DFs learn to live on the land for The Share.
From 27 October to 3rd November, eleven DFs and Kinsfolk journeyed to Hobbiton, I mean Lammas, to build hobbit holes.
Lammas is an Eco Village in Pembrokeshire, Wales, which has 9 plots with 9 families living there, all devoted to living off the land in the most sustainable way they can. They are all in different stages of building different houses. More information about Lammas can be found HERE.
We were trained in green building, permaculture, timber framing and how to be a sick evil zombie on Halloween All of these skills will be useful for green jobs. OK, well most of them will.
We're going back for more green training in the Spring. Gorgeous Lily and Gorgeous Sam will be Event Co-ordinators, so you know it's going to be the best thing you do next year. Booking will open after Winter Wonderland, for the next Share sustainability training: 8 to 13 April 2013, just after Spring Awakening.
If you'd like to get involved, run a trip, take on a role and help the Share thrive even more, get in touch! We'd love to get you set up. In the meantime, here are some of our thoughts about learning to live on the land.
Lammas is a wonderful demonstration of how with land and determination, a group of people can become almost completely self-sufficient. With its focus on using resources in a way that can be sustained for generations to come and its desire to educate people in the hopes that others may do the same, it's a fantastic place to learn about the ways we can work with the land to better the world around us, rather than simply consuming. Our visit was an inspiring week of new skills & experiences, and left us with a hunger to go back and learn more.
After spending a week at Lammas low-impact settlement, I can honestly say that it has changed my life and even my perception of what life is. It was incredible to see how four different families live within the same set of values of efficacy and having a low impact on the environment, yet go about their lives in such completely individual ways, as each group is a strong family unit and were each a pleasure to spend time with.
My time there showed me there is a way to live more or less completely out of the grip of the monetary system which we are enslaved to. Through localising their power and producing their own food, they have built themselves a life which I think we all should aspire to.
I feel like this has really opened my eyes to alternative ways of living and it's been a great experience. I've never been to a place like Lammas before, so it's a completely new thing to me. I really wanted to volunteer for some projects like this and doing it with Woodcraft has been the perfect way to do it for the first time. The residents have been really welcoming and friendly. Learning things like cobbing through first hand experience is the best way to do it and this past week has been amazing!
It was great to see an alternative way of living and building. It now seems like a building a house is not some impossibility but can actually be possible, and in a green way too.
WOW! I've learnt so much over this week. I made cob (a type of material you can build with), built a timber structure, learnt how to turf a roof and which plants I can eat on a lovely countryside walk. Being here at Lammas has been an amazing, relaxing, fun-filled experience. I'm definitely coming back.
Did someone say "apples"?
This week I've learnt so much. I've met great people who are really inspiring and the skills and experience that I've learned will be with me for a long time and most probably come into a lot of use. It's been an amazing week and it's great that we got to see a lot of different styles, approaches and lifestyles. Definitely worth the week of college.
There is a thrilling sense of freedom at independent self-governing growing projects like Lammas that makes the hairs on your spine prickle up. It's the same limitless freedom that I feel when I am part of a group making a big decision non-hierarchically, bringing everyone into consensus equally. There's a certain wonder to knowing no one anywhere in the world - no boss, no government and no authority - can challenge a decision made that we make together, equally. Lammas is just one project helping people to take our lives into our own hands, whether by making decisions as equals or in waving goodbye to depending on fossil fuels.
At Lammas I saw examples of how easy it is for your work and your free time to be one and the same. I sometimes laugh out loud when people say that modern life is so busy. That's just one way of living, shackled to a mortgage, waving away your waking hours for the promise of a car and perhaps a semi-detached house. That's not how I live. I'd rather be free, building my own straw bale roundhouse and delighting in every moment I'm alive.
Every day at Lammas was another adventure... whether I was tending the land, cobbing a compost toilet, raising the walls of a timber framed house, or simply enjoying some delicious home grown food in the company of some like minded friends. There was always a fond memory in the making.
One of the best uses of a half terms of my life, maybe even one of the best weeks I've spent of my life in fact. I may spend most of the free time I have in fields with hippies but these fields were different because we got to make them habitable to live in all year round with the additions of building houses and buildings! From head to toe I was covered smelt like a new things every day, from cow manure to comfrey plant juice, to wood and wood smoke, to candle wax, but most of the time I was just covered in face paint and fake blood.
What I found was amazing were the children growing up on Lammas, they were stronger and cleverer and less scared of anything than I have ever been. I hid in a bush on the track on Halloween my face like the picture above and screamed when they walked past and they didn't even wince. One of them said 'Oh that's cool, how did you do that on your face?' She looked about 8 years old. I envy these children's lives, along with everyone else who gets to spend more time at Lammas and don't have to live in the 9-5 structure of the life most of us live.
I'm counting down the days till I don't get free education so I can move or travel around places as amazing as Lammas.