, I love your drawings and the thought you have put into this.

Alberta & Corey said...

I really like this idea Angie. I would love to do something like this on my parents farm and have been trying to think of something sustainable to do there for one day in the future. A B&B and pick your own berry farm is the best that I had come up with. If they don't sell the land before they die, then neither my sister or I would want to sell it and I'd love to move back there to raise the kid(s). There isn't enough land to make it a viable traditional farm. This wouldn't happen for at minimum 5 years and rests largely on the support of my parents - who knows what they would think.