Who are we?
We are regular people who are trying to find a better way to live our lives. Do we want to eat organic all the time, ride our bikes everywhere, and have bamboo "everything"? Sure! But just like you, we live in the real world; we enjoy hot dogs around the campfire, shop at supermarkets to save a few bucks, and drive our kids to soccer lessons. The important thing is that we are creating a life together which will inspire us and enable us to improve the way we lead our lives.
By living in community, we can make it easier to live the way we want – it becomes easy to buy organic local vegetables when the farmers drop them off at our doorstep each week, easy to send the kids outside to play in nature when there are 15 other kids playing on “dirt mountain”, and it is easy to drive less when our friends live right next door. Are we perfect? Of course not, but that’s just the way we like it.
All these wonderful things, and more.
A really big project!
The combination of three elements – living, working and farming – along with many other activities and amenities such as learning, socializing, sharing, teaching, playing, visiting, will come together to provide a model for environmentally, economically and socially sustainable lifestyles. Groundswell multigenerational cohousing is well on its way to completion and Elderberry Commons for 50 plus begins its design phase this fall.
The Community farm leases organic farmland to seven farming projects with room for more. While these projects run independant of each other the farmers work together to put in infastructure and share expensive equipment like tractors. They also work togehter to provide a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Veggie box to the Abbottsford and Chillwack areas. Within the scope ofthe farm is also the Stewart Creek Care project which we are all very proud of. The Food Forest protects the creek, and makes a permaculture home for the wildlife we cherish.
Yarrow Central Town Square
Yarrow used to be its own town before being incorporated into Chilliwack. Since then the lure of big mall shopping in the city has resulted in Yarrow losing its town center. On the front street side of the ecovillage, 30,000 sq ft of commercial space will offer services to the greater neighborhood and places for work and creative opportunities.
We are building a pedestrian oriented village square that promises to be as functional as a small european town center – and more.
Life Long Learning and Research
As we have become more settled into the village we have been able ro run all kinds of workshops and courses. We've also begun to collect rearch project from students at universities as far away as Cambridge and even local home schooling groups. As we grow we will begin to see the shape of this form into what we envision as a place to grow and learn for the community at large.
Our End Vision
The Yarrow Ecovillage will be a high-functioning hub where people can purchase locally-grown organic produce (grown on site); a place where one can park once and shop at five or six locations, go to the bakery, the bank and an artisan’s shop; meet a friend for coffee, work on site, get to know your neighbors, or take a class or two. It will be a place where adults, elders and even teenagers like to hang out and where people can grow and sustain a culture. The goal is to not only enhance commercial viability and create a quality living environment, but to create a culturally-viable and culturally-vibrant sense of place.
What makes it all work?
A project of the magnatude needs a constant flow of energy and people who love the project close by. The cohousing portion of the site plays a critical role in the ecovillage and in creating this culture. It is a place where people learn cooperation and development skills – as well as how to brainstorm, discuss, and decide; it is a place where well-intentioned citizens learn to make consequential decisions together to accomplish their environmental and their social aspirations. Together we are much greater than the sum of our parts.
The 100 year old heritage barn we aim to use as the center of our village square.