If You Want To Learn Sustainabile Skills, This Might Help!


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Categories: On The Farm, Survival, Education, Green, Homesteading, Inspiration

Located on an extraordinary 25 acres near Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia, O.U.R. ECOVILLAGE began operations in 1999 with a vision to create a model demonstration sustainable village community rooted in social, ecological, and economic well being. O.U.R. Ecovillage is the host site for O.U.R Community Association, a registered nonprofit society dedicated to the promotion of sustainable community living. People from all walks of life and all ages are able to benefit from educational programs facilitated within O.U.R developing site.

The idea of O.U.R. Ecovillage had its genesis in the early 1990s when a number of people lived in a cooperative household in Victoria. During this time the O.U.R. acronym (One United Resource) was created. Subsequent events can be described in seven different phases.

After over a decade of some of the most well known Internship/Apprenticeship programming in North America….we are changing it up and combining all of OUR previous internships into one fully integrated learning/skill trading journey.  Bringing together portions of curriculum from past internships including  OUR Incredible Natural Building Internship, OUR Community and Permaculture Production Farming Internship, OUR Social Ecology/Community Building Internship, and OUR Kitchen Crafting Internship, we now have an amazing team of facilitators and guest teachers who can create a holistic learning experience in an all-new skill trading format. These changes comes from learning that we do not want folks to simply learn about building beautifully crafted and organic buildings, we also hope that they could understand those built environments in relation to the food systems around them, the people systems, and interplay at work in the grand design of it all, and that is what Permaculture is really about.

A major component of this skill trader program is to focus on how humans can live and work together in a cooperative, mutually supportive, integral and hopeful way on this planet. Each ecovillage in the world is often suggested as a small lifeboat for the future. Where there is a willingness by those ecovillages to open up to others coming into an immersed learning environment to create their own culture shift from consumerism to contribution/service leadership, from capitalism to the new economy, from fast food to slow food, from dependence or independence to interdependence, from fear to courageous hearts, we see the possibility of personal transformation actually causing global healing and possibilities.


OK…so what about the finite skills that will be nurtured in this program?  Are you ready to step into:

  • working with regenerative community building, creative conflict honouring skills, and communication models.
  • full permaculture design regenerative living–including OUR Permaculture Design Certification and Earth Activist Training
  • participate in all building projects with full team of designers, earthbuilders, red seal carpenters, other trades folk, our local building inspector, OUR engineer, and creative builder artists–including OUR Earth Building Extravaganza (with cob, strawbale, earthbag, earthship design, timberframing, and some surprises, etc). This short course is facilitated by folks from OUR, from Cobworks, from Cob Cottage, and guest teachers). We will also work on a start-to-finish small building.
  • Community Farming: learning the hands-on rhythm and language of the plants/livestock/poultry and how to grow food in greenhouses, row crops, food forests, raised beds, and a variety of permaculture production methods.  The vibrant food systems and design is always being enhanced and you will get to be part of a full season of production and the building out of new spaces as well.
  • Food from the land is the nurturance at the heart of the village culture and great learning is had by jumping in with kitchen crafting and meal serving. With regular chefs/cooks, OUR team as assistance, and even some outstanding local foods guest chefs to delight OUR palette, you’ll always eat well. Crafting projects include working with dairy, fermentation, and breads.  Every year we have a large call for medical diets (gluten free, food allergies, etc.) and there is lots to learn about how to sustain a community homestead and visitors through diverse diets.


  • having access to therapeutic practitioners (deep tissue massage, accupuncture, or therapeutic yoga as an ongoing practice.
  • learning more about food as medicine and attend a few presentations from doctors and health professionals who understand alternative medicine, the use of herbs for healing, and medicinal meals.
  • Legal and Regulatory issues and frameworks in relation to sustainable land use allowances, building permits and Home Owner Protection Warranty for natural building projects, wastewater design and approval,  cooperative food systems, etc.
  • organizational development and land tenure and financing alternative community projects.
  • Creating alternative currency and local economy models.
  • learning to teach others some of what you have learned in your re-skilling and village culture journey…

Skill Trader Structure

OUR team will be fully integrating the others onsite into all of the daily tasks needed to create a regenerative lifestyle.

via O.U.R.Ecovillage

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