In the middle of the picturesque setting of Saltspring Island in the Gulf Islands off the coast of British Columbia Canada, the group ecoReality is developing an ecoVillage – a working model of a co-operative and sustainable land use, habitation, public outreach and education.
The group has recently acquired 37 acres of farmland from a 104 acre package that was recently deeded to the Salt Spring Island Farmers’ Institute by Three Point Properties.
“This acquisition of the 37 acres split from the Hughes Farm is great news for the Salt Spring community,” said Dan Jason, of Salt Spring Seeds, who was instrumental in the 63 acre farmland donation, “EcoReality has an expansive and extensive vision of what can happen on the reconnected 100 acres. This purchase adds immensely to the already exciting possibilities inherent in the land donation.”
With a stated goal of providing equity in farmland to small farmers via co-operative ownership, EcoReality is helping people get back to the land that are no longer able to afford to on their own and the ecoVillage is ground-zero for their efforts.
The nascent ecoVillage project is currently seeking new members that can become financial investors in the project as well as individuals of exceptional skills that can begin a formal process of involvement.
Perhaps most intriguing about the community model ecoVillage has developed is their idea and model for ‘shares and shareholders’. They have established a share structure encourages community participation that includes:
- Class C, or community supported agriculture shares (eat your investment throughout the year)
- Class D, or dairy shares allow legal raw milk distribution through shared ownership of our dairy goats and associated infrastructure
- Class E, or energy shares allow for production of biodiesel and distribution to Class E shareholders.